The Health-Conscious Los Angeles Guide
It can be easy to scoff at LA’s devotion to sweat lodges, juice cleanses, and cryotherapy, but there’s something about living in a sunny metropolis that makes us want to look and feel our best—all the time. Luckily, the metropolis makes it easy. Not only are there miles of hiking trails and countless waves to surf, virtually every zip code in the city has an incredible farmer’s market (or two), restaurants that cater to every quirky dietary restriction, and more yoga and Pilates studios than you could possibly try in a year. Welcome to the world capital of wellness.
Echo Park Pedalboats751 N. Echo Park Ave., Echo Park | 213.481.8577
Echo Park isn't as celebrated as LA's larger parks, like Griffith Park or Runyon Canyon, but with excellent views of Downtown's skyline and a well-tended walking trail, it's a local favorite (you'll recognize it from the park's tall fountains, which are visible as you leave Downtown on the 101). For a kid-friendly afternoon adventure, rent a four-person pedal boat for the afternoon.
Griffith Observatory2800 E. Observatory Rd., Los Feliz | 213.473.0800
Griffith Park is one of those spots where you think you’ll spend an hour and end up staying for the day. Complete with an observatory, a planetarium (there’s a live show every sixty to ninety minutes), loads of displays, and even more hiking (it sits on more than 3,000 acres, and offers fifty-three miles of trails), this draws a crowd from across the city. On weekends, it’s packed.
Hollywood Farmers Market1600 Ivar Ave., Hollywood
See and taste the best of organic California produce here. There are coffee carts and tamales, in addition to great people-watching.
Inspiration Point Hike1501 Will Rogers State Park Rd., Pacific Palisades | 310.454.8212
If you’ve got little ones in tow or only an hour or so to stretch your legs, this hike is your ticket: It’s under two and a half miles, and it starts and ends in the stunning Will Rogers State Park (which is also perfect for a picnic).
This five-mile round-trip hike offers epic views of the ocean—the trailhead is at Paseo Miramar just off Sunset, making it easy to get to, as well (just park on the street). Then end your trip with gluten-free pancakes at Café Vida.
Sunset Ranch3400 N. Beachwood Dr., Hollywood | 323.469.5450
Sure, you can drive to the base of the Hollywood sign, but why not horseback-ride around it instead? Located in Griffith Park, Sunset Ranch leads one- or two-hour trail rides, offering unparalleled vistas of Hollywood (and the sign). Kids, in particular, love this adventure.
Surfrider, Sunset Beach, and Point Dume are probably the most talked-about swells along the Malibu coastline, but you don’t necessarily need to be a pro to surf them (for Point Dume, you do need to have a key though, unless you paddle over from one of the adjacent beaches). Fortunately, LA is packed with surf instructors. Friends swear by Chris “Crash” Carson (email@example.com), who will swim out with you and push you in, making it an all-around fun and successful endeavor.
Venice Canal WalkCourt A to Court E, Venice
In the early 1900s, Abbot Kinney resolved to make a “Venice of America” and decided to turn modern-day Venice into a system of canals. While many of the waterways have been filled in during the intervening years, a small patch remains—though they had fallen into disrepair, they were restored in the ’90s and are now lined with some of Venice’s fanciest homes. It’s a totally random yet awesome enclave, and worth a stroll on a nice day.
Yogaworks1426 Montana Ave., Santa Monica | 310.393.5150
There are hundreds of Los Angeles yoga studios (including the original Bikram), though it’s hard to beat Yogaworks for its breadth of studios and wealth of classes. (There are about a dozen outposts in LA.) We like Vinny’s classes best.