City Break, Los Angeles - The Wise Traveller

Image: Fred Miller @ Flickr

You don’t always have to jump on a plane to enjoy time off work. If you’re visiting a city for business, why not use your leisure time to explore the place rather than hiding at the hotel bar? Our series of City Breaks gives you suggestions for the most popular destinations around the world.


Los Angeles is the perfect place for work and play, boasting a staggering array of things to do and places to see across a diverse range of neighbourhoods, suburbs and the surrounding areas. Why leave one of the sunniest cities in the world to risk bad weather elsewhere? Read on for our top recommendations for an LA trip.

Enjoy a Modernist getaway in Palm Springs

Just over an hour’s drive into the desert and you’ll arrive in the Modernist mecca of Palm Springs, perfectly positioned to be the ultimate staycation spot for city dwellers. Known for its Mid-Century architecture, hot springs, spas and proximity to desert hiking trails, guests are catered for with an abundance of stylish hotels and modernist villas. Those interested in architecture or art should time their visits to coincide with one of the many art fairs or the iconic Modernist week, while spa lovers will have a field day at any time of the year with the likes of Hacienda Hot Springs. If you’re looking to get back to nature during your time off, head out to Joshua Tree National Park or hop on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

City Breaks, Los Angeles - The Wise Traveller

Image: Adam Reeder @ Flickr

Work on your core at The Ashram

Situated only a few miles away from Malibu, The Ashram is nestled in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, providing a retreat that is close to the city yet couldn’t feel further away. The perfect place to come when city life is getting on top of you, this holistic resort provides a tranquil setting to escape the city for a short stay where you can leave the stresses of work behind. Choose from a range of activities and exercises including yoga, hiking, barre classes, meditation and massages for the most relaxing LA trip imaginable.

Admire plants, books and art at the Huntington

If you’re seeking culture, have a penchant for cacti or are simply seeking a peaceful place to spend an afternoon away from the busy city streets, the Huntington provides the perfect sanctuary. Indoors, you’ll find an impress library and art collection, but it’s the gardens that really tempt visitors. On a day off, there’s no better place to retreat to feel like you’ve left the city as you stroll around the Desert Garden. Walking past over 5,000 desert plants, succulents and towering cacti, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to the middle of the desert.

City Breaks - Los Angeles - The Wise Traveller

Image: Michael Chen @ Flickr

Admire the stars

No, not the ones in Hollywood – we’re talking about heading up to the Griffith Observatory in the evening to gaze into space. The Art Deco observatory perched high on the hills overlooking the city is a tourist mecca during the day, although it is possible to find a quiet spot to sit and reflect as you admire the vistas of LA far below. Once the sun has set, however, it’s a much quieter place to come and admire the bright city lights or head inside to utilise the free public telescope facilities. You’ll never feel like you’re farther away from the city than when you’re gazing up to space.


Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.