Photo credit: Pixabay
Los Angeles, the Entertainment Capital of the World, is more than just the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theatre, and Hollywood Sign. This sprawling city in southern California has 75 miles of sunny coastline, over 100 renowned museums and almost 300 sunny days per year. In addition to all of this, visitors can have a feast of authentic ethnic foods in various multicultural neighborhoods.
Trippy user, Angie Tan asked:
Visiting a friend in November for a week and need suggestions on what to do.
I will be staying in Rancho Cucamonga but want to explore Los Angeles and other surrounding areas. What are great activities, restaurants and sites to see?
To help you and Angie, we’ve rounded up 12 of the best in Los Angeles:
1. Foods to try
Trippy user, Kristal Sajasi recommended these places to eat:
1. The Apple Pan for burgers and pie. It’s a hole in the wall eatery where no reservations are required.
2. KOI Restaurant, Hide Sushi or Nobu Los Angeles for sushi and Japanese fusion.
3. Paco’s Tacos, Tito’s Tacos Mexican Restaurant, Leo’s Taco Truck for tacos, and Mexican food.
4. Urth Caffe for salads, sandwiches, green tea boba and coffee.
5. Blu Jam Café for brunch.
6. Square One Dining for the best French toasts.
7. Eggslut for breakfast or lunch.
8. Pizzeria Mozza for pizza.
9. Randy’s Donuts for fresh doughnuts.
2. Hit the sandy shores
One of Los Angeles’ greatest allures is unquestionably its beaches. The city boasts of eight top beaches according to Discover Los Angeles. Check out:
1. Leo Carrillo State Beach – Located in Malibu, 28 miles north of Santa Monica, Leo Carillo State Beach has campsites, and RV facilities, sea caves, tidepools and guided nature walks too.
2. El Matador Beach – For a romantic beach, head over to El Matador Beach, located 10 miles northwest of Malibu.
3. Malibu Surfrider Beach – best surf spot in LA.
4. Santa Monica Beach – Just north of the historic Santa Monica Pier and the most popular in LA.
5. Venice Beach – Visit the famous Ocean Front Walk, and the place to people watch.
6. Manhattan Beach – The trendiest beaches in LA close to an aquarium and limited surfing and boogie boarding.
7. Hermosa Beach – Enjoy the hipster vibe and the outdoor cafes.
8. Cabrillo Beach – Family-friendly and perfect for family activities.
Melanie Wynn from LA wrote:
El Matador State Beach is my favorite beach in the area; it requires a few bucks for parking, braving a porta-pottie or hitting the restroom at Starbucks a half-mile away (also set beside a small grocery store), and a long, steep flight of stairs to access the sand, but this cove will make you feel like you’re a world away from the rest of Los Angeles. Keep an eye out for sea lions, dolphins and pelicans.
3. Visit the Original Farmers Market
The Original Farmers Market was started by Fred Beck and Roger Dahlhjelm in the 1930s on a vacant lot that was once a dairy farm at the corner of 3rd and Fairfax. The market grew, and by October 1934, this ‘pop-up’ market became a permanent market for grocers, local farmers, restaurants and service providers. The Clock Tower was added in 1948.
Visitors can join Melting Pot Food Tours’ 2.5-hour walking tour at the Original Farmers Market where they learn about the history and taste the signature dishes in the market. Scott M from San Francisco recommended the markets in LA. He wrote:
Go to one of the many Farmer’s Markets. Southern CA has the best produce around, and many Farmer’s Market’s also have great food stands and vendors as well.
4. Attend a concert
Leonard Lee suggested attending a concert in one of the famous places in Los Angeles:
Try to catch a concert at Hollywood Bowl. Pick a picnic basket with takeout sandwiches, fruit, cheese and wine, dine al fresco in the park, watch the sun go down, and enjoy some nice music in a beautiful setting. (Bring a sweater, it’ll get chilly in the evening). Alternately, Walt Disney Concert Hall is a beautiful example of Frank Gehry architecture, with nice concerts as well.
