Los Angeles actually has quite a few walking tours and events — yet the “Nobody walks in L.A.” stereotype runs deep enough that the act of moving around the city without spewing car exhaust often makes news. Case in point: Yesterday’s L.A. Times has a nice article about Orhan Pamuk, the 2006 Nobel Laureate in literature. Why? Orhan walked in L.A.!

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Had Orhan trekked about the city a mile or two farther south, he would have run into The Great L.A. Walk, an annual many-mile trek down major thoroughfare (or two)  of the sprawling metropolis on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This year, the Walk was a 14-or-so-mile trek starting at the Shrine Auditorium (above). Walkers explored the historic West Adams neighborhood before heading down Adams and Washington Blvds. to get all the way to Venice beach. And for the first year, I walked the whole thing with about 250 other Angelenos!

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Why walk The Great L.A. Walk? “Why not?” is the answer from Mike Schneider at Franklin Avenue, the organizer behind the event. “There’s no special reason, no charity, no protest, no issue we’re promoting — other than a passion for Los Angeles.”

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The goals of the walk are more nebulous than the Google-maps-planned route, but basically, the annual walk lets Angelenos see the city up close — discovering parts and aspects they may have missed while whizzing by in their cars. Walkers also get to meet other peripatetic neighbor citizens, learn a little history of the city, discover new restaurants and food trucks, enjoy the beach at sunset and imbibe with new friends at a post-walk happy hour.

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I made it to Venice Beach right before the sunset at 4:45 pm -- photographic proof below. Planning to visit L.A. sometime soon? Make some time to explore parts of the city on foot; it’ll be a much more rewarding experience than just seeing the sights on a car or bus tour. And get to know your own city carbon-emissions free!

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Photos by Siel

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