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Love immersive art experiences? Don’t miss this psychedelic exhibit in Little Tokyo

A woman stands silhouetted in front of flickering lights hanging from the ceiling.
“Pixel Forest Transformer” at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is part of the Pipilotti Rist exhibition.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

By Rachel Schnalzer
Design and illustrations by Jade Cuevas

Good morning, fellow Escapists. Autumn is here, and though temperatures will hover in the high 80s this weekend, it’s an ideal time to plot your fall travel — whether you’ll be heading to a desert campground or an air-conditioned museum.

My Times colleague Christopher Reynolds recently assembled a list of the 40 best California experiences: Fall edition to provide readers with seasonal inspiration. You’ll see some of his recommendations highlighted in Escapes in the coming weeks.

Did he miss any of your favorite destinations? Keep an eye out for a follow-up story in which readers share their must-visit fall spots.

🔊 Immerse yourself in a sound bath

The Integratron has been a landmark in the Southern California desert for decades. Once focused on time travel and extraterrestrial life, it now is a destination for those seeking a sound bath and a sizable dose of New Age desert vibes.

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“At the Integratron, sound baths are a way of life, and the acoustics are amazing,” Reynolds writes.

The Integratron, 20 minutes north of Joshua Tree National Park, offers both private and public sound baths by appointment only. Visitors are treated to the sound of 20 quartz crystal “singing bowls” tapped by mallets, which “can sound like church bells, elegant feedback or a planetary dial tone,” Reynolds describes.

Group sound baths are offered Thursdays-Sundays at $50 per person (ages 14 and older). Private sound baths are $1,200 and up.

Interior of the Integratron with a curved wood ceiling.
The Integratron in Landers, Calif., attracts visitors seeking relaxation and meditation.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

🧗‍♀️ Love Yosemite? Don’t miss this new museum

Staring slack-jawed at daring climbers scrambling up Yosemite’s granite walls is an integral part of any visit to the national park.

Now, a new museum in Mariposa, Calif., is devoted to telling the story of these climbers. Ken Yager, a veteran climber, founded the Yosemite Climbing Museum after spending decades collecting artifacts and photos that illuminate the history of climbing in the park.

“It has everything you would hope in it and more,” Joseph Taylor, author of the 2010 book “Pilgrims of the Vertical,” told Times contributor Alec Scott. “I don’t know quite how he got it all, but it’s all there.”

Call (209) 742-1000 or email yosemiteclimbingmuseum@gmail.com for the museum’s hours. Tours available upon request.

Illustration of shoe on display in the climbing museum.
(Jade Cuevas / Los Angeles Times)

🖼️ Put this immersive art exhibit on your must-visit list

“Forget about the ‘immersive’ Van Gogh exhibit,” writes Times art critic Christopher Knight. “Pipilotti Rist’s MOCA show is the real thing.”

Knight recently reviewed the exhibition, which highlights Rist’s video, sculpture and installation art from the last 35 years, calling it a “generous psychedelic excursion through the digital looking glass.”

A few highlights from the trippy experience:

  • The “Pixel Forest Transformer,” a room with flickering LED lights hanging from the ceiling. “Walking among them is like being inside a video screen surrounded by digital pixels,” Knight wrote.
  • The “Peeping Freedom Shutters,” the rear façade of a clapboard house, with a smattering of picnic tables in a backyard. Video projections swirl across the floor and in the home’s windows. “I found myself walking gingerly across the indoor/outdoor room,” Knight said. “It was as if I might trip and stumble over the flickering light of an image projected onto the floor.”
  • Don’t miss the “29 Palms Chandelier,” a large chandelier lined with underpants hanging above the museum’s front desk.

Admission costs $10-$18; children younger than 12 are free.

Colorful video projections sweep across the facade of a house and its yard.
“Peeping Freedom Shutters” at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA for the Pipilotti Rist exhibition.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

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😍 Sleep in a trolley car

Love tiny homes and yurts? You might consider staying at this trolley car-turned-Airbnb in Castaic next time you venture north on a road trip.

The trolley, nestled in a residential neighborhood, includes a TV, stove, refrigerator, microwave, air fryer, tile shower and other creature comforts. Just outside is a deck and chairs for kicking back and enjoying the evening.

The Airbnb host’s fiancé and his teenage son purchased the working trolley car in 2020, then gutted and renovated it. “Every step of the way has been a labor of love and lots of father/son bonding,” the listing says.

The trolley car can accommodate two guests and can be booked for $171 per night.

Collage featuring photo of trolley car and pillows.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times; Getty Images; Photo illustration by Jade Cuevas / Los Angeles Times)

📰 What I’m reading

  • Pismo Beach is “the best place to see the great monarch butterfly migration.” Stacey Leasca explains how to see and protect them in Travel + Leisure.
  • In Northern California, a lawless state park has been overtaken by off-roading, fireworks and raves, reports Ashley Harrell in SFGate.
  • Autumn is an ideal time to camp in southern Utah. If pitching a tent under the stars is on your fall bucket list, check out Megan Michelson’s guide in Outside Online.
  • Peru’s Incan rope bridges are hanging by a thread, reports Lidio Valdez and Cirilo Vivanco in Sapiens, as the “tradition of creating suspension bridges to unite communities in the Andes [fades] into history.”
  • In 2015, Tom Turcich set out to cross the world by foot — and has been on the road ever since. Ann Babe covers his journey in Afar.
Collage featuring photo of Pismo Beach and monarch butterflies.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times; Wikimedia Commons; photo illustration by Jade Cuevas / Los Angeles Times)

📸 Photo of the week

A woman crosses a rocky mountain pass with her horse and two mules.
Mary Breckenridge crosses Mono Pass from the western side to the eastern side with her horse and two mules.
(Katie Falkenberg / For The Times)

🎸 Road song

Song: “California” by Chvrches

Favorite lyric: “God bless this mess that we made ourselves.”

Best place to listen: California 154, on the way from the Santa Ynez Valley to Santa Barbara.

Illustrated Polaroid of California.
(Jade Cuevas / Los Angeles Times)


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