Labor Day Escapes in Southern California

09.1.11


Last-Minute Long Weekend

Did the long weekend sneak up on you? Labor no more. Plan in a pinch with any of these ready-set adventures. Go!


Sturtevant Falls

The Long Good Journey: Plenty of hikers will be jostling for space on the 1.8-mile Gabrielino Trail to popular Sturtevant Falls this weekend, but get an early start and go beyond the crowds on the less-traveled 9.25-mile journey through a lush land of grand greenery, sparkling cascades, and even some hike-in campsites among big-cone Douglas firs.

Rocky Roll: Hidden within the Malibu Hills, tiny Rocky Oaks Park is ideally suited for those who like to keep their biking short and simple. Experience the park in one fell loop then keep the good times rolling at the nearby Malibu Café at Calamigos Ranch, where the acclaimed “nouveau barbeque” fare makes a tasty post-ride reward.

Been there, Dune That: There’s no shortage of beach—or birds—at McGrath State Beach in Oxnard. Home to one of the most active bird refuges in California, McGrath’s vast secluded sand dunes make its 295 acres a tranquil respite from urbanity. (McGrath was slated for imminent closure due to cuts to state parks, but was just granted a 2-month extension thanks in large part to public support!)

Filmfeast: Add a breath of fresh air to “dinner and a movie” at Los Angeles’s Outdoor Cinema Food Fest, a roaming event at a designated city locale that rolls out an assortment of gourmet food trucks, sets the mood with live music, and screens films on the biggest outdoor inflatable movie screen on the West Coast. This Saturday night (September 3) is the last event of the season, featuring Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. Outta-this-world fun.

Tar Attraction: Freshen up at Tar Creek—a cool, clean swimming hole located in a remote area of the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. Hiking to reach this haven works up a good reason to chill out under a 15-foot waterfall that feeds into the center pool.

Mile-High Idyllwild: With a little flexibility and some good luck, you may be able to nab a last-minute campsite at the Idyllwild Campground in Mount San Jacinto State Park (within walking distance of town). From there, set out on a hiking, biking, or lakeside-lounging escape in a purely idyllic setting.

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