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5 Sensory Experiences You Can Only Have in Southern California

5 Sensory Experiences You Can Only Have in Southern California
SoCal is famous for its variety. Whether it’s surfing, snowboarding or sight-seeing, there’s an adventure for every pleasure. But California has more to offer than the sound of the surf or the view from the canyons. Here are 5 experiences designed to give your senses a shock.
Resonance Chamber © Integratron

Sound Bath at the Integratron

The Integratron may sound like a Hollywood movie machine, but the Sound Bath is one of California’s fastest growing trends. Located in the remote Mojave Desert east of Los Angeles, the Integratron is a structure built entirely for audio experiences. A typical session offers a meditative immersion in the sounds of crystal bowls while suppressing the other senses for an experience entirely about the ears.

Integratron, 2477 Belfield Blvd. Landers, CA, +1 760 364 3126

James Turrell’s Breathing Light © Lacma

Breathing Light at LACMA

LACMA has plenty to offer the eyes, but nothing is more stunning than James Turrell’s ‘Breathing Light’ exhibit. Using only subtle shifts in light, Turrell toys with visitors’ depth perception and mood in this specially built chamber for Breathing Light. The science of the experience is so exact that visitors must wear medical booties and maintain a no-touch policy just to enter the chamber. Although each visiting group is allowed only fifteen minutes, the sensations will last much longer.

LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, +1 323 857 6010

Deep Creek Hot Springs © Wikipedia

Deep Creek Hot Springs

Natural Feature
Deep Creek Hot Springs | © Levi Clancy / WikiCommons
Most of us understand the soothing release of a bath, but nothing quite touches on the experience of a natural hot spring away from the modern world. In the secluded mountainous area of the Mojave Desert, the Deep Creek Hot Springs offer a perfect seclusion from all the other senses. None of the distractions of sirens, street vendors or city life will intrude on this ancient relaxation technique.
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Sillage © Santa Monica Museum of Art

Sillage at SMMoA

We don’t think a lot about smells, but Santa Monica Museum of Art’s Brian Goeltzenleuchter does. At his ‘Sillage’ installation, he explores the various scents that go into making Los Angeles the way that it is – all the oil and grime and the sweat and perfume – and he recreates them from scratch. But if smelling a Los Angeles-scented perfume isn’t enough, visitors can offer their zip codes to smell a sample of a recreated scent of their own neighborhood!

SMMoA, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA, +1 310 586 6488

Opaque © Yelp via dasha C.

Blind Dining at Opaque

Anyone who has watched a cooking show knows that chefs insist that the plating and the presentation of a meal are paramount to its enjoyment. Opaque has a different idea. Located on Santa Monica’s Wilshire Boulevard, Opaque believes that the other senses distract from the flavors of a meal, and so they remove them. Diners choose their meals beforehand and are then led by a blind waiter into the darkened dining area, where they can expect a full meal with only their taste buds to guide the outcome.

Opaque, 2020 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA, +1 310 546 7619

By Nicholas Armstrong

These recommendations were updated on April 25, 2017 to keep your travel plans fresh.