Sustainable City Guide: 11 Places To Stay, Eat, Shop, And Explore In Los Angeles, California

The Sustainable Traveler's Guide To Sunny LA! 

We may be biased, but Los Angeles is one of our favorite cities to recommend for travel. With a moderate and mostly sunny climate, incredible food and a vibrant art scene, and the proximity to the mountains, city, and beach, it’s a wonderful spot to vacation all year round. 

Los Angeles is also home to some of our favorite conscious shops, sustainable restaurants, and independent hotels. With so many brands and businesses committed to environmental sustainability and ethical production, it’s a fantastic city to visit to learn more about conscious living.

If you are planning a trip, please make sure to stop by and say hello at our Echo Park studio! 


// Where To Stay //


Hotel Covell

Why We Love It | For travelers who prefer to stay in a boutique accommodation with a renowned wine and beer bar, we love the hip decor and homey ambiance of the suites at Hotel Covell. Located on Hollywood Blvd. in the Los Feliz/East Hollywood area of Los Angeles, this independent hotel is the perfect retreat for travelers who want a self-catering room within walking distance of restaurants and cafes. An accommodation frequented by musicians and actors, Hotel Covell is both luxurious and comfortable—perfect for a long or short stay in Southern California. 

Where To Find It | 4626 Hollywood Boulevard (East Hollywood)

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Venice Beach Eco Cottages

Why We Love It | If you want to enjoy the city of Los Angeles by day but sleep with the sound of crashing waves at night, Venice Beach Eco Cottages are the perfect accommodation for your travels. Owned and operated by husband and wife team, Cynthia Foster and Karel Samson, the three beach cottages were renovated from the ground up using only earth-friendly, organic, and repurposed materials. Additionally, the cottages have solar panels, organic mattresses, and no/low VOC paints and finishes. Teaming up with eco-conscious designer Kelly LaPlante, Foster and Samson have created an environmentally-friendly home away from home for travelers. 

Where To Find It | 447 Grand Boulevard (Venice)

More about Venice Beach Eco Cottages


Los Feliz Lodge

Why We Love It | Charming, colorful, and designed to leave minimal impact on the environment, the Los Feliz Lodge in Los Angeles is the perfect accommodation for conscious travelers who prefer to experience local living. Comprising of four self-accommodating bungalows and two spacious villas, the Los Feliz Lodge houses are tucked into a quiet neighborhood street near East Hollywood in Los Angeles. We especially love the lodge’s commitment to sustainability—each accommodation prioritizes eco-friendly amenities, such as organic cotton sheets and bamboo linens.

Where To Find It | 1509 N. Hoover Street (Los Feliz)

More about Los Feliz Lodge


// Where To Eat //


Gracias Madre

Why We Love It | California is known for its fantastic Mexican cuisine, and we love Gracias Madre’s organic, plant-based interpretations of Mexico’s most famous and loved dishes. Founded in San Francisco in 2009, Gracias Madre was started by Chef Chandra Gilbert who, after receiving critical acclaim for the vegan Mexican restaurant, decided to open a second location in Los Angeles. With a vibrant menu (we love the Enchiladas con Mole Negro), fantastic staff, and commitment to serving sustainable and healthy cuisine, we highly recommend Gracias Madre for your Mexican food fix in Los Angeles. 

Where To Find It | 8905 Melrose Avenue (West Hollywood)

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Sage Bistro

Why We Love It | Organic, sustainable, plant-based food without the pretense—that’s the mission behind one of our favorite vegan bistros in Los Angeles. Sage Bistro was founded by Chef Mollie Engelhart (a self-taught prodigy chef who was raised vegan and on a farm in New York), so it makes sense that 90 percent of the menu ingredients are sourced and delivered daily from local farmers in Southern California. With three locations in LA—Culver City, Echo Park, and Pasadena—Sage is the perfect spot to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner (or all three!) during your stay. 

