Locals’ Favorites for Wellness in Los Angeles

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Wellness in Los Angeles

Locals’ Favorites for Wellness in Los Angeles

Getting and staying healthy is important, whether you’re at home or traveling. I covered my top ways for staying healthy in a recent article, but here are some great spots specifically for wellness in Los Angeles and surrounds to keep fit and healthy. If you’re traveling to Los Angeles, you’ve got some of the best beaches, entertainment, and restaurants in the country. Why not also check out these local favorites for staying in top shape while you’re there. Check online for great deals on Los Angeles hotels to make your trip as budget-friendly as possible.


Thanks to my good friend, Dr. Heath McAllister who shares some of his favorite places and activities in southern California, from getting exercise outdoors, to healthful eats, to getting treatment by expert wellness practitioners.


Wellness in Los Angeles


Get Moving

Runyon Canyon – With access points in Hollywood, this is where the beautiful people go to stay in shape. Go to see or be seen, and get your heart-rate up in the process. Jogging up Runyon Canyon is enjoyed any time of day and there are three routes up the canyon: one easy, medium, and difficult, as well as numerous smaller trails. Nice views from the top, too. The park is dog friendly and celebrity sightings are not uncommon.


Yoga in the Park – Join Yogi Steve and other instructors for some yoga in the park. Outside-Yoga-by-donation sounds like a winning combo to me. Although it’s not required, donations are welcome and appreciated. Located at the park in Runyon Canyon at 2000 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles.


Sandstone Peak – This 7 mile loop trail up Sandstone Peak in the Santa Monica Mountains not only affords splendid coastal views, but will also get your blood circulating. The route passes through scrubland and native oak groves to the peak at 3,114 feet (949 m) where you’ll witness panoramic views of Malibu, The Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica, the Conejo Valley, and four of the Channel Islands. Spring and fall are great times for this climb. Avoid hot summer days.


Venice Beach Boardwalk – Head here for rollerblading or beach cruising on the boardwalk. There are plenty of places to rent bicycles. The people-watching is top-notch here and while you’re at it stop by Muscle Beach to see the bodybuilders, the skate park to see the skaters, and the walk across the beach to see the surfers ride in the waves.


Yoga Raj – Yoga Raj believes yoga heals, shows you peace, lifts your spirit, opens your heart, sharpens your mind, and nourishes your body. Who could say no to that? Yoga Raj encourages you to use yoga for positive change. Check out their $10 sessions any day in Santa Monica.


The Yoga Collective Venice – The Yoga Collective has some top instructors and a fine location next to Cafe Gratitude. Their aim is to keep it simple, friendly, high vibes, down to earth, funky, and peaceful.


Wellness in Los Angeles


Eating Well

Cafe Gratitude – How does a carnivore fall in love with a vegan cafe? Enter cafe gratitude. I love meat, but I’m also dairy-free. Eating at Cafe Gratitude allows me to munch worry-free. And their food is really delicious. You won’t believe how creative their kitchen gets. They have really inventive recipes with 100% organic ingredients.


Rawvelution – This neighborhood raw food cafe, juicery, coffee, and elixir bar aims to nourish and inspire with its menu, as well as to preserve the planet.


Real Food Daily – This classic Santa Monica eatery has been serving up healthy, plant-based cuisine for a couple of decades now. It’s 100% organic, too! Their creative, nutritionally balanced menu will put a smile on your face. Look out for their other locations in West Hollywood and Pasadena.


Shaka Shack – Shaka Shack keeps the Aloha spirit alive in southern California at their Ocean Park/Santa Monica location. These foodie surfers offer delectable grass-fed beef, all-natural chicken, and hand-cut fries. Check them out after a day on the beach or cruising the Venice boardwalk.


Earthbar – This specialty shop has a bunch of convenient locations around the LA area. Go to Earthbar for nourishing organic juices and smoothies, healthful shakes, paleo treats, and an abundance of vitamins and supplements. When visiting the Brentwood location, check out the Pure Vitality health clinic (listed below).


Wellness in Los Angeles

Health Clinics

Pure Vitality Rejuvenation Center – Pure Vitality is a health clinic dedicated to holistic healing, nutrient IV therapy, vitamin shots, specialty testing, and more. You can count on a well-rounded approach to your body, mind, and spirit from their skilled and nurturing physicians. Located together with Earthbar in Brentwood.


Lotus East-West – Lotus East-West Medical Center has a number of doctors using a variety of treatments, from naturopathy to psychotherapy to Ayurveda to homeopathy. Doctors here take a holistic approach to treatment and may employ massage, herbal supplements, acupuncture, and many other methods. The food sensitivity testing I got here has been a lifesaver. Visit their office in Santa Monica.


Find Dr. McAllister at either Pure Vitality or out and about in the LA area practicing what he preaches. Over the past couple of years he has introduced me to many of these places and activities, his favorite local spots for wellness. Next time in LA, go for a hike, a walk on the beach, a yoga session, and eat healthy at one of the many spots listed here.




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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine GoMadNomad.com. He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. Juno says:

    This is such a great post! Health is definitely a great focus for traveling thesedays. Hope we can focus more about health of our mind and body.

  2. Shaka Shack seems a little different then the Shake Shack I know from NYC, but I am circling cafe gratitude… what a great name. thanks for sharing, next time in LA, I”ll know a few spots to hit and explore….Stay Healthy, Craig

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