Malibu Creek S.P.

My wife and I are always looking for a good hike – especially one with lush flora, a bit of wildlife,  running water – and not too far from the city. When we discovered Malibu Creek S.P. we knew we had found gold. Formerly owned by 20th Century Fox Studios, the park’s 8,000 acres of rolling hills, oak savannahs and inspiring rock formations offer miles of green, shaded hiking. There is even a lake and a creek (still running in November) that bird watchers will appreciate. Fans of M*A*S*H  will want to make the moderate, 2.5 mile trek out to the set where the outdoor scenes were shot for the movie and long-running TV series. There is also plenty of opportunity for mountain biking, horseback riding and rock climbing on the “Planet of the Apes Wall.” Only 30 minutes from our LA home, this park will definitely be a frequent day trip destination for us. To make for a full day of relaxation and recreation, you can continue on the canyon road to the coast to catch the sunset and happy hour on the beach only 10 minutes from the park.

Malibu Creek State Park

Mt. Baldy

CayleeAbout 70 minutes from Hollywood and 7,800 feet from sea level stands the most elevated restaurant in Los Angeles county – Top of the Notch, part of a ski resort located on Mt. San Antonio (“Mt. Baldy”). Thanks to Mount Baldy Ski Lifts, in operation since 1952, you can arrive in style for some “haute cuisine” and a local beer. If you’d like to incorporate an alpine hike into your excursion, you may want to dine afterward – just one strong beer at this altitude can make you a bit careless. The staff will be happy to substitute a veggie patty for any of their signature burgers, and if you’re lucky, Caylee will be your server. She is not a fellow Escapee, but a third generation local. She’s been riding the ski lift here since she was about knee high. Find out more about her on

View from Mt. Baldy