Los Angeles can be a stoner’s paradise and worst nightmare simultaneously. There’s a million places to get your desired cannabis product, and a million other interesting substances, and a million places to go and enjoy a good high.
Yet, there’s never not a crowd, it seems, and you’re technically not supposed to consume cannabis publicly, in pretty much any place. Fortunately, that “chill vibe” California is known for does permeate extend to the cannabis lovers, and I have yet to get in trouble for waiting for a crowd to pass, and hitting my vape, or finding a quiet vantage point on the beach to enjoy the view and smoke a joint. Recently, I needed to get out of the house, so I charged my vape, and hit the PCH to go find some zen.
I headed to the Self Realization Shrine, stood on the road overlooking the beach and hit my vape then went to meditate. I left a few hours later feeling better for going, and was inspired to find other places in LA where I can find some mental solace to go with my peace-seeking high. Again, please note that these are not places where you should be smoking loud in front of the entrance, but with edibles, or a good smoke sesh in the appropriate place beforehand, these reflective spaces don’t need to be religious to allow you to revel in humanity reaching toward higher consciousness. Here are 12, and you could hit one a month in 2020 and become a more enlightened person:
The Self Realization Shrine in Malibu. This nondenominational shrine and garden was one of Elvis Presley’s favorite places to spend time in SoCal, and with good reason. A serene and beautifully designed garden where you can come up for a meditation after a beach picnic is a great place to collect, or get away from your thoughts.
The Getty Center off the 101. Yes, the museum is free but parking is 20- and even so, this museum is so well designed and intriguing to walk around, and houses gorgeous renaissance works as well as Van Goghs and Monets to feast your eyes. The garden is fabulous in Spring.
Hammer Museum on Wilshire. Another free museum, but focussing on modern art. If you want to be provoked and critical of what art is, come here. And get a few good ‘gram pics.
Pyramid Lake in Santa Clarita. It’s certainly not the most serene lake, but for existing on the outskirts of LA, there’s plenty of shores to go and bask in the sun and dip your toes in the water while feeling like you’re in some semblance of the wilderness.
Manhattan Beach in South Bay LA. This is definitely not everyone’s favorite beach, but it’s one of mine because of the relative ease to get there and find parking, in contrast to… literally any other beach. I also really love getting near LAX and watching the airplanes take off and land.
Mojave Desert. Yes, this is a huge expanse of land, but I went out last Fall for a full-moon gathering and loved the wide isolation. LA people love to trek out to Joshua Tree, but I’m suggesting Mojave as an intriguing alternative.
Griffith Observatory overlooking Hollywood. Probably the only place within LA county where you can actually see stars.
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Downtown. Yes, this is a Catholic Church, but those Catholics love a gorgeous edifice.
Thien Hau Temple in Chinatown. Boasting classical Chinese architectural style, this authentic dedication to the sea goddess is pretty incredible.
Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens in MidCity. I love a labyrinth- such a place is where you can truly lose yourself in the maze.
Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights. This Buddhist temple again showcases lovely Eastern architecture and a delightful little garden adorned with monastic statues.
Wayfarer’s Chapel in Rancho Palo Verdes. The glass church… need I say more? Light just pours in, radiating energy and love. If you have wedding fever, this scene might push you over the edge.