The Top 5 Destinations You Should Visit- When You Just Need to Get Away

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa - Ojai, California

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa - Ojai, California

City life can be enthralling and exhausting at the same time, especially when you live in Los Angeles. Though LA can be a great place, packed with culture, rich history, and ecclectic characters from all walks of life, there are days when the busy urban sprawl, and the crawling traffic can be a bit too much. Here are the top five destinations that we've hand picked from our own personal adventures to help wash away some of that urban grime- because sometimes, we all just need to get away. 

 

1. Carpinteria

Carpinteria State Beach 

Carpinteria State Beach 

Nestled between Ventura and Santa Barbara, on the south eastern tip of Santa Barbara County, this quaint seaside community captures the unpretentious beach vibe that's hard to come by in Southern California. Featuring one of the best Southern California beach campgrounds,  Carpinteria State Beach offers advanced facilities ranging from outdoor showers, fire pits, and trailer/RV parking (tents are welcome) that can host multiple groups (for those large family outings). Reservations are highly recommended, as campgrounds require 6-8 months advanced booking during the peak season. 

 

2. Ojai

View from the land- at the Johnston's residence.

View from the land- at the Johnston's residence.

North of Ventura and east of Carpinteria lies a hidden gem. Home to the Los Padres National Forest,  The charming town of Ojai, though small in size, is home to many different stress relieving activities. With a mixture of rich mission-inspired architecture, quality wine, and a plethora of spas and health resorts, Ojai has everything you can think of when it comes to activities that can help you relax and get away from the city.

 

3. Avalon

Looking out onto Descanso Beach and the Casino. 

Looking out onto Descanso Beach and the Casino. 

Home to the cleanest ocean water in the entire Pacific West Coast, the small town of Avalon, located on Catalina Island is the ultimate getaway from the city life. The island can only be accessed by boat or airplane, which truly makes this destination a remarkable and secluded island retreat. Relax under the shade of beach cabanas on a private Descanso Beach, or go golfing on the Island golf course. Whatever you choose to do, the breath-taking views at every angle and corner will keep your mind away from the woes of urban life. 

 

4. Wrightwood

Jackson Lake, Wrightwood, CA

Jackson Lake, Wrightwood, CA

Located in the San Gabriel Mountains, in San Bernardino County, the town of Wrightwood is only a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles, deeming it the closest destination where Angelenos can venture to see snow during the winter. 

 

5. Morro Bay

View of Morro Rock

View of Morro Rock

Known for its infamous, ancient volcanic rock mound (Morro Rock- at the end of Morro Rock Beach within Morro Bay State Park), Morro Bay is not only home to beachgoers, but also a hot destination for adventurists. A renown location for hikers, trails that lead up to Black Hill feature expansive views over the city and Morro Bay. Kayaking, biking, and eating are among the obvious- as it is with any other beach town. The Main Street Market, open every Saturday from 2:30pm to 6:00pm (except in Winter- Market closes at 5pm November through March), is also a great option for those looking to peruse the beach side town. 

 

5 Great Hiking Trails in the Los Angeles Vicinity

As the weather warms up, we see a rising trend of reluctant urban dwellers make their way out into the outdoors. It's no secret that Los Angeles is home to an abundance of Flora and Fauna, located right in its own backyard.

Life in Los Angeles can get hectic at times, so we've compiled a list of five great trails to get away from the city life. Grab your friends & family, some sunscreen, and get ready to hit the trail!

 

1. Malibu Creek State Park (Out & Back Loop - 5mi)

Only moments away from LA, Malibu Creek State Park is a great destination for a great, short, summer hike. Rated as a moderately easy hike, this trail is family friendly and forgiving to those who don't have much experience hiking. Hikers are awarded with a great swimming hole towards the end of the trail. Be advised, there are no dogs allowed. $12 parking fee required. 

