The Best Of L.A. 2013 issue is on the streets, and jammed with listings of this vast town's best boutiques, dive-y bars and bodacious restaurants. But what about your mind? Your body? My God people, this is what counts! We've got a wealth of stuff — so much, in fact, that you may miss some standout things you need to do. For you! Start big and bold, we say, with the five best ways to get bruised in L.A.:
Best Boxing Classes: Alex Brenes' City of Angels Boxing
Former pro boxer Alex Brenes brings an enormous amount of enthusiasm and skill to his Chinatown boxing gym, City of Angels Boxing, where he cracks the whip (and also cracks jokes) to get people in shape. Located in a funky, mural-filled warehouse that has all the necessary boxing amenities, Brenes' one-hour boxing classes are for anyone who wants to train like a professional boxer but not be punched by one. Brenes likes to say that he wants to bring playtime back to adults, so you know you'll have fun while working off the pounds. It's especially good for people who are tired of the same old gym routine and want to spice things up. 1726 N. Spring St., Chinatown. (323) 630-1974, cityofangelsboxing.com. –Patrick Range McDonald
See also: our entire Best of L.A. edition here.
Best Dodgeball: WeHo Dodgeball League
What's better than smashing a frenemy in the gut with a hard-hitting power throw during a rip-roaring dodgeball game? Knowing that doing so is helping to better the community in which you play. The recreational (yet fiercely competitive) WeHo Dodgeball league started up a little more than a year ago, and players have flocked to its courts to get their game on. But they've also found themselves part of an organization that's serious about giving back. League founder Jake Mason says, “Our fundamental belief is that WeHo Dodgeball is not only a community itself but a large part of the local community.” That's meant collecting a U-Haul van's worth of clothing for the Gay & Lesbian Center, raising money for AIDS Project L.A., spearheading a toy drive for the West Hollywood Sheriff's station and hosting a fundraiser “open gym” for AIDS Walk. All that and a chance to win a trophy? Sign us up. West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd., W. Hlywd. (323) 638-4225, wehododgeball.com. –Ali Trachta
Best Zip Line: Navitat Canopy Adventures, Wrightwood
Forget the dinky new zip line out in Venice Beach. Navitat Canopy Adventures has the real tree-skimming experience in the heart of the San Bernardino Mountains. Located at the eastern edge of Los Angeles County, Navitat's Wrightwood zip line and rappelling experience offers adventure-seekers 10 different zips, descents and cable bridges, more than a mile above sea level. Zip between platforms ecologically placed among living Jeffrey pines, soar over canyons 300 feet deep, or leap into the open air with a series of free-fall rappels, then settle in for a final zip line, which is nearly a third of a mile long. Prices start at less than $100, and you won't have to share the platforms with any of those Venice Beach tourists. 6047 Park Drive, Wrightwood. (760) 249-9990, navitat.com/wrightwood-ca. –Farley Elliott
Best Roller Rink: Moonlight Rollerway, Glendale
Almost everything about the Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale is just as you remember, except the patrons: the hot dog stand, the DJ booth, the zigzag pattern on the carpet in the locker area, the faded posters behind the ticket booth, promising hot roller-disco babes inside. Where else can you dance to the hokeypokey or couples-skate with your best friend to Toto's “Africa”? Since 1950, the Moonlight Rollerway has been catering to the four-wheeled masses, and while the kitsch factor is high, don't think for a moment that this is a place where the median age is midlife crisis. The rink's true, die-hard fans were born in the '90s or later and wear neon-colored leg warmers and headbands to pay tribute to the bands that play on the overhead speakers. Moonlight Rollerway has adapted, offering a gay skate night every other Wednesday and Roller Derby classes on Thursday nights. 5110 San Fernando Road, Glendale. (818) 241-3630, moonlightrollerway.com. –Erin E. Maxwell
Best Placing for Horsing Around: Cowboy Boot Camp
Man's best friend may be a dog, but unlike a dog, a horse actually serves as reliable transportation. For an annual fee, Cowboy Boot Camp offers riding lessons, trail rides, clinics such as “Equine Emergency & First Aid,” “Clipping & Body Shaving” and “Bit Understanding” (not the comedy bit, but there certainly are classes in L.A. for that), group activities and hanging-around time at its rugged yet lush seaside mountain property. Hard-core equestrians Lori Barnett and Jim Moore established their piece of horse heaven in 2002, with an additional location in Burbank. Riding time costs extra, but horse enthusiasts consider CBC to be worth every penny. 4 Sunnyfield Drive, Rolling Hills Estates. (310) 872-9421, cowboybootcamp.net. –Adam Gropman
See also: our entire Best of L.A. edition here.
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