Sports & Activities

Southern California is a paradise for outdoor activity enthusiasts. Throughout the year, residents can enjoy hiking, running and biking in the Santa Monica Mountains or along the pristine Pacific coast without having to venture far from their homes. Skiers and snowboarders are also in luck. Big Bear, Mammoth and Mt Baldy are within driving distance and have all the ingredients for a winter weekend of fun in the snow. Visit one of the city’s many public parks or beaches and you’ll be sure to find an informal ‘pick-up’ game of beach volleyball or basketball. Those with a more competitive bent can also take advantage of the leagues that organise games of American football, soccer (football) and baseball. Additionally, recent arrivals to the city should be able to find sports popular in their native countries, like rugby, cricket and netball.

The city is known for being fitness conscious, and there are several gyms and fitness centres. Many of which have extensive free-weight and cardiovascular equipment and offer aerobics classes like boxing, dancing and step. There are also several martial arts and boxing studios dedicated to keeping you fit while teaching you self-defence. Dancers will have no trouble finding a studio and dance form of their liking, be it salsa, belly dancing or swing.

As the home of the television and film industry, there is a vibrant artistic and thespian community here. Indulge your creative side by enrolling in a beginner’s acting class, taking a painting class, ‘throwing’ your first pottery bowl or scrapbooking with your friends. An extensive public library system can round out your education, as they offer an amazing collection of books and classes for adults and youngsters.

Some organisations are nebulous, offering a way to informally get together and meet people in your field of interest, while others, such as city-run sports leagues, offer organised sports seasons. A good way to find out about these groups is to visit their websites and sign up for their mailing lists or newsletters.

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