 

2. Eaton Canyon (Out & Back - 3.8mi)

Eaton Canyon is a must-see for those living in LA. It is a relatively easy hike, with a 592 ft elevation gain. Although it can get crowded during the weekends, the 40ft waterfall at the end of the trail makes it all the worthwhile. Hikers walk alongside several streams and creeks that run along the trail, and for those who are lucky, you may be able to some dazzling wildflowers in bloom. Don't forget your bathing suit for a refreshing swim in the water pool!

 

3. Trail Canyon Falls (Out & Back 4.3mi)

Trail Canyon Falls is a slightly less-trafficked "out & back" trail than the previously mentioned trips above. This trail requires a slightly more rigorous trek to get to the falls. Tucked alongside rocky canyons, the falls feature a 30-foot waterfall. Swimming isn't advised, as the pools can be a little too shallow, but a quick rinse under the waterfall can be quite a refreshing treat after a 2-hour hike. Trail runners are recomended. 

 

4. Cucamonga Peak (San Gabriel Mountains) (Out & back - 12mi)

Located in the San Gabriel Mountains, the Cucamonga Peak is not for the faint-hearted. This trail is rated moderate-difficult, and is only recommended for those who are up for a big challenge, as well as a rigorous hike that will lead you up into the clouds (literally). With an elevation gain of 8,859 ft. and a round-trip distance of 12 miles, this excursion will require several basic necessities. To cut weight, bringing a water filter, or drops to rehydrate from the creeks and streams is highly recommended. Drinking directly from the water is discouraged, as Cryptosporidium and Giardia can easily be contracted from the water. Trail snacks high in protein are also advised, along with a light jacket for when you reach the peak. Hikers can pick up an Adventure Pass at a local REI, BIG5, and select 711's. The Visitor's Center will also have Adventure Passes available for purchase (required for the hike). (Properly rated Hiking Boots/shoes are highly reccommended).

5. Mount Wilson

Echo Rock

Echo Rock

Mt. Wilson, via the Sierra Madre's Chantry Flats, is a spectacular trail. This hike is rated moderate, and is a moderately-heavy trafficked, out and back trail. With an elevation gain of 4,200 ft., nany people use this hike to prepare and condition for tougher treks. Hikers are awarded with a stunning view of the peaks from the Mt. Wilson Observatory. Parking tends to be sparse towards mid-day, so arriving early is highly recomended. A $5 Adventure Pass is mandatory for parking, and available for purchase at select locations. Directions can be found here.

Tunes - Top 3 picks of the week

 

French Kiwi Juice w/ Tom Misch @ Red Bull Studios Berlin

Need a break from sitting around at the office all day? Give your ears a refreshing break, and relax to this live performance by FKJ and Tom Misch, recorded live at Red Bull Studios in Berlin. Filmed by Francois Dubois. 


Mayer Hawthorne - The Walk

Take a stroll down memory lane, with the old-school, classic sound of Mayer Hawthorne. Believe it or not, this artist isn't from the 60's or 70's, but from our very own- 21st century. Talk about a modern gem!


Jimi Hendrix - Little Wing

Legendary American classic... What more to say?

Best Rooftop Restaurant in Los Angeles

View from the first level (Dining area) during the daytime

Perch - 448 Hill St.

A sprawling adult playground- located in the heart of Downtown L.A. (at the Corner of 5th St. & Hill St.) this upscale, French-inspired restaurant/lounge, sits on the 15th floor of the Pershing Square Building. Two elevator rides later, guests are led into the main "dwelling" area- welcomed by plush sofas, bohemian style decor, and a breathtaking- panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles. Tasteful and sophisticated without being pretentious, elegance permeates throughout the entire establishment.

