Bryan Freeman wanted two things out of his career: to meet new people and spend time outdoors. With this in mind, Mr. Freeman's path seemed obvious. He would start giving bike tours. A self-described "fact guy," the expert guide draws upon his extensive knowledge of the Venice area to delight both tourists and California natives. From the Venice canals to the spacious mailboxes of celebrity homes, the expert guide tells stories about famous locations and uncovers some of the area's hidden gems. "Everyone always says they had no idea the tour would be so exciting," he says. "People think Venice is just the beach, but just a block away there is so much more."
Mr. Freeman doesn't keep his groups confined to the seats and cowboy saddles of bicycles. He frequently points out ideal spots for photo ops and occasionally pauses for activities, such as letting groups spray paint their names onto a legal-graffiti wall. He also supplies optional helmet cams that capture videos for souvenirs.
Malibu Discovery Tours' experienced guides shepherd locals and visitors on various tours of the salt-air scenery around Malibu?s coasts and wineries. As guests summit mountains at sunrise, the guides point out celebrity mansions, exquisite wildlife, and the laundromats of Hollywood elites. In between views of the ocean and passes through mountain landscapes, tour groups can watch the rolling vineyards of local wine country and look for amorous initial carvings by a teenage John Adams on Old Malibu's historic building fa?ades.
The ocean-side city of Santa Monica, flush with food, culture, and history, provides ample fodder for Destination Food Tours’ signature outing. Led by a local guide, groups stroll to a succession of eateries such as Bar Pinxto, where chefs infuse tapas with traditional Spanish flavors. At MAKE—a completely raw restaurant—chef and author Matthew Kenney showcases the decadence of uncooked food, and at the tour’s final stop, N’ice Cream, scoops of organic gelato refresh taste buds and extinguish mustache fires.
Active Movement's fleet of pedal-assisted and full-throttle electric bikes allows visitors to savor the sights of Santa Monica with minimal effort. Couples and small groups of friends can mount the bicycles and take a private ride past Hermosa Beach, the Venice Beach skate park, and the Santa Monica Pier. And, they also have the option to join an organized adventure in order to pedal past a handful of the area's historic sites, taking well-composed snapshots to share with friends or empty photo albums.