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Eco-Conscious Travel Guide: Where to Eat, Shop and Things to Do in Los Angeles (LA)

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If you’re heading to the United States and plan to visit NYC, make sure to check out our New York eco-friendly travel guide here. You’ll also find our San Francisco eco-friendly travel guide here.

Our Sydney-based eco beauty and fashion writer Sara Pull ate, shopped and danced her way through the United States. In this post, Sara shares her recommendations for the eco-friendly and sustainable places to visit if you’re travelling to Los Angeles, California…

Where to EAT

By far a highlight of my time in Los Angeles was Café Gratitude. There are several locations: Beverley Hills, Venice and Downtown LA. Café Gratitude is an organic plant-based gourmet café that supports local farmers and focusses on food sustainability. The food is incredibly delicious and the whole atmosphere of the café is calming. Each meal has an ‘affirmation’ attached and to order your preferred dish, you order through the affirmation by saying ‘I am [affirmation]’ your server will also pose to you a question of the day. Mine was, Who are you most grateful for? I dined at the Beverly Hills cafe, which, if you haven’t been to the area, is much calmer and in my opinion nicer than the bustle of Hollywood.

Cafe Gratitude @cafegratitude eco places to eat in los angeles LA

Cafe Gratitude @cafegratitude eco-friendly travel guide Los Angeles LA
Cafe Gratitude

Cafe Gratitude @cafegratitude eco travel guide Los Angeles Hollywood LA

After spending time in New York before arriving in Los Angeles, my appreciation for fresh food was well understood. If you are staying in an Airbnb or have a kitchenette, the farmer’s market, Wholefoods and Trader Joes are go-to places for fresh, organic or sustainably-grown fruit and veg.

What to DO

There is so much to do in Los Angeles that you’ll want to keep going back to fully experience every hub of this city. Aside from the obvious tourist attractions like Disneyland (which in my opinion was underwhelming) get out and explore the city. Hire scooters or bikes and cycle from Venice Beach to Santa Monica, get your eco-friendly activewear on and experience Runyon Canyon or head to Lake Hollywood Park for a good view of the Hollywood sign.

Runyon Canyon @runyoncanyon
Runyon Canyon
Santa Monica @santamonicapier
Santa Monica Pier

If Los Angeles is just a pit stop in your itinerary or if you have a few days spare during your travels, head towards Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park a few hours drive east of Los Angeles. I spent a quick 24 hours in Joshua Tree and instantly fell in love with the rugged rock formations and stark desert landscapes. Stay in an Airbnb to fully experience the area and the feeling of a slow lifestyle. Everyone I encountered at Joshua Tree was really friendly, the people definitely reminded me of being back home.

Joshua Tree eco-friendly travel guide to Los Angeles
Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree - Sustainable Travel Guide Los Angeles LA

Joshua Tree airbnb - eco-friendly places to visit in Los Angeles LA
Joshua Tree Airbnb

Amongst the desert, cacti and yucca trees, there are also plenty of vintage and thrift stores, scattered along Twentynine Palms Highway (know where you are going beforehand as this is a highway and cars are driving quite quick and it can be hard to look for stores along the way and stop to shop!) My favourites were Ricochet Vintage Wears and Coyotes Corner for homewares and crystals. Head to the Grateful Desert Herb Shoppe and Eco Market for locally made health products. Make sure to stop in at The Natural Sisters Café too, for an organic, plant-based and locally-sourced bite to eat.

Ricochet vintage @ricochetvintagewears
Ricochet Vintage

Where to SHOP

Melrose Avenue is home to some big name brands and designer labels, amongst some great vintage stores like Regeneration Vintage, American Vintage and Ressurection Vintage. Thrift stores pop up around West Hollywood too including a large council thrift on North Fairfax Ave that’s worth a visit. On a weekend find yourself at Melrose Markets, oh my, what a treasure trove. There would have to be at least 100 stalls selling clothing, food, accessories and homewares (even furniture). Allow yourself ample time to meander through the market, it’s definitely worth the time investment!

West hollywood Eco friendly travel guide to hollywood, california

Before embarking on your travel journey, make sure to check out these zero waste travel tips from popular zero waste experts. And one last thing, ‘eco travel’ isn’t ‘eco’ if you’re not offsetting your carbon! You can learn more about carbon offsetting here.

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