Los Angeles Travel Guide
Whether you are on a family vacation or taking a romantic escape, you can’t run out of memorable things to do in Los Angeles. There are a few diversions that will make for a classic trip. To sight-see without driving, walk (or rent bikes and ride) the beachside paths from Santa Monica down to Venice Beach, and see how the shift from well-heeled to tattooed and pierced can be vivid. Love architecture? A trip to the J. Paul Getty Museum is worth a trip just for the Richard Meier-designed space—and a world-class collection speaks for itself. Otherwise don’t miss the Gamble House in Pasadena, as well as the lineup of beautifully kept bungalows—a California classic— along this town’s residential streets.
Window-shopping along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is one of the top things to do in Los Angeles, even if Cartier is not within your budget. For the ultimate L.A. malls, meanwhile, check out the Beverly Center and The Grove. For more hipster-friendly fare, walk down Melrose or go to Santa Monica, where Montana Avenue has a long line of charming boutiques. What to do in Los Angeles with kids? It’s hard to resist the pull of a day trip to going down to Orange County (less than an hour away) to do Disneyland, but kids who love theme park will also love Universal Studios Hollywood and, for more old-school theme park fun, the amusement park at Santa Monica’s Pier.
Los Feliz teems with funky vintage stores, but this sweet boutique is the cream of the crop. It stocks a chic, well-edited collection of pieces for both ladies and gents from the 1940’s through ’90’s (without a whiff of must) as well as gently used contemporary finds.
The terracotta-hued complex at this famous intersection is “ground zero” of Silver Lake hipsterdom.
This “secret” subterranean bar is hidden below a popular wedding and events venue and offers a sultry speakeasy vibe for cocktailing and live music. The entrance—through the parking lot behind The Victorian and down a flight of stairs—is appropriately hard to find.
This vibrant museum and cultural center uses the history of the Jewish experience as a starting point to tell larger stories about multiculturalism in America and the progress of democratic ideals throughout the world.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s first foray into Californian architecture was this impressive “California Romanza” residence he designed in 1919 for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall.
Though there’s more than a hint of pessimism for the printed book’s future in the name of this indie bookshop, The Last Bookstore may actually restore your faith in its survival.
This literary arts center housed in Venice’s Old Town Hall has played a strong role in shaping the literary culture of Los Angeles since 1968.
This old-fashioned chocolate shop has been handcrafting candies for the stars since 1942.
Running is practically a religion in Brentwood, where the coral-tree-lined center divider of San Vicente Boulevard doubles as a running path. The fleet-footed will find all manner of on-trend, performance running shoes here and über-knowledgeable staff to help them make the perfect selection.
For that chic L.A. jeans-and-a-t-shirt look, American Rag is the de facto headquarters—the “World Denim Bar” annex stocks designer denim in every color and fit imaginable.
This expansive urban park hugs the hills above Los Feliz and has enough attractions within its 4,210 acres to please both nature and culture lovers. Those seeking a brush with the wilderness will love its miles of hiking and horseback riding trails as well as the onsite L.A.
This sunny boutique specializes in “free-range design” that roams both around the world (there’s a Scandinavian emphasis) and close to home (local designers are represented).