If you’re visiting Los Angeles, you’re going to have so many things to see and do that your time in town will easily be filled with fun, exciting activities and you’ll never be bored. That being said, this is one hectic city and you might end up needing to take a breather somewhere. You can always head to the beach, where the ocean waves gently lapping on the shore (or crashing and roaring, depending on the tide) will put you in a calm state of mind.
That being said, the beach isn’t the only place to find a little peace and serenity in the City of Angels. I highly suggest you check out some of my favorite places to find a little zen in L.A.
If you’re looking for a beautiful place to truly zen out, I suggest heading straight to The Huntington in Pasadena. Quite honestly, if you’re into art and beautiful gardens, this place should probably be on your to do list for L.A. anyway. They have a wonderful library with 420,000 rare books and 7 million manuscripts as well as a fantastic art collection that is absolutely worth checking out. Additionally, you should make a reservation at the Rose Garden Tea Room for an elegant and tasty high tea experience.
This traditional Chinese Buddhist temple is not only a great place to wander around and experience a little calm, but it’s also just a fabulous place that you should definitely visit if you get the chance. When you arrive, it will feel as though you left Southern California far behind and you have somehow transported yourself all the way to China without all the hassle of dealing with a 14 hour flight and going through customs and immigration. The place is beautiful and you can do either a self guided tour or group tour of the temple. I also suggest arriving around lunchtime so you can stay for their vegetarian lunch buffet. Check their website for exact hours of tours, buffet hours, and upcoming events you might be interested in attending (they sometimes offer musical performances, Buddhist chanting, meditation sessions, and more).
Another great Japanese garden is the SuihoEn Japanese Garden in Van Nuys. If you’re in the area, it’s a really beautiful little spot where you can get your zen on. Check it out!
Angelinos, have any awesomely zen places to add to this list? I would love to hear all about it! For those who aren’t local, what zen spots do you have in your area?