Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is Here
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Is Here
All-new land opens May 31, 2019 at Disneyland
- Guests can become part of the story as they sample galactic food and beverages, explore an intriguing collection of merchant shops and take the controls of the most famous ship in the galaxy aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. (Disney Parks)
The Adventure Begins
The wait is finally over…sort of.
After nearly four years of growing anticipation, Disney Parks’ newest themed land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s
Edge will open May 31, 2019, at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and August 29, 2019, at Disney’s
Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Disney Parks announced that they are opening the new
land ahead of schedule “in anticipation of high guest interest,” with one caveat: it will happen in two
phases. One of the land’s two major attractions, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, won’t be revealed
until phase two opens later in the year. In the meantime, the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction will be up and running, as well as the restaurants, shops, and other interactive experiences throughout the land.
- Inside Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Disney guests will take the controls in one of three unique and critical roles aboard the fastest ship in the galaxy when
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge features two signature attractions (some of us might call them “rides”) that
promise to put you right in the middle of the action and bring the “galaxy far, far away” a little closer to
Aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, you’ll step into the cockpit and take the controls of the
Falcon as the “the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy” flies through space at light speed. During the
mission you’ll be in one of three critical roles: as a pilot, a gunner, or a flight engineer. Set to open later this year,
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is being touted by Disney Parks as “the most ambitious, immersive and advanced attraction ever imagined, which will place guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance and will blur the lines between fantasy
Life on Batuu
Upon entering Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll find yourself on the planet Batuu, a remote destination on the Outer
Rim of the galaxy. More specifically, you’ll be in Black Spire Outpost, the largest settlement on Batuu
and an infamous port for smugglers, traders, and adventurers. Oga’s Cantina will be serving up exotic
drinks – including the first alcoholic beverages ever served at Disneyland – while a droid plays tunes as
the cantina’s DJ.
If you consider yourself well-versed in Star Wars history but the names Batuu, Black Spire Outpost, and
Oga’s Cantina don’t sound familiar to you, there’s a good reason for that: everything in Galaxy’s Edge is
new. Rather than re-create a setting from one of the films, or combine elements from several of them,
the designers challenged themselves to create something no one has seen before, but still has the
unmistakable look and feel of Star Wars.
Black Spire Outpost’s marketplace offers a diverse menu of galactic food and beverages, including the
Blue Milk first seen in “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope,” and the merchant shops offer plenty of
opportunities to pick up an authentic souvenir. You can even construct your own astromech droid that
can interact with elements in the land. (No word yet on the price tag for a custom droid.)
When you enter Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll not only be visiting the newest themed land at Disney, you’ll be
exploring uncharted territory on the edge of the Star Wars galaxy. Though Batuu may be new, you’ll still
see some familiar faces from the current Star Wars film trilogy like Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8 and Chewie.
Of course, no Star Wars experience would be complete without the music of legendary composer, John
Williams, who composed an all-new suite of musical themes for the land and its attractions.
- Handbuilt Lightsabers, guests will have the opportunity to customize and craft their own lightsabers. In this exclusive experience, guests will feel like a Jedi as they build these elegant weapons from a more civilized age. (Disney Parks)
The Force is Strong
At 14 acres, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is Disney’s largest single-themed land expansion ever and promises
to be the most technologically advanced, too. Galaxy’s Edge is the first land at Disney designed to integrate
with the Play Disney Parks mobile app. Once you download the app to your phone, you can use it to
interact with a variety of elements like droids, ships, media screens and door panels, as well as participate
in missions by accomplishing certain tasks. “This depth of storytelling is part of the total immersion that
will distinguish [Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge] from any other themed land in history,” Disney Parks said in a
recent press release.
Until now, we’ve only been able to experience Star Wars on screen; now, on Batuu, you’ll get to
experience the galaxy’s sights, sounds, smells and tastes in a whole new way. You can touch the
Millennium Falcon’s controls, taste the Blue Milk Luke Skywalker drinks, and feel the Force in your very
own customized lightsaber. Star Wars will never be the same. May the Force be with you.
Know Before You Go:
- You don’t need a separate park pass to access Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. As part of Disneyland
Park, a valid theme park admission is all you need, except:
–If you plan to visit between May 31 and June 23, 2019, you will also be required to make
a no-cost reservation, subject to availability, to access the land. Visit Disneyland.com for
–Guests staying at one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels during these dates will
receive a designated reservation to access Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during their stay (one reservation per registered guest); valid theme park admission is required.
By Shauna Murray 7/6/19
Top 10 Disneyland Hotels
Top 10 Disneyland Hotels
By Shauna Murray
The Disneyland vacation. It’s an experience unlike any other that beckons people of all ages and from all over the world to Anaheim, California, to make special memories, start family traditions, and celebrate milestone moments with a little help from mouse ears and Disney magic. Whatever your reason for visiting, you’ll need somewhere to kick your feet up and recharge after a long day at the park.
The number of hotel options near Disneyland can seem overwhelming at first as there are dozens of options to choose from. Where you choose to stay really comes down to several key factors: how close you want to be to the park, the environment you want to stay in, and, of course, your budget.
If you want to keep the “Disney Magic” feeling even after you leave the park, one of the three Disney properties—Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel—can offer an uninterrupted Disney experience and special perks like early entry to the park and visits from Disney characters. There are plenty of other nearby hotels ranging from chic and trendy to no-frills economy, all of which are a short walk or shuttle ride to Disneyland, Downtown Disney, and Disney California Adventure Park.
Whether you’re on family vacation, your honeymoon, or celebrating your retirement, there’s a hotel that will fit your needs and your budget. Here are 10 of the best hotels near Disneyland, in order of their distance to the park
1. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa
1600 S Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, CA, 92802, United States, 800-491-6126
Distance to Disneyland: 0.2 miles
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4 out of 5
As an extension of the California Adventure park, the Grand Californian carries on the theme of California’s national parks with Craftsman-style architecture reminiscent of a mountain lodge, complete with roaring fireplaces in the lobby. The grand hotel strives to live up to its name with an impressive offering of services and amenities that include treatments at the full-service spa, three outdoor pools, “magical morning” access to the park before it opens to the public, and a variety of on-site restaurants and lounges.
It’s worth mentioning that the Grand Californian charges pretty “grand” prices for their rooms and services. During peak travel times, the hotel’s average nightly rate can be two to three times as much as the other choices on this list, but if staying in the Disney mindset for your whole vacation is important to you, then it could be worth it. The rooms are average size but the beautiful buildings and grounds really do set the Californian apart. With views of the park during the day and the fireworks at night, plus visits from Pluto and friends, you’ll be surrounded by Disney Magic throughout your visit.
2. Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
1717 S Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, CA, 92802, 800-491-6126
Distance to Disneyland: 0.3 miles
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4 out of 5
Tucked away right outside of California Adventure Park, the Paradise Pier Hotel is just close enough to be part of the magic, but secluded enough to offer a respite from the crowds and noise. A private entrance leads from the hotel to the park so it’s easy to come and go as you please. (Nap time, anyone?) The kids will love the expansive pool, the Paradise Theater showing Disney films, and hanging out with Minnie Mouse & Friends at breakfast. Parents will love the Yamabuki Japanese restaurant and the Surfside Lounge. Babysitting services are available, too, if Mom and Dad need a date night.
3. Disneyland Hotel
1150 W Magic Way, Anaheim, CA, 92802, 800-491-6126
Distance to Disneyland: 0.3 Miles
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4 out of 5
Originally built in 1955, the Disneyland Hotel was the first Disney-themed hotel and is still one of the most popular places to stay near the park. The 4-star hotel has gone through several major renovations over the years; the current interior design gives a nod to mid-century nostalgia with modern luxury and, of course, lots of Disney flare. The hotel has four restaurants, three pools, and lush gardens with waterfalls and a koi pond. Disney characters regularly make appearances during breakfast hours and you can catch the nightly fireworks from the club-level cocktail lounge with a glass of complementary beer or wine.
4. Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance
1420 South Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, CA, 92802, 855-239-9399
Distance to Disneyland: 0.4 Miles
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Located just a ten-minute walk to the Disneyland gates and loaded with amenities like an on-site water park, free WiFi and cooked-to-order breakfast, the Courtyard Anaheim consistently ranks the highest among area hotels. Rooms can sleep up to six people with two showers and double sinks, the family won’t be fighting for bathroom time while getting ready in the morning. The lobby restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and there’s a Starbucks where you can fuel up before a big day in the park. Best of all, you can put on your PJ’s and watch the nightly Disneyland fireworks from your balcony.
Tip: Double-check when you’re booking that you’re at the “Theme Park Entrance” Courtyard.
There are two other Anaheim Courtyard hotels: one at the Convention Center and another at Buena Park.
5. Best Western Plus Anaheim Inn
1630 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA, 92802, 866-573-4235
Distance to Disneyland: 0.5 Miles
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The Best Western Plus consistently receives some of the best guest reviews of any Anaheim Hotel. Happy guests frequently mention the friendly staff, clean rooms, and they like that the hotel is less than a 10-minute walk to the Disneyland gate. While many area hotels charge a hefty daily fee for parking, the Best Western offers parking to its guests for free. There’s also free hot breakfast every morning so you can fuel-up before hitting the park. These perks can really add up—especially if you’re traveling with kids and staying for several days.
6. Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites
1240 S Walnut St, Anaheim, CA, 92802, 855-239-9227
Distance to Disneyland: 0.6 Miles
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4 out of 5
Of the several Holiday Inns in Anaheim, this one is the closest to Disneyland. This family-friendly hotel will be a bit (or a lot) easier on your wallet than some of the nearby hotels, while still delivering on the goods. Perks include a second-floor firework viewing deck, the Splash Zone Waterpark, poolside food and beverage service and optional Disney-themed suites.
Dogs are welcome for an additional fee—they’re family, too!
7. Desert Palms Hotel & Suites, Anaheim
631 W Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA, 92802, 800-491-6126
Distance to Disneyland: 0.6 Miles
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4 out of 5
The Desert Palms is another favorite of budget-conscious travelers. The hotel is a short walk from the Disneyland main gate and in close proximity to several shops and restaurants. Guests love the complementary breakfast buffet, the safe and well-lit underground parking, the modern décor, and the clean rooms. Parking isn’t included but is only $16.00 per night, which is about half of what you’ll be charged at many neighboring hotels.
8. Hyatt House at Anaheim Resort
1800 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA, 92802, 714-971-1800
Distance to Disneyland: 0.7 Miles
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4.5 out of 5
While some visitors like the idea of a 24/7 Disney-themed vacation, others prefer a little reprieve from the hustle and bustle after a long day in the park. If that’s you, the Hyatt House is a great option for your stay. This hotel will feel like your “home away from home” with spacious suites that include a kitchen, plus a free grocery shopping service to stock the fridge for you. The swimming pool, restaurant and bar, and social gathering areas offer everything you need for a relaxing getaway.
The Hyatt House is conveniently located near Anaheim activities and attractions, too. Catch a game at Angel Stadium or the Honda Center, visit Knott’s Berry Farm theme park, or shop ‘til you drop at one of the nearby shopping centers or outlet malls.
9. Hotel Indigo Anaheim
435 W Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA, 92802, 800-491-6126
Distance to Disneyland: 0.7 Miles
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The Hotel Indigo Anaheim is a trendy and charming boutique hotel in the Anaheim Resort District, just a 15-minute walk to Disneyland a 4-minute walk to dining, entertainment and shopping at Anaheim GardenWalk. Amenities include gated covered parking, an outdoor pool, a restaurant with an inspired menu, and a bar/lounge. Hotel Indigo is family-friendly but if you’re traveling without children, this hotel has a lot to offer. The hip and trendy atmosphere, lively bar and restaurant, and close proximity to the GardenWalk makes the Indigo a fun choice for grown-ups, too.
10. Country Inn & Suites by Radisson
1640 S Clementine St, Anaheim, CA, 92802, 855-239-9401
Distance to Disneyland: 0.8 Miles
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The Country Inn & Suites opened for business in late 2016, which makes it one of the newer hotels on the block. The hotel offers a lot of valuable extras like free continental breakfast, free WiFi and free parking. There’s a movie theater for kids, an on-site bar for the adults, and the pool area doubles as a viewing deck for the nightly Disneyland fireworks.
Disney Annual Passport members get a booking discount, and Disneyland passes are available at the front desk so you can skip the long lines at the ticketing window.
So there you have it…everything you ever wanted to know about hotels in Anaheim, CA. Whether you’re seeking a luxury experience, something new and hip, or just a safe place to rest your head at night, there’s something sure to meet your needs. Whatever you do, there’s no doubt your Disneyland vacation will be one to remember.
The History of Disneyland
What’s New at Disneyland and Universal Studios
–By Shauna Murray 4/20/2019
The History of Disneyland
The History of the Happiest Place on Earth
By Shauna Murray
For more than 60 years, the “Happiest Place on Earth” has been a little park in southern California called Disneyland. Ok, maybe it’s not so little, but this 160-acre piece of land had humble beginnings as an orange grove before Walt Disney transformed it into an enchanted land that’s had more visitors since it opened than any other theme park in the world.
Disneyland has grown and evolved with the times but has managed to hold on to the magic that beckons people of all ages to visit, and dream of visiting, year after year. Fans of the park will tell you there’s just something about it—something special—that makes it a place unlike any other.
Upon entering the gates of the park, visitors pass through a tunnel and under the famous plaque that reads:
HERE YOU LEAVE TODAY
AND ENTER THE WORLD
OF YESTERDAY, TOMORROW
So just how did Disney transform this place from farmland to fantasyland to become one of the most beloved places in the world? Let’s take a trip through yesterday, today and tomorrow to find out.
Walt Disney first spoke of creating an amusement park while taking his daughters to ride the carousel at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. As he watched his girls from a park bench, he dreamed of creating a place that families could enjoy together; where children could play and parents could relax.
By the 1940’s, Walt Disney Studios had become well-known for its cartoon characters, including Mickey Mouse, and animated films like Snow White. Disney started receiving letters from fans who wanted to visit the studios; they wanted to do more than just go to the movies, they wanted to be part of an experience. Disney knew the actual studio wouldn’t offer much in terms of entertainment for the public, so he started dreaming up a place for tourists to visit. He spoke of creating a place both children and adults would enjoy, where their favorite characters and films could come to life.
In 1948, Disney sent a now-famous memo to the studio production designer, Dick Kelsey, outlining his ideas for “Mickey Mouse Park”. The typical amusement park in those days wasn’t a family-friendly place to visit. They were dirty and disorganized, known for over-serving patrons at the beer stand and for attracting a criminal element. Disney wanted his park to be different.
The original concept was slated to be a small park with a boat ride and a few themed areas on an 8-acre plot across the street from Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, but the project soon outgrew the proposed location. Disney started visiting other parks for inspiration and as his ideas grew and more designers got involved in the planning, it became clear they needed a much bigger space to hold the park they envisioned. They found the space they needed at a cost they could afford 27 miles southeast of Los Angeles, purchasing a 160-acre orchard of orange and walnut trees in Anaheim. The “Mickey Mouse Park” project became “Disneylandia” and finally “Disneyland”. In 1954, construction began on the site. Just one year and 17 million dollars later, Disneyland was ready to open its doors to the public.
