Red Maps Travel News Blog

Trails, Beaches & Gardens of LA

Observatory Loop Trail in Griffith Park

We just spent five days in the City of Angels.  For this trip we decided to stay outdoors.  So from Pasadena to Griffith Park and Venice Beach to Malibu Canyons, here are some great tips to help you enjoy the Cali lifestyle.


PASADENA'S MUSEUM GARDENS

Norton Simon - Within the courtyard of the venerable museum is a meandering idyllic garden path with well-placed sculpture amidst reed and lily ponds.  A perfect balance to the masterpieces hanging in the museum's galleries.

Huntington Library - To walk into the entrance the Huntington's Japanese Garden is to hear yourself say "wow!" involuntarily and out loud.  The exquisite gardens on the sprawling grounds include a famous Chinese Garden with lakefront teahouses, an Australian Garden, and others for roses and herbs are not to be missed.

image of gardens of norton simon and huntington gardens


GRIFFITH PARK: OBSERVATORY LOOP

You've seen the Griffith Park's Observatory in the film La La Land, and apparently so has everyone else by the looks of the observatory's parking lot.

Here's an alternate solution (and only if you can) walk up to the observatory on one of the park's foot trails, called the Observatory Loop (pictured above). Park your car shortly after entering Griffith at its Fern Dell entrance.  Then follow the signs to your right for this fun dusty trail, which will take you past desert fauna and a pleasant ravine.  Your reward is spectacular views of LA and a memorable outdoor moment.  Go with a friend and bring water, because it can get hot!


VENICE BEACH & CANALS

The wide beach of Venice with its super fine sand was a fantastic way for us to end our day in this mellow town. 

But before you put your feet in the Pacific, be sure to explore Venice's charming canal district, with bungalow houses and a resident community of ducks.  Crossing each little canal bridge only brought us more photo ready views!

image of venice beach canal houses


MALIBU:  ZUMA BEACH & FLORES CANYON

Malibu is about 20 minutes north on Pacific Coast Hwy 1 from Santa Monica.  It's a breeze to get there.  Here are three things in short order that made us fall in love with Malibu.

Malibu Fishing Pier image
 
First-up, Malibu Pier and a healthy organic breakfast at the Malibu Farm Cafe.  Perfect to contemplate the crystal clear Pacific with a cup coffee.

After a meal, browse the treasures at the always fun Ranch at the Pier shop.  The store is part of One Gun Ranch, located up in the canyons above Malibu, and who sells their organic produce out of Airstream trailer next to the shop.

surfers on zuma beach malibu

Adjacent to Malibu Pier is Zuma Beach, a great place to take a walk or chill, plant an umbrella and watch the surfing.

View from Flores Canyon Malibu

We love driving, so after the beach, we jumped in our car and drove up to see Flores Canyon, eventually ending up on the twisting and spectacular Rambla Pacifico. A road that afforded us sun-drenched views of the adjacent mountains, and almost vertigo-inducing views of the Pacific Ocean far below!

See the LA Red Map:

LA Red Map city guide

Enjoying Prague Like a Local

We asked our friend Vendula, the owner of the chic 100CLASS concept store in Prague, to suggest her favorite cafes, parks and museums, so you can experience Prague like a very stylish local.

image of ring jewelry in the shape of crowns image of manifesto market in prague image of the EMA coffee bar and shop in Prague

MORNING COFFEE!
You can't miss with these bright charmers, who are serving-up the best coffee in Prague:
EMA Espresso - Na Florenci 3, Praha 1
ONESIP Coffee - Haštalská 755/15


image of sandwiches from manifesto market in prague

CLASSIC BITES @ CZECH CAFES

From classic to hip, Vendy has you covered for lunch and dinner:
Cafe Lounge - Think cozy Art Nouveau cafe with hearty dishes and desserts.
Plaská 615/8, Prague 5 Dist.

Manifesto Market - Choose from multiple purveyors who are all housed in sleek black trailers.  So well done!
Na Florenci St, near Náměstí Republiky Station. 

Cukrkávalimonáda - Tempting Czech pastries and classic homey dishes in this charming stenciled-ceiling cafe.
Lázeňská 7, Malá Strana Dist.

Govinda - And if you prefer, Govinda serves-up fresh vegetarian with Indian influences at this local favorite.

Soukenicka 1, praha 1/Florenc


CZECHCRAFTSMANSHIP

See work representing centuries of artisans with a visit the elegant Museum of Decorative Arts, also known as the u(p)m.  In particular, Vendy likes the gallery devoted to Josefs Sudka.
Located near the castle.
17. listopadu 2, Staré Město Dist.


OH, TO WALK IN A PARK.
Prague's hilly, riverside fairytale setting almost demands that you walk in its famous parks.  After yoga or brunch, Vendy likes Park Petrinske Skalky or Letna Park.  Both tiered-settings afford you rooftop views of this magical city.

photo of flowers
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100CLASS concept store

A one of a kind shop with a minimalist's eye for clean lines and fresh design!  From jewelry to fashion and cool objet for the home, you'll find everything you want, and it's all curated by the wonderful owner, Vendy!

See more:  STOCLASS
soukenická 1096/30 - PRAHA 1 Dist.

image of 100 class prague
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image of red map city guide of Prague map

RED MAP PRAGUE

Get the BIG picture when you travel. See the new:  RedMapPRAGUE

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Photo Credits:
The crowns jewelry, park flowers, and 100Class shop from Vendula.
Top photo of Manifesto Market by Jan Cervenka and Manifesto.
EMA Espresso Bar from the EMA website.
Small sandwiches by Jan Cervenka and Manifesto. Butcher Shop Nase maso Butcher Shop from Nase maso.

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