“I’m a native Los Angeles girl, from hancock park, and I fulfill all the stereotypes—except for the blond bimbo one. I live in New York, but I need a California fix every chance I get. It’s not uncommon for me to hop on a plane after I finish my show in New York and arrive in L.A. on a Sunday night. I always get a window seat so I can watch the landscape as we come in. I love seeing the Hollywood sign from the air, because I can usually locate my parents’ house from there. Whenever I arrive to those swaying palm trees, that sweet scent in the air—it’s like a shot of B12. It’s as if no time has passed.
“My favorite spot is the waterfront area in Santa Monica by Shutters on the Beach. To get there I take a drive along the Santa Monica Freeway to the place where it connects with the Pacific Coast Highway. You go through this small tunnel, and then suddenly, when you emerge, you’re met with the coastline stretching north. It’s my California Zen moment.”
Alex Witt can be seen on MSNBC on weekend mornings and several times during the week; check msnbc.com for schedules.
“I love the poolside cabanas at Shutters on the Beach (1 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; 800/334-9000; shuttersonthebeach.com; doubles from $545).”
“Capo (1810 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; 310/394-5550; dinner for two $156) is delicious Italian, near Shutters. My favorite dish is a salmon special, grilled with lemon and capers.”
“I always get an ice-blended mocha and a jalapeño bagel from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (various locations; 800/832-5323; coffeebean.com) in Larchmont Village.”
“Lucy’s El Adobe Café (5536 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; 323/462-9421; dinner for two $40) is a Hollywood watering hole with great margaritas and tostadas.”
“Whenever I’m in town I try to make a visit to the Getty Museum (1200 Getty Center Dr., Los Angeles; 310/440-7300; getty.edu; free admission, parking $15). There’s nothing better than seeing the art in a setting overlooking the Los Angeles Basin.”
“The Griffith Observatory (2800 E. Observatory Rd., Los Angeles; 213/473-0800; griffithobs.org) is lit up at night, just a couple of canyons away from the Hollywood sign.”