If you’re deciding on visiting Los Angeles and not exactly sure what are some major spots to hit, look no further! I’ve put together a list of my must-see spots after living in LA my entire life, born and raised. I’m going to keep this guide straight to the point to save you some time! So let’s get started…
MUST SEE PLACES IN LOS ANGELES
- The Getty Museum: I’d opt for a weekday for less of a crowd
- Manhattan Beach: Cleaner beaches, fun little neighborhoods surrounding with awesome restaurants. You can definitely spend a whole day in this neighborhood.
- Abbot Kinney: Attached to Venice beach but Abbot Kinney is a many blocks long, filled with color, fun shopping, and delicious restaurants.
- Larchmont Village: Smaller neighborhood but active in the evenings. Great White is a fun restaurant to eat at for dinner. Also, a ton of brunch of coffee shops for an afternoon stroll.
- Downtown Culver City: CC doesn’t get the attention it deserves. I love this neighborhood. Amazing restaurants and a fun energy all around! I’d go in the evening for dinner and some dessert.
- Downtown Pasadena: I love Downtown Pasadena! It’s slower paced and quiet but scenic.
- 3rd Street Promenade Mall: In the evenings, performers come out and line up across the blocks with fun shows to watch. Lots of shopping! An active outdoor Mall with tons of food and 2 blocks from the Santa Monica Beach & Pier.
- Century City Mall: Huge outdoor shopping center with music and activities.
- The Grove LA: Another massive outdoor mall. Lots of actives usually around the holidays.
- Runyon Canyon Hike: A popular inner city hike. It is crowded so beware of that if it’s something you’re not into!
- Temescal Canyon Hike: Peaceful nature hike.
- Flea Markets: Fairfax one is every Sunday, Long Beach & Pasadena are the first Sunday of the month.
FAVORITE RESTURAUNTS AND CAFES
- Cha Cha Matcha
- The Neighborhood Coffee Shop
- Salt & Straw
- Joans on Third
- Alfreds Coffee & Tea Room
- Beignet Box
- Sugar Fish (if you’re a sushi lover)
- Magnolia Bakery
- Mama’s Shelter
- Urth Cafe (multiple locations)
- Blu Jam Cafe
PLACES I WOULDN’T BOTHER VISITING…
(not to say these neighborhoods are not worth visiting, but if this would count as your first few visits to LA, I’d recommend venturing in other area’s before heading here, as they’re not the most tourist friendly neighborhoods)
- Downtown Los Angeles: Not much to do other than a handful of great coffee shops. It’s a bit out of the way and always a hassle to find parking. If you get stuck there during rush hour than you’ll easily be in traffic for 45 mins just trying to get out. There are fun activities in the evening if you want to spend dinner/after events in that region but I wouldn’t recommend it for daytime activities.
- North Hollywood: Small area to explore, wouldn’t recommend.
- Brentwood: Very cute neighborhood but mostly homes…if you don’t live in that area you wouldn’t find very much to do.