On Sunday, July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened its gates for the first time with 18 rides and attractions and five lands including Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Main Street USA. Park admission cost just $1.00, plus tickets for individual attractions. That sounds like quite a deal compared to the $129.00 single day pass in 2019.
July 17th was meant to be a preview day for invited guests and members of the press before opening to the public the following day. Unfortunately, the event was nothing short of a total disaster.
The dedication ceremonies, which included California Governor Goodwin Knight and Walt Disney’s Hollywood friends Ronald Reagan, Art Linkletter and Robert Cummings were televised live on ABC. The broadcast attracted over 90 million viewers—the largest TV audience in history at the time—which meant all eyes were on Disneyland for what Disney executives would come to call “Black Sunday” and would lead the press to deem Disneyland “Walt’s Folly”.
So, what could possibly have gone wrong in the “Happiest Place on Earth”? In a word: EVERYTHING.
The weather was scorching 101 degrees.
More than half of the 28,000 people in attendance had “invited” themselves by forging tickets or jumping the fence to get in.
Women’s heels were sinking in to the freshly-poured asphalt.
Due to a plumbers’ strike, Disney had to choose between working toilets or drinking fountains. He chose the former—which people might have been grateful for—but some thought it was a conspiracy by event sponsor Pepsi to make people buy their beverages.
Traffic was gridlocked on the newly-constructed freeway and celebrity guests like Frank Sinatra and Debbie Reynolds were delayed for their scheduled appearances.
As if that weren’t enough, a gas leak forced operators to close down three of the five “lands” just hours after the park opened.
Ever the optimist, Walt Disney still delivered his official dedication:
“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome! Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”
After receiving all the bad press and criticism that day, Disney learned from its painful mistakes and fixed them. Even today you’ll notice the plethora of restrooms and drinking fountains, assuring no guest will have to be thirsty or uncomfortable. Whatever they did to turn things around must have worked because within seven weeks of opening, one million people had walked through Disneyland’s gates.
The Rest is History
In the years that followed, Disneyland pushed the boundaries of technology and creativity and influenced the design of theme parks, roller coasters and other attractions around the world. To this day it is still the most popular theme park in the world. Here’s a timeline of the Disneyland’s milestones, innovations and firsts:
1956 – Just one year after opening, Disneyland had welcomed 5 million visitors.
1957 – Make that 10 million visitors.
1959 – The Matterhorn Bobsled ride became the first tubular steel coaster ever built. Its design still influences the design of modern roller coasters.
1963 – The Enchanted Tiki Room was the first of its kind to use new Audio-Animatronics technology and have three-dimensional birds, flowers and Tiki gods perform a live show.
1966 – It’s a Small World water ride opened featuring 500 Audio-Animatronics dolls representing cultures around the world. We’ve been trying to get the theme song out of our heads ever since.
1967 – Pirates of the Caribbean made its debut. It remains one of the most popular rides to this day and was the inspiration for the hit blockbuster movies of the same name.
1969 – The Haunted Mansion and its 999 ghosts – always with “room for one more” – started haunting park visitors.
1972 – The Main Street Electrical Parade premiered including more than 500,000 twinkling lights.
1976 – 150 million people had visited Disneyland
1977 – The Space Mountain coaster blasted off in Tomorrowland. Astronauts John Glenn and Alan Shepard were part of its inaugural journey.
1979 – Big Thunder Mountain railroad opened in Frontierland.
1989 – Splash Mountain opened and it’s five-story waterfall drop still has us packing a poncho in our purse.
1993 – Mickey’s Toontown was added as the newest “land”.
1995 – Indiana Jones Adventure invited guests to be part of the action with a thrill ride based on George Lucas’ films.
2001 – Disney California Adventure Park opened to the public, offering a whole new world of rides, restaurants and attractions modeled after California’s most notable parks and landmarks.
2005 – Disneyland celebrated its 50th anniversary.
2017 – 708 million people had visited Disneyland.
2019 – The much-anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is scheduled to open May 31, 2019 featuring characters and places seen in the popular George Lucas films.
The Best Murals in Los Angeles
10 Places to Find the Best Murals in Los Angeles
If you’re looking for creative inspiration, you need look no further than the streets of Los Angeles. Thousands of murals adorn the outer walls of buildings from the beach to the East Side, and they’re as much a part of the landscape as the Pacific Ocean and Hollywood Hills. The artwork both reflects and colors life in Los Angeles and is a great source of pride for the city. Los Angeles is a cultural melting pot and its murals are as diverse as the people who live here.
In a city filled with artists and centered around show business, it should come as no surprise that the whole city itself has become an art show. Local artists create work influenced by their surroundings, and visiting artists travel from all over the world to leave their mark here, too. The result is an eclectic mix of styles and cultural influences; life-like portraits, narrative tableaus, geometric patterns, bright washes of color, and inspirational messages all coexist on L.A.’s buildings, bridges and walls.
While it’s nearly impossible to narrow down the ever-changing roster of murals from thousands to a handful, here’s a round-up of some of the most popular, beautiful, and downright weird works of art you’ll find around the city. Chances are if you make your way to any one of these works, you’ll find yourself around the corner from many more.
Taking up the whole side of a two-story building, the Bloom Wall impresses with its magnitude. The burst of color was painted by artist HUEMAN; it’s not hard to see why she’s been sought after by brands like Nike and NYX Cosmetics
Where to find it: 298 Rose St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
COLETTE MILLER’S ANGEL WINGS
Artist Colette Miller created the Global Angel Wings Project in 2012 “to remind humanity that we are the angels of this Earth”. These human-sized are designed to be interactive – people can pose for photos in front of the wings and become part of the art. The Global Angel Wings Project has truly gone global, with wings on almost every continent but they started right here in the city of angels.
Where to find it: One set of wings can be found at 8401 W 3rd St, Los Angeles 90048, another at 453 Colyton Street, and there are more throughout the city. Search for more locations by using #globalangelwings on Instagram.
Venice Beach has long been known as an enclave for artists, and even with recent changes to the neighborhood, art remains a prominent feature. The crown jewel of Westside murals is Abbott Kinney Boulevard, a mile-long stretch of retail, restaurants, murals, murals and more murals. “Bleeding Hearts” aka #LOVEWALL by James Goldcrown (@jgoldcrown) is one of the most popular places to visit–and photograph– on Abbott Kinney.
Where to find it: Greenleaf, 1239 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, 90291
Jim Morrison Mural
“Morning Shot” is the 35-foot-tall mural of Doors front man, Jim Morrison, created by artist Rip Cronk in 1991 and revamped in 2012. From the side wall of an apartment building, Morrison towers over the Venice Beach boardwalk; a fitting place for this larger-than-life figure as The Doors met and started the band in Venice in 1965.
Where to find it: 1811 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291
Arguably the most psychedelic mural in town, “Technicolor Ooze” is the work of artist Jen Stark. She’s since brought her Technicolor magic to collaborations with Miley Cyrus and Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips.
Where to find it: 8850 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
WEST HOLLYWOOD LIBRARY
West Hollywood is a community known for its vibrancy and freedom of expression, and its public library is no exception. The parking structure of the West Hollywood Library is home to three of the most recognizable murals in the city: “Peace Elephant” by Shepard Fairey, “An exercise in spontaneity” by Kenny Scharf, and a striking blue and white abstract design by L.A. artist RETNA.
Where to find it: 625 N San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood, 90069
4th STREET / ARTS DISTRICT
The L.A. Arts District truly lives up to its name with more than 100 murals covering the walls and sides of buildings in the neighborhood. One of the most striking works can be found at the intersection of 4th Street and Merrick. The collaboration between Christina Angelina (@starfightera) and Fanakapan. (@fanakapan) will give you allll the feels.
