West Hollywood is a city that knows how to let loose. From the gay clubs on Santa Monica Blvd to the glitzy nightlife on Sunset, WeHo is where the party people head. But in this Los Angeles town, you’ve got to earn your good time. So before the drinks start flowing and the music starts pumping, you’ve got to get that workout in first.
Bike tour through West Hollywood
The cool breeze blowing, the sun shining and the occasional burst of anxiety due to oncoming traffic, there’s no better way to move around West Hollywood than on an electric bike. The tours offered by Bikes & Hikes LA are not just leisurely rides to trendy West Hollywood landmarks, they’re a glimpse into the rich history of the city. Tour guides have an exhaustive knowledge of every business, building or home with a story to tell.
The highlight (well if you don’t spot any celebrities) is a visit to Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. Leave the bikes behind and stroll the infamous grounds. Entertainment lovers will appreciate the lengthy number of movies and TV shows shot on the premises, while comic book buffs will get a kick out of the link between Greystone and a certain caped, bat-like hero and the signal used to call him.
The mansion itself is only open to the public for tours four times a year, which sell out quickly. The park grounds are open to the public daily.
The Bikes & Hikes tours range from 10 to 32 miles (2 ½ to 6 hours). And though the electric bike will do much of the work, expect a little sweat.
Take a gelato-making class
“Gelato is the universal symbol of happiness” is inscribed in gold lettering inside the Gelato Festival store located in the trendy Design District of West Hollywood. The light, sweet treat is the perfect cap to a day spent under the hot sun.
When it comes to flavors, opt to go bold with pine seeds, basil and lemon or take the classic route with fresh cream and hazelnut spread. There really are no bad choices.
But to truly appreciate the history and culture behind the frozen treat, Gelato Festival offers classes. Don an apron and grab a few measuring cups as you're lead through the step-by-step gelato-making process.
Classes are led by the charismatic duo of Alizè Latini and executive gelato chef, Filippo Cianciosi who will share tales of his life in Italy as he puts you to work. But it’s all worth it when the creamy creation is on a plastic spoon and heading towards your mouth.
The Gelato Festival Store usually holds one afternoon class per day, appointments must be booked in advance. Package prices from $60 (children) to $200.
Can you really say you’ve been to Hollywood if you don’t take a yoga class? The 1 Hotel, located on Sunset Blvd, offers a host of fitness classes from strength and conditioning to rehab for its guests. There’s also a state-of-the-art gym on site and for those feeling especially sadistic, personal training sessions.
The yoga classes, in partnership with Performix House, are held over the weekend. Saturday’s “Yoga Flow” classes are held on the Pool Deck of The 1 Hotel, while Sunday’s “Recovery Yoga Powered by Theragun” is held on the Skyline Deck, next to the hotel.
For something a little more modern, head to Playlist Yoga, which combines music and movement with classic yoga positions and breathing techniques. Sessions are 60 minutes.
Make pasta at Viale Dei Romai
Normally, eating pasta would far outweigh the work it takes to make it. But when the pasta-making class is held by a four-time James Beard Award nominee, old ways of thinking quickly change. Chef Casey Lane of Viale Dei Romani has a deep appreciation for Southern Italian dishes so the pasta-making class becomes more than just combining flour and eggs; it’s an education on how such a simple process became the foundation of a life’s work in the kitchen.
In the evening, Viale Dei Romani is a sleek, cool space with soft lights reflecting off golden brass fixtures. The music is an eclectic mix of old-school hip-hop and soul and will certainly catch your attention even in the midst of the most in-depth conversations.
On this night, the handmade pasta is combined with a wild boar ragu with hints of warm aromatic spices, while the farfalle was combined with tomato cecca. Pasta-making classes are open to the public, contact email@example.com for availability and pricing.
Sweat if off
Want to sweat and burn calories without a bunch of movement? The Shape House offers 55-minute long sessions where clients are wrapped in “FAR infrared beds” which, according to Shape House, “are specifically constructed beds with ceramic plates and infrared blankets that are made to emit safe, deep-penetration infrared heat waves.”
In other words, you’re wrapped up in a giant heated sleeping bag. The result is sweat and lots of it. To help the hour pass relatively smoothly, clients are given headphones and a remote control to watch TV or listen to music.
A light cotton top, pants and socks are provided before each session as is water, which is always on hand during the process. It can get really hot and uncomfortable, particularly in the final 15 minutes. Clients are able to completely open the blanket at any time to cool off.
After the session, water, hot tea and orange slices are on hand as your body slowly returns to its normal temperature. It’s suggested to wait between and hour-and-half to two hours before taking a shower.
A single session costs $65.
Dim Sum indulgence
The Formosa Cafe is something of a West Hollywood legend. And after 80 years and a massive renovation that closed its doors for three years, the popular nightlife spot is as cool as ever.
Striking red booths, red Chinese lanterns above the bar and intricately designed golden accents around the restaurant make for a chill atmosphere. Opt to dine and drink upstairs or on the main floor (where you can eat in a train car).
Prices range from $6 to $20 so order a bunch of different items. A few top choices include braised pork belly, General Tso’s cauliflower, orange chicken and vegan noodles.