Perched behind a silhouette of iconic edifices- the infamous U.S. Bank Tower, and the Aon Center, guests can be seen indulging in the various assortment of avant-garde cocktails, while dining from the exuberantly seasonal menu. On the terrace- lush plants adorned with glistening lights situate each corner of the patio, all whilst swinging to the rhythm of a live jazz band- perfect for those seeking an intimate setting. The carefully curated, Parisian-inspired cocktails, house-made bitters, along with "a rare selection of Cognacs, Armagnac’s and French Cordials," also makes for an ideal environment for meeting clients and business associates. Perch encapsulates the quintessence of the perfect dining experience, accompanied by tasty dishes, an extensive cocktail list, and views to die for.

Perch- Upstairs lounge bar during the evening. 

Perch- Upstairs lounge bar during the evening. 

Frog legs, truffle fries, and assorted meats and cheese

Duck, Duck, Goose

Shake & Bake Drumsticks (frog legs)

(From left to right) -Writer's Block , Jacques Collins, Red Herring 

Pol Clemente Champagne w Peach puree - 

Living Off The Grid In Paradise

Warrick Mitchell lives deep in one of the world's most remote locations: Fiordland, New Zealand. His home in the country’s oldest national park is nestled in a vast wildness accessible only by boat or airplane, a four day's walk from the nearest road. Life in isolation can be hard, but surrounded by breathtaking, pristine natural beauty, plentiful wildlife and a small but tight-knit community that is always willing to lend a hand, Mitchell would have it no other way. This story is a part of our Frontiers series, where we bring you front and center to the dreamers, pioneers, and innovators leading society at the cutting edge. Let us take you along for a trip to the oft-imagined but rarely accomplished.

The Most Expensive Home In Los Angeles

Frivolous, Over the top, or outright awesome?

The view from the backyard- 924 Bel Air Rd.

The view from the backyard- 924 Bel Air Rd.

This over the top Estate in Bel Air boasts 38,000 square feet, +17k sq ft of entertainment decks, 2 master suites, 10 oversized VIP guest suites, 21 luxury bathrooms, 3 gourmet kitchens, 5 bars, massage studio/wellness spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, 85-foot glass tile infinity swimming pool, 40-seat 4K Dolby Atmos Theater, 4 lane bowling alley/lounge, auto gallery w/cars worth more than $30mm, 7-person full time staff, over 100 curated art installations, outdoor pop-up theater, 2 fully-stocked champagne/wine cellars, massive candy wall, the most advanced home tech system in the world. Astonishing array of amenities & bespoke items from around the world, 4 meticulously curated levels, indoor/outdoor nirvana enhanced by 270-degree unobstructed views spaning from the mountains all the way to the ocean & the incredible Los Angeles skyline in-between. Built by Luxury Developer Bruce Makowsky, some may feel as though this estate may be absolutely frivolous, over the top, or outright AWESOME.

When Dreams Turn Into Reality

DC presents Robbie “Maddo” Maddison’s “Pipe Dream,” giving the world a chance to witness history being made as Maddo rides his dirt bike on the powerful and iconic waves of Tahiti. From his helmet to motocross boots, Maddo was dressed for FMX when he took his dirt bike into the unchartered saltwater terrain of the Pacific Ocean in French Polynesia. For nearly two years Robbie has been focused on making surfing on his motorbike a reality. His efforts paid off in Tahiti, where he rode the world famous waves at Teahupoo and Papara.

The POV Diving Experience That Will Have You Gasping For Air

Hailing from Denmark, Stig Pryds, one of the deepest freedivers in the world, casually swims to the ocean floor at a cavernous depth of 50 meters (equivalent to a 16-story building). In this video, Stig free dives (no equipment) with only the help of his arms and feet. Calm and composed, his mental focus is unwavering, entrancing the viewer into a state of hypnosis. 

Stig Pryds is one of Denmark's deepest freedivers. He has set national records in all 3 depth disciplines. Here he is going for a fun dive down to 50 meters in Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas, taking his gopro along for the ride. Music is 'a walk' by Tycho Shot by Stig Pryds and Daan Verhoeven