Where to Get Your Wellness on in Venice, California
The best spots to visit in the nexus of L.A.’s wellness community and its neighboring cities.
Sunset’s Insider Guide series highlights seasonal diversions and secret travel tips from local experts.
Meet the Insider: Elisa Angelone, founder of Den Mother
Location: Venice, California
Elisa Angelone is a licensed acupuncturist, an herbalist, and the curator of Den Mother’s global healing therapies. Guests who step into the urban oasis, inside a 1930s Craftsman on Abbot Kinney, get to experience various modalities, from Japanese acupuncture to Ayurvedic bodywork and Nordic bathing. Here she shares her favorite spots in Venice, inarguably the nexus of L.A.’s wellness community.
Rent a cute Airbnb like The Howland House, on the Venice Canals overlooking the water. Evening and early morning walks along the canals are just magical, and give you a special insight into the ways that some lucky locals get to live their lives. There are very few hotels in Venice, but thankfully the team behind Gjelina has opened Vitorrja, an adorable and well-appointed hotel just steps from the beach. Another Sunset staff favorite: the Venice V Hotel, a reimagined 1915 landmark right on the Boardwalk and beach.
Start your day with a walk along the beach to Menotti’s Coffee Stop for the delicious oat-milk Spanish latte. It’s a sweet and creamy drink made with espresso, condensed milk, and cinnamon that makes for the perfect pick-me-up. Once properly caffeinated, head to Love Yoga for their “love yoga flow” class, which combines Katonah yoga with Vinyasa flow. Katonah draws from Chinese medicine, Taoist principles, and sacred geometry, making for an inspiriting and grounding hourlong practice. After class, you can grab a delicious vegan ice cream from Wanderlust Creamery and stroll along the Venice Walk Streets, a peaceful series of four pedestrian-only footpaths that are tucked away in the fabric of Venice.
Venice and neighboring Santa Monica are home to some of L.A.’s best restaurants. My personal favorite is Barrique, an authentic Italian restaurant situated in a two-story yellow cottage on a quiet part of Main Street. It is as adorable as it gets, with candles on the tables and the most delicious handmade beet pasta with quail ragù served over cheese fondue. Cobi’s, a Michelin Bib Gourmand winner, has Indonesian fare and an amazing natural wine selection. The space is cozy and inviting with a hanging rose garden in the entryway, seating in an outdoor garden patio, and a dining room that feels like you have been transported back in time. I love Crudo e Nudo for oysters and prawns a la plancha. For something more casual, La Isla Bonita is a taco truck on Rose Avenue and 4th Street run by a father-and-son duo that has been around since 1987. I love getting the ceviche with tostadas to go, and walking down to the beach for a little sunset picnic.
One of our neighbors on Abbott Kinney is The Great, by designers Emily Current and Merritt Elliott, who make the best prairie dresses that are quintessentially Venice. Mystic Journey Bookstore is the spot to go for all crystals and ritual objects, and Anima Mundi is a modern-day herbal apothecary with a tonic bar and medicinal herbal garden. Electric + Rose has the best elevated tie-dye sweatsuits and cozy activewear pieces that just scream Venice Beach. Everything is designed and handmade in Los Angeles and is inspired by the Venice Beach lifestyle.
Fig Tree is a Venice institution directly on the Boardwalk and has become the perfect place to go for happy hour—you can get natural wine, seasonal cocktails, and iconic sunset views. The newer French establishment, Coucou, celebrates aperitif culture, serving some of the most beautiful artisanal cocktails. And for live music and a night of dancing, Winston House is the home for music in Venice.