LA can be a crazy place to live, from the traffic and the number of people living here, to the hard work everyone is putting into their careers, and even to all the social engagements we have on our calendars. It can be overwhelming, so I like to go to these places to unwind, get a little quiet time away from it all, and find some serenity.
1. Huntington Gardens
I love this spot. It's so big, I've never made it through the whole thing in one visit, but you could go and have a picnic or walk through the Japanese Gardens or through the Desert or so many other types of gardens. It also has an awesome gift shop and they do plant sales every so often if you want to bring some home for yourself.
2. The Last Bookstore
I'm a big reader and I could spend all day here. It's a huge, two-story bookstore with tons of used and new books, some crazy book tunnels and funky rooms. You could sit and read or just find some great gems to take home for even more down-time.
3. Robert H Meyer Memorial Beach
I don't get here often, but when I do it feels so remote. There are barely any people here every time I've gone, the views are fantastic on the drive in, and it's got a little bit of parking even. It's a little bit of a steep hike down to the beach, but not too crazy.
4. La Tuna Canyon
This hike is one of the quietest trails I've been on in LA. There's a waterfall at the bottom, which is often dry, but the view from the top is the best part for me. It's rolling hills as far as the eye can see and you definitely do not feel like you're in LA anymore. As with everything, it's busier on weekends, but if you can swing a weekday afternoon or evening it will be pretty dang empty. Just don't hike after dark, because safety first.
5. The Getty Center
I know this one is probably on everyone's list, but it's on mine too. I love going up here even just for a couple of hours and seeing some art, walking the gardens, and taking in some great views.
6. Cafecito Organico
I love going here in the morning and reading or journaling over a raw sugar cane almond milk latte and a vegan chocolate croissant as a treat (and yes, I'm aware of how LA I am haha). This place feels like you're in a little hideaway in LA. I tend to go to the one in Silverlake and sit outside, but they have other locations in Malibu and outside of LA.
7. Mandeville Canyon Fire Road
This is another favorite hiking spot of mine. Great views, nice wide trail, and dogs are allowed! Parking can be a little dicey because it's essentially just street parking and a few spaces in a lot at the top, but I've never seen it be too horrible.
8. The Inn of the 7th Ray
If you're looking to have a wonderfully serene upscale dinner, this is your spot. It is a truly magical spot, where you'll dine outside on the patio, next to a small creek. There's also a great little shop at the front with yoga books, crystals, and things like that.