The city of the famous and fabulous, Los Angeles dazzles visitors from all over the world. Glitzy and vibrant, the City of Angeles charms travelers with much more than its Hollywood sign and what it stands for, and the amazing nightlife of the Sunset Strip. It’s true, you will find the parade of famous and perfect-looking people, amazing weather and crowded beaches. You will also find the craziness of freeways and smog. But, somehow, what is worth discovering in Los Angeles is situated somewhere between these two extremes.
The core of Los Angeles
The best of Los Angeles is not its Hollywoodian vibe, the glamour of Beverly Hills or upscale dining venues and hotels. The best of Los Angeles lies in its core, in the amazing museums and cultural life and the charm and authenticity of ethnic communities. The sunny Venice Beach and eclectic crowd of creative, and oh-so-full-of-dreams, people add to LA’s beauty. Being the second largest city in USA, after New York City, Los Angeles is seductive, maddening and never boring.
Charming international neighborhoods
Discovering the impressive variety of neighborhoods in Los Angeles is like a history lesson in open air. Unique experiences await in every corner of the city. The journey starts under the Hollywood sign with the historic movie district. Koreatown is a favorite destination especially for hipsters, while Downtown has reinvented itself from a not very attractive industrial district to a cultural destination. Beverly Hills needs no introduction, with its upscale boutiques and A-listers’ houses reigning over. Disneyland is a destination by itself that attracts visitors of all ages and adds to the magical atmosphere of Los Angeles.
It’s always sunny in Los Angeles
The weather loves LA. It’s always a great day for surfing and sunbathing here. With a coastline that stretches along 76 miles, from Malibu to Long Beach, Los Angeles is the perfect beach destination. Venice Beach is a magnet for sun worshipers and surf lovers, as well as for those who find relaxation in people watching. The overwhelming flux of people walking, rollerblading, cycling or skateboarding along Venice Boardwalk is one of the main reasons people come here. The beach is often taken over by volleyball and basketball players, while Muscle Beach is all about pumping muscles and showing off. For a touch of romance, don’t hesitate to walk hand in hand along the idyllic Venice Canals, situated around Venice Boulevard and Dell Avenue.
Take a break in Santa Monica
Whenever the crowds are too much, head to Santa Monica Pier and discover the Zen side of Los Angeles. Its beautiful beach covered in sand and legendary pier have appeared in more movies than most of the actors at Hollywood, and once you will get there, you will instantly understand why. Don’t say no to a ride on the pier’s vintage carousel, and discover bargains and souvenirs in one of the many beachfront boutiques there.
Embrace the cultural sights
Los Angeles is known for more than the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive and Sunset Strip. Some people do come here especially for the world-class Getty Museum, to admire an impressive collection of paintings, as well as the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, a place where French paintings, tapestries and porcelain live in harmony with four million books and a 200-acre Botanical Garden. Stop for a few hours at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater, an opulent palace built in 1927 by Sid Grauman. If time is not your enemy, don’t hesitate to discover the Museum of Contemporary Art too.
Kale smoothies, giant burgers and celebrity chefs
Los Angeles is home to contrasts when it comes to cuisine and dining. While kale smoothies are in trends nowadays, this doesn’t mean you won’t find places to eat a giant burger, such as the ones at In-N-Out. Yes, Los Angeles is invaded by fine dining restaurants, usually surrounded by paparazzi stalking A-listers, but cheap eateries are as easy to find too. El Cholo brings you spicy Mexican specialties, while La Vechia Cucina pampers taste buds with delicious pizza and other Italian dishes. Want to spot famous actors? Book a table at POT, a new restaurant in Koreatown opened by celebrity chef, Roy Choi, or Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Beverly Hills.
The perfect pillow for every budget
Considering the size and variety of this metropolis, it’s only natural for its hotels to reflect its diversity. Tourists will find here every type of hotel their hearts desires and the budget affords. The grand historic hotels, like Chateau Marmont and Beverly Wilshire, await with sumptuous rooms, luxury amenities and Hollywoodian stories. Modern jewels like the SLS Beverly Hills are prepared to reinvent the old charm of Los Angeles, while downtown houses two superstars – The Standard and The Ace. For budget hotels, step away from the beach area and head to Burbank, Glendale and North Hollywood.
Shopping for the fancy and the quirky
A paradise for shoppers, Los Angeles is loyal to the motto “designer brands rule”. However, this doesn’t mean indie boutiques or thrift stores are impossible to find here. On the contrary! The shopping experience is as diverse as its residents and tourists, with high-end stores on the famous Rodeo Drive, a great place for window-shopping too. Take your time in front of jewelry stores like Tiffany’s and Harry Winston! On Melrose Avenue you will find chic boutiques and vintage clothing shops. The Soho of LA, the Silver Lake area houses retro clothing, while La Brea and La Cienega are all about interior design and antique shops. Fake Oscar statues and other tacky souvenirs are to be found along Hollywood Boulevard. The Fashion District demands at least one day from tourists to discover wholesalers and discounted merchandise. Fresh products, food stalls and chic cafes await at the Farmers Market.