Where to find it: Arts District, Downtown L.A. @ 4th Street and Merrick, LA 90012
THE POPE OF BROADWAY
Some murals have a lifespan of only a year or two (or less) before they’re painted over and replaced. Some, on the other hand, have become semi-permanent fixtures in the city. “The Pope of Broadway” is one such classic. Originally created in 1985 by muralist Eloy Torrez, who also worked with the city to restore it in 2017, the 70-foot mural depicts Mexican-born actor Anthony Quinn, celebrating two of L.A.’s biggest cultural influences: the film industry and the Latino community.
Where to find it: The Victor Clothing Company Building, 242 S. Broadway, Los Angeles 90012
Jules Muck, the “Queen of Venice Beach,” is among the most well-known street art and mural painters around. Her works can be seen all over Venice; on its walls, garage doors, vans and even discarded appliances. Perhaps her most famous work is “Freedumb”— a green-tinged mural depicting five legends of the stage and screen who died before their time.
A DAY IN LA TOURS MURAL
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the “Day in L.A.” mural. The mural was painted in 2017 by artist Dim Morisov at the A Day in L.A. headquarters in Santa Monica. “If Los Angeles was an amusement park, this map would show you where all the rides are,” Morisov says. He somehow managed to fit all of Los Angeles on the side wall of A Day in LA’s HQ so you can take a tour of the entire city and its key points of interest without ever taking the tour! Plan to spend some time looking up-close to discover all of the Easter eggs and hidden pop-culture references; you might even find Waldo (as in “Where’s Waldo?”) hiding in the City of Angels.
Where to find it: 410 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Summary: Los Angeles is home to thousands of murals that are as diverse as the people who live here. The artwork both reflects and colors life in Los Angeles, and is a great source of pride for the city. While it’s nearly impossible to narrow down the ever-changing roster of murals from thousands to a handful, here’s a guide to ten of the best places to find the most powerful, colorful, and downright weird works of art you’ll find around the city.
Tags: Los Angeles, Murals, LA street art, murals of LA, graffiti, public art, street artists, mural painters, arts district, venice beach, west Hollywood, shepard fairey, jules muck, jen stark, retna, hueman
Top Museums in Los Angeles
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over and over again since moving to L.A. ten years ago, it’s that this city is hard to put in a box. It’s a metropolis, a beach town, a mountain hideaway and a suburban neighborhood all at once, and it expands for miles in every direction. The same can be said for the collection of museums that call Los Angeles home. From art and culture to science and technology, the past, present and future all converge here and are put on magnificent display.
L.A. has some of the best museums in the country (yes, really) and with so many to choose from, there’s bound to be something to pique nearly everyone’s interest. It might be hard to imagine spending the day indoors when you could be soaking up rays at the beach, but trust me, a visit to any one of these museums will be well worth the trip. (Plus, there’s many outdoor exhibitions so you can enjoy the weather while expanding your cultural knowledge.)
Here’s a sampling of the most recognized, beloved, awe-inspiring, and downright weird museums in Los Angeles:
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA (pronounced LOCK-MAH), opened in 1965 and “has been devoted to collecting works of art that span both history and geography, mirroring Los Angeles’s rich cultural heritage and uniquely diverse population” ever since. LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States and sees more than a million visitors each year. Some of the most sought-after works on display are by Diego Rivera, Henri Matisse, Barbara Kruger and local artist, Ed Ruscha. The most iconic of all works at LACMA is Chris Burden’s Urban Light, a sculpture composed of 202 restored streetlamps from the Los Angeles area during the 1920’s and 1930’s. The sculpture has become a ubiquitous symbol of LACMA and one of the most identifiable landmarks in the city.
Formally called the J. Paul Getty Museum, The Getty is an art museum split between two equally-stunning locations: the Getty Center in Brentwood, and the Getty Villa off of Highway 1 in Pacific Palisades. The Getty Center’s permanent exhibits include paintings, drawing, sculpture and photography from around the world, from ancient history to the modern era. The Getty Villa is dedicated to works of art from ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. Both campuses are nestled in beautiful hilltop settings with grounds and gardens to wander through and impressive panoramic views of the city and ocean.
Admission to both the Center and Villa is FREE. Parking is $15 at both locations.
One of the newest museums to arrive on the L.A. scene, The Broad is a contemporary art museum that features rotating temporary exhibitions and interactive installations. Visiting The Broad is a refreshing break from tradition; there’s always something new to see when you visit, and opportunities to interact with and become part of the art experience yourself. Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Rooms have been hugely popular with visitors since the museum opened its doors in 2015.
Admission is free, reservations recommended but not required if you’re willing to wait in the standby line. The Broad tweets expected wait times so you can check before you go if you don’t have tickets already.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
The Los Angeles County Natural History Museum (NMH) was the first dedicated museum building in L.A., opening its doors in 1913. Today NHM protects over 35 million specimens, some as old as 4.5 billion years. From the biodiversity of the planet to the human culture that has evolved in it, NHM covers the history of our planet from the beginning of time, up until now. Where else can you look at 100 million-year-old dinosaur fossils and living butterflies in the same place?
The Museum recently underwent a massive renovation is more impressive than ever, including a new entrance atrium that houses a giant 63-foot long Fin whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling. The Gem and Mineral Hall is another favorite among visitors with more than 2,000 specimens on display and you can touch a selection of gems, minerals, and even a meteorite.
Bring your lunch or pick something up at The Grill and head out to the beautiful Rose Garden for a picnic lunch.
Ticket prices range from $6 for kids to 14 for adults with special pricing for students, seniors and groups.
PETERSON AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM
You don’t have to be a gear head to enjoy a visit the Peterson Automotive Museum. This museum is much more than a car show; it tells the story of the automobile as an art form, a technological achievement, and a cultural phenomenon. Cars have had a huge impact on our lives and culture, from everyday transportation to Hollywood movies. And there’s nowhere car culture is more pervasive than here in Los Angeles.
Fun Fact: Miracle Mile, where L.A.’s Museum Row is located, was the first street to have a dedicated left-turn lane and had the first timed traffic light.
The museum itself is a feat of art and technology; recently undergoing a $90 million renovation
that included an ambitious redesign of the building’s façade. Once inside, you’ll experience the artistry, industry, and history of the automobile while viewing 150 cars on three floors, along with optional interactive and VR experiences.
Tickets start at $11 and for an extra fee you can book a special tour of The Vault.
ANNENBERG SPACE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
The Annenberg Foundation that founded and oversees The Annenberg Space for Photography set out to create a place where people can “see the world through a different lens and leave feeling motivated to make a positive change.” The Space opened in 2009 and is the first museum in Los Angeles dedicated solely to photography and photographic culture. The interior design of the building was even modeled after a camera and its lens.
The Space features both traditional prints and digital media, and shows works by world-renowned photographers as well as emerging artists. There are roughly two special exhibitions each year showcasing innovative and thought-provoking work–plenty of reasons to keep coming back to see what’s new. Best of all? Admission is always free.
THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART (MOCA)
L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art is spread out across three locations, but the main branch is at 250 S. Grand Ave in Downtown L.A. All of the works at MOCA were created from 1940 to present, and while many of the exhibiting artists’ names might be new to you, they’re worth checking out. MOCA takes great pride in finding and presenting what it considers to be “the most significant and challenging art of our time.” Works by more well-known artists like Jackson Pollack, Roy Lichtenstein and Mark Rothko are part MOCA’s permanent collection. Admission is free on Thursdays from 5:00-8:00PM.
