The Best L.A. Neighborhoods to Catch 'Em All (and Burn Calories) on Pokemon Go

Santa Monica Pier - Getty - H 2016
David McNew/Getty Images

We all know you're playing for the health benefits, right?

The data is in: According to science, Pokemon Go — the viral augmented-reality app that has the nation's nerds reliving childhood fantasies of being the IRL Ash Ketchum — is loaded with health benefits. 

Cardiogram, the Apple Watch app which tracks heartbeat and steps, as well as Jawbone, a fitness tracking bracelet, both saw spikes in step counts in the week following the game's July 6 release. 

But that's not all. Researchers have reported that Pokemon Go can have a positive impact on your mental health, too. According to Engadget, users are reporting that symptoms of depression and anxiety have been improved since playing the game, as it gives players motivation to be up and about. So the next time someone calls you "immature" or "a loser" (we're guessing at these insults, of course) for playing Pokemon Go, just refer to its IRL health benefits.

Los Angeles, if you didn't realize, is crawling with Pokemon just waiting to be caught. And, with the help of the L.A. community of Poke Trainers on Reddit, we've compiled some of the of the best neighborhoods in town for rare Poke Nests — because let's face it, your PokeDex just isn't complete without a Scyther

Santa Monica Pier
The pier is apparently the home of hordes of Pokemon, but Magikarp are especially common there. Just make sure you don't bump into any tourists in your quest. Bonus: You may even leave with a nice tan in addition to your full PokeDex.

Venice Beach
On your way back from getting a more intense workout at Muscle Beach, stop by a Venice bar like this one, which is luring customers with promises of rare Pokemon. 

Plummer Park 
West Hollywood's Plummer Park has been noted as a hotspot for the rare Hitmonchan. For maximum fitness benefits, we suggest doing some squats while you're posted at one of several PokeStops located there.

What's better than spending an afternoon getting cultured at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art? Getting your hands on a Charmander at the same time. Meowths and Machops have been spotted in the galleries, and you may even catch a few next door at the La Brea Tar Pits.

The Grove
While you're checking out @Obsessee's IRL pop-up shop this weekend, keep your eye out for Paras. And if you need some assistance, it looks like The Grove's Concierge Services team may be able to help.