Parks & beaches
The Living Desert (www.livingdesert.org) is both a zoo and a botanical garden. Visitors can follow its panoramic trails to observe a variety of indigenous and exotic desert animals.
Joshua Tree National Park
Located some 80 km east of Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park (www.nps.gov/jotr) is home to creosote bushes, ocotillos and cholla cacti. The park's main attractions are its pure air, its breathtaking panoramas and the curious rock formations that dot its landscape.
No doubt worthy of the title of Los Angeles' most famous beach, Santa Monica State Beach is located at the end of the Santa Monica Freeway (I 10). It is also the most easily accessible beach from downtown and the ideal spot for sunbathing or meeting the locals.
Venice's beautiful white-sand beach is bathed by a deep-blue, alluring sea. This is a paradise for in-line skaters, walkers, cyclists, volleyball enthusiasts and sunbathers, not to mention the blend of musicians, magicians, fortune-tellers and dancers who try to outdo each other to elicit some change from the procession of passersby.
Stretching over 13km, the beaches of Huntington are the city's main attraction, and it's easy to understand why it is nicknamed "Surf City USA". Bolsa Chica Beach tends to be less crowded than its counterparts.