Mike Schneider is the founder of the Great Los Angeles Walk, and when it comes to tips for newcomers, he has some pretty basic advice: Stay hydrated, wear comfortable shoes, apply lots of sunscreen and come with the spirit of exploration.
"I always tell people to stop at a couple restaurants, take photos," Schneider said. "Really take your time and feel the city."
Schneider created the event 12 years ago when he was celebrating his ten-year anniversary of living in L.A. He had just read the book "Wilshire Boulevard" by Kevin Roderick, in which a walk along Wilshire from downtown to the ocean is mentioned, and Schneider thought to himself, "I want to do that."
"I went on my blog and told people I'm doing this the weekend before Thanksgiving. Who wants to show up? I got about 40 people to show and we really explored that year. I never expected it to be more than a one-time deal, but then I was like, why don't we do Pico? Why don't we do Santa Monica Blvd.? Sunset? Hollywood? We eventually started hitting a whole bunch of streets." And since then, every year, rain or shine, the walk has taken place. One year it took place on Pico, another on Sunset and this year for the first time, on Beverly. It just stands to prove, despite its reputation, that Los Angeles is actually walkable.