Via BoingBoing, Mark Frauenfelder writes:
While in the minivan I peppered Hargo with questions about his tour company, LA Active Adventures. An amiable and calm fellow, Hargo told me he started the company about three years ago on his wife’s advice. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hargo had become the de facto tour guide for visiting relatives from Texas, and he ended up discovering a lot of hidden gems in Los Angeles. The idea behind his company is to offer tours targeted at people who live in LA and want to see things other than the usual tourist attractions like Universal Studios, Disneyland, Hollywood Boulevard, etc. Hargo told me that up until a couple of months ago, the business had been basically paying for itself. But then he offered a deal on a Groupon-like site (I can’t remember which one) and 1700 people signed up for tours. Now he’s very busy, conducting 2-3 tours per day.
Having grown up in L.A., I’ve always wanted to go on one of the many historical tours, and this one is now going to be added to my list (LA Conservancy and Museum of the San Fernando Valley are just a few organizations whose tours I’ve been meaning to check out). I’ve had the awesome opportunity to go on a hike of Malibu Creek State Park with Hollywood History Tours, which I highly recommend — They’ve got an upcoming tour on the Sam Merrill Trail up to Echo Mountain in Altadena, which is a great (and uphill!) hike with a view not to be missed on a clear day.
For the budget-minded like me, Downtown LA Walks also offers free walking tour podccasts focusing on the city’s shopping, arts & culture and historic spots.