In one hour by car you can access miles and miles of natural beauty away from the city. Higher elevation means cooler weather if hot down below. Hiking trails, waterfalls, scenic views, famous Mt Wilson Observatory, ski in winter, etc.
only 15-20 minute drive away is angeles national forest! great hikes, beautiful drive into the mountains, and excellent view of the city.
Head to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on 2N. Right behind it is a small service road to the right that leads to some great hiking trails. If you're lucky, maybe you get a tour of JPL where they build and test Mars Rovers and future space travel.