Klassy Kinks Guide to LA, santa monica, sunroof

Guide to LA

I visited L.A. for the first time last week, and I had SO MUCH FUN! Like any big city, L.A. can be a bit intimidating and you might not know where to start. Well I’m here to help! Rather than do a day by day playback of how I spent my time, I’ve broken down what to do by category: arts, museums, food, beaches, and the celeb life. Whether you’re visiting L.A. for a day or a whole week, you have options to create your own experience. Here’s my guide to L.A.:

If you like art…

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Be sure to check out L.A.’s vibrant arts district, filled with quirky boutiques and co-working spaces, art galleries, and a ton of cute wall murals. There’s the Arts District Co-op, where you can purchase handcrafted and vintage goods such as candles, sunglasses, jewelry, and novelty tees. Grab a picture outside of the angel wings or the typewriter mural by Wordsmith. Swing over to the side for As We Dwell, a smaller boutique/coworking space that sells plants, clothing, home goods, and a really cool collection of vintage typewriters. Walk to East 3rd Street for free art galleries like the District Gallery Pop Up, a small and quiet gallery that promotes up and coming artists. Within a short walk you can also find Hauser and Wirth, a famous international gallery that also has a public garden (and random chicken coop).

If you wanna be rich and famous…

If you want to run into stars, head to Hollywood to peruse the famous Walk of Fame. Since it’s a super touristy area, you probably won’t see any actual celebs (though I did see Tony Rock! Now I’ve seen both Rock brothers!) but at least you can walk all over their names. If you’re looking for a specific star, look up its location ahead of time, otherwise you’ll be forced to buy a map from a sketchy sidewalk hawker. Expect to see a lot of homeless people in this area too, as well as character lookalikes. I saw a really believable Jack Sparrow, and a terrible Michael Jackson. Try not to get sucked into super touristy things like The Escape Hotel – or just embrace them, because who doesn’t like escape rooms??

To live like a star, book an AirBnB in Hollywood Hills. The roads are as windy as the homes are grand, and some houses sport a sweeping view of the city. Or if you’re balling out you can stay in Beverly Hills, or even at the Beverly Hills Hotel. While in this area, visit the luxury shops on Rodeo Drive and pick out your next Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Versace, Prada, or Jimmy Choo purchase (or inspirational design that you’ll later find the dupe for). Save some coin by checking out Caffe Roma, which has amazing daily happy hour specials on both food and drink.

If you’re into science and design…

LACMA lights, embroidered top LACMA lights, embroidered top Griffith Observatory view of DTLA from Griffith observatory

If you’re geeky or want the best view of the city of Los Angeles, head to Griffith Observatory. For fit and active people, it’s easier to park at the bottom of the hill and hike up, especially at busy times like evenings and weekends. The observatory has telescopes, a planetarium, and amazing views of the Hollywood sign. LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) is a must-see, and you can take pictures outside at the LACMA lights (for free!) or under the Levitated Mass. If you’re into contemporary art, also check out the Broad Museum, which has stunning white walls and architecture. The Getty Center is a bit further out, but has gorgeous architecture and a public garden with Wifi so its worth a visit if you’re mobile and want to get away from DTLA (downtown LA).

For beach bums…

Santa Monica

For a cute beach town vibe, head to Santa Monica. Have dinner at The Misfit – the mac and cheese is yummy – and then walk along the Third Street Promenade for shopping and entertainment. Then walk over the the boardwalk and pier, but bring a jacket because it’s pretty chilly! Other beaches to investigate include Venice Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach.

For the foodies…

Cafe Gratitude Beverly HIlls Cafe Gratitude juice LA arts district Cafe Gratitude side wall affirmations Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles

My absolute favorite thing about L.A. was the food! I ate so well, my jeans were cutting into my waist on the airplane ride back. In the arts area, grab a bite to eat at Urth Caffe – the all day available sunrise pizza is amazing. For a healthier and more Instagrammable option, visit Cafe Gratitude for a juice, and enjoy it at the cutest nail salon while treating yourself to a mani/pedi! If you want budget eats, try Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles or the amazing biscuit breakfast sandwiches at Division 3. For a truly delicious Parisian lunch, eat at Republique and get their ice cream next door at Cremerie. For bar food, Big Wangs’ name lives up to the hype (though I did go at 1am when food standards are pretty low). Lastly, for a balled out dinner or special occasion, check out Nobu. The best sushi I’ve ever had! I’ve heard a lot about L.A. donuts but didn’t get to try any – make sure you also stop by the Farmer’s Market.

How to Get Around L.A.

Klassy Kinks Guide to LA - Red Mazda Cx-9 Klassy Kinks Guide to LA - Mazda Cx-9 interior Klassy Kinks Guide to LA - Red Mazda Cx-9 in Santa Monica

Public transportation is pretty few and far between in L.A, and you can uber everywhere, but it’s going to add up. If you can rent a car, try to get the Mazda CX-9! It’s a roomy 3 row SUV with sleek lines and super cool features, like parking assistance (because L.A. parking SUCKS), lane departure alerts, and even an active driving display of the speed limit on the windshield so you don’t have to look down. The sunroof is also cool, so roll it down to enjoy more of the sun and fresh air!

Have you guys ever been to L.A.? What’s your favorite thing to do, see, or eat in the city? Leave your recommendations in the comments!

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Comments

  1. I have never been to LA but this trip was another pleasant and joyous trip. Whenever one travel to a big city, there’s so many attractions of business, artifacts, building, restaurants and people to see. You seem to always visit nice exciting places. It was wonderful to see that you enjoyed your birthday week in LA. Birthday’s is one of the time that you can overindulge in eating whatever you want.

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