The Eco Travel Guide to Los Angeles: How to See the Real Stars of Hollywood

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From eco-hotels and restaurants to the city’s iconic parks here’s why Los Angeles is a most sustainable travel destination.

The city of Angels offers so much more than Hollywood glitz and perfect sunsets. Even though the nonstop freeway traffic makes it one of the biggest emissions-producing cities in the world, a sustainable haven lies just below the surface. In fact, the entire city of Los Angeles is now a certified wildlife habitat as it promotes the preservation and propagation of native species.

Nature not your thing? Vrai’s first North American flagship store has lab-grown diamonds and upcycled jewelry to explore. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a proper Southern California vacation without a theme park visit. Be sure to look for Disneyland tickets at reduced prices as you plan your visit.

Where to stay

conrad hotel

The Conrad, Downtown LA

Legendary architect Frank Gehry designed the sustainable Conrad Hotel situated across from the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which he also designed. Interior design by Tara Bernerd & Partners gives LA’s newest luxury hotel a timeless feel. José Andrés restaurants provide delicious coastal-inspired dining with fresh local ingredients. Enjoy a dip in the pool, sip cocktails at the rooftop terrace, and re-energize with a facial and a steam at the spa.

The Shore Hotel, Santa Monica

Let the ocean views offered by the boutique Shore Hotel remind you why your choice matters. The LEED Gold Certified hotel is a leader in eco-luxury.

Enjoy the eco amenities: the pool is solar heated (from the roof panels!), sustainable Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood furniture, LED lighting, low VOC paint, and carpeting.

Even the elevator pulley system is designed to save up to 75 percent more energy than conventional elevators. Who knew that was even an option?

The Terranea Resort, Palos Verdes

A few miles south of LAX airport lies the greater LA basin’s only eco-resort. Terranea sits on 102 acres of oceanfront property at the edge of thePalos Verdes Peninsula.

The luxury resort says it “embraces a continuous interplay with nature and the coastal habitat of the Pacific Ocean.” In addition to green best practices in rooms and across facilities, it works with local conservation groups, grows some of its own food, and maintains more than 14 acres of wildlife habitat surrounding the resort. 

Enjoy pool time, spa day, coastal strolls, or a dip in the saltwater pools.

Viceroy L’Ermitage, Beverly Hills

The luxury accommodations at Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills are only enhanced by its sustainability commitments. The hotel says it consciously employs practices aimed at helping the surroundings flourish and reduce the hotel’s footprint.

Sustainable practices include low-flow water fixtures, energy-efficient lighting, recycling and composting, and green purchasing policies. It also partners with influencers across social platforms to make an impact by supporting various charities.

Visit the spa for a little personal sustainability, relax by the pool, or enjoy a healthy meal made with fresh, local ingredients.

Where to Eat

Crossroads Kitchen

Get your dose of celeb sightings and one of the best meals around at chef Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads Kitchen in West Hollywood or the new location in Calabasas. The plant-based restaurant is the place to be for great food and ambient vibes.

With a rotating menu that embraces seasonal produce stars, vegan Impossible meat, and Kite Hill cheese, it’s a sustainable menu bursting with flavor and creativity. Forgot to make a reservation? Grab a seat at the bar where you can order off of the menu and peek at all the vegan, organic, and biodynamic wine offerings.

Chef Pearl at Kusaki.
Chef Pearl Steffie at Kusaki | Courtesy

Kusaki

Los Angeles is long overdue for its own vegan omakase and Kusaki delivers. The recently opened spot is under the visionary guidance of chef Pearl Steffie who delivers the most exquisite sushi, sashimi, and nigiri made from watermelon, eggplant, and fungi. It’s a must visit.

planta marina del rey

Planta Cocina

With its first LA location, the Toronto-based Planta’s large and inviting indoor-outdoor space sits along the waterfront at Boardwalk Marina Del Rey Shops. Dive into pan-Latin-inspired dishes including tostadas, tacos, queso fundido, pizza, sushi, and more. Sip on creative concoctions from the bar and save room for dessert with showstoppers like the churro cheesecake.

What to do

Natural attractions

From the tide pools of Malibu (they are a must!) to the trails of Griffith Park, Los Angeles is a natural wonder. Enjoy it all — Lake Hollywood, hikes to the sign, the beaches, the tide pools.

It’s easy to see how Los Angeles became the largest city to receive the certified Wildlife Habitat status. Even strolling through the neighborhoods is a sight: hundreds of migratory and local bird species, deer, coyote, bobcats, skunks, and bears all make their homes here. It’s also a big pit-stop for migrating Monarch butterflies. Keep an eye out for the city’s beloved street art, too. There’s nothing else quite like it.

The Row DTLA Pickwich Vintage Market

The Row DTLA

Support local businesses and enjoy a slice of LA history at The Row — the 32-acre outdoor retail center in the LA Arts District. The Row is home to a collection of sustainable and vintage fashion boutiques as well as the ongoing residency for The Pickwick Vintage Show — a must-visit for vintage and eco fashion lovers.

Grab an oat milk latte from Go Get ‘Em Tiger then check out stops like APT.4B reflecting a ’90s street culture. The Fashion speakeasy Bodega is a multi-dimensional concept store fusing art, fashion, and design. LVIR offers modern and natural styles to represent a comfortable and stereoscopic style. Shop Joybird’s modern furniture, ARJ modern tableware and so much more.

Erewhon

Adding a grocery store to the list may seem like an odd choice, but this is Erewhon we’re talking about. The chain just received its certified B Corp status and it’s home to all manner of local goods you’ll want to try out. You’ll find mostly organic produce on offer and the freshest baked local bread and pastries.

Explore local vegan artisan-crafted ready meals, SoCal-made tempeh, and dairy-free cheeses. Enjoy a lunch outside any of its locations (Silver Lake, Beverly Hills, Venice, Santa Monica, Calabasas, Pacific Palisades, and most recently Pasadena), or grab it to go and head to the beach for a perfectly delicious picnic.

Eco shopping

It wouldn’t be a sustainable trip to Los Angeles without some shopping — but make it eco. Head to West Hollywood for sustainable secondhand shopping at The RealReal where you can shop top tier labels for a fraction of the price. Or head to Reformation, the label that incorporates deadstock materials and renewables across its range. The LA-based brand embraces slow fashion, fair wages, and environmental responsibility. Try to grab Taylor Swift’s favorite dress, spy the latest looks in denim, seasonal collections, and its newest activewear.

Spa Day

The hustle can take its toll. Whether it’s 405 traffic, spending your nights on the dance floor, or long days on the beach, relax and unwind in LA’s best spas. Try Ole Henriksen for a complete day of pampering from head to toe.

For facial lovers, you’re also in luck as Los Angeles is home to the best facial — hands down — at Being In LA located in the trendy heart of Silver Lake. There, founder and skin whisperer, Jenette Serrins, works wonders on your skin intuitively and precisely. Be sure to stock up on her delicious handmade Jenette skincare products to keep the glow long after your visit.

The bustle of Los Angeles too much? Check out our guide to sustainable travel destinations in Santa Barbara.

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