Where To Find It | 4130 Sepulveda Blvd (Culver City); 1700 W Sunset Blvd (Echo Park); 41 Hugus Alley (Pasadena)

More about Sage Bistro


Botanica

Why We Love It | Founded by two food writers-turned-chefs, Heather Sperling and Emily Fiffer love creating vibrant, delicious, and wildly satisfying dishes at their Los Angeles-based restaurant Botanica. Located in the neighborhood of Silver Lake, the mission of Botanica is to focus on healthful cooking and serving food that makes people feel good. While the menu is not bound to specific rules—there are dishes for most everyone’s dietary preferences—all ingredients are sustainable, high-quality, and, when possible, local. Stop by for a memorable dining experience and make sure to check out the market before you leave—they sell seasonal flowers, coffee, wine and more!

Where To Find It | 1620 Silver Lake Blvd (Silver Lake)

More about Botanica


// Where To Shop //


Painted Bird

Why We Love It | For your vintage finds and classic California pieces (like eclectic jewelry and fun screen print tees), we love the Painted Bird secondhand shop on Santa Monica Blvd. Beginning with a store in San Francisco in 2005, the owners Sunny and Nate opened a second location (now the only shop, as the SF store has closed) in Los Angeles. Sourcing unique, quality fashion items from the public, Painted Bird is our favorite shop to recommend for a one-of-a-kind California souvenir. 

Where To Find It | 4208 Santa Monica Blvd (East Hollywood)

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Christy Dawn

Why We Love It | Christy Dawn grew up in Placerville, California—a small city known for its pine trees, Main Street, and rich history. It was the timelessness of this town that compelled her to begin designing vintage-inspired dresses using only deadstock fabrics (the leftover fabrics from other fashion houses who overestimated their need). A brand that is passionate about slow fashion—each dress at Christy Dawn Designs is designed by Christy herself and sewn by local seamstresses who receive competitive wages and health benefits. Make sure to stop by her shop in Venice while visiting Southern California. 

Where To Find It | 1930 Lincoln Blvd (Venice)

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Reformation

Why We Love It | At Reformation, it is all about celebrating the feminine figure and sourcing the most beautiful fabrics in the most sustainable ways possible. Many pieces in the clothing line are created from old clothes and deadstock materials; Tencel®, a fabric that is part of the Rayon family and made from renewable plant materials, is also used in many of the designs. While Reformation has stores across the USA, we recommend any of the three Southern California locations for shopping the latest sustainable styles while visiting our home city.

Where To Find It | 8235 Melrose Ave (Los Angeles); 8810 Washington Blvd, Suite 102 (Culver City); 8000 Melrose Ave (Los Angeles)

More about Reformation


// Where To Explore //


Corral Canyon Trail

Why We Love It | For panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, we love the Corral Canyon Trail that begins and ends in the charming coastal city of Malibu. An easy trek—the loop is 2.5 miles and takes, on average, 1 hour and 15 minutes—hikers are rewarded with views of the ocean and scattered beach towns. If you’re looking for some fresh air and sea breezes during your stay in Los Angeles, this is the trail to visit.

Where To Find It | 25653 Pacific Coast Highway (Malibu)

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Griffith Park Hikes

  Photo credit: GreatRuns.com

Photo credit: GreatRuns.com

Why We Love It | While most Los Angeles visitors know to spend a day at the incredible Griffith Observatory, few are familiar with the numerous hikes in the surrounding park that offer fantastic views of Los Angeles, as well as the chance to spend time outdoors. There are 53-miles of network trails in Griffith Park that vary in difficulty and length, but we especially love the Firebreak Trail that leads to Griffith Observatory. For a spectacular panoramic view of the city, this steep 1.3-mile roundtrip hike can be accomplished in approximately one hour.  

Where To Find It | 4730 Crystal Springs Drive (Glendale)

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Kayti Christian, a staff writer for The Good Trade, is a storyteller, creator, activist, and avid traveler hailing from Colorado, now living in London. With 30+ stamps in her passport, she is passionate about responsible tourism and is always looking for new ways to be a more conscious traveler. She is currently pursuing her MA in Creative Nonfiction Writing at City, University of London. 


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