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Discover peaceful, tranquil areas of L.A.

August 12, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles may be known for ugly freeway traffic and crowded star attractions, but for those seeking some peace and quiet, a new book provides a thorough list of 110 tranquil sites around Southern California.

The book is called "Peaceful Places," and with comprehensive details, maps and pictures, both native Angelenos and first-time visitors can seek out some of L.A.'s more quiet corners.

"They don't think of the hidden hillsides and gardens and parks and scenic vistas, they're all over L.A., but you do have to look," said Laura Randall, author of "Peaceful Places."

In the chapter titled "parks and gardens," Randall suggests escaping to Barnsdall Park, located in the neighborhood of Los Feliz. It sits on a hilltop above Hollywood Boulevard, and with an expansive lawn, panoramic views and outdoor sculptures, there's plenty of space to relax and take a breather.

"It's very peaceful and quiet and serene up here because the location is hidden from the street," Randall said. "People drive by it every day and don't even know it's here."

When seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of Downtown L.A., escape to Little Tokyo. You can lose yourself in the traditional beauty of the James Irvine Japanese Garden.

"It has bonsai trees and waterfalls, and it's perfectly maintained, and it's just a little slice of nature in downtown," Randall said.

Other chapters of "Peaceful Places" include "enchanting walks," "urban surprises," "reading rooms" and "historic sites."

Greystone Mansion is one of many historic sites in L.A.

"It's a Gothic-English estate that was once owned by the Doheny oil dynasty," Randall said.

Wander around the free space and find lush gardens and grand terraces, alongside soothing fountains and shaded pathways. All throughout the Greystone grounds, there are lots of nooks and crannies to explore or just relax.

Santa Monica Pier's Pacific Wheel is popular ride that provides extensive views of mountain tops and beach coastlines from 130 feet above the sand - all for an inexpensive ticket.

"It's just amazing, you feel like you're the only one in the world, enjoying that view," Randall said.

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