Los Angeles, a Southern California city and the centre of the nations film and television industry. Everybody’s heard of Hollywood Boulevard, the TCL Chinese Theatre, and walk of fame; But what if you’re looking for some other great areas? Well I’ve got you covered! This blog post is all about the hippest and trendy areas you need to check out, the most instagramable places and the most delicious places to eat.
I had the opportunity to visit and work in Beverly Hills back in January and loved it. Beverly Hills is a city in LA which is home to many celebrities and features upscale shopping on Rodeo Drive. Not only does this area offer immense shopping, but is also home to the expansive Beverly Gardens Parks which offers a rose garden, fountains and the iconic illuminated Beverly Hills signs.
After a morning of shopping and maybe strolling through the rose garden in Beverly Hills, it’s time to hit the beach! The two beaches I recommend checking out is Venice Beach and Santa Monica.
Venice Beach is known for its bohemian spirit offering upscale commercial and residential pockets. There are lots of cute restaurants such as The Great White (more on dining below), the Iconic Venice sign and it’s free spirited boardwalk. Along Abbot Kinney Boulevard, there are lots of funky shops, street performers, boutiques, coffee shops and bars. Venice Beach is perfect for the active visiter as it also offers a skate park and muscle beach if you’re looking for a little outdoor fitness.
About an hour walk, you end up at Santa Monica. The pier is home to the Pacific Park amusement park with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. I loved this beach even more as it was surrounded by higher end restaurants, an amusement park on the board walk but there was also a massive shopping mall nearby which I totally missed the first time. Both beaches are close enough you can easily see and have time in both. I suggest starting off at Venice Beach first and walk your way down to Santa Monica to have dinner and catch the sunset.
If you love shopping, but you need designer goods or you’re looking for a more laid back chill area, then Melrose is the place for you! Melrose is a shopping, dining and entertainment area with some super cute coffee shops along the way. If that wasn’t enough, every Sunday there’s an outdoor flea market with over 250 vendors! It’s a little busy but totally worth checking out, you can easily make a full day out of it!
A residential and commercial area known for its restaurants and hipster hangouts. We only had the liberty of spending a couple hours here before our flight, but the area was really fun with more cute coffee shops, stores and the iconic Micheltorena stairs (the rainbow stairs) Make sure you give yourself enough time as the shops are more spread out then in Melrose. I liked the mix of residential areas on the hills fo Silver Lake, very pretty!
The Griffith is not a necessity, but if you’ve got the time I highly recommend checking it out and going to the top just before sunset. The observatory sits not he south facing slope of Mount Hollywood and provides you with a breathtaking view of downtown LA, Hollywood and the Pacific Ocean. The sunsets there are just spectacular! Because its FREE, it’s very busy with limited to no parking, I suggest taking an Uber there or walking up if you’re looking for a little hike. (Cell service is limited so you may have to walk back down)
Disney Concert Hall:
The Walt Disney Concert Hall is the 4th hall of the Los Angeles music centre and was designed by Frank Gehry. The exterior is incredible and if you have the time I recommend booking a ticket to experience the inside as well, it’s said that the acoustics are amazing in there!
LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art:
Established in 1961, the LACMA is a museum full of science, history and art. We didn’t have time to explore the museum, but we did make the time to visit the iconic lampposts which of course are beautiful. Did you know, the lights turn on at dusk and blink off at dawn automatically by an astronomical timer? Cool right!
I found downtown LA to be really charming; It had a New York feel which was really homey to me. It was interesting though because there were certain areas that were really developed and other spots that had a lot of potential. Downtown LA offered a good mix of hotels, restaurants good shopping. We also came across some really cute markets which you could easily spend a day at.
Food & Coffee:
There are sooo many amazing restaurants in Los Angeles but here are some of the ones we had the liberty of dining at.
The Great White:
The Great White offers a costal Californian vibe focused on fresh local all day cuisine along with delicious coffee options. Steps away from the beach and right across from the iconic Venice sign. The food was absolutely delicious!!
Although Terroni was actually founded right here in Toronto, the restaurant resides in downtown LA and offers a gorgeous atmosphere. They offer delicious southern Italian dishes in a 2000 square foot historical bank built in 1924. Great food and a view for a fair price.
Gracias Madre is a pant based restaurant compromising meat but not flavour! They serve cuisine inspired by the kitchens of Mexico sourced from locally grown organic ingredients. We sat in their alluring backyard patio, and started off with Guacamole con Tortillas and tacos. They used barbecued jackfruit in place of the meat and you couldn’t even tell the difference!
An iconic hotel and now Hollywood landmark, it was originally built in 1929 and has 63 rooms priced between $575-$3000 a night. It’s a beautiful hotel where a lot of celebrities reside. Upon the hotel’s garden terrace there is a lovely restaurant where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. We had brunch when we went and it was great, but not cheap so make sure you’re prepared to spend some $$$ when you go.
Alfred Tea Room
“But First, Coffee”
If you’re looking for a cute pink spot offering tasty drinks and snacks I suggest checking out Alfred Tea Room. We went a couple of times in Melrose and enjoyed the drinks on their little patio.
In n Out:
Pretty sure everyone knows this one, but you just can’t go to LA and not try it. In N Out is an American fast-food chain offering burgers and fries. The price is great in comparison to Shake Shack, the burgers are delicious but I wasn’t in love with the fries. Make sure to ask for “animal style” which is a secret menu item. Its a cheese and thousand island sauce topped with grilled onions. (It helped with the dry fries)
All and all, Los Angeles was a super fun destination to visit. Offering you beautiful beaches, delicious food, magical theme parks and so much more. I loved the laid back vibe of the city and would definitely visit again in the future. I hope this blog post inspires you to see the city and visit some of these iconic locations.