In todays post I’m going to be sharing my favorite area in Los Angeles. I recently wrote a post on Laurel Canyon and its cultural significance particularly in the music world during the 1960s and 70s. Since I couldn’t be in Los Angeles during that time period, I am on a constant hunt to gather a piece of that era and experience it in my own way. This search led me to Laurel’s sister canyon, Topanga. It is difficult to put into words how I felt when I arrived in Topanga Canyon, but in many ways it felt like home. I believe in the power of energy and some places hold so much pure beauty that you can’t help but raise your own vibration to match that energy. Topanga is one of those places. I don’t think I can describe it any better than Jennifer Pearl described it to W Magazine, “we’re magnetically attracted to Topanga’s ethereal forests, musical history, and strange, burnout-’60s-misfit culture.”
Much like Laurel Canyon, in Topanga Canyon you can experience the best of both worlds. You are close to the excitement and activity of Los Angeles while feeling so secluded you could be a million miles away. Finding these quiet areas has become increasingly more difficult over time so when you do find them, they are precious. Topanga is surrounded by Topanga State Park which is the largest wilderness area within a city limit in the United States. There is only one road in and out which helps to create a small town feeling. As if the location weren’t ideal enough, you are also five minutes from the beach.
Topanga Canyon also has a history of being home to creative people, musicians, poets and artists. Some of the more well known residents include Dennis Wilson, Neil Young and Jim Morrison. It was reported that Jim Morrison wrote “Roadhouse Blues” about the Topanga Corral nightclub which burned down in 1988.
I’d like to walk you through some of my favorite places in Topanga, places I consider to be “must visit” spots. First up is The Inn of the Seventh Ray. This restaurant is one of the most unique dining experiences I’ve ever had. The restaurant is nestled right into a creek and you are surrounded by the trees, rocks and animals as if you were having a picnic in the wilderness. The Inn of the Seventh Ray has been in business since 1973 and is a frequent celebrity magnet. It isn’t hard to see why Leonardo DiCaprio eats here often, the vibe of the restaurant is mellow and the tables are spread out to offer lots of private dining areas. They also have a shop on site called Spiral Staircase which has a great selection of spiritual and new age books, crystals and other unique items.
After lunch, it is time to check out some stores and for such a small town, Topanga has some phenomenal options. First up, Moona Star Collective. The minute I first walked into this store, I loved it. It’s in the cutest little building with such a unique selection of merchandise that is beautifully displayed. I’ve picked up some holistic elixirs from Botanical Busters that I have now incorporated into my every day routine. If you enjoy unique, locally made products this place is a must visit.
Next up check out Pebbles Clothing which has the coolest building ever and is pretty much my dream store location. This store has all of the boho hippie clothes you could ever dream of and I ended up finding an outfit here for a rehearsal dinner that was exactly what I had been looking for. The thing I loved most about this building is the back door leads to a deck overlooking the landscape of Topanga and has a little walkway that leads to a small shed that has more merchandise. It was one of the most relaxing shopping experiences I’ve ever had and I would return just for that view!
The last stop on our shopping journey is Hidden Treasures. I’ve read about this place for years and I was so excited to finally get to experience it in person. This vintage clothing store is housed in a building from the 1930s that was previously a restaurant called The Discovery Inn which was known for feeding all the rock stars after concerts at The Corral. Today Hidden Treasures is known for being one of the most famous vintage clothing stores in the country and a favorite of many celebrities and stylists. The store did not disappoint, you could get lost in the various rooms for hours searching for treasures, I highly recommend making a stop here.
That sums up my must visit spots in Topanga Canyon. I plan on returning as soon as possible and discovering more about this eclectic town. Stay tuned for more future discoveries.