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Will Rogers State Historic Park

Los Angeles is a great place to enjoy the summer, but when you need to escape the hustle of the big city, it's time to head to Will Rogers State Historic Park.

Photo by trw

Nothing says summer like Santa Monica. It’s beautiful all-year round, but when school is out and vacation season start, people head for its great beaches, restaurants, and outdoor venues like Third Street Promenade. Those places are all great, but if you’re looking for a great way to see LA from a different perspective, why not take a look at Will Rogers State Historic Park?

The 186-acre park originally served as the actor’s home and ranch but it’s now a great stopover before or after a visit to one of the nearby beaches. If you like to hike, the park offers a couple of great options depending on how adventurous and fit you are. The well-worn and fairly easy Will Rogers Trail offers a two-mile roundtrip hike up to Inspiration Point. From there you’ll have incredible views of downtown Los Angeles, Catalina Island, the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and all around LA. On a clear day, the views are incredible!

While hiking in the morning is great, please know that the fog early in the day can sometimes obscure the otherwise awe-inspiring views. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can also try the Backbone Trail (or part of it), which travels almost 68 miles across the Santa Monica mountains from the park all the way to Point Mugu State Park.

Offering something for everyone, if a hike isn’t your style, try a trail ride on horseback. The horses are kept in stables right on the ranch. There’s also a very small visitors’ center and tours of the ranch house are also available but on a very limited schedule so be sure to check in advance of your visit.

The park and the hiking trail to Inspiration Point are relatively undiscovered gems. They provide a bit of nature and a car-free environment in the midst of Santa Monica’s hustle. It’s a great place for a summertime outdoor escape.

written by trw

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