city ​​tour by bike, hot air balloon ride, bungee jumping

This holiday season is rocked by a global supply chain crisis and rising prices. So instead of buying a physical gift, turn to experiences. LA Times travel writer Christopher Reynolds has compiled a list of 17 gift-worthy outings in SoCal and shares some of the highlights.

LA Bike Tour

Bikes & Hikes LA, a West Hollywood-based outdoor excursion company, offers several bike routes. But according to Reynolds, “The mother of all routes is really a chance to swallow the whole city in one big gulp. It’s 32 miles…and on that ride you’re in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, UCLA , Santa Monica, [and] Venice.

Bungee jumping on the Bridge to Nowhere

Bungee jumpers stand atop the bridge to nowhere in the San Gabriel Mountains. Photo by Eric Chan (CC BY 2.0).

LA’s historic Bridge to Nowhere was built in 1936, initially to forge a road between the San Gabriel Valley and Wrightwood. This plan was abandoned in 1938, when a massive flood washed out the road leading to the bridge. Now isolated by the architects, the arch-shaped bridge stands as a bungee jumping destination.

“This giveaway might be the most and least likely someone will follow, because first you hike five miles to the bridge to nowhere in the San Gabriel Mountains, then you hop out there. elastic from that bridge to nowhere, and then you hike five miles back,” says Reynolds.

Ride a hot air balloon through wine country

A hot air balloon flies over the vineyards of Temecula. Photo by Shutterstock.

The California Dreamin’ Balloon Ride lets you fly high just in time for sunrise. The hot air balloon adventure begins at a private vineyard and winery in the middle of Temecula wine country and takes you up in the air for an hour.

“When you take off from the Earth, you don’t have the impression that the nacelle is rising. You feel like the Earth is pulling out of you and you’re stable,” Reynolds says.

Learn to improvise

Students take part in an improvisation class. Photo by Shutterstock.

The Groundlings improv and sketch theater has been in Los Angeles for over 40 years. They currently offer online improvisation classes for beginners. “You don’t have to be a budding comedian,” says Reynolds. “You could be someone who wants to make your colleagues smile the next time you’re on Zoom.”