Five Things You Can Only Do in Los Angeles

by Trina Hendry

Ever major city has its own personality, soul and experiences that make it to truly unique to anywhere else. Paris has its joie de vivre attitude and twinkling Eiffel Tower. Rome is rich in history, ancient ruins, and of course, GELATO! Los Angeles, with its Hollywood glam and laid-back beachy vibe, is the epitomy of California cool. With so many things to see and do in LA, I narrowed down a list of five unique experiences you can only have, and must do, while you’re in town.

1) A sound bath on a ranch in Malibu

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to participate in a sound bath, you will know that the waves of sound, which are produced by singing bowls, gongs and drums, transport you to a a state of relaxation and pure zen. Normally experienced in a yoga studio, you lay down on mats, wrap yourself in a cozy blanket and close your eyes so that you can shut off the world around you and free your mind. Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu takes this personal journey to an entirely new level with Salvaje, outdoor sound baths that take place outdoors on an elevated treehouse-like platform that overlooks the ranch, its animals and the family’s vineyards. As the trees gently sway in the breeze and the birds chirp, you can’t help but relax. They also offer group and private yoga classes, which are equally as wonderful.

I should note too that Saddlerock Ranch is also the home to Malibu Wines, which is unfortunately closed until further noticed as it was decimated by the wildfires last fall. They are working to rebuild, but, in the meantime, I highly recommend you check out Salvaje.


2) Comedians in cars getting washed

For one night only (date TBD so be sure to keep an eye out here), Kurt Braunohler, a stand-up comic who did a Comedy Central special, as well as acted in the indie hit The Big Sick and currently hosts a podcast called Wedlock with his wife, Lauren Cook, will climb into your car and tell jokes while you are going through the car wash! For $5 plus the cost of a car wash (location is also TBD), Kurt or one of his comedian friends will do a mini comedy set with you as his very captive audience. This is all new territory for Kurt, so wouldn’t it be cool to say you were one of the first to experience this with him? We see many hilarious Insta-stories coming out of this one!

3) Summer movie nights at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Hollywood Forever Cemetery is one of the oldest and most famous cemeteries in Los Angeles. Located in Hollywood, it serves as the resting place for many of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Cecil B DeMille, Judy Garland, Bugsy Siegel, Rudolph Valentino, Mickey Rooney and Chris Cornell. During the summer season, Angelenos conjure on the Fairbanks Lawn, a wide open field in the heart of the cemetery, with blankets and picnic baskets in tow, to watch classic movies under the stars. Hosted by Cinespia, this summer’s line up includes Realty Bites, E.T., Star Wars, Reality Bites, Bring It One, Twilight, and more. It is one of the most magical nights you will ever experience in Los Angeles, I promise you that!

Photo credit: Cinespia

Photo credit: Cinespia

4) The solar-powered Pacific Ferris Wheel

There’s only one way to see Santa Monica—from the sky on Santa Monica Pier’s solar-powered Pacific Ferris Wheel. I know what you’re thinking…Yes, the pier is busy. And yes it’s touristy. But, a ride on the ferris wheel is a truly special experience, one that keeps me going back time and time again. Erected in 1996, it is billed as the world’s first, and perhaps only, solar-powered ferris wheel. It reaches 130 ft. into the air, offers incredible views of Santa Monica and Los Angeles, and swoops out over the ocean. I recommend riding it both during the day and night for two completely unique experiences.

Pacific Ferris Wheel Santa Monica

5) The Venice Canals

OK, hands down the Venice Canals are one of my favorite places to visit in LA. In fact, not only do I take every single one of my guests here but quite often I spend an afternoon just strolling through them with my dog. They are THAT special. Built in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney, who sought to recreate the appearance and feel of Venica, Italy in Southern California, the man-made canals and bridges are lined with some of the most darling and coveted residences you’ll find anywhere in the city. Just a block or so from the ocean, the water enters the canals through sea gates in the Marina Del Rey breakwater, and again in Washington Blvd. They open at low tide to drain most of the water and at high tide they are closed, trapping the water for about three days, before being refreshed again. It’s not uncommon to see gondoliers, stand-up paddle boarders and ducks enjoying the cruising along. Go, go, go…because you will not find anything like this anywhere outside of Europe.

Venice Canals.JPG

If you have any hidden gems or experiences in LA you’d like to share, please do so in the comments below!