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“Wonderful and peaceful”

Lake Shrine Temple and Retreat
Ranked #2,426 of 8,711 things to do in California
Attraction details
Level Contributor
71 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Wonderful and peaceful”
Reviewed July 7, 2014 via mobile

I spend the afternoon there and it is a wonderful, beautiful and peaceful place to go and meditate. It is linked to the self realization fellowship but it is open to visit. They have a book shop with Yogananda work, cds and another shop with some sacred gifts. The place is a garden with lake, trees, places to sit down and meditate. It is worthwhile to visit.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Anaya K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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44 reviews from our community

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Los Angeles
Level Contributor
187 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2013

I have 2 reasons for the whimsical title of my review. 1/ It is an incredibly serene locale and 2/ for fear of attracting crowds, I hesitate to publicize one of my favorite places to take out of town visitors.

It is almost surreal as one enters this oasis of calm surrounded by a major urban area. It does not take long to make the trek around the lake which has its share of swans and large turtles. The "thing" to do is just take a few moments to reflect in one of the innumerable little alcoves around the lake. It is a place of beauty and the selection of flowers and plants is astounding. What I like is that nobody bothers you as you walk peacefully around the lake (there is a discreet religious undertone, but absolutely nobody ever approaches you with propaganda, so just enjoy the beauty). There is a windmill with a medication room, but it was closed for renovation on this particular trip in early October 2013. In the past, I have always stopped in for a few moments of reflection.

Although the locale is owned by the Self Realization Fellowship and some of the statues and signage attest to that, there is also an inter-denominational feel. I even spotted a statue of the Virgin Mary this time, and on previous trips I especially liked an area devoted to the world's great religions - all understated, but with flowers symbolizing various tenets of those religions.

So take an hour or two to get off the beaten path and enjoy some rare serenity in Los Angeles. It's totally free to enter and to park. And the picture-taking alone is worth a visit.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank FrequentTraveller034
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Overlooked! Hidden gem in Sunset -L.A”
Reviewed August 26, 2013

Whether you are a local or a tourist, make sure you visit this Temple and Retreat. It is Free and seldom does it get crowded. Make sure you don't get there very late as it closes early. Just walk around and enjoy!

Visited January 2013
1 Thank Dominik A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Serene place right off Sunset and PCH”
Reviewed August 18, 2013

This is as good as it can get on trip advisor, reviews from a local. Take it from me, when I lived in the valley I would come here as part of my day on the westside, yoga at Bryan Kest Power Yoga, smoothie at Jamba Juice and a take a short drive to this stunning and serene garden,

It is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of fourth street. I would have never expected something like this close to the touristy Santa Monica area.

Free entrance, meditation class on Thursday and services Sunday mornings. Parking can be limited, if you can figure out the bus route to here, I would definitely consider a bus pass.

A great addition to a day going to the Getty Villa if someone was headed out that way. This place closes most days at 4:30pm.

Visited August 2013
Thank LadyLiza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brewster, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Peaceful and breathtakingly beautiful”
Reviewed July 12, 2013 via mobile

I was brought here by a friend who is very engaged in the principles that are espoused by Yogananda. I essentially came along for the ride to see some beautiful gardens. I surely was not disappointed; the plantings and landscaping are lush, perfectly maintained, and have a magical design and balance. But that was just a tiny part of the reward of joining him; I felt a tremendous sense of equilibrium while strolling around the lake and through its landscaped paths. I was able to imagine why a movement like this had engendered such a powerful and devoted following.

And don't worry: if you go only for the gardens, that's ok too. Just go.

Visited June 2013
Thank BrewstaBoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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