THE MUSEUM OF JURASSIC TECHNOLOGY
The Museum of Jurassic Technology is, without question, the most unique museum in Los Angeles. The dimly-lit space is a winding maze full of oddities and cultural artifacts that make up its 30 permanent exhibits—some presented in familiar museum format while others are more esoteric. David Wilson, the museum’s founder and director, received the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (aka the “Genius Grant”) in 2001 for his work challenging “perceptions of what is real and what is not” and demanding “reinterpretations of our understanding of science, natural history, mythology, and vernacular art forms.”
In all likelihood, you’ll exit the museum with more questions and confusion than you entered with, but that’s kind of the point. You might love it, you might hate it, but you’ll certainly have something to talk about at your next dinner party. Don’t miss the Tea Room on the rooftop patio, it’s one of those hidden urban oases that L.A. is famous for and makes you feel like you’re in another world, not a strip mall off Venice Boulevard.
Summary: From art and culture to science and technology, Los Angeles is home to some of the finest museums in the country. We assembled a list of some of the most recognized, beloved, awe-inspiring, and downright weird museums in Los Angeles…
Tags: Los Angeles, art museums, natural history museum, Getty museum, LACMA, MOCA, Jurassic technology, the broad, Annenberg, photography
Los Angeles Walking Tours
Are you planning a visit to Los Angeles? Already live here and looking to get to know the area better? As you might be aware, Los Angeles has some notoriously bad traffic for the United States. However you don’t have to be stuck in that mess. A lot of the famous sights and attractions are in a few concentrated areas. So if you’re looking to beat the traffic when you visit Los Angeles on your vacation or trip and want to sight see in the fresh air and sunshine, pick your area and just explore it by foot. You won’t have to wait in stand-still traffic with frustrated and angry drivers laying on their car horns all day. Yes, believe it or not but LA is a much more walk-able city than you might think.
Taking a walking tour of parts of Los Angeles is actually not Mission Impossible with famous places like Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach and Santa Monica having their attractions clustered close together making walking the most convenient option. Of course nothing beats walking in LA’s year round beautiful weather – with sunshine and low humidity you’ll be happy and dry as you explore and sight-see Los Angeles in a way that you might have never thought or known existed!
Santa Monica Walking Tour
A lot of people will say downtown Los Angeles is the urban and walkable environment most akin to New York City in Los Angeles. But wouldn’t an urban environment just steps away from the beach be as nice if not nicer? Wouldn’t you prefer to breath the ocean breeze than the smog of the highway? Enter Downtown Santa Monica – The City by the Beach. Santa Monica is an actual city in Los Angeles county as opposed to some other famous LA areas we’ll talk about which are in Los Angeles city as well as the county. Santa Monica was primed for tours and tourism from the start. Originally envisioned as an industrial shipping harbor city, Santa Monica’s beautiful coastline had other plans for the city’s future and today it is definitely a place you don’t want to miss on your California visit.
Strut your stuff and check out the great, bountiful shopping on the 3rd Street Promenade, an open air shopping mall strip situated in the three blocks between Broadway on the south and Wilshire Blvd on the north. Blocked off to cars, it is a perfect place to mosey on down and have an iconic Southern California moment. Check out the beautiful sunset view of the Pacific Ocean off the historic and lively Santa Monica Pier. And of course, soak up the Southern California sun on the beach or on the bike path that snakes up and down the Los Angeles coastline – Pacific Palisades on the north (where a lot of stars like Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Ben Affleck live) to Torrance Beach on the south.
Downtown Santa Monica is designed in an easy to understand grid system with 1st Street, more commonly known as Ocean Avenue, flanking (you guessed it) the Pacific Ocean situated on the west – at “the edge of western civilization” as the Los Angeles band The Red Hot Chili Peppers sang in the lyrics to their hit song “Californication”. Ocean Ave goes to 26th Street and beyond to the east. From south to north we have Colorado Ave, Broadway, Santa Monica Blvd, Arizona Ave and Wilshire Blvd – the less famous (the more being Sunset Blvd, location of the Sunset Strip) Boulevard that’s spans the lion’s share of the length of Los Angeles. Every corner you go to in downtown Santa Monica you are bound to be steps away from some of the best eating in town, such as Michaels (classic Californian in arty digs) or Cassias (French-Asian). If you want to not only check out beautiful Santa Monica, but to learn all the famous characters that have been part of it’s story than check out our Santa Monica Walking Tour!
Hollywood Walking Tour
Hollywood is known around the world as the center of the entertainment industry of the western world. Now an industry over a century old, “Hollywood” is all over Los Angeles. Studios and production companies have outgrown the technical neighborhood of Hollywood by this time but the name of course has stuck and has become synonymous with the entertainment industry. Charlie Chaplin used to stroll down the street to his favorite restaurant (still there! – Hollywood Blvd, between Cherokee and N Las Palmas Ave) “Musso and Frank Grill” after filming all day at his studio.
These days Charlie Chaplin and many other stars of today and yesterday are honored on the walk of fame which spans a bit over a mile on Hollywood Blvd from La Brea Ave on the west to Gower Street (original location of Warner Bros, now in Burbank) on the east. You can walk that stretch of Hollywood Blvd and see your favorite stars from today and your favorite classic stars from yesterday. You might also see your favorite characters lining the boulevard as people dress up as famous Hollywood characters to give you a true Hollywood moment!
Check out the first outdoor shopping mall in the world on the famous Sunset Blvd (“Crossroads of the World”) where the central building is designed to resemble an ocean liner. Head up on the stretch of Highland Avenue between Sunset Blvd and Hollywood Blvd to check out Mel’s Drive In, a 24/7 retro diner perfect for families and famous for being the place in George Lucas’s “American Graffiti”. Continue on up and across Hollywood Blvd and nestled right next to the Wax Museum will be the Snow White Cafe, named after the Snow White art and murals on the walls, some of it done by actual classic Disney animators, it was the place for the after party of the Snow White premiere back in the day.
For fun and scandalous Hollywood stories and history consider taking our Hollywood Walking Tour!
Beverly Hills Walking Tour
Seeing the glitz and glamour of Hollywood is best epitomized in Beverly Hills and best experienced on foot. Of course Beverly Hills (named after an east coast farm town) evokes exclusivity but downtown Beverly Hills is actually a very walkable area. With the famous Rodeo Drive (pronounced Row-day-oh, not like a rodeo!) at its center and the subway from downtown Los Angeles adding a stop by 2022 or 2023 (purple line, Wilshire Blvd), Beverly Hills is destined to become an even more walkable area. Shop Rodeo Drive with everyone from Gucci to Salvatore Ferragamo (legendary show maker to the classic stars) lining this fashionistas paradise, check out the inventor of red velvet, “Sprinkles Cupcakes” with its cupcake vending machine and walk off the calories in the beautiful Beverly Gardens Park when you need a respite.
The next street over from Rodeo Drive is Beverly Drive where at the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd is The Paley Center for Media where you can check out costumes from current and classic productions as well as other great Hollywood memorabilia and exhibitions. Celebrate Los Angeles Mexican history (“Los Angeles” means “The Angels” in Spanish after all) by having some organic Mexican cuisine at Sharky’s Woodfried Mexican Grill further down on Beverly Drive. Further down Beverly Drive: If you’re a cheese and wine kind of person definitely don’t pass up an opportunity to visit “The Cheese Shop of Beverly Hills” where you are guaranteed to find lots of things to whet your appetite.
If you keep going down Beverly Drive and arrive at Wilshire Blvd you won’t be far at all from the internationally famous Beverly Wilshire hotel at the Four Seasons. The Beverly Wilshire is the Los Angeles hotel of choice for many a celebrity and dignitary. And if you want to maybe see a celebrity check out “The Grill on the Alley” just around the corner on a little alley side street called Dayton Way. At The Grill on the Alley there could be some power players striking a Hollywood deal or just enjoying brunch.
