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California Fitcations

Sure, you could go to a gym to work out, but why would you when you can visit Mother Nature’s 163,696-square-mile gym, California? With outdoor adventures for everyone, travelers of all fitness levels can keep in shape while experiencing and exploring the beauty of the state.

Ascend to New Heights


  • Located near several iconic ski resorts, Truckee offers hundreds of miles of technical single-track trails perfect for hiking and running, as well as the easier paved Legacy Trail along the Truckee River.
  • Beat the crowds with an early morning three-mile ascent on Fresno’s Pincushion Mountain to enjoy views of Millerton Lake and the Sierra Nevada. For more of a challenge, explore the trails around Shaver and Huntington Lake and nearby Kings Canyon National Park.
  • The Palm Springs desert offers hundreds of miles of mountain trails that make for perfect hikes from October to April. In the heat of summer, head to the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tram and enjoy hiking in temperatures 20 degrees cooler than in the valley.
  • A hike to Table Mountain or Red Hills in Tuolumne County will bring the senses to life. For travelers looking for even more adventure, nearby Yosemite National Park’s Tuolumne Meadows is a rock climbers dream come true.
  • San Luis Obispo is home to a variety of trails and hills, including the popular Cerro San Luis. Looking for a challenge? Firefighter Trail to Reservoir Canyon got its name from the local firefighters who run this path for training!

Pedal Power

  • Fort Bragg is the only place in California to try rail biking. Using either pedal or electrical assisted power, meander through redwood forests and along a scenic estuary on the Skunk Train’s rails.
  • Explore Morro Bay’s rugged coast on a beach cruiser, ride through town on a road bike, or get dirty on miles of mountain biking trails at Valencia Peak in nearby Montana de Oro.
  • When you combine great scenery and great wine you have the makings for a memorable, bucolic day biking from winery to winery in beautiful Temecula Valley Wine Country.
  • Enjoy uncrowded beaches in Torrance and explore the coastline on two wheels. Torrance Beach is the starting point for The Strand, a 22-mile coastal bike path that ends in Malibu.
  • With its vicinity to the coast and rolling hills, Paso is a prime fitness destination – particularly for cyclists. It comes as no surprise that Paso is home to the historic Paso Robles Cycling Festival, known as “The Great Western Bicycle Rally.”

Ride the Wave

  • The famous Dana Point surf break was immortalized in the Beach Boys “Surfin’USA.” Doheny State Beach is perfect for families and beginners, and Salt Creek Beach is a great spot for more advanced surfers. Gear up at the Hobie Surf Shop, the first retail surf shop in the world which opened in 1954.
  • With a sheltered location and consistent waves, Santa Monica is the ideal spot to learn to surf. Head to the end of Bay Street and sign up for private or group lessons at Aqua Surf School or Go Surf LA.
  • With 70-miles of open ocean coastline, San Diego draws newbie and advanced surfers. The La Jolla Shores are perfect for learning, while Trestles or Black’s Beach are best for experienced surfers.
  • Huntington Beach is an ideal active-lifestyle destination, with great weather year-round. Surfing pros and novices can stop by Toes on the Nose at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach for rentals and surf lessons.

Take the Plunge

  • Channel Islands National Park – located off the coast of Oxnard and Santa Barbara – is an incredible fitness destination. Here, travelers can kayak, hike, snorkel, surf or get killer workout sea cave kayaking with Santa Barbara Adventure Company.
  • Rafting on the Trinity River is an incredible way to get fit on your next trip, while taking in some of the beautiful scenery and natural wildlife found in California’s Shasta Cascade.
  • Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach invites visitors to explore 2,400 acres of land, including 3.2 miles of beaches and tide pools. The views from the top of El Moro Canyon Loop Trail are some of the most beautiful, and might even inspire you to go scuba diving in the offshore waters.
  • Siskiyou County is an ideal destination for thrill-seekers. Here, visitors can embark on a unique whitewater kayak activity that Olympic gold medal skier Jonny Moseley did at Otter Bar Lodge Kayak School, one of the nation’s premier schools.

Urban Exercise

  • Oakland is filled with outdoor fitness opportunities, from paddle boarding or kayaking on the Oakland Estuary with California Canoe and Kayak to hiking through a breathtaking forest, in Redwood Regional Park.
  • Costa Mesa is a great place to get steps in, with The Costa Mesa Art Walk offering up stunning sculptures for art-lovers to enjoy, and 400 acres of nature sanctuary and trails waiting to be explored at Fairview Park or Talbert Regional Park.
  • There is more to Napa than wine! Downtown Napa offers up many options for an active vacation, such as exploring the Napa River by kayak or paddleboard, or catching art along the incredible Napa ARTwalk.
  • Concord may be just a short drive from bustle of San Fracisco, but it has numerous parks, trails and other natural wonders. Lime Ridge offers 1,226 acres of open space and 25 miles of biking and hiking trails, while the nearby Mt. Diablo offers everything from a casual walk to a strenuous, daring hike.