Stay Fit In...L.A.
Kick off your trip by kickingup some dirt on the hikingtrail. Many locals swear bythe paths in Runyon Canyonand around the HollywoodReservoir, but we prefer togive our butt and quads aworkout on the five-mileout-and-back Paseo MiramarTrail in Topanga StatePark. To get to the trailhead,which is in a residentialneighborhood in PacificPalisades, turn north onPaseo Miramar and follow itto the end. The first half ofthe hike is uphill, but at thetop you're rewarded witha panoramic view of thePacific Ocean. Post-hike, pop a gym baginto your trunk and fuel up atFirehouse in Venice (213Rose Ave.). The café isknown for its "bodybuildercombos," like the groundturkey and egg-white scramble,but its menu also boastsdelicious sandwiches, salads,and tandoori chicken. Walk off your meal bystrolling over to Main Street,one of the area's hottestshopping districts, and checkout the boutique Blonde.The shop is renowned for itsselection of casual beachwear,jeans, and dresses. After exercising yourcredit card for a while,head a mile south to theequally hip Abbot Kinneyarea and saddle up at YASYoga and Spinning ($15per class; 1101 Abbot KinneyBlvd.) Owner KimberlyFowler offers both workoutsthroughout the day. Saturday
Get your ocean-breeze fixwith a morning ride on partof the city's 22-mile beachpath. Rent a bike from BlazingSaddles ($8 per hour;320 Santa Monica Pier) andpick up a free map whileyou're there. Cruise aroundwhile enjoying the wind inyour hair, then wheel overto Washington Boulevardin Venice. Pedal east onemile and stop for a bite at26 Beach (at the corner ofWashington Boulevard andYale Avenue). The restaurantmakes some of the best burgers in town,including healthy varietieslike the grilled salmon patty,and on weekends you'll find13 kinds of French toast.Return your bike afterbrunch, then drive to WestHollywood and give yourselfthe celebrity treatment.Start with a yoga class atCity Yoga (7904 SantaMonica Blvd.). Don't besurprised if you spy a fewsweaty stars posing besideyou-everyone loves the $8bargain of the Saturdayafternoon community class.Keep that relaxed feelinggoing with an 80-minuteAmbassador massage ($180;a combo of Swedish, deeptissue,and shiatsu styles) atthe Argyle Salon & Spa at8358 Sunset Blvd. Thetreatment takes place in asuite-complete with a flatscreenTV, bathtub, andplush seating area. You caneven reserve time (for anadditional fee) after yourtherapist leaves to chill inyour temporary digs.Sunday
Squeeze in a workout on theSanta Monica Stairs (the topis at Fourth and Adelaidestreets) before your flight.The 170 steps can beclogged with people, so besure to obey the threeunwritten rules: Stay to yourright (the middle is for runners),keep moving, and stoponly at the halfway mark'slanding. If you have extrasteam when you're done,join the other folks crankingout crunches and push-upsalongFourthStreet. (Or ifyou just want to jog, thegrassy median dividing SanVicente Boulevard is easy onyour feet.) You should stillhave plenty of time to dashback to the hotel, shower,and get to the airport-forlunch! Encounter, thefunky, circular-shaped restaurantin the center ofLAX, is a mere fiveminutewalk from any ofthe terminals. Take in theStar Trek-inspired décor asyou feast on a few appetizers;the California market saladand cayenne-citrus chickendrummettes make a deliciousand filling meal fortwo. As you head home,tune out the plane distractionsand think about howfit and relaxed you feelinstead-not a bad souvenirconsidering you were awayfor only three days.