Archive for the ‘Fitness & LA’ Category
The Art of Bodybuilding on Display for Our Private Los Angeles Tour
The life of Venice, one of the beach communities of Los Angeles, ranges from high to low, from esoteric to mindless, from artistic to athletic. Walking along the boardwalk allows us to talk about the history of this community that evolved from the ideas of one man, Abbott Kinney, to turn Venice, California into a west coast version of Venice, Italy. The grand canals, gondolas, magnificent palaces of hospitality were all conceived and constructed during the city’s heyday. The wooden piers were home to dance halls and carnivals. Hollywood filmed here and vacationers reveled here. Venice has changed from those halcyon days of full body bathing costumes and paddle balls, bicycles with two different sized wheels and dance marathons. Today we see modern stores and boutiques as well as booths hawking sunglasses, t-shirts and souvenirs. Fine art abounds from henna (on skin) to acrylic beach landscapes and then to kiln-fired clay kitsch. And, of course, lots of food and drink. And then at one end of the boardwalk there is athleticism on display. The basketball, handball and paddle tennis courts built along the bikeway lead us to Muscle Beach. Here our Los Angeles private tour guests watch in awe as the bodybuilders work the exercise machines in full display of everyone passing by. The stage is lined with awards recognizing the princes and princesses of this age old expression of physical perfection. Most of our guests recognize the names of Jack LaLanne and Arnold Schwarzenegger but there are more names to know. The grunting and sweat results in a full-blown Adonis.
Our Private Tour Can Be More Than a Walk
We understand that sitting in a tour bus with a bunch of strangers, looking out the windows while listening to a scripted description of what is passing by can be, well, boring. Why not enjoy a custom private Los Angeles tour with a guide who will not only take you to the best sightseeing destinations in and about the city but let you get out of our luxury SUV and walk around. Feel free to pose for pictures taken by your guide that can go into your photo album along with all the candid photos that you will not have noticed being taken until you share your album with friends and family. More than just walking around Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Venice Beach we can lead you on short (or long) hikes through the hills to see Los Angeles from places where only the locals know where to go. For instance, we can hike up a service road, past the old Batman television series Batcave (and other notable films and shows) all the way to the top of Mt. Lee where our guests will find themselves right behind the Hollywood Sign – Raise the “W”! Another easy and fascinating hike is up into Runyon Canyon where Hollywood and history come together. Plus, it’s good exercise. Eating the fancy snacks we keep in the vehicle will be negated by the good workout from our hikes. Enjoy VIP treatment on a luxury tour designed to suit your interests…from Hollywood to the stars (at Griffith Observatory or the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel).
Bring a Puppy on a Private Tour of Hollywood
One reason to bring your dog along on a visit to Los Angeles is a custom private tour where your pet is not only welcome but we see that there is as much fun for the animal as for its people. Our hiking tours are especially good fun for our four-legged guests. Runyon Canyon in the Hollywood Hills is a moderate hike with lots of sights along the way that harken back not only to old Hollywood and the likes of Charlie Chaplin but even to a notorious outlaw who made this canyon and park his home until, well, the law won. Now we are more likely to pass by young Hollywood stars out for a nature walk with their pets up and down the steep hillside. There are also the outdoor yoga classes. The views of the Los Angeles basin are spectacular as well as a a nice look at the Hollywood Sign to the east high atop Mt. Lee. If we head up early then the morning clouds will cool us down. We have water and snacks for everyone (yes, pet snacks, too!) and our guests will have a number of good photos of them and their doggie with Hollywood in the background.
Warm Summer Weather Continues into the Fall for a Los Angeles Tour
We do not experience a real autumn in Los Angeles. We are a two-season town. Some say summer and not-summer. Some say Dry Season and Wet Season. Still others refer to our weather periods as Green and Brown. However we might describe it we have perfect weather almost every day of the year with some days hotter, some cooler and an occasional few damp. That means that the beaches are open all year long and most days are good beach days. We encourage our private tour guests to dress casually so that when we get to the beach communities (Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu) we can explore the sandy regions and walk barefoot in the surf (OK, yes, the water is colder here than on east coast shores but we can take it and, in fact, rely on the cold water for natural air-conditioning). We can also rent bicycles on our tour and explore the miles upon miles of bike paths along the coast. Or skates. We are an outdoors-enjoying population and the beach is a central location for many activities. Get to know it as we know it when you visit and go sightseeing in Los Angeles.
Our Private Tour Guests are Ready for Some Beach Time
Bring your swimsuits and flip flops along on your private tour of Los Angeles and we will get you out to see the beaches of Los Angeles from Redondo to Manhattan to Venice to Malibu and all the great places along the way. The weather is perfect this time of year and the beach crowds are gone back to their schools and offices. We can even arrange for some surfing lessons for you if you wish to enjoy a real adventure tour. We like the Malibu Surf Shack located right on Pacific Coast Highway to outfit our guests and get them across the road, into the water and onto a board. Most of our staff still hear the Beach Boys and Honk in their heads when they talk about surfing and style. We know that our guests today are more likely to be humming and air-strumming Weezer or the Nebulas. That’s fine with us. Big boards are back! Kowabunga!
