As some of you may know, I’m an Angelino: I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and left only two years ago when I could no longer resist Europe on the other side of the pond. Los Angeles is a place unlike any other. It’s a sprawling city, made up of several areas and countless neighborhoods. There are so many corners to explore, things to experience and so much yummy food to eat. Today I finally wanted to share my Los Angeles with you guys. The places I come back to every time, the restaurants I can’t do without, and the stores where I blow my cash, every time. Plus, so many good beaches! Enjoy you guys. ?
» Culture «
- The LACMA – I’ve been in hundreds of museums all around the world, and this one in my hometown has to be one of my favorites. I know it’s “mainstream”, but the “Urban Lights” display out front still gets me. Blog post on LACMA here.
- The Getty & The Getty Villa – Pictured above, the Getty hands down has one of the best views of the city. Visit the Getty Museum for special rotating exhibitions and the Getty Villa for Ancient Greek statues and great beach views. Blog post here.
- Hollywood Bowl – Visiting the Hollywood Bowl is a summer tradition for my family. We pack our picnic, and enjoy the opening notes of music as the sun goes down. From The Killers to a Mozart concert to a Sound of Music sing-a-long, they’ve had it all.
- Walt Disney Concert Hall – Even if classical music isn’t your thing, go for the landmark architecture.
- Huntington Gardens – My godparents took me here when I was about 8 or 9, and the day still rests fondly in my memory. That rose garden, it’s just something else.
» Outdoors «
- My Beaches – Paradise Cove, Point Dume, El Matador State Beach, Leo Carrillo State Beach. Try to find street parking, it’ll save you $15-$50 dollars (I’m looking at you Paradise Cove).
- Fryman Canyon – Great views. Go early in the morning or in the evening, unless you want to be red as tomato.
- Franklin Canyon – A childhood favorite of mine. This hike is more of a leisurely walk, leading you around a wonderful reservoir.
- Muholland Nike Tower Hike – This one is a family favorite for early morning dog-walks. Climbing up the tower gives you an amazing view of the city, plus there are picnic benches!
- Muholland at sunset – An absolute dream. Watch the sky fade from blue to orange to pink, and the city light up below.
- Will Rogers State Park – Come for a picnic, to explore the stables, or to enjoy a polo match. They even have the estate of the later actor Will Rogers open for guests and visitors. In middle school I did a research project on the park, and even got a behind-the-scenes tour! 😉
» Eating «
- I’ve already written a comprehensive posts on brunch spots in the San Fernando Valley, you can find it here.
- Malibu Yoghurt – Cookie dough frozen yoghurt with fresh strawberries is a must after a long day at the beach.
- Tender Greens – Delicious meats and salads. I don’t think I’ve had better steak anywhere else in Los Angeles.
- In n Out – Do I even need to justify this? The Southern California chain makes the best burgers (and shakes) in the world, you absolutely cannot miss it!
- Urth Caffe – I’m a huge fan of their blended boba green tea and the honey latte. Expect a line to get your food, and a small wait to get a table.
- Cactus Tacos – Amazing tacos at an incredibly low price tag.
- Stonefire Grill – I can’t get enough of their freshly made pizzas. I usually get pizza with some sort of a shrimp or seafood topping.
- The Pie Hole – You’ll never want to eat any other pie after you’ve tried their chocolate cream pie.
- Iroha Sushi – Hands down my favorite sushi. I always go with my girlfriends and we split everything.
- Western Bagel – Bagels can’t be missed if you’re traveling in the United States. I like to get an egg bagel topped with cream cheese, lox and onion. Yum!
- Pho 999 – A super small hole in the wall right in the middle of Reseda. The food is amazing though. I like to split the eggrolls with a girlfriend, and then each gets her own bowl of soup.
- Follow Your Heart – A small natural and fresh cafe. Food is prepared fresh out of the adjacent market. I adore their baked potatoes with a large variety of toppings.
- Malibu Seafood Shack – The wait is worth it, trust me. Only very little can beat their fish and chips + the ocean view.
» Shopping «
- Third Street Promenade – Hands down my favorite area to hit up all of the “usual” shops. It’s outdoors, filled with live music, plus you can smell the ocean in the air.
- Melrose Ave. – I love to browse the little boutiques and bookstores up and down Melrose. While it’s usually just window shopping for me, it’s always good for getting inspired. Plus, Instagrammable walls!
- Ventura Blvd. – This is my local crawl. Located only 10 minutes from my house, I love Ventura for grabbing a bite to eat or hitting up Book Star, one of my favorite book shops left in the city.
- Wilshire Blvd. – While Wilshire Blvd. is classically known for nightlife and rock n roll, I adore a little bookstore by the name of Booksoup. It’s my favorite bookstore in the entire city; I can spend hours just browsing. However, do make sure to stroll up and down the Boulevard a little bit, there are so many Los Angeles classics located on this street.
- Magic Beauty & Nail Supply – This little store is easily the best kept secret of Los Angeles. Located right next to the above mentioned Pho 999 on Reseda Ave., this is a nail polish supply store that’ll sell you nail polish for half the price of other places. That’s right, $4 Essie nail polish!!
» Other «
- Dodger Stadium – Baseball might not be everybody’s favorite, but it’s the city’s heart and soul. So, put on some blue, and grab a seat with a famous Dodger Dog.
- “500 Days Of Summer” Bench – Does anybody else remember this scene from 500 Days of Summer? Well, that very bench is in Los Angeles. While not as romantic as the movie makes this spot out to be, I did still have a little fan-girl moment.
- Bradbury Building – And anybody else remember the scene at the end of the movie where Tom goes in for a job interview? Said interview takes place in this building. Definitely worth taking a look.
- VDL Neutra House – A must for any architectural buff. I went with my parents a few years back, you can see pictures here. The house brings to mind the olden and golden days of Los Angeles, and was even named a historical landmark in 2009.
- Hollywood Sign – You’ll see it as soon as you leave the freeway. While quite typical for the city, I still think there’s something magical to it. Fun fact though: I’ve still yet to hike up to the sign!
- Griffith Park Observatory – Most amazing view of the city, hands down. Go while the sun is setting, and I promise you’ll never forget those moments.
I’m incredibly proud of this post, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as well. Do any of you guys have any Los Angeles favorites you’d like to share below? Please let me know, after all I’m never done exploring the city. Much love, Julia