Who needs a stair machine when there’s a trail with a view to conquer? Why toil on a treadmill when you can surf the Pacific? California, blessed with diverse landscapes and pleasant weather year round, provides a natural backdrop for activities that cater to an exceptionally fit population. On your next visit to San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles or San Diego, stay active while taking in each city’s distinctive personality and sights during these creative workouts.

Surfing in San Diego

Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara, North San Diego, overlooks South Ponto Beach, which keeps surfers stoked with its cool breaks and wide strip of sand. The Concierge arranges your transportation, wetsuit, surfboard or boogie board, and two hours of individual instruction so even novices can try surfing in this popular spot.

Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara, North San Diego

Skyline stretch in L.A.

A rooftop yoga class at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles Beverly Hills

Rise far above Beverly Hills’ tree-lined avenues and offer a salutation to the sun as it rises with views of the iconic Hollywood sign and downtown LA’s skyline. The 17th floor helipad of Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills hosts private rooftop yoga, led by renowned West Coast wellness experts. For extra adrenaline, the Hotel partners with training company Blue Clay Fitness, which counts a number of celebrities among its clientele, to offer group fitness classes on the helipad too.

Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Hit the trail in the Santa Monica Mountains

A hiker treks along the Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Make sure to pack your hiking boots when visiting Westlake Village. This year’s completion of the Backbone Trail offers visitors and locals alike a 67-mile (108-kilometre) uninterrupted path traversing the Santa Monica Mountains’ sandstone peaks and canyons. The trailhead is a 20-minute drive from Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village. A half-century in the making, this ambitious project connects two state parks – Point Mugu in Malibu and Will Rogers in Pacific Palisades – through mountainous terrain that will test your fitness and endurance.

Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village

Water sports paradise in Malibu

Yoga on paddleboards near Malibu offers two workouts in one.

Less than a 30-minute drive to the Pacific Ocean and under an hour to Malibu, Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel) provides an easy springboard to maritime adventures like kayaking and paddleboarding. “Paradise Cove in Malibu has great water sports,” says Honor Echlund, the Hotel’s Assistant Chef Concierge. The Concierge can also arrange a trip to Marina del Rey – just 30 minutes away, it’s home to the largest man-made marina in the United States – where you can paddle, surf or even join a yoga class on a stand-up paddleboard.

Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel)

Coastal climb in the Santa Barbara mountains

A hiker absorbs the views near Rocky Pine Ridge in the Santa Barbara mountains, not far from the Cold Spring Trail.

Life doesn’t get much healthier – or beachier – than in Santa Barbara, the stylish coastal town 100 miles north of Los Angeles.

“I feel so fortunate to live here,” says Chef de Partie at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, an avid runner who has completed 54 marathons. “Santa Barbara is a mecca for runners and cyclists, and you get to enjoy amazing trails year round.”

Bruno recommends hitting the nearby Cold Spring Trail, a path beloved by both hikers and cyclists that combines a variety of terrains leading to majestic views of the Pacific Ocean and Montecito Peak. The hiking trail loops alongside waterfalls and a bubbling creek as it rises from 600 to 1,200 feet (183 to 366 metres). Steep in some places and gently sloped in others, this woodsy walk beats any treadmill or stationary bike regimen.

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Heights of San Francisco

The spiral staircase at San Francisco’s Embarcadero Center is one of many climbing opportunities that combine exercise with public art.

No need to limit yourself to a stair machine in a city full of picturesque inclines, such as the residential Outer Sunset neighborhood’s swirly mosaic stairs that reward with vistas of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco cityscape. For another scenic walk, climb Lyon Street’s 244 steps that link gourmet enclave Cow Hollow with stately Pacific Heights. Both are within a few miles of the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco.

Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco

Poolside workout in Palo Alto

The pool at Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto.

Even when you’re in the world’s tech capital, it’s good to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and fitness with an on-site al fresco workout. If you’re here for just a quick business jaunt, the Hotel makes it easy to stay active and bask in the sun. Surrounding the rooftop pool at Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto are dedicated fitness cabanas where you’ll find stationary bikes and weight bars.

Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto

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