There’s always something exciting to attend in the many concert halls throughout LA. For an updated list check out LA Weekly concerts and events listing.
5. Get the best views of LA
Trippy user Valerie Sacksworth from Los Angeles had an insider tip on where to get the best views of LA. She wrote:
A lot of people don’t know about this, but I love driving up Adelaide Dr. Not only do you get an beautiful home views, but at the very top, you get an even better ocean view. Way pretty and not widely known. It’s my secret spot so shhh don’t tell anyone 😉
Another local, Nicole Gustas added:
Boy, I can’t believe no one has mentioned Perch in downtown LA! It’s got much better views than the Ace Hotel as there aren’t as many buildings getting in the way (yet). WP24 is located on the 24th floor of the Ritz and has the best views you can get from downtown without being in an office building. (This will not be the case in 3 years when all the 30+ story buildings are built around it, so check it out now!)
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is nice. If you’d like to get the view without the sweat drive on over to Norman O Houston Park, which has parking and some pretty spectacular views.
6. Visit Griffith Observatory
To get the best views of LA, head over to Griffith Observatory. You can view the iconic HOLLYWOOD Sign from the Observatory’s parking lot. There’s no admission fee to visit the Observatory. Some of the highlights of the Observatory are the rooftop telescopes and the Big Picture.
7. Check out Getty Museum
Breanna Wilson highly recommends The Getty Museum:
One of my all-time favorite places to go and just enjoy LA is the Getty Museum. The views are incredible, the museum is stunning (I mean, buildings constructed from travertine stone imported from Italy, hello!) and there’s a garden and grass hillside that is just begging you to picnic on it.
The J. Paul Getty Museum has two locations. The Getty Center in Los Angeles houses European artwork including illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts. You can visit Getty Villa in Malibu too. At this location, there are about 44,000 pieces from ancient Greek, Roman, and Etruscan. But according to Getty.edu, only 1,200 are on view.
8. Hike on one of the trails
If you like a combination of city attractions and nature walks, you’re going to love visiting Los Angeles. The hiking trails are divided into Easy, Intermediate and Difficult Hikes. Some of the top hiking trails suggested by Discover Los Angeles, the official LA tourism board:
1. Runyon Canyon – 3-mile round trip. See million dollar mansions, views of Hollywood Sign, Sunset Strip, and L.A. Basin
2. Griffith Park Trails
3. Franklin Canyon Park
4. Wilacre Park
5. Eaton Canyon
6. Will Rogers State Park
7. Topanga State Park
8. Malibu Creek State Park
9. Solstice Canyon
10. Escondido Canyon
11. Vasquez Rocks
9. Go for roller coaster rides
Trippy user Kristal Sajasi said:
If you’re into rides, there are a ton of amusement parks: there are smaller ones like the Santa Monica Pier or the more obvious Disneyland Park and Six Flags Magic Mountain.
10. Join the Sunday Jazz at The Living Room
Every Sunday at 10 pm, The Living Room at W Hotel Hollywood presents Jazz Night. This year-round weekly event is for guests ages 21 years and above, and it is free to attend. Enjoy live performances at a rooftop venue in a hip and stylish atmosphere.
11. Explore downtown LA
Spencer, a Trippy user, suggested downtown LA. He wrote:
I love Downtown Los Angeles, and especially the Los Angeles Arts District, which has become a great area to hang in. Angel City Brewery if you like craft beer, great street art you can walk to, Grand Central Market (great food that feels kind of like open-air European markets) and some good restaurants, such as Bestia, one of my favorite restaurants in L.A.
12. Spend time at Camera Obscura Art Lab
Valerie Sacksworth from LA pointed out this unique attraction especially for those who are into photography:
If you’re into photography at all, there’s actually an original Camera Obscura in Santa Monica that was built in 1899 and still open to the public today. It gives you a really cool 360 view, highly recommend checking out. Just walk into the senior center it’s attached to and tell them you want to see the camera obscura and they will happily let you in.
You can combine a quick visit to Camera Obscura Art Lab when visiting Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica Beach. It’s located inside a senior center.