Los Angeles is an enormous city known for its celebrity residents, authentic Mexican food, and amazing diversity between its neighborhoods. Seriously, this city is huge, and with so many famous sites and attractions, visiting the City of Angels can be a daunting task if you go in unprepared.
LA is like a cluster of many little towns in one expansive metropolis, and how your West Coast adventure unfolds depends on where it begins, as each neighborhood sets a different scene. In an ideal world you’d be able to get out and explore every area of the city. But unfortunately, it is usually impossible to hit everything on the agenda in one trip. Thankfully, we’ve come up with a quick guide to 5 popular neighborhoods in Los Angeles to help you start California Dreaming in no time.
One of the city’s most loved canvases, the Arts District has an insatiable creative vibe with unparalleled style from its repurposed factories to hip coffee shops. What was once a “warehouse wasteland,” is now a burgeoning hub for LA’s most creative minds. All over the district, you’ll see murals that were a result of the LA Freewalls mural project in 2009.
After you admire the remarkable exhibits at TheA+D Museum of Architecture and Design, head over to one of the best pastry shops in the area, the Pie Hole, which has earned its reputation as the go-to spot for a slice of Heaven in Los Angeles! The family-owned cafe offers homemade pies in various flavors guaranteed to satisfy everyone’s taste buds including Mexican Chocolate, Savory Mac and Cheese, and Maple Custard.
To the untrained eye, this area may seem like a concrete jungle of skyscrapers, freeways and convention centers. However, Downtown LA is home to many delightful amenities and people. Everywhere you look will be groups of happy people walking, hopping on the Metro, or grabbing a local brew at Happy Hour.
If you’re feeling like an adrenaline rush, check out California’s tallest open-air observation deck. You can take a 45 foot, enclosed glass slide down from the 70th floor to the 69th floor at the OUESkySpace in the US Bank Tower. For a more conventional afternoon, you can walk down to LA Live which has many eateries and the Grammy Museum.
Those who are lucky enough to be Downtown on a Sunday can head to Smorgasburg-a popup food truck event. That has all kinds of delicious food, like fried chicken in a waffle cone drizzled with savory gravy. De-lish!
Hollywood, where there are stars embedded on the sidewalk and stars walk the sidewalk. This neighborhood is the cultural epicenter of the film industry and a paradise for those who dream of seeing their names in lights.
Of course, there is the tourist-centered chaos of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard. With the iconic sites such as the Hollywood Sign and the Walk of Fame. But there are also some low-key attractions such as Madame Tussauds Hollywood Wax Museum, and the Guinness World of Records Museum.
For those who are looking to burn off a few calories after chowing down at Dan Tana’s. Venture to Runyon Canyon for a hike in the 160-acre park in Hollywood Hills. After a day filled with ventures and excitement, take a meditation class at The Den Meditation.
You’ll fall in love with the Malibu. Home to the prettiest hiking trails in the United States, this city is “27 miles of scenic beauty”. No wonder it is home to many stars and athletes, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Kevin Garnett, Sting, and Patrick Dempsey.
If you’re looking for an active trip, make your way to Malibu Creek State Park. Enjoy 15 miles of swimming holes, dramatic gorges, and hiking trails rightfully known as “The Yosemite of Southern California.” Surfers will fall in love with Surfrider Beach. A World Surfing Reserve, perfect for catching that perfect wave! For those who are marine life lovers, head to Point Dume, for a perfect perch to spot Gray Whales.
Cute boutique shops and swanky outdoor patios fill the trendy Eastside neighborhood of Silver Lake. Forbes named Silver Lake “America’s Hippest Neighborhood” for its multiculturalism, modernist architecture, and artistic vibes. It was home to Disney’s first studio, just a bit east from Vermont Ave, from 1923 – 1926.
While there, be sure to visit Tiki-Ti, a popular, yet tiny, tiki bar hotspot filled with glorious drinks, faux tropical foliage, and a mechanical bull. Fair warning, its cash only! Griffith Park is another MUST for anyone in the Silver Lake area. Within the 4,000+ acre park is Griffith Observatory, many hiking trails, The Greek Theater, and the LA Zoo! Silver Lake is also very close to Downtown, Hollywood, Echo Park, and the valley.