Los Angeles86/: the city of angels. For those who live in a bubble, LA is a major city located in the southern California region. Being considered one of the two fashion capitals of the US, aside from New York City, LA is home to countless celebrities, movie sets, and is a major tourist destination that attracts people from all over the world. LA has a little bit of everything for everyone.
For those who are visiting LA and want to take advantage of the beautiful weather, check out Santa Monica beach and pier. Robert Scott, a specialist professor of communication who lived part of his life in Beachwood Canyon in LA, raved about how great LA’s weather is. “The weather is so consistently comfortable there that many of the social activities take place outdoors.”
According to US News and Travel, the Santa Monica pier is just west of downtown LA and is a very walk-able part of town. Santa Monica contains one of the most legendary beach scenes in the US and boasts an abundance of great restaurants and excellent nightlife spots. For those traveling with young children or want to bring out their inner child, one of the most popular aspects of this beach is its famous pier, which is not only free entry but it features the coastal thrill rides of Pacific Park and lively street performances.
“If people are visiting LA and will only be there for a short while, I usually recommend visiting the Santa Monica Pier followed by some shopping and dining on the Third Street Promenade since the two are only a few blocks from each other,” said Scott.
Hiking to the Hollywood sign is also a tourist destination as well as a solid form of exercise. Head to Hollyridge trail for about a three mile hike to view the sign without cost.
Now for all those shopaholics, listen up. After getting some sun in Santa Monica, take a brisk walk and visit Third Street Promenade. According to US News and Travel, Third Street Promenade has an eclectic vibe similar to its Santa Monica locale. Major chain stores such as Banana Republic and Abercrombie and Fitch fill this open-air shopping mall. Aside from popular clothing stores, small unique shops such as the Thunderbolt Spiritual Books shop can also be found here.
Scott suggests Third Street Promenade for friends who are visiting LA for the first time. Here, visitors can find outdoor dining options, many of which use local ingredients.
Continuing with the shopping, it’s time to hit Rodeo Drive. If your wallet cries at the thought of spending an afternoon on glamorous Rodeo Drive, tell those wallets not to fear. Many visitors often window shop feeling like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, while eating at cafes and taking in the scenery walking along this famous street. For reality television junkies, Kyle Richards from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has her boutique, Kyle by Alena Too, on the strip.
Next up on the list of things visitors must experience in LA is the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the TCL Chinese Theatre. Gabriella Leuzzi, a junior biology student highlighted the Hollywood Walk of Fame as one of her favorite destination spots when visiting LA last year. “I took some awesome pictures holding my hands up to Marilyn Monroe’s handprints when I visited Hollywood Boulevard,” she said. “I knew if I was visiting LA, I had to make it a point to check out this historic spot,” said Leuzzi.
This fun, tourist-filled spot is one of Hollywood’s most iconic and memorable sites. According to Timeout.com, the TCL Chinese Theatre, originally Grauman’s Chinese Theatre opened in 1927 and represents Hollywood’s Golden Age when lavishly designed theaters were the movie-going standard. Pose next to your favorite Hollywood stars’ handprints or tour the theater for $13.50, seven days a week.
After a day of shopping, and maybe some celebrity stalking, grab a drink and see the nightlife. Of course, only if of age. Scott said night life here is varied. “While there is typically an array of entertainment industry events taking place, and you’ll often stumble upon a red carpet movie premiere or a film or TV show production underway, there are also active live music and club scenes,” said Scott.
“When I lived there, most of the younger crowd hung out in Los Feliz, Silverlake and Hollywood, but now there are more options in the Valley and even downtown LA, which has experienced a dramatic turnaround,” he said. Scott said when he lived in LA, he and his friends typically avoided downtown but now it features a vibrant night life with bars, clubs and restaurants.
For those who want to feel apart of the LA elite, be sure to check out Sur Lounge, owned by another star of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” Lisa Vanderpump. For cocktails like the flirtini, beautiful south-beach style décor, and bumping music from the live DJ, Sur is the place to be on a Friday night. “I’m such a Bravo fanatic that when I visited California recently, I had to make it a point to visit Sur,” said Brittany Lamb, a junior business student. “Sur exceeded my expectations, it was an awesome place to chill and grab a drink,” said Lamb.
If a swanky lounge with Drake bumping through the speakers isn’t your scene, there are plenty of bars with live music. Scott said he and his friends would often go to places that featured live music “The resurgence of swing and big band music was big when I lived there so we spent a lot of time at places such as The Derby (now closed) and the El Rey Theatre where bands like Royal Crown Revue and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy were regulars,” said Scott.
Whether one’s trip to LA is spent surfing at the beach, shopping til’ they drop or partying it up like the locals do, LA is an awesome vacation destination that everyone should experience at least once in their lives.