Fitness industry veteran Dulcinea Lee Hellings's goal is to bring a high-quality, effective exercise regimen to people who don't love big gyms or can't afford personal trainers. In 2004, she realized that mornings could be used for more than hitting the snooze button over and over for two hours, and founded Boot Camp "Morning Crunch!" to help fledgling exercisers whip into shape.
She designs her all-levels programs to be scream-free morning motivators⎯the first stop in her patrons' journey of daily accomplishments. The fast-paced, ever-changing circuit of strength and cardio exercises keeps bodies guessing and minds from becoming bored. Each of the boot camp's 12 outdoor locations has a different dedicated trainer who gets to know each student personally, remembering their names and memorizing any interesting freckle patterns. They complement their morning routines with a smattering of evening options for those who prefer to work out after the day's activities.
Six months prior to Nothing Bundt Cakes' grand opening in 1997, best friends Dena Tripp and Debra Shwetz toiled away in the kitchen in order to perfect a bundt-cake recipe that would lavish palates with flavors reminiscent of homestyle treats of days past. Within today's bustling bakery, cake crafters mingle high-quality ingredients, such as fresh eggs, real butter, and cream cheese sourced from spelling-bee-champion cows, to whip up such flavors as chocolate chip, pecan praline, and white-chocolate raspberry. Sweet scents waft from the shop’s ovens as customers select their frosting-flecked dessert from sizes ranging from towering tier cakes to individual Bundtlets, a size ideal for the solo snacker.
Pacific Park’s attractions celebrate Santa Monica Pier’s history with classic rides that run with modern technology. The Pacific Wheel uses solar energy to circle 130 feet into the air, where fist pounds from the man in the moon and scenic views of the coastline await. The energy-efficient attraction is 1 of 12 rides, which include classics, a roller coaster, and a four-story tower drop. Visitors can earn prizes at midway games, refuel at the food court, and get their adrenaline pumping on the rock wall or beach bounce.
Caffe Luxxe helped initiate LA’s “third wave” of coffee with their passion for handcrafted, artisanal espresso drinks. In its short lifespan it has already become a staple in the city’s caffeine culture, alluring both celebrities and civilians with its intriguing custom roast. Named “testa rossa” (Italian for redhead), the Northern Italian-style espresso caps its chocolate, caramel, and jasmine blend with a thick ruddy crema. In that same European spirit, they also pull shots short as a double “ristretto” to create a stronger taste. Caffe Luxxe complements their custom roast with a rotation of single-origin brewed coffees from around the world and organic loose-leaf teas that are hand-knotted to order. After getting their drink, patrons will be tempted to linger in the chicly appointed cafes (a favorite of iconic designer Tom Ford). Exposed ductwork and lofty ceilings add an industrial edge to the tasteful gray spaces furnished with farmhouse-style cupboards. The cafes have become popular community hangouts: Caffe Luxxe regularly hosts events such as short film presentations, book parties, and contemporary art exhibitions.
With nods from DailyCandy and L.A. Foodie, B1 Breadshop has earned street cred among locals and visitors alike for its boulangerie-style pastries and organic-flour baguettes. Here, you can nosh on sweet treats including buttery chocolate cookies, apple turnovers, and Valrhona-chocolate croissants. If you’re in the mood for savory, dig into an organic spinach-and-feta croissant or café sandwich.