A Guide to Poolside Lounging in Los Angeles

Photos By: Maria Penaloza

Los Angeles is the current recreational center of the world. With its hundreds of shops and dozens of legacy brands dropping incredible products born of years of cultivation, and the forthcoming batch of consumption lounges set to open this year, the value of pointing your leisure hours at sunny LA is much higher than in some other spots. 

The nearly year-round sunshine is one of the true draws, and if you’re looking to lay poolside with the finest California cannabis—even though we adore the Bay Area and NorCal—there’s nowhere better than LA to lounge.

What makes the city so special is that it’s the sprawling variety where you can experience the excitement of a pack of visitors at The Grove, a band of Japanese tourists entering the DTLA Med Men, the diligently bicycling locals and throbbing highways. It’s all one huge symbiotic puzzle, and there’s nothing really like it anywhere else, at least not in America.

To stay in LA without any weed troubles, your options may be limited. Hotels may have CBD in the mini bar or host tons of cannabis-branded events, but finding a truly cannabis-friendly place to crash is no simple feat. You might not be able to smoke or vape cannabis indoors at any lodging, private or otherwise, but having a safe and secluded spot to sit outside with a joint is the goal.

It’s exceedingly odd that you may pop a bottle of alcohol in any establishment, but puffing even a vape can land you on the curb, especially because of the dangers that drinking can pose to life and property. This is why you’ll have to be savvy. You can either resign yourself to consuming edible cannabis—or toking across the street from your digs—or you can do some research and find that there are dozens of cannabis-friendly lodgings available through third-party apps. Private renters are sometimes accepting and will say so in their profiles. 

Once you sort your stay, finding an array of cannabis is no issue whatsoever. We loved Paradiso Gardens on our last trip. It’s really superior in fragrance and aroma, and the extremely cute California chic branding won us over big-time. The herb is described on the box as Siempre Calidad (which means “always quality” in Spanish), and when you examine the pretty buds, it really shows. Since functional swag is the best kind, after all, twisting their flower into conveniently branded Paradiso rolling paper packs is a reminder of how annoying it is to be a cannabis consumer just about anywhere else. 

Paradiso is not the only terpy goodness you can sample when in the Cali flow. Oakland’s Nug vends all the way down in SoCal, and its flower is also super yummy, particularly the piney SFV OG. An eighth was able to pack out 10 good-sized joints, which is impressively fluffy. Since Nug is sold in 100 California locations, you don’t have to be in LA to indulge, but you can still be by a pool, which we recommend for the ultimate effect. 

With such a diverse makeup, LA has some of the best food on offer, in addition to supreme-quality cannabis. Paired together, you have a vacationer’s paradise—or a local’s regular night after work.

The whole city is a foodie theme park, and if you’re enjoying Korean BBQ or roadside tacos, you’ll have a five-star experience if you know where to look. Health food is always trending in LA, and Simply Wholesome has been at it for decades. Its vegetarian Down Home Platter is but one of dozens of reasons to visit South LA, if you have room for more—Grilled Fraiche is the Cali-Caribbean fare of your stoniest dreams. 

The best strategy one can offer in such a huge place is to ask around wherever you are, but food influencers sometimes have the greatest gems. Being the ultimate influencers, celebrities sometimes come out with some real winners, and we love action star Danny Trejos’s taco spot, Trejos Tacos, for its carnitas, farmer’s market beans and street corn. 

As for the pools, parks, hills, beaches and other aspects of outdoor living that make LA an excellent space for sun lovers, they’re why you will love it, too, if sun and water are your goals. The piles of abundant cannabis are easy to access with no question here—some shops and deliveries stay open till midnight—so you can maximize pool time even if the sun has gone. For pools and weed, LA is truly the number-one spot.


Emerald contributor since May 2017


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