If you are a car nut you might want to stay on Wilshire Blvd and mosey a little east to check out the Ferrari’s and Mclarens stocked in the Wilshire car dealerships.
For fun Beverly Hills stories about its famous faces consider taking our Beverly Hills Walking Tour!
Venice Beach Walking Tour
Conceived as a “Venice of America” complete with canals, these days you can walk these former canals that lead to and from the beach, as well as the actual canals themselves. Venice has gone through quite a transformation, from undeveloped marsh lands to a bohemian and artistic hotspot to now a quickly growing hub of tech industry activity, and many different phases in between. Learn about the fun stories and cool characters of Venice on our walking tour!
The focal point of Venice is the famous “Venice Beach” on the boardwalk which is lined with lots of souvenir shops where you can load up on the sunglasses you’ll need to sport to shield yourself from the California sun, all the better to see the skaters do they’re tricks at the skatepark or the tons of street performers that line the other side of the boardwalk from the shops.
Take your shoes off and put your toes in the sand! The beach and the sea are just steps away from the boardwalk. Check out the surfers catching the waves if the conditions are right.
Also, Venice beach is populated with beautiful street art – pop off the boardwalk every once in a while to the side streets a step away to admire these artists handiwork, which includes a Van Gogh “The Starry Night” recreation! (by Rip Kronk, longtime Venice mainstay). And don’t forget to check out the legally sanctioned graffiti wall. All you need is an easy day permit that you get from the police station next door and you’re good to go!
Abbot Kinney Blvd is another focal point in Venice Beach. Named “Coolest Street in America” by GQ, the street name is named for the founder of Venice, and the best shopping and eating awaits you here! Stroll the blocks of Abbot Kinney perusing the many offerings and when you need to re-fuel grab your coffee at Blue Bottle or Intelligentsia.
One thing you definitely don’t want to miss is the Venice Beach canals – a tranquil place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Admire the beautiful waterways and the modern architecture and wander over to the park to see the wandering ducks!
For fun stories about Venice and its many characters consider taking our Venice Beach Walking Tour!
The Ultimate California Circuit
Touring California from the West Coast to the Wild West
On such a winter’s day….
If those words are starting to sound more like your reality than lyrics from the Mamas and Papas song, it might be time to start planning your next getaway to the west coast. From up north in San Francisco to the south in San Diego – and many points in between – there’s a lot to explore.
And while you’re out west… Las Vegas might not technically be a city in California, but don’t tell some residents of Los Angeles that. At just a four-hour drive from L.A., Vegas makes for a quick and easy trip whether you’re looking for entertainment and night life on the world-famous strip, or you’re more interested in the natural beauty of nearby national parks.
Whatever kind of adventure you’re seeking, We’re here to help make sense of it all and point out some highlights you’ll find along the way.
SPECIAL OFFER: A Day in L.A. has partnered with Dylan’s Tours in San Francisco to help you explore even more of the Golden State. If you book a tour with Dylan’s and A Day in L.A., you’ll receive 10% off of both tours.
As one of the most famous tourist destinations in San Francisco, Fisherman’s Wharf is a must-see. Take in views of the bay, Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz Island while dining on clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl. Visiting the sea lion colony that lives there is a fun stop, too.
This neighborhood was the epicenter of hippie counter-culture in the 1960’s, and you’ll still get a sense of that history when you visit the Haight today. Tie-dyes, vintage stores, mural-covered buildings, and the smell of incense in the air will have you feelin’ groovy in no time.
Golden Gate Bridge
Nothing symbolizes the city of San Francisco quite as much as the Golden Gate Bridge. You can see it from many places in the city, but it’s worth a visit to see this modern wonder up close. You can even walk across the bridge if you have time.
Located in Mill Valley, just outside the city, this National Monument is famous for its gigantic old-growth redwood trees. Most of the coastal redwoods have been growing for hundreds of years, and the oldest is believed to be 1200 years old.
This neighborhood is the oldest Chinatown in the United States, and also the biggest outside of China. Enjoy the colorful scenery, ornate temples, and dim sum restaurants, and pick up a souvenir at one of the many shops that line the streets.
Santa Monica Pier
One of the most recognizable sights in the Los Angeles area, the pier is a must-see stop on any visit. Snap a photo by the famous Route 66 sign and then hop on the giant Pacific Wheel to take in 360-degree views from the bay to downtown.
No trip to Los Angeles is complete without a stop in Venice Beach. From the Venice Canals to shopping on Abbot Kinney to walking along the boardwalk, there’s plenty to do in this beach community. The Venice Boardwalk is home to some real characters, like those that frequent Muscle Beach and the skate park. You never know what you’ll see in Venice on any given day.
Perched high atop a hill in Brentwood off the 405 freeway, the Getty Center boasts some of the finest works by world-famous artists, as well as some of the best views in town. Art buffs will appreciate the exhibits inside the museum, and everyone will appreciate the beautiful grounds and gardens surrounding it.
Griffith Park and Observatory
This urban oasis is nestled in the hills behind the Hollywood and Los Feliz neighborhoods, and home to the famous Greek Theatre. Wander the trails to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood sign and a panoramic view from Downtown to the beach, then step inside the observatory and look to the stars through one of the telescopes.
Hollywood Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theater
If you’re visiting Los Angeles for the first time, you’ll probably want to make a stop here. Stars bearing the names of famous actors and actresses line the sidewalks while the restored theatre, originally opened in 1927, provides the backdrop. Great for a photo op or two before you move on to the next stop.
Balboa Park boasts an impressive 1,200 acres of trails, gardens, museums, and is also home to the San Diego Zoo. The largest urban cultural park in the U.S. has something for everyone, from hikes through palm forests to art installations…or just grab a seat by the Lily Pond and take in the view and beautiful architecture of the Botanical Building.
San Diego Zoo
One of the most famous zoos in the world, the San Diego Zoo opened over 100 years ago and is home to thousands of animals. Don’t miss the giant pandas while you’re there – they’re a perennial favorite of zoo visitors.
San Diego is famous for its beaches for a reason: they’re beautiful to look at and fun to play at. Mission Beach is popular for its paved boardwalk that runs the length of the beach and makes it easy to walk, bike, and access its many shops and restaurants. The Belmont Park amusement park has fun rides and attractions, too, including a roller coaster and miniature golf.
Old Town San Diego
Established in 1769 with only a mission and a fort, Old Town San Diego is California’s oldest settlement of the Spanish colonization period. Today, Old Town is filled with shops, restaurants, and museums that will give you a taste of San Diego’s heritage. It’s a great place to wander around with the family for an afternoon.
This neighborhood is an interesting convergence of old and new. The Gaslamp Quarter, as it was originally called, was once home to San Diego’s brothels and saloons. Today, those nineteenth-century buildings have been fully restored and are occupied by a plethora of shops, restaurants, and nightclubs.
Stay on the Strip
Themed hotels, 24-hour casinos, world-class entertainment and millions of glittering lights are just a few of the things you’ll find yourself surrounded with here. The Vegas strip is completely over-the-top, and proud of it. Staying in the heart of strip makes it easy to get from place to place. For a luxurious hotel experience, book a room at the Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, or the Venetian. Traveling with kids? The Excalibur has long been a family favorite with activities that are fun for all ages.
See a Show
From Cirque du Soleil to stand-up comedians and magicians to larger-than-life concert experiences, there is never a shortage of entertainment in Las Vegas. Some shows play throughout the year while some rotate in and out, or only play for a limited run. New shows are added regularly so check the Visit Las Vegas website before you go and see what’s playing during the dates of your visit.
