Hidden Gem Among Us
Since the 1920s, Topanga Canyon has been an alcove of escape and restoration from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Those sporting celebrity status and so-called “hippies” alike frequent this gem.
To this day, the enclave holds the same bohemian essence of a society untouched by the day-to-day of the big city, and perhaps the modernized world as a whole.
Shopping in Topanga
No other spot epitomizes this carefree ambiance more than Hidden Treasures, a funky vintage store. This small shop embodies the eclectic with disco balls hanging from the ceiling, vintage artwork of every variety, at least two larger than life spoked ship’s wheels and decorated mannequin heads. While one might walk in the shop thinking “I’m just here to look,” it is nearly impossible to leave empty-handed. You can’t walk in without finding something that captures the heart in an instant.
Just a few steps away is The Well Refill, a low waste and environmentally friendly shop that sells home and body goods. There are over 80 products, including soaps, lotions, shampoos, oils and more to choose from. If you remember to bring your own containers, you can take your finds home that day in your very own bottle or kitchen Tupperware. Beyond refillable goods, there are also second-hand clothing items and kitchen homeware pieces to peruse.
Relaxing Nature Views
After the obligatory shopping, the trailhead for Eagle Rock hike lies a few miles away. It’s located up a winding road lined with concealed houses dripping in plants in every color ceramic pot. The hike is moderate, trailing through the classic California brush whose combination of dried scrub and burgeoning greenery exudes an impressive grit.
Though well-trafficked, the trail affords many moments of peaceful appreciation for the landscape, fringed by the distant blue of the Pacific visible through gaps in the hills. The titular Eagle Rock itself rests on the edge of a sloping peak, a knotted and sprawling boulder massive beyond expectation. A bit of exploring among the myriad nooks and crannies of the rock uncovers spray-painted art of signed names and dates, decorating the granite in images of adventures past.
Where to Eat
After a pit-stop for water, snacks and lots of pictures, there are many local cafes to visit. Some local favorites include Topanga Living Café and Café on 27. Both of which feature classic and wholesome meals to be enjoyed on a lovely outdoor patio among the trees.
This forgotten utopia is the perfect Sunday adventure before a week of real-life responsibilities and commitments. It is beautifully enhanced by its commute along the majesty of the Pacific Ocean. There’s nothing quite like the salty sea air to restore the soul.
Photo: Topanga Living Cafe from Instagram