Updated: Apr 12
Looking for a getaway that is conveniently located, yet secluded enough where you really feel you are away from it all? The Topanga Canyon area offers just that. It is a tranquil place full of adventure, serenity, and amazing things to do. The ultra-laidback vibe of this area draws people in, and the incredible array of places to see in Topanga Canyon will keep you here for a while.
Some consider this a hippie enclave – we consider it just a great place to explore. You won’t find the usual chain stores and restaurants here. Topanga Canyon offers an authenticity unmatched by most other districts in the Los Angeles area. It is so close by, yet worlds apart from hectic city life.
Best of all, Topanga is just FUN. It offers sights and activities for all ages and is the perfect vacation for couples, families, or a friend’s getaway. We’ve gathered up the best things to do while in Topanga Canyon.
Hike in Topanga Canyon. Even if this were the only thing on your list, you would still need a week or more to explore it all. Topanga State Park has 36 miles of interconnecting trails, all offering their own unique natural beauty; some with sweeping views of Santa Monica and the surrounding waters of the mighty Pacific. The visitor’s center is open on weekends from 10 am – 3 pm, January – July, and has great information about the history, trails, plants, and wildlife within the park. Be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date information to make your trip memorable.
Take a Horseback Ride. A popular pastime in this area, Topanga Canyon has many horse-friendly trails where you can enjoy the splendor of the canyon without having to hike through any of it. L.A. Horseback Riding is a popular choice and is situated right at the top ridge of the Santa Monica Mountains. They will set you up and get you riding in the peacefulness of nature in no time. Ride one of these sleek and majestic creatures as they guide you through some spectacular scenery. The sunset rides are particularly wonderful. Kids are welcome although they must be at least six years of age.
Hang out at Topanga State Beach. With over 20 acres of property and a mile of coastal waters, this beach is more for surfing and sunbathing than for swimming, thanks to its cobblestones and reefs. But that doesn’t keep most people from enjoying the impressive waves and surrounding sights. Surfers here come to conquer the waves, and fishing is another prime activity. The beach is accessible by paved stairs along the Pacific Coast Highway that lead down to the beach. Bring your beach towels, umbrella, and make a day of it.
Take in a play at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum. This is a historic and rustic-looking outdoor theatre, styled in classic amphitheater style. Founded by Will Greer of ‘The Waltons’ fame (he played Grandpa Zebulon), in later years, he used his botany skills to help create this uniquely lush theater. During the summer months, the works of Shakespeare reign supreme, but the theatre does hosts other productions as well, such as concerts and improv nights. For the best experience, be sure to bring a hat and sunscreen during those hot SoCal days, and a cushion for your tush as the bleachers are of the old-fashioned wooden variety. Visit their website for up-to-date information on availability of shows for the season.
Browse the Boutique Shops in Pine Tree Circle Village. Located less than five miles inland from Topanga Canyon on Highway 27, this is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Even if you are not a shopper, you will find something unique and interesting here. Just some of the shops to explore are Hidden Treasures Vintage (more about this below), Topanga Home Grown, and Jalan Jalan Imports, just to name a few.
Tuna Canyon Park. Unlike most of Topanga Canyon State Park, Tuna Canyon does allow you to bring along your pooch on the hike. Explore this very scenic 1,255-acre area which connects Topanga with Las Flores Canyon. Imagine a calming stroll with the dog (or whomever your companion(s) are) with sweeping views of Santa Monica Pier and beyond. On a clear day, one can see as far as Catalina Island.
Red Rock Canyon Park. The special aspect of this park is its topography, and you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into another world. Here you’ll find red and tan rocks, along with a variety of wildflowers, fossils, and caves as you explore and hike interesting-looking rock formations that appear to change color right before your eyes. Be sure to bring a picnic lunch, as there is a small picnic area as well.
Enjoy a romantic meal, whether or not you have a significant other. Tucked in amongst a terraced garden alongside a creek, the Inn of the Seventh Ray offers a dinning experience unmatched in the Los Angeles area. It is a retreat of the soul (and the palette) with their uncompromising menu featuring vegan and vegetarian-friendly fare, made with fresh and sustainable ingredients. Dine in the sycamore and oak trees under twinkling lights and ornate buddha statues.
Take the Spiral Staircase to this unique bookstore. The best books are the ones that take you to faraway places – why not visit a bookstore that does the same? It is located on Old Topanga Road and right next to the Inn of the Seventh Ray. Not only do they sell great books of all colors and flavors, but this whimsical store goes on a metaphysical bent by catering to those who appreciate jewelry, statues, spiritual iconography, crystals, and more.
Find your Hidden Treasure at this vintage store. Hidden treasures embodies the authenticity and uniqueness of the Topanga region in its eccentric, sometimes bizarre display of items. One almost gets the impression that this well-known shop wants to impress rather than to sell you something. And that’s fine with us. The shop looks more like a pirate-themed haunted house than a vintage establishment. Along the widow’s walk, a ship captain who’s obviously gone zombie appears to be steering the house with the store’s name emblazoned in glittering letters above. And with all of the treasures for sale, we dare you to walk out of the place empty-handed. Read our blog post about Best Trails in Topanga State Park.
Are you ready to have some fun this summer?
When you book your vacation rental with Don Pio Estate in Woodland Hills, you will have the entire Topanga Canyon area at your fingertips. It’s the perfect home base for your upcoming Southern California adventure! Book this beautiful Topanga Canyon Airbnb online.
You may also like the ultimate guide to Woodland Hills