Best Giddy-Up and Go - 2011
Mill Creek Equestrian Center
Hippies still reign on lush Old Topanga Canyon Road, one of the most scenic drives in Los Angeles County. About halfway between the Valley and the Pacific, among all those artsy shacks, you'll come across the decidedly un-hippy Mill Creek Equestrian Center. At this full-service boarding and riding facility, a beginner can learn to handle a horse even if he believes the old New York City adage that the "outdoors" is the place between his front door and a taxi. Private lessons are $80 for 45 minutes, group lessons are $35 per hour — $25 if you bring your own horse. To get your citybound butt moving, check it out in person. You'll find an accepting, low-key scene: giggling girls struggling to pull a 25-pound bag of carrots out of Mom's van, or trainers using a microphone to praise kids who are learning dressage. Beginners welcome! 1881 Old Topanga Canyon Road, Topanga. (310) 455-1116, millcreekequestriancenter.com.