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Nicole Kreuzer

Credit: Nikki Kreuzer

Best Reason to Hang the "Gone Fishin' " Sign

A tranquil, parklike setting called Troutdale, tucked away on a winding canyon road, offers a unique fishing experience for children and beginners, or anyone who wants to take a break from life's hustle and bustle. Two man-made ponds surrounded by rustic wooden benches are well-stocked with trout and shaded by......
Credit: Nikki Kreuzer

Best Place to Get Your Polka on

Secreted away in a wood-paneled lodge in Fontana, Slovene Hall echoes most weekend afternoons with that unmistakable oom-pah-pah beat, as polka bands take the stage. Known mostly by locals, this hidden niche of old-world dancing has an attached bar with reasonable prices, a pool table and a large selection of......
Brother-sister duo

Best Place to Go Ape

Communing with the animal kingdom can be a welcome break from city life, social media and politics. Apes, in particular, can put us in touch with our primal ancestors and give us a much-needed reality check. The gibbon, native to Asia, is known as nature's greatest acrobat and is particularly......
Credit: Nikki Kreuzer

Best Animal Experience With Wine

When life burdens you with stress or sadness, Malibu Wine Safaris, on winding Mulholland in Malibu Canyon, has some healthy medicine to soothe your soul. A visit with lovable and friendly wild animals, including a giraffe, zebras, water buffalo, yaks, llamas and alpacas, plus wine tasting and breathtaking views is......
Credit: Nikki Kreuzer

Best Free International Garden Walk

If you're looking for a private meditation spot to literally stop and smell the roses, Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks will help you press your internal reset button. Spread over 4½ serene acres, this privately owned park opened to the public in 2001 and offers a charming and......
Credit: Nikki Kreuzer

Best Hike to Scare Yourself Silly

Haunted legends surround this peaceful-looking park and hiking trail in Pasadena's Arroyo Seco. Beneath a craggy boulder, shaped by Mother Nature into the undeniable profile of a horned devil, lies a bubbling brook and a flood control dam. Devil's Gate Dam's historic reputation as a portal to evil goes back......
Credit: Nicole Kreuzer

Best Place to Play Farmer for a Day

If you're in the mood to get a little dirt under your fingernails, nothing could be better, fresher or more fun than picking your own vegetables. Underwood Farms takes the hardest part out of farming and allows visitors to grab a wagon, head out into its expansive fields and pick......
Credit: Nikki Kreuzer

Best Place to Practice Tricks and Learn About Skateboard History

Skateboarding was invented under our Western blue skies; with the notoriety of Venice's Dogtown Boys, its history as a sport was pretty much solidified here. We're also privileged to have the first and biggest skateboard museum in the world, located in nearby Simi Valley. The Skatelab Skateboard Park & Museum......
Credit: Nikki Kreuzer

Best Free Archery Lessons

If watching certain scenes from Game of Thrones has you yearning to unleash your inner archer, head to Woodley Park Archery Range. The free lessons, held every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning on a first-come, first-served basis, cover the nuts and bolts of archery; the neighborhood park where they're held......
Credit: N. Kreuzer

Clearman's North Woods Inns Are a Side Dish of Over-the-Top Americana

Where do you go for an off-the-beaten-path food experience that brings together an old-school L.A. vibe, bizarre set-designer whimsy and good-for-all-ages American steakhouse grub? How about the eclectic trio of cabin-like, mid-century restaurants in Covina, San Gabriel and La Mirada: Clearman's North Wood Inns. As you step into a North......