Los Angeles is famous for its gym culture. But if you're intimidated by all the hard bods at Gold's — or if you just want to take the jogging path less traveled — the city's network of historic staircases is an ideal way to stay fit. City planners originally installed the public staircases in the 1920s as direct routes for hillside residents to get down to urban areas and transit lines. They fell out of use once the motor car came along, but the stairs still serve as direct paths into stately L.A. neighborhoods unseen by many Angelenos. Charles Fleming's book Secret Stairs details staircases in neighborhoods from Pasadena to Pacific Palisades. Even better: If you bring it along, you'll be too busy reading about spots like Charlie Chaplin's Moorish home to realize you just climbed the equivalent of three miles. Who says Los Angeles isn't a walkable city? secretstairs-la.com.

—Andrea Domanick

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