Guides Los Angeles Outdoor Activities Available Near LAX to Enjoy Your Layover

Outdoor Activities Available Near LAX to Enjoy Your Layover

City Guide September 25, 2023


If you find yourself with a layover at LAX and are wondering how to enjoy your layover at LAX, there are plenty of outdoor activities and attractions near the airport. Here's a list of what to do near LAX: from spending time at the picturesque Manhattan Beach Pier to exploring the cultural delights of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, there are many options.

You can also indulge in some retail therapy at a nearby shopping mall or be dazzled by the glitz and glamour of the Chinese Theatre. For those with more time, consider leaving the airport altogether to spend time in the great outdoors and make the most of your layover experience, enjoying the fresh air.

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Venice Beach

Venice Beach is a quintessential Southern California experience, and it's just a stone's throw from LAX. Stretching along the coastline, this vibrant beach is a melting pot of cultures, art, and outdoor activities. Stroll along the famous boardwalk, where street performers, artists, and vendors create a lively atmosphere. Rent a bike and cruise along the bike path, or try rollerblading.

The beach offers ample space for sunbathing, picnicking, and beach volleyball. If you're a fan of people-watching, you're in for a treat. From bodybuilders at Muscle Beach to skateboarders showing off their skills, there's always something interesting to see.


Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier is an iconic destination that embodies the best of California's coastal charm. You'll find a delightful mix of amusements, entertainment, and stunning ocean views here. The amusement park at the end of the pier boasts a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, and carnival games, making it a perfect spot for families and thrill-seekers alike.

Take a walk along the beach, where the golden sands meet the endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Remember to explore the shops and restaurants that line the area, offering everything from beachy souvenirs to gourmet seafood.


Marina del Rey

Marina del Rey is a tranquil oasis in the bustling city of Los Angeles. Known for its picturesque marina, it's a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the calm waters, where you might encounter sea lions or dolphins.

The waterfront promenade is perfect for a scenic stroll, and you'll find various restaurants offering fresh seafood and stunning views of the marina. If you want to unwind, there are ample spots for sunbathing or enjoying a peaceful afternoon by the water.


Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area

For a change of pace, venture inland to the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. This sprawling park is a hidden gem, providing a peaceful retreat from the urban hustle and bustle. Hike the scenic trails that wind through lush greenery, offering a welcome respite and a chance to reconnect with nature.

Picnic areas are scattered throughout the park, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely lunch amidst serene surroundings. Birdwatchers will also delight in the diverse avian species that call this park home.


Griffith Park

Griffith Park is a true gem of Los Angeles, offering an expansive outdoor playground in the city's heart. Covering over 4,300 acres, this park boasts an array of activities and attractions. Hike the trail network that leads to various viewpoints, providing breathtaking vistas of Southern California.

Be sure to visit the Griffith Observatory, where you can explore the cosmos through telescopes and engaging exhibits. The iconic Hollywood Sign stands proudly within the park, making it a must-see for visitors and a perfect backdrop for memorable photos.


Universal Studios

Visiting Universal Studios is an absolute must if you're a film enthusiast. This world-renowned theme park combines the magic of Hollywood with thrilling rides and immersive attractions. Walk through the iconic Universal Studios gates and step into a world of movie-making.

Experience heart-pounding adventures on rides like the Jurassic World ride, or immerse yourself in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. You can also take a studio tour for a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood's most famous film sets. With its mix of entertainment, adrenaline-pumping rides, and beloved characters, Universal Studios promises an exceptional experience.



Horseback Riding

For a unique and adventurous way to experience Southern California, consider horseback riding. Numerous ranches and trails in the surrounding areas offer guided rides through scenic landscapes. Whether you're a seasoned rider or a beginner, this activity provides a one-of-a-kind perspective of the region. Trot along dusty trails with the warm sun on your face and take in the natural beauty of the California countryside.


Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is synonymous with luxury shopping. This world-renowned shopping district is a haven for fashionistas and those seeking high-end designer labels. Stroll along the palm-lined streets and browse through an array of upscale boutiques and flagship stores.

From iconic fashion houses to exclusive jewelry shops, Rodeo Drive offers an unparalleled shopping experience. Even if you're not looking to make a purchase, the atmosphere and window displays alone are worth the visit.


National Parks

While not directly adjacent to LAX, Southern California has several stunning national parks worth the extra travel time. Parks like Joshua Tree, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon offer unparalleled opportunities to connect with nature. Explore unique landscapes, ancient forests, and awe-inspiring rock formations. Hiking, rock climbing, stargazing, and wildlife viewing are just a few of the activities you can enjoy in these natural wonders.



Remember to plan your layover activities carefully, considering travel time to and from the airport, and always allow enough time to check in for your next flight. Enjoy your time exploring the best of what Southern California has to offer! Whether you're a local from Manhattan or Santa Monica, or a traveler passing through Los Angeles International Airport looking for family-friendly fun, make the most of your layover by delving into the entertainment and attractions this vibrant city has to offer. Be mindful of the time it takes to navigate to and from the airports and factor it into your plans. And of course, if you're catching a connecting flight, ensure you allow ample time to check in with your airline. Happy exploring!

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