Natalie Notions » Where Taste Meets Travel

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Best hikes in LA, Reseda Blvd hike

One of my favorite things to do is hiking. If you follow me on Instagram, you will notice that I go on a lot of hikes, even when I’m traveling. I try to go once a week and love checking out different hikes. There are a few that I go on quite often, suggest to fellow hikers, and take friends on when they visit. Here are my favorite hikes in L.A..

Caballero Canyon Trail – I hike this 3.4 mile {out and back} trail most often. There isn’t any shade, so it’s best to go in the morning or on a foggy day, plus it’s uphill all the way to the lookout point. At the top of the hike, on Dirt Mulholland Drive, there’s a bench with beautiful views of the valley.

Caballero Canyon trail

Fryman Canyon -This 3 mile loop in Studio City is pretty popular among hikers, so if you don’t know the way, you can follow the crowd. It’s a fairly easy trail and is also dog friendly. That’s something to keep in mind when hiking in LA, check to make sure it’s dog friendly and if they can be off leash.

Fryman Canyon hike, hike Los Angeles

Topanga State Park – There are so many hikes in Topanga State Park, it was hard to narrow it down to just one. Some of the hikes on this list {Los Liones and Caballero Canyon}, lead into Topanga State Park. There’s a large parking lot with a day fee to park, but if you want to avoid paying, you can park outside the entrance on the road. Here you can hike all day deep into the Santa Monica Mountains.

Topanga State Park hike

Malibu Creek State Park – Another location with tons of trails. You really feel like you are out of the city when you are here. The Santa Monica Mountains surround the park, filled with rolling hills, oak trees, and tall grass. If you want to do more than just hiking, you can also camp, go rock climbing, and horseback riding. It’s a nature getaway without having to leave the city.

Malibu Creek State Park hike

Los Liones Trail – The hike can either be 2.6 miles out and back or if you really want to go for it, 7.8 miles round trip. If you go for the longer stretch you end up at Parker Mesa Overlook, which offers a higher elevation view of the ocean. If you decide you don’t want to make the higher arduous hike, Los Liones ends at a clearing on the ridge with a bench and views of Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, and the ocean.

Parker Mesa Overlook, Los Liones hike

Griffith Park – This is an extremely popular place to hike, especially for tourists and out of town guests. There are lots of hikes in the park. My favorite is Mount Hollywood, which is the star of Griffith Park. It can be reached from the Observatory and offers 360-degree views of the city. I love looking over the ridge and seeing Griffith Observatory with the downtown skyline in the background.

Griffith Park hike, best hikes in LA

Paramount Ranch – A 4 mile loop that ends at a Western town that serves as a filming location. Most recently HBO’s Westworld was filmed at Paramount Ranch. Paramount Pictures used to own the land, but it’s now preserved by the National Parks Services. The old prop town was built in the 1950’s and can be explored after a moderate hike.

Paramount Ranch filming location

Note: It was hard to narrow down the best hikes in LA, there are so many to choose from.

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70s style

I’ve always been a big fan of 70’s fashion. The high waisted bell bottoms, florals, muted tones, wedges…I can go on. I recently pulled out this floral Free People blouse and was feeling the 70’s vibe. It’s loose enough to wear during the summer and the bell sleeves made me want to twirl to show them off. There are some fun 70’s trends for fall that I can’t wait to wear. I’m ready to bring out my retro brimmed hat and get some bright 70’s plaid.

Free People Shirt, 7 For All Mankind Jeans, Tiger’s Eye Ring {Similar}

TigerFree People floral shirt70s style outfit70s floral shirt

Note: Shop the look below!

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Beach Wedding Guest

Last month I attended a black tie wedding by the beach. When I got the invitation I had no idea what to wear. Black tie and beach wedding don’t often go together, but when the ceremony is at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Montecito and the reception is at the exclusive Coral Casino Club, it all makes sense. I knew I wanted a maxi dress and something that I could dance in. When I think of black tie, I think of a tight evening dress, but I couldn’t wear that to the wedding. I love dancing too much. This Free People floral maxi fit the bill. It has a breezy beachy feel, while still being formal enough for a black tie wedding. And lets be real, black tie doesn’t mean that every man is showing up in a tux. It implies a nice suit.

If you’re heading to a beach wedding choose a dress that gives you that free dancing on the beach feeling. And if you’re heading to a black tie wedding, still find something that you can dance in.

Free People Mixed Floral Maxi Dress, Kate Spade Twist Bangle, Kate Spade Building Blocks Bangle

Dancing on the beachFree People Floral Maxi DressBeach Wedding DressBeach Wedding DressNatalie Zimmerman, Natalie Notions, Fashion BloggerFree People Floral Maxi DressEl Matador Beach, Natalie Notions, Fashion Blog

Photography by Abigail Collins

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Ojai Spa, Ojai Valley Inn

When your friend tells you that she’s staying at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa and wants you to come visit, you do it. This beautiful resort is located about 70 miles north of Los Angeles, so it makes for a relaxing weekend getaway from the city. There’s a peacefulness to the resort that you immediately feel as you coast up the long driveway. It pulled me in all day. Along with laughing with my dear friend, it was exactly what I needed.

We started the day with breakfast at The Oak Kitchen on the patio overlooking the golf course and huge oak trees {hence the name}. A quick bite turned into a few hours and we found ourselves catching up and calling an old friend. I’m sure the people next to us hated that we had her on speaker phone.

Ojai Valley Inn SpaOjai Valley Inn poolAfter breakfast she gave me a private tour of the property, starting with her Spanish-style room. I really felt like I was staying there. We checked out the spa, which only made me want to book a service and spend the rest of the day there. But we moved on and walked to the Artist’s Colony, a cute cottage with an artist in residence the leads painting classes. There are guest artists that lead other classes depending on the schedule. The room next door is an apothecary center where you can make and mix your own oils and scents.

We made our way around the walking path to the adults only pool. This is where we soaked up the sun for the rest of the day. We ordered drinks, which were delivered to us in the pool, and floated on one of the highly coveted pool loungers. Supposedly there are only 7 or 8, so you have to snag them early. We succeed in doing that. After a few hours in the pool we relaxed in the comfy lounge chairs and ordered some chips and guac. My go-to poolside snack.

Ojai Valley PoolOjai Valley Inn Spa

I was sad when it was time to say good-bye to my friend. It was the most fun I have had in a long time. A full day of laughs, relaxing in a gorgeous setting, good food and drinks. I’m looking forward to a full weekend at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. I might have to go book it now.

Ojai Valley Inn, Pool Note: This was the perfect daycation.

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While I was on on my trip to Asheville I committed myself to taking videos and talking into the camera. It made me nervous at first, and still does, but I’m just rolling with it. This video of my stay and visit to the Biltmore Estate doesn’t even do it justice. I was able to capture the estate house, Antler Village, and the barn. But I left out the gardens, winery, and shops.

Now I know to take tons of more videos on my next trip. And, I’ve decided to invest in a better camera for my videos. I’m really getting into this. Would love to hear what you think!

Note: I’m taking my own advice and doing what scares me.

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