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
You don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to enjoy their impressive seasonal displays in the 14,000-foot conservatory. Bellagio’s horticulturalists design wildly imaginative installations using a combination of natural and man-made materials. While you’re there, step outside and enjoy the water show at the Bellagio Fountains.
This National Historic Landmark is quite a site to behold. More than 80 years after its creation, the Hoover Dam is still the highest concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere and was named one of the Top 10 Construction Achievements of the 20th Century. You can drive from the Las Vegas strip to the Hoover Dam in under an hour.
It’s hard to believe it when you’re standing on the bustling strip, but Las Vegas sits smack in the middle of the desert and is a stone’s throw to some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the country. A drive from Vegas to the Grand Canyon will take about 4.5 hours and you’ll get to experience the beauty of the southwestern landscape along the way.
PLANNING YOUR TRIP
- We recommend starting your California adventure by flying into San Francisco. You’ll want to spend at least a couple of days there to take it all in.
- From there, either rent a car and drive along the long and winding Highway 1 down the coast to Los Angeles, or hop on a short 1-hour flight.
- Once you’ve arrived in LaLa Land, A Day in L.A. can arrange tours of L.A., plus transport to and from San Diego, including a tour of the highlights there.
- For extra credit, add a stop in Vegas to your west coast circuit. Day in L.A. can provide transportation from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and arrange for tours there, too.
- Finally, book a flight home from Vegas and reflect on all the new memories you’ve just made.
California, san Francisco, los angeles, san diego, las vegas, san diego zoo, wild west, adventure travel, ultimate California, grand canyon, hoover dam, balboa park, mission beach, a day in LA, dylans tours
SUMMARY: Dreaming of your next west coast adventure? You can tour the Golden State of California with stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, then head out to the wild west to visit Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam. A Day in L.A. is partnering with Dylan’s Tours in San Francisco to help you get the most of your trip.
Top Los Angeles Attractions
A trip to the City of Angels is a top on many travel wish lists. If you’re among the fortunate planning a trip to LA, you’ll want to make sure you include the following 14 Los Angeles attractions on your list of things to see, do and experience during your stay.
1. Join in the Activity at Venice Beach
Originally designed to measure up to its Italian namesake, Venice Beach developed an identity all its own offering broad appeal to visitors who enjoy the funky open-air vibe of the beach and quirky boutiques and restaurants.
The boardwalk is the main attraction for visitors to Venice Beach and comprises a pedestrian-only two-and-a-half mile promenade.
Here you’ll find a variety of shops, activities and attractions to enjoy. Top attractions in the area include:
- The skate park
- The beach
- The boardwalk
- Street performers
- Fortune tellers
- Muscle Beach
More than a location, some view Venice Beach as a state of mind. Some consider it a bohemian sort of spirit permeating the area, making it one of the best things Los Angeles has to offer visitors looking for something a bit out of the ordinary.
2. Take a Walk on the Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier is an attraction worth visiting in its own right. It is a trendy destination for surfers, skateboarders and even yoga practitioners. The iconic locale is a favorite attraction day and night and boasts the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel.
You’ll find a wide range of shops to meet all kinds of tastes and budgets through the vintage stores, quirky little shops and high-end boutiques. Some people go just for the shopping while others go to people watch. From musicians and tourists to locals offering their wares, there are plenty of people to watch in this delightful little corner of LA.
Still, others walk the length of the pier to sit at the end and take in the ocean breezes.
The pier, which is more than 100 years old, is also home to an outstanding nightlife along the shore. A short walk just east of the pier lies the Third Street Promenade, a lively section with shops, restaurants, entertainment and more.
The fact that the Santa Monica area of the city is very walkable makes it an excellent choice for tourists on an LA bus tour who want to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere that is so prevalent here.
3. Take a Bite out of Beverly Hills
One of the iconic attractions in Beverly Hills today is the Beverly Hills’ Sprinkles bakery where you can buy cupcakes through an ATM at any time of the day or night. It’s going to be hard to top that anywhere in the city, especially after you’ve tried one of these delectable goodies.
Fortunately for your waistline, it’s not the only attraction Beverly Hills has to offer — though it may be the tastiest. Other Beverly Hills attractions you’ll surely want to include on your list of places to visit in LA are:
- Beverly Gardens Park
- Greystone Mansion and Gardens
- Rodeo Drive
- Spadena House
- The Saban Theatre
- Virginia Robinson Gardens
- Will Rogers Memorial Park
Don’t forget to take in a tour of The Beverly Hills Hotel, located in the coveted 90210 ZIP code, where you can walk in the footsteps of the rich and famous.
4. Shop ‘til You Drop on Rodeo Drive
Perhaps the most famous nearly two-mile strip of real estate in the U.S. for exclusive boutique shopping — like Giorgio Armani, Versace and Valentino — is Rodeo Drive. Whether you’re there to make purchases or just want to window shop and take in the fashions and styles the wealthy wear, it won’t take long to realize why the three blocks between 200 and 500 of North Rodeo Drive top almost every list of what to see in LA.
5. Snap a Pic of the Hollywood Sign
While one favorite access point to the Hollywood Sign is closed, there are ways to hike to it and several other places you can go to get a fantastic photo of the sign.
For many, the Hollywood sign is one of the quintessential “musts” of a trip to LA, and it remains one of the top Los Angeles attractions in the hearts and minds of visitors from around the world. The sign is so famous it has its own website, complete with tips on how to hike to the sign and information about its history.
6. Marvel at the Wonders of Universal Studios
Los Angeles is where movie magic happens, and there is no place where it happens bigger, better and bolder than at Universal Studios. The theme park is one of the most popular Los Angeles tourist attractions.
From behind the scenes tours of your favorite television shows and films to thrills and chills of midway rides, there’s plenty to do at Universal Studios. You may even get to meet some of your family’s favorite characters. Top attractions include:
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
- The Walking Dead Attraction
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Grinchmas — during the holidays
- Fast & Furious: Supercharged
There are plenty of rides, shows and attractions to delight people of all ages at Universal Studios. Of course, you can’t forget the world-famous tram tour, which introduces you to dinosaurs from Jurassic Park, allows you to witness the parting of the Red Sea and lets you experience the adrenaline surge of being attacked by the shark from Jaws. Who could ask for more?
7. Find Your Favorite Movie and Film Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame tops many lists of things to see in Los Angeles. The walk now contains the stars of more than 2400 Hollywood legends and runs one-mile along Hollywood Boulevard.
You can walk along the path for hours exploring beloved icons of film, past and present. It’s a great way to spend your time in LA — especially if you consider yourself a fan of the film industry.
8. Watch a Premier at TCL Chinese Theatre
Perhaps the most iconic movie palace around the world, the TCL Chinese Theatre is home to more than 50 events each year including movie premieres, film festivals and imprint ceremonies.
As an icon in Hollywood since 1927, the theatre is home to many of the most prominent film and movie debuts and premiers. Plus, it’s a wonderful place to visit while exploring the Walk of Fame.
Another claim to fame for the TCL Chinese Theatre is the fact it’s home to the largest IMAX auditorium in the world, which makes watching movies here a memorable event. Not only can you watch a blockbuster film at TCL Chines Theatre, but you can also purchase a VIP tour ticket for a behind-the-scenes look at the theatre and its history.
Of course, you don’t have to watch a premiere to enjoy the experience of the TCL Chinese Theatre, on a huge IMAX screen — any film will be a fantastic treat to the senses when viewed here.
9. Pay Your Respects to Movie History at Dolby Theatre
Of all the LA attractions available, many people believe the Dolby Theatre to be one of the most essential for their Hollywood experience. The theatre is home to live performances throughout the year, as well as dozens of other events.
