Things To Do
May 4, 2024

Showing Your Friends From Out Of Town The Best of LA

Are your out-of-town friends on their way to the City of Angels, eager to have an "authentic" LA experience? Ditch the fanny packs, and steer clear of those overrated tourist traps! Los Angeles is brimming with gems that capture the essence of the locale without subjecting you to the same old, same old. For a perspective that's as unique as it is jubilant, roll with this carefully curated list that promises to entertain, mesmerize, and invoke the exact kind of excitement LA is known for – among residents, singles, and fun-seekers alike.

1. Hollywood Sign Hike

Want an iconic LA experience? Look no further than the Hollywood Sign Hike. Pick from multiple trails according to your preference and experience level. The highly recommended one is the Griffith Park trail, renowned for its panoramic views of the city and, of course, the sign itself. For a unique experience, consider booking a horseback riding tour to the Hollywood Sign and savor the picturesque route on horseback.

2. Griffith Observatory

On your way to the Hollywood sign, take a detour to visit Griffith Observatory. Or make another day trip out of it! This spot is one for the star gazers, both celestial and celeb-focused. Take your friends to the iconic Griffith Observatory for a postcard-worthy view of the city skyline and the iconic Hollywood sign. But it's not just the vistas drawing crowds. The Tesla coil demonstrations and the majestic, gravity-defying Foucault pendulum inside the Observatory offer an adventure through the laws of the universe.

3. Santa Monica Pier

When the sun's out, there's nowhere quite like the Santa Monica Pier to soak up the West Coast's upbeat energy. Yes, there are the rides and the games, and those are quite the thrill, but there's also something innately charming about the musicians, artists, and bubble-blowers who pepper the area. Take a leisurely stroll, grab some iconic cotton candy, and even dip your toes in the Pacific – that's as 'California Dreamin' as it gets.

4. The Museum of Jurassic Technology

Step into a world of wonder and eccentricity at the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City. A stone's throw from the heart of LA, this not-so-secret spot is an interactive encyclopedia of all things odd. Whether it's a collection of microminiature sculptures or an exhibit on Soviet space dogs, it blends art, science, and folklore to create an unforgettable, educational escape.

5. The Last Bookstore

Welcome to The Last Bookstore, a bibliophile’s Shangri-La in downtown LA. Located in a repurposed bank, its vaulted ceilings cradle an immense assortment of stories ready to enchant. Stroll through an enchanting labyrinth of literary treasures with your friends, where books are more than mere objects – they're portals to other worlds.

6. Urban Light at LACMA

For an iconic Instagram moment, lead your entourage to LACMA's Urban Light installation. The glow of 202 restored street lamps creates an ethereal chronograph, capturing the transitory beauty of the City of Angels. It's not just a photo op; it's a cultural statement that ties you to the beating heart of the city's art scene.

7. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Pool

For a splash of stardom, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel's fabled aquamarine retreat is your private oasis in the heart of Tinseltown. The poolside marries golden-age glamour with a modern-day vibe, where urbanites and A-listers cool their heels. Caveat: this luxe local legend may require some smooth talking at the door – it’s strictly for the swanky spirited.

8. The Echo Park Time Travel Mart

In the bustling district of Echo Park, the Time Travel Mart invites a cheeky step back in time or a leap into the future with its quirky merchandise that caters to the chronologically challenged. Stocked with items you never knew you needed – until you do – it’s a fun, offbeat landmark that keeps LA’s sense of humor at the forefront.

9. Rodeo Drive

Admit it, we all love a bit of celebrity throwback, and where better to indulge than Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills? The luxe shopping might be too tempting to your wallet, but the window shopping is unarguably splendid. This famed destination epitomizes glamour with its exclusive boutiques and designer labels, and the people-watching is second to none. Take a casual stroll (why not channel Julia Roberts from 'Pretty Woman' for a moment?), and rub shoulders with the posh and privileged. It's less about the purchases and more about the posh atmosphere, because in LA, the scene is just as important.

Spoil Your Out-of-Towners, but Keep It Fresh

The key is to mix the classic with the unsung, balancing Hollywood kitsch with the raw beauty of Southern California, all while ensuring your own enjoyment doesn't take a back seat to being a tour guide. And who knows, you might just see LA through new eyes, reminding you why you call this sprawling city home – and what, or rather where, makes it unmistakably, undeniably your own.

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