10 Ways to Relax in Los Angeles

photo courtesy of red.dahlia, Flickr

The beach isn’t the only place to relax in Los Angeles. Here are 10 ways — some obvious, some not-so-obvious — to find Zen in or around the city. Have some ideas we missed here? Let us know on Twitter (@discoverLA) or on our Facebook page.

You’re on vacation, so splurge a little. Resort hotels, such as the Terranea Resort are well worth a little extra cash. Tucked away in gorgeous Palos Verdes, the Terranea has that other-worldly, Lotus-land kind of feel. With crashing waves, boutique shops, a signature restaurant and services galore, it’s the ultimate place to let the stress melt away. Plus, Trump National Golf Club is right next door, giving avid golfers the chance to sink a birdie to the sounds of crashing ocean waves.

Sometimes you just need to shut up and get some peace and quiet — the goal of many meditation and yoga centers in LA. For a dose of spirituality, head to the Self-Realization Fellowship, where meditation classes and the temple’s tranquil environment can help still your mind. For an ocean soundtrack, the Beach House at Hermosa Beach can set you up with yoga or tai chi lessons right on the beach.

For some, the most relaxing thing to do is to stay in, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the perks of the spa. MobileSpa, a traveling spa company, can come to your home or hotel for drop-in relaxation treatments.

We call the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) the answer for the quintessential LA experience. Whatever you have on your mind back home, cruising this coastal highway — chock full of gorgeous views, palm trees and stretches of sand — will leave you wondering why the heck you don’t live here. Read more.

There’s something about the rhythm of the train that settles your nerves. With Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner route, which starts from San Luis Obispo and ends in San Diego, you you’ll have ocean views and a gorgeous coastline to keep you company as you sink into travel bliss.

If laughter is the best medicine, the doctor is in LA. Many of the city’s legendary comedy clubs — The Laugh Factory, The Comedy Store, the Improv — all feature acts that will loosen you up with hilarious digs and punch lines.

Head to Catalina Island, where life is just … different. The island, accessible from San Pedro via the Catalina Express, enchants visitors with sailing yachts, incredible golf courses, an abundance of wildlife, and a gentle, sleepy kind of atmosphere. There’s tons to do, or nothing to do, and both will fit right into your mission of relaxation.

With more than 400 square miles to the breadth of LA County, a trip by helicopter will get you there; no matter where you want to go or what you want to see. Check out the Hollywood Sign and the hidden mansions of the Hollywood Hills, then circle the skyline of Downtown and beeline to the beach following the spine of the Santa Monica Mountains. Several companies, including Group 3 Helicopters, Adventure Helicopter Tours, Elite Helicopter Tours, Star Helicopters and Orbic Air Helicopter Tours can handle any sky-high request.

It used to be that room service was a second option, but in LA, renowned chefs have changed that. At SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, the London West Hollywood, the Thompson Beverly Hills and other hotels, room service is a high-end experience, combining the best of both worlds — a fantastic meal and the comfort of a luxurious hotel room. Read more.

Luxury hotel + luxury pool = ultimate relaxation spot. Hotel pools are measures of sophistication now, and places such as the Viceroy Santa Monica, W Los Angeles and the Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows have created an oasis for lounging.