Living in a cold and snowy corner of the country and can’t make it to spring without some hiking, biking and beach time in your life? Look no further than Los Angeles, California. It’s not all celebrities and swank—a combination of beaches and mountainous geography makes the LA area the perfect domestic destination for adrenaline-pumping activities, like hang-gliding, mountain biking, and paddle boarding. State-of-the-art gyms and sustainable dining also complement the typical Los Angeles lifestyle. So when in LA, do things like a local and play at some of these healthy hotspots.
WHERE TO STAY
The London West Hollywood
The London’s state-of-the-art fitness center is located on the hotel’s rooftop, offering amazing views of the city. The facilities include indoor and outdoor cardio stations, free weights, and strength machines—all available 24/7. In addition, complimentary yoga classes are offered on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and personal training sessions can be arranged via the concierge.
SLS Hotel Beverly Hills
The Lifestyle King Suite comes with a Technogym Kinesis Wall, a cable system that lets you practice more than 100 exercises without leaving your room. If you feel pent up, venture to the 2,500-square-foot fitness center, which is stocked with all the goods of a full-scale gym. Smoked glass and sexy black mirrors in each suite are not bad touches either.
Farmer’s Daughter Hotel
The country-themed West Hollywood boutique hotel gives off a health-conscious and earth-friendly vibe. Complimentary bikes and 100% biodegradable toiletries are available for guests, and LA’s famous farmers’ market at Third Street and Fairfax Avenue is just a bike ride away. Your girlfriend will love that you can also peddle to The Grove shopping center and the fashionable Melrose Avenue.
Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
A group fitness studio offers a variety of classes, including yoga, spinning, and body sculpting, as well as group runs and hikes. The hotel is also located close to The Strand, where bike rental shops are scattered along an 8.5-mile trail.
WHERE TO GET ACTIVE
Bikes and Hikes LA
Bikes and Hikes LA is a West Hollywood ecotourism company that offers up active, pollution-free ways to see the city. Pick from a range of tours, including the “Legendary Homes Tour,” which takes you past the former residencies of Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball as well as the mansion where Michael Jackson died. Other tours include the “Hollywood Tour”, “Bike and Sail”, and “LA in a Day.”
LA Golf Courses
Pack your clubs? There are plenty of courses in the Los Angeles area. The 9-hole Penmar Municipal Golf Course is located in Venice and offers challenging tees. Plus, its proximity to the ocean brings cool breezes to the course. Other spots to tee off include the 18-hole Chester Washington Golf Course and the 18-hole Rancho Park Municipal Golf Course.
Free Yoga at Runyon Canyon
Located in Hollywood, the 3.5-mile hiking trail at Runyon Canyon Park offers sweeping views of downtown Los Angeles and the California beach lines. Following your hike, stretch your muscles at one of the park’s free yoga classes (you’ll find them on the children’s play lawn near the Fuller Avenue entrance).
Venice’s Muscle Beach is a fitness buff’s playground—it’s home to a gated area for weight lifting and a second section for rope climbing, rings, and monkey bars. Hermosa Beach is popular for activities such as beach volleyball, surfing, and paddle boarding. Bike along the 22-mile South Bay Bicycle Trail at Santa Monica Beach or hike the Santa Monica Mountains. Marina del Rey offers many seaside activities, like strolling the Ballona Wetlands, sailing, and sport fishing. Get your adrenaline pumping by hang-gliding over Dockweiler State Beach. Or check out Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach, both located in the South Bay area.
WHERE TO EAT SMART
M.A.K.E. Santa Monica
The brand new raw foods restaurant offers whole, organic, and unprocessed plant-based cuisine (think: black pepper kelp noodles, pumpkin gnocchi, and zucchini hummus). To create maximum flavor and help foods retain their nutrients, nothing is heated above 118 degrees. Can’t get enough of the good eats at M.A.K.E.? The Matthew Kinney Culinary School is adjacent to the restaurant and offers intensive “Raw and Living Food” classes on the weekends.
Located in Culver City, Akasha features healthy cuisine for carnivores and herbivores alike. The restaurant is sultry and dimly lit, an excellent pairing for live jazz on Monday nights. Some must-haves from the menu: the best-selling kale Caesar salad and the punjabi mung beans and rice.
The restaurant is 100 percent organic and vegan, and the menu items are named things like “I Am Peace,” “I Am Outstanding,” and “I Am Comforted.” The dishes behind these positive-sounding plates include coconut and zucchini ceviche, raw corn enchiladas, and Indian curried lentils. And don’t worry–meat eaters will be satisfied with the eggplant parmesan and the veggie burger.
M Café Hollywood
Food is made from scratch without the use of refined sugars, dairy, eggs, meat or poultry, with a big focus on in-season vegetables. A hearty fast food alternative, M Café prepares quick, healthy food options and freshly prepared fruit and vegetable juices. Try the “Big Macro” veggie burger or the wild salmon and asparagus wrap.
Wood & Vine
This pre-prohibition style restaurant implements a farm-to-table approach—every day chefs scour local farmers’ markets to find the freshest ingredients. The menu changes slightly every day depending on what’s available. Popular items include the roasted beet salad, braised spinach, and striped sea bass. You’ll also love Wood & Vine’s bulked-up beer selection.
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