A unique city that attracts everyone who wants be a star, Los Angeles offers more than just terrific weather and dazzling ocean views. While there are tons of special things you can do, like watching your favorite artist at the Hollywood Bowl or soaking up the sun as you amble through Venice Beach, we’ve searched out a mix of some popular as well as under-the-radar experiences that will make you feel like you get a distinct West Coast trip when you’re in Los Angeles.
Stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame
I have a confession to make: I lived in LA for nearly five years and never visited the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I finally did it during a visit last year and I had a blast. There’s something oh-so-Tinsel Town about reading the names on the glittering stars embedded in the sidewalk. What’s even more fun is seeing who stops to pay homage to which stars (What can I say? People watching is my thing). You can check the Hollywood Walk of Fame website to see if a star ceremony will be happening while you’re in town, and the best part is – they’re free to attend.
Experience LA’s Rich Mexican Culture on Olvera Street
A trip to LA wouldn’t be complete without a stroll down the famous Olvera Street, dubbed “the birthplace of Los Angeles.” This bustling Mexican marketplace is lined with stalls owned by descendants of the original vendors who started them in the 1930s. Grab a few tacos, listen to live music, and bask in the culture of this historic area.
Prepare for the Future at the Echo Park Time Travel Mart …
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Definitely one of the most unique spots in LA, the Echo Park Time Travel Mart is a time travel-themed shop that sells quirky goods from the past, present, and future (Emergency Mummy Kit, anyone?). The best part though is that sales of the entertaining goods go to support a literacy tutoring center that helps area kids improve their creative and expository writing. You can even buy student publications when you swing in to pick up your Woolly Mammoth Chunks.
… And Step Back in Time at the Eames House
Chock full of regency and modernist structures, LA is definitely a mecca for mid-century design aficionados. Diehard architecture fans can even visit the home of the famous design duo, Ray and Charles Eames. Managed by the Eames Foundation, the home – virtually untouched since the Eames’ themselves lived there – is now a historic site and event venue. Visitors can reserve spots to tour the outside grounds or the interior (for an additional fee). The Eames Foundation hosts exhibitions and events, some of which take place at the equally historic Eames office (850 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405) and at other venues in Los Angeles. For more information on what will be going on when you’re in town, visit the Eames Foundation website.
Eat at Canter’s Deli
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LA’s iconic Canter’s Deli has made numerous appearances in films and TV shows over the years. Its retro atmosphere, classic deli menu, and laid-back vibe make for a perfect casual dining spot any time of day (literally – it’s open 24 hours). Whatever you do, be sure to save room for one of their famous black-and-white frosted cookies for dessert.
Enjoy the View from the Griffith Observatory
The nationally recognized Griffith Observatory is open to those interested in astronomy Tuesday-Sunday. The Observatory, located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood, doesn’t just offer great views of the stars, it also boasts one of the best views of Los Angeles. Don’t miss out on the observatory’s very cool Tesla coil – a must-see! Pro tip: This is also an excellent place for people (and dog) watching.
What are some of your favorite things that you can only do in LA? Let us know in the comments section.