THERE’S A SAYING that might perfectly describe a New Yorker fleeing the muggy Manhattan streets for the breezy coast of Los Angeles: “Find your beach.” Which is exactly what I did this past summer (and beaches I did find!). More to come on those. However, the slogan for my month on the West Coast was actually coined because of something a little, well, juicier.
A few days into my visit, I’d grabbed a tender stone fruit from my friend’s kitchen, mindlessly biting into it. Sweet and tangy with a snappy flesh the color of golden hour, it was the most perfect peach I’d ever tasted. I devoured the thing, juices running down my chin, gnawing on the pit to get the last bits of flavor. I couldn’t remember the last time I had a piece of fruit that psychedelically delicious — not to mention the last time I felt so stirred by produce. Rinsing the stickiness off my face and hands, I basked in the afterglow, watching the leaves outside the kitchen window shimmy in the wind.
I shared the spiritual fruit moment with my fellow editors, one of whom wrote in our group chat: “There’s that saying ‘Find your beach’ … Maybe the real one is ‘Find your peach!’” Little did my colleague know, he clairvoyantly taglined exactly what would make my month in LA so earnestly sweet. During that August escape, there were so many moments in which I felt struck by the simple pleasures, in awe of how nature could produce such tastes, such textures, such tones. I had far fewer plans in LA than I usually have in New York — my days mostly punctuated by beach walks, work, and exercise. It was a quiet, luxuriant haze of honeyed skies, old-glamour hotels, and cool, salty-aired evenings — as luscious and ephemeral as biting into that perfect peach.
Where to StayLA has no shortage of iconic, old-glamour hotels with storied pasts. These classics are all clustered on the west side — on or near the beach.
The Peninsula Beverly HillsFor feeling utterly pampered
Hotel Bel-AirA verdant, storied hideaway
Santa Monica ProperA sexy, buzzy, high-design atmosphere
Shutters On The BeachA prime location for exploring
Malibu Beach InnFor the best beach access in all of LA
Where to EatThe produce and seafood on California’s coast is famously divine. These new, upscale restaurants feature the best of the bounty (plus one amazing, casual spot).
ManzkeA dazzling tasting menu for special occasions
Mes AmisA grand brasserie with a honeyed atmosphere
MeteoraA jungle-like ambiance with explorative cuisine
PasjoliFor inspired French cuisine
mdk noodlesA no-frills Koreatown treasure
Where to ShopAn aesthetic holy trinity exists in LA — breezy apparel for wearing, Western boots for walking, and earthy crystals for healing. These destination-worthy stores are great spots to obtain them all.
Des KohanFor beautifully crafted, unique staples
Terminal 27For an extraterrestrial shopping experience
Topanga RocksA hidden, mystical spot for crystals and furniture
Boot Star Los AngelesA vast showcase of Western craftsmanship
Lost & FoundFor all things flowy
AMERICAN EXPRESS® CARD MEMBER ACCESS
Fine Hotels + Resorts®
The hotels mentioned above are all Fine Hotels + Resorts properties. When you book with American Express Travel, you’ll receive an exclusive suite of benefits including daily breakfast for two, a $100 experience credit that varies by property, guaranteed 4pm check-out, and more. Plus, book on AmexTravel.com and you can earn 5X Membership Rewards® points, or use Pay with Points, on prepaid stays. Terms apply. Learn more here.
Sophie Mancini Writer
Sophie Mancini is an editor at Departures. Born and raised in New York City, she holds a degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University and has a background as a writer in brand and editorial.