Top Ten Favorite Things To Do in LA

by - Wednesday, October 17, 2012

 10. Venice Beach-California beaches are pretty. Southern ones are also nice because they aren't freezing cold. Venice beach still had a kind of nice laid back feeling and is a lot less fussy than some of the Malibu beaches. I don't find hanging out on beaches fun, but if you do, I might recommend this one.

9. The Wax Museum- Madame Tussaud's is the height of cheesy Hollywood tourist trap. And it is awesome. You only have to do it once, but the truth is we have been to LA a ton of times and you never see the kind of glitzy celebrity fabulousness that characterizes the city. It is mostly a lot of strip malls and Jack in the Boxes. Even the tourist spots have been filled with stores. We find any effort of touristing in LA just turning into shopping, which gets old. This, I kid you not, gives you a chance to just have fun with the whole thing. And if you love forcing your loved ones to pose for cheesy pictures, there is no better place. Probably only a once in a long while thing, but if you are going to Hollywood to enjoy some ritzy celebrities and such, just let it go and go with this instead. It is probably more fun and less disappointing anyway. 

8.  The Biergarten at the top of the Standard- the Standard is a place that is way too cool for someone like me to ever step foot in there (see previous wax museum content). The whole hotel is doing a kind of high end hipster quirkiness with some legit contemporary art and a roof pool that invites hot women to climb out of it in drippy slow motion. All in all, not somewhere I could ever be, but it was fun to walk through and then if you take a left at the elevator on the roof you are suddenly in an awesome biergarten with excessively expensive pretzels and beer, but a great laid-back ambiance and view. I loved it.

7.  Griffith Observatory-Griffith Observatory is a beautiful historic building all on its own, but it also offers a really spectacular view of Los Angeles and all of the homes around it. I really hate flying over Los Angeles, but seeing it from the Observatory really is a great experience. They also have some great exhibitions and tons of hiking trails in the surrounding park. Definitely a must see if its your first time, and something worth revisiting even if you live there, because it is a great place to spend the afternoon.
6. Go get Sushi in Little Tokyo- I hear LA's Chinatown is nothing to get too excited about, but the Little Tokyo is super cute and I got the best sushi I ever had there. All in all, worth checking out especially if you are visiting from the East Coast.

5. Drive up the Pacific Coast- Just get on 1 and start going. The further you can go, the better, but it is all pretty beautiful in its own way. At this point we have done all of 1 from LA up to Redwood National Forest. Stop at beaches that don't look too busy, and if it has a sign for a state beach, I suggest stopping, because those are the best ones.

4. LACMA- A great contemporary museum with a solid collection and a tar pit next door. The Getty is prettier (I think the architecture at LACMA is pretty ugly), but LACMA usually has better exhibitions. Or at least that has been my experience. Also, I do love the lights in the lawn.

3. 3.Disneyland- Disneyland gets a bad rep, but it is a well-run park that isn't as monstrously big as Disney World. They just do what they do well, and they have the best turkey sandwich I have ever had in my life, so that's a reason to go. Be sure to ride the Indiana Jones ride and Space Mountain. The new and improved Star Wars ride is pretty great too. Fast pass strategically, bring snacks, and enjoy what you get to do. Leave when you get sick of it, whenever that may be. It's too much after a while, and you ruin it for yourself if you push too hard. If you are with a tech person, stay away from buildings that spin. Also, we went around Christmas and the decorations were pretty awesome, so I recommend that as well, as long as you can go on a week day. One day is plenty, but I really think it is a good experience and there is fun to be had there, as long as you don't take it too seriously.

2. Joshua Tree-Not a far drive out of the LA area, this is a National Park worth seeing. It is definitely beautiful and the huge sprawl of it is hard to really articulate or photograph. It is also a stange mix of ridiculously flat and rocky, so you can see a lot of rock climbing all over the park.  Bring lots of water bottles with you, because there is really nothing near by, but if you only have 3 days in LA and a rental car, this is worth getting to.

 1. Go to the Getty- Prettiest museum ever. Plus I had one of the most fun days ever there with my brother. Every corner of the place is beautiful and super photogenic. You get to ride a train up, and it is a great place to just relax through the day and enjoy the sun and the view. They have an interesting collection (and pretty conservative curation), but there is still plenty to see especially if you like 19th century work. Mostly, just enjoy the surroundings. I truly think this place is amazing and it has a strange special magic. Definitely, check it out.

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