It might just be this summer heat (note if you are reading this past the 20th June 2017; on this day and the few preceding it we experienced the arrival of that mythical beast ‘british summertime’) or the fact that La La Land was released recently on DVD but we are obsessed with Los Angeles right now. With LA style and fashion infiltrating the mainstream left, right and centre (think smoothie bowls, crystal healing and Coachella-style festival outfits) we’d wager you are too.
So that brings us nicely on to the next in our badass Honeymoonin’ series with our top 10 things not to miss (excluding the key tourist sites as we know you have a proper guidebook for that!) As if a top 10 isn’t enough, you’ll find more recommendations from our jam-packed trip there with House of Coco for the Girl Boss Rally over here
Top 10 LA things
1. Find a rooftop
We know you want that skyline selfie and to watch the sunset, the lights come on and the mountain’s loom in the distance. Downtown we like The Standard and The Ace and in Hollywood you can’t beat a cold one on the roof of Mama Shelter with a decent view of the Hollywood sign (in fact, we could see it from our room there!)
2. Embrace different area codes
LA is a big-ass city and it would be a shame to not explore as much of it as you can fit in. If you are in town for a couple of days, consider staying in different parts of town as you’ll be racking up mula on taxis / having to drive everywhere. Our favourite areas are….
3. Venice Beach - Santa Monica
As touristy as this area is, a visit is a must for iconic views, dodging street vendors and vegan food. Away from the front, explore the canals for a taste of older LA and grab brunch (Gjelina’s), donuts (Blue Star) or ice-cream (Salt & Straw) on Abbot Kinney. Once a road known for quirky independent shops, the vibe is now definitely more upper high street mini chains but the infamous colour walls dotted down the road make for some great snaps
The first time we visited LA we hated downtown, on a second visit, it opened up so much more. In the Arts District the sizeable Stumptown Coffee Roastery is a good place to start on a sunny morning before exploring the graffiti decorated warehouses and sexy places to eat.
In DTLA proper don’t miss Grand Central Market which mixes amazing history and the latest in foodie trends beautifully - if you can handle the queue for EggSlut, do it! Don’t miss Angel’s Flight across the road (which you’ll recognise from La La Land) or the Bradbury Building (which you’ll recognise from countless other movies). If you are a fan of Wes Anderson, marble table tops and pink boxes of macarons look no further than Bottega Louie. If books are more your thing, head over to the labyrinthine The Last BookStore.
5. Los Feliz
Los Feliz is the newest hipster hang out part of the city. Here you’ll find independent shops where you would actually want to treat yourself / buy a present for someone back home, tasty tacos at Tacos Tu Madre and some really cutesy coffee shops. From here you can also have some pretty good wandering adventures - we walked up to Griffith Observatory past stunning villas from here and to a classic movie high school from the Buffy TV movie pilot. What a claim to fame.
6. Art & Street Art
We know nothing about art, honestly. However, The Broad museum was the most incredible experience; tickets are free - just get them in advance online. Seeing such important modern art (Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst...) in front of our faces was super inspiring …plus taking pictures is totally allowed. Win Win!
As you know, there’s tonnes of graffiti and colour walls in LA - give it a quick google and find a walking tour or look up your favourites. This said, we loved stumbling across one of Shephard Fairey’s pieces simply through continuing our wander past Buffy’s school (see pt 5) to SilverLake. LA is also good for neon - try and make MONA’s Neon Cruise when you’re in town
7. Old LA
The glimmers of old fashioned hollywood glamour still try to make it through the chinks in LA’s polished surface. A great place to start is one of our favourite places in town; The Original Farmer’s Market (nestled next to The Grove if you prefer your shopping modern and shiny) which has welcomed guests such as Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Munroe in its time. There also a killer selection of food vendors and bars including Ice Cream Stall Bennett’s which has been scooping ridiculous sundaes for decades Don’t miss the reproduction retro pump station out the front of the market either.
8. What’s hot at home and can you do it here?
LA is a trend setter and the perfect place to try out the new big thing, without the queues you would see for it in London. We managed to… pet kitties at cat cafe Crumbs and Whiskers, drink sea salt cold brew coffee at Rubies and Diamonds, order a massive salad through an app for collection at SweetGreens, devour filipino bbq at The Park's Finest and then balance it through eating so much accidental vegan food, washed down with Nitro cold coffee.
9. Theme parks as an adult
From Universal Studios (which you can reach on the snazzy metro…that nobody seems to use) to the Disney parks you can spend a good handful of days making yourself dizzy, drinking butter beer and eating doughnuts. Not just for kids, you can sink a cold beer in Universal in Moe’s Tavern and sample some Disney cocktails in Downtown Disney and maybe even dance it all off at an Alice in Wonderland rave.
10. Trips out of the city
If you are in LA for more than a couple of days, especially if it’s hot, you’ll be hankering to escape. A great day trip out (especially if you are in the mood to shop) is the Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena ; it's only on once a month so plan your trip around it! No? Just us?
Close to the city are beach towns Newport Beach (for all the OC lovers out there; apart from a ferris wheel there’s not too much here for your novel instagrams), Laguna Beach which is quirky and artistic, our new favourite city Ojai and of course, Palm Springs. We’ll share more on these last three locations in coming posts as this is probably enough for you to be getting on with!
So, what did we miss?