As winter seeps in, the mild year-round temperatures of Los Angeles make it the ideal city to explore by bike or foot — and yet the land of freeways still has some of the worst traffic in the country, second only to D.C., according to a recent study.
However, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board aims to change that with a Car Free LA initiative that provides eight self-guided tours meant to encourage visitors to explore the sprawling city sans automobile. Not only does the program mesh with the health consciousness of the City of Angels, but it’s also a continuing effort to improve traffic conditions and spare the skies from car exhaust.
Walk Score, a website promoting pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods around the U.S., recently named West Hollywood the most walkable city in California, just edging out San Francisco. And between Car Free LA’s full-day WeHo walking tour and the incentives offered by several luxury hotels in the area, ditching the wheels has never been easier.
For example, Santa Monica’s beach-view boutique Shore Hotel provides a Car Free at the Shore Hotel package, which includes a loaner bike from Perry’s Cafe and Rentals and dinner for two at The Lobster, a restaurant sitting on the tip of the Santa Monica Pier. The program aligns with the green hotel’s sustainability standards, as well as its focus on health and wellness.
Andaz West Hollywood, famous for the raucous rock ’n’ roll parties thrown there in the 1960s and ’70s when it was the Continental Hyatt House, features a Walk & Roll program, which sends you off for the day with a complimentary to-go lunch, pedometer and touring guide to nearby West Hollywood hot spots. At the end of your trek, the hotel will donate $1 per mile walked to local non-profit Gay For Good.
Just two blocks down Sunset Boulevard, Mondrian Los Angeles offers a Bike LA package, which includes two movie star home bicycle tours with Bikes and Hikes L.A. departing daily to take you through some of the most high-profile neighborhoods in the city, as well as down the legendary Rodeo Drive.
At Hotel Palomar Westwood, make use of complimentary bike rentals and a Car-Free, Carefree program that provides free valet parking, a map of the neighborhood and a welcome package with bottles of water, sunscreen and a pedometer. As an added incentive, if you walk at least 10,000 steps a day, you will receive 20 percent off your next stay. Westwood’s sister hotel, The Hotel Wilshire, in nearby Beverly Hills, offers the same promotion.
Photos Courtesy of Andaz West Hollywood and Bikes and Hikes LA