If your visiting Los Angeles, and looking for things to SEE/DO/EAT, La VieLocale has got you covered to discover the gems of Los Angeles as a local. After a recent trip back to LA, I got the chance to re-vist my hometown with a lens of all the things I enjoy: outdoors, food, local shops, and just exploring different parts of the city. Los Angeles is a great city for many reasons, for starters, the weather is perfection year round. There are so many diverse landscapes that make it a great place for beach lovers or even those who like the mountains. The city is very vast so it is impossible to get bored, there are always different neighborhoods to explore and events going on. Despite the horrible traffic jams and reliance on needing a car, LA is definitely a place I recommend visiting if you’re in the So Cal area.
Check out my list below of recommended places to EAT/DRINK, things to DO/SEE, places to SHOP, WORKOUT, and DAY TRIP ideas.
- Grand Central Market ( large street food market in the heart of downtown)
- Raw Cells is a cart that you can find on 3rd Street Promenade and various pop-up locations in LA( picture perfect vegan deserts)
- The MisFit– Bar & Restaurant, Santa Monica
- MILK ( Macaroon Ice cream sandwiches)
- Mexican Food ( Food trucks, never ending options all over the place)
- In & Out ( Classic Cali Burger joint)
- The Parlor ( Nice sports bar om Melrose with outdoor fireplaces)
- Randy’s Doughnuts (Classic doughnut shop)
- Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles
- Pink’s Hotdogs ( you will always see a line out from Pink’s famous hot dog street food stand, if your willing to wait try one of LA’s classic fast food places)
Explore different neighborhoods
- Downtown LA ( DTLA)- 10 years ago DTLA was a place you avoided, there wasn’t much down there. Now it is full of action with an arts district,restaurants, bars and shops. It is one of the few areas of LA that is actually walkable, and you can spend the day exploring LA’s city center.
- Silverlake/ Los Feliz
- North Hollywood
- Downtown Culver City ( low key area near many production studios like SONY, there are several movie theatres and restaurants in the area)
- Long Beach Arts District
- Leimert Park
- Venice Board Walk/ Venice Canals (lively board walk, great for people watching)
Embrace the outdoors
- Hike –As I mentioned earlier LA has many different landscapes. Head out one morning for a hike to Hollywood Sign, Runyon Canyon ( waterfall hike) , or Eaton Canyon
- Surf Lessons- If you really want to embrace tLA vibes, you can catch some waves and take a surf lesson at El Porto surf shop in, Manhattan Beach ( the rentals and surf lessons are affordable, and it is a great place for beginners to learn)
- Bike- Rent a bike for the day and bike along the beach, and hop from beach to beach
- Coastal Drive- take a drive down Highway 1 in the direction of Malibu or the opposite direction towards Palos Verdes (Beautiful views of the ocean and surrounding landscapes)
- Malibu ( enjoy the costal drive up to Zuma beach and just take in the beauty of the ocean and beautiful views)
- Santa Monica ( in addition to the beach, you can visit the Santa Monica Pier, and the nearby Santa Monica 3rd st promenade full of bars, shops, and restaurants)
- Hermosa ( for completely different vibes head a bit south down the coast and spend the day at Hermosa beach)
- Venice ( great place for people watching but it isn’t the prettiest beach)
- Abbot Kinney (street in Venice full of retail shops. My favorites are: VINYL, Burro Concept Shop, Tom’s Flagship store)
- Beautiful Things LA – showroom on wheels
- Melrose Ave ( street full of boutiques and vintage shops)
- Buffalo Exchange ( cool vintage shop, there are several locations but I recommend the one on La Brea & 1st ave)
- The Grove – ( outdoor shopping center, movie theatre, restaurants, and farmers market)
- Leimert Park (is a neighbourhood full of culture and African themed craft shops full of unique items created by local artist )
LA is a very active city. For all the fitness lovers looking to stay fit during your visit try out:
Naam Yoga– They have donation based yoga class ( varying styles), as well as relaxing yoga classes on the beach.
Pop Physique– is a workout chic, a combo of ballet barre and pilates that will have you feeling the burn. One of my friends is a personal trainer and teaches at several locations in LA. Check out one of her classes, they are really fun, and you will definitely feel the burn the next day( Check out Yelp to get your first class for free).
Box N Burn– is a kick in the butt circuit boxing class but is such a good work out and a blast ( 1st class free)
Manhattan Beach San Dunes– is one great big hill of sand that you can go to to get in a great workout. I used to train here in high school now, now they have to regulate the number of people using the sand dune, so it can only be accessed by reservation now ($1).
Joshua Tree (Check out post with more info here)
Laguna Beach (beautiful beaches with crystal clear water)
Catalina Island (nearby islands easy to access by ferry)
Other Local Favorites
Here is a bonus list of suggested places from my friends in LA. There was only so much time to get things so here is a list of other places worth checking out that I didn’t have time to get to during my trip.
- Perch DTLA
- Veggie Grill
- The Bungalow
- Sonoma Wine Garden
- SALT restaurant ( beach front restaurant great for Brunch)
- Malibu Farm (Wine Tastings and safaris in Malibu)
- The Culver Hotel ( Bar)
- Intelligentsia Coffee Bar Silverlake ( Great coffee with beautiful deco)
- Botega Louis ( a restaurant with great energy DTLA, fun bar…macaroons are to die for…and yummy pizza)
- Verve Coffee
- Nail’d Nail Salon
I hope this LA city guide finds you well, and that you are able to discover some of the local gems of the city!