Hollywood History on a Private Hiking Tour
After months of being closed down for water line repairs (city infrastructure improvements must go on) we are so very excited that Runyon Canyon Park is once again open for hiking. We truly love this park for a number of reasons. Our very active Los Angeles private tour guests can enjoy a very enjoyable hike right in the middle of Hollywood. With an option for a somewhat strenuous climb/descent on some steep sandy slopes or a mild walk up a paved access road from just above Hollywood Boulevard to Mulholland on the crest of the Hollywood Hills we can point out some interesting historical facts and locations in the park. We can also enjoy some extraordinary views of Hollywood and Los Angeles at any number of scenic points along the way. The hike only requires a limited amount of time so we can still drive east and hike right up to the Hollywood Sign (two excellent hikes in one tour…who does that?) or we can continue sightseeing in and around the Hollywood Hills to see celebrity homes and famous Hollywood locations. The very hot summer weather recently yielded to some cooler, slightly overcast days which only made the hiking even better. Our guests enjoy the exercise as well as the opportunity to see the Hollywood “regulars” who get their steps in each day on the park’s trails. We might pass a yoga class, tai chi or qi gong sessions anywhere in the park where there is sufficient flat space. Finally, our guests can learn about our chaparral landscape and get a really good sense of the ecology of Los Angeles. Enjoy a different kind of sightseeing adventure in Hollywood and come hiking with us.
NOTE: click on the photos for an enlarged view
Add Luxury Swimming to Luxury Private Tour
Maybe swimming in the Pacific Ocean is not special enough for our guests on a private tour around Los Angeles. The beaches are very crowded and very hot lately in these dog days of summer. The swimming pool at their hotel is also crowded. What do we suggest to remedy the heat of July and August while out sightseeing? We suggest that we hurry up to Malibu Rocky Oaks for a private tour of a winery and estate so elegant and unique that film production companies are lining up to use the facility for filming. This is luxury at its best. Our guests can have exclusive access to the residence after a private tour of the vineyards and this Tuscan-inspired home. A private chef will prepare lunch and the repast can be served while enjoying the infinity pool that overlooks the Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu. We do not even have to drive up into the mountains because the estate has its own helipad. The ocean is close enough that occasional winds bring a salty breeze over the pool. Wine, lunch, cool water…this is the ultimate in luxury touring and relaxation. Speaking of which, should we have a masseuse awaiting you after your swim?
Where Husbands on a Private Tour Can Get Their Nails Done
In a city of beautiful people we know where to go for shopping so that our private Los Angeles tour guests can dress like the celebrities whose homes we have just visited. One wonderful street full of cutting edge fashions and designs is Melrose Avenue. Most fashion boutiques are there for women, as you would expect. But there are still plenty of places where men can shop (or be taken for shopping). From hippie to hipster, from dealmaker to doctor, there are stores along this mile long stretch of retail businesses for every look. And now, to counter all the store fronts catering to female grooming (hair and nail salons) there is now a nail salon just for men. Hammer & Nails is modeled after the ideal man cave to let guys let their hair down as their finger- and toenails are shaped to perfection. If you are a fan of Shark Tank then you might have seen this unique concept featured back in September, 2014. Since then the Melrose store has flourished as Michael Elliot, its creator, envisioned. Not to be a shill for this manly business, there really is more to having pedicures than looking good in sandals (pretty much yearlong footwear in Los Angeles). There are a good number of health benefits attributed to well cared for feet and nails. Health is important so feel free to make an appointment even during a custom tour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills with us and we will deposit the men here and carry on shopping along Melrose with the women.
Our Private Tour Hikes in Hollywood to the Hollywood Sign
Because Los Angeles is bounded by steep mountains and hillside trails hiking is a favorite pastime and means of exercise for locals and visitors alike. We love being able to offer guided hikes as part of our Los Angeles tour offerings. We espouse good health and the happiness that comes from getting out of our luxury SUVs to really experience Los Angeles and what we get to do in this amazing city. Two of our favorite hiking trails are right in Hollywood. One is Runyon Canyon, a historic park rising up from near Hollywood Boulevard to behind the Hollywood Bowl. For hikers and joggers there is an access road pathway as well as steep climbing footpaths to choose from to get from the bottom to the top (or vice versa). Extraordinary views of Hollywood and the city extending all the way to bay are available from numerous points along the various trails. There is also a lot of Los Angeles as well as Hollywood film history associated with the park and there are architectural ruins along the way that give our guides an opportunity to tell some very interesting stories. However, sadly, the park is closed from now through July to allow some city water pipes and systems to be upgraded. We are sorry that during this time we will be unable to enjoy the Runyon Canyon hikes we so love but when it comes to water we understand the need to keep everything flowing properly and the sacrifice of one springtime is not too great. Plus….we still have the Hollywood Sign hike available for our guests. Equally fun and interesting, although not nearly as strenuous, almost everyone on a private Los Angeles tour can make the walk from the eastern Hollywood neighborhood up the access road, past the old Batcave (Batman television series with Adam West and Burt Ward; also Invasion of the Body Snatchers cave) all the way to the top of Mt. Lee and right behind the Hollywood Sign. A good walk with lots of great views and tales to tell along the way.
Spring Break for Skateboarders on Private Tour of the Beach
Los Angeles is a capitol of outdoor recreation. We have it all. You name it and we can arrange it for a part of your private Los Angeles tour. Skiing, surfing, horse riding, motorcycle riding, hiking, sailing, scuba, snorkeling, parachuting, bicycling and skating….inline and skateboarding. A much loved destination for us during the summer months and also during Spring Break (which is coming right up) is the Venice Skate Park on Venice Beach. Our custom tour guests are welcome to bring along their own skates and try out this well designed and highly favored bowl and street facility. A description from the Los Angeles Park Service reads, in part:
“The park is complete with plenty of smooth banks to gain a ton of speed in the flow bowl. There is also a large pool that we would not recommend for beginners but is a popular spot for the qualified vert riders. The street skaters love Venice too, there is a large street section with stair sets, ledges, rails, and boxes. Size: 16,000 sq.ft.”
We are not skaters ourselves so are not exactly sure what this means. However, our skating enthusiasts sightseeing with us do get the idea and take to the facility like seals to the bay (very nearby).