What it is most famous for, though, is the star-studded red-carpet event you know and love as the Oscars. Other significant events taking place at more than 640,000 square feet Dolby Theatre include:
- Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
- The American Idol Finals
- The ESPY Awards
- The Star Wars: The Force Awakens World Premiere
- The AFI Life Achievement Ceremony
This doesn’t even include the many concerts held each year by some of the biggest names and talents in the music industry. Guided tours are available to allow you to see an Oscar statuette and view images from previous Academy Awards ceremonies held at the Dolby Theatre.
10. Check out the Action on the Sunset Strip
From its gangster past during the heart of the Roaring ’20s to the playground for Hollywood royalty, the Sunset Strip is a can’t miss nighttime hotspot for LA visitors over the age of 21. Here you’ll find cutting-edge attractions and the hippest nightlife LA has to offer. You may even rub elbows with rising stars on the Hollywood scene while you roam the streets or check out the various clubs, restaurants and boutiques.
Though any time is perfect for taking a drive on the Sunset Strip, the best time to explore it in-depth is after the sun goes down when the streets fill up with partiers strolling from one venue to the next amidst a sea of neon signs.
Sunset Strip attractions you might want to check out during your stay include the following:
- The Laugh Factory
- Chateau Marmont
- Carney’s — a giant yellow train car restaurant and a favorite of Andrew McCarthy and Cuba Gooding Jr.
- House of Blues
- Sky Bar — at Mondrian Hotel
- The Whisky
- The Roxy
- The Rainbow Bar & Grill
The real estate may be small, only occupying 1.5 miles of Sunset Blvd, but the legends are large. This is the place LA visitors to go to walk in their footprints — especially if you’re walking along the pavement outside Kenneth Cole Shoes at 8752 Sunset.
11. Experience Architecture and Art at the Getty Center
This spectacular museum is home to works of art crafted by some of the world’s most exceptional talents. Among the displays at The Getty Center include works from:
- Van Gogh
The center continuously adds new exhibitions, so you can enjoy a unique experience even after visiting several times.
In addition to the incredible works of art you’ll find displayed at Getty Center, you will also appreciate the stunning architecture. The style manages to incorporate thoroughly modern architecture with the gorgeous open spaces, gardens and LA city views.
Some visitors refer to the Central Garden as a work of art in itself. It features more than 500 plant varieties in the landscaping, as well as various fountains and gardens, so you can enjoy a feast of sight, sound, and scent while exploring.
Consider a private LA tour that allows up to one and one-half hours in Getty Center.
12. Explore History at The Grove and Original Farmers Market
One of the most beloved landmarks by LA locals, The Original Farmers Market traces its origins to 1934. Today, the facility attracts locals and tourists alike to enjoy shopping. Come hungry, though, as there are plenty of tasty dishes available for you to enjoy while exploring the stalls and vendors throughout the building.
The Grove is a separate entity from the farmers market. While the Original Farmers Market is quaint and charming, The Grove is a thoroughly modern mega-mall featuring many of your favorite shops and restaurants, along with several high-end mall stores.
Visiting The Grove and Original Farmers Market is an experience you can savor. In fact, The Original Farmers Market and The Grove make a great lunch stop on a full-day bus tour of LA.
13. See the Stars and an Amazing View of the City at Griffith Park Observatory
More than just a park, Griffith Observatory allows visitors to enjoy stunning views of the Los Angeles basin while offering informative exhibitions and an excellent planetarium with top notch shows. The observatory also offers a gift shop and café for your convenience.
There is an impressive park here, as well. Offering 4210 acres, Griffin Park is the largest urban park in the United States. It features more than 50 miles of trails for hiking and biking, as well as various lagoons and waterfalls.
Other attractions in the park include:
- Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens
- The Hollywood Sign
- Autry Museum of the American West
- Train Rides
- Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round
- Greek Theatre Los Angeles
In other words, Griffith Park is another LA attraction you can build an entire day of your travels around — or more.
14. Hit the Winding Road With Legends on Mulholland Drive
Mulholland Drive is the drive all drives wish they could be. You will find few better opportunities to enjoy the scenery of LA in a car than on this 24-mile drive. In fact, this drive almost makes dealing with LA traffic entirely worthwhile.
Unfortunately, you have to keep your eyes on the road while making this drive — it isn’t a straight shot, but instead is filled with twists and turns. Consider taking turns driving, so everyone has an opportunity to enjoy the views. Be sure to stop at one — or all — of the seven scenic overlooks.
Many movies feature the road, including one of the street’s namesake.
Take in Top LA Attractions in Comfort With a Bus Tour
A Day in LA Tours allows you to explore many of the best things Los Angeles has to offer from the comfort of a bus without fighting traffic, worrying about getting lost or missing all the attractions because your eyes are on the road.
As a five-star-rated Yelp and five-star-rated TripAdvisor LA bus tour, we take the hassle out of getting around Los Angeles, so you can relax and enjoy every attraction. We provide personalized, safe and fun tours, so you’re sure to have a great time seeing the sights.
Choose the option that works best for you and your group.
Book your full LA day tour here — approximately 7 hours
Have questions? Reach us at 818-538-6287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Places to Stay in LA
There are a few things that are essential to any trip, no matter where you’re traveling and how you’re getting there. You need modes of transportation. You need good food. You need music for the road. And of course, you need a place to stay once you get there.
A trip to Los Angeles is no different. Whether you’re traveling there for a weekend, a week, a month or longer, you’ll need to know the best location to stay in LA. We’ve put together this guide to help you get the real scoop on where to stay in Los Angeles.
Here, we’ll walk you through not only hotels in Los Angeles but also different areas to stay in LA. We hope that after reading through this guide, you feel confident in booking your Los Angeles trip, knowing you’ll have a place to stay that’s comfortable, safe and provides everything you need.
Neighborhoods of Los Angeles
Like any other city, Los Angeles is loosely broken up into many different neighborhoods, each of which has a unique atmosphere and charm. Any of these different neighborhoods will offer plenty of hotels, and each neighborhood has its own list of pros and cons that make it worth your consideration.
As you plan your trip to LA, however, it’s a good idea to spend a little bit of time familiarizing yourself with the different neighborhoods and learning what you can expect from them.
Let’s review the major areas now, as well as what the benefits and drawbacks of staying in each of them would be.
While you might initially expect the Downtown neighborhood to be the bustling, modern heart of the city, Downtown is actually the historic neighborhood. This neighborhood is dominated by old buildings like banks, hotels and high-rises.
Despite the fact that many of the buildings and streets are old, however, this neighborhood has been experiencing a resurgence in popularity and development, lately. Many of the old and classic buildings are being converted and re-designed as apartments. New shopping centers, movie theaters, restaurants, hotels and clubs are moving into the area.
One of the hallmarks of this neighborhood is its diversity. When you’re downtown, you can easily encounter corporate skyscrapers, Mexican market stalls and modern art galleries.
Staying in the Downtown area presents the advantage of being close to all major hubs of transportation, as well as being fairly central to many of the city’s attractions. If you’re interested in visiting the beaches, however, you’ll be in for a bit of a commute.
Hollywood barely needs an introduction. The very name has a life of its own, immediately conjuring up images of glamorous parties, starlets, red carpet events and movie stars on every corner. Of course, not every bit of the neighborhood is quite this glamorous in real life, but the image still persists.
The reality is that not many celebrities live here anymore. The Hollywood district, as a whole, tends to be overcrowded and relatively low-income as tourists and aspiring performers from all around the country have crowded into the relatively small geographic area.
Don’t let this deter you, however, as things have begun to look up for this neighborhood in recent years. New tourist attractions have been built and modern shopping malls and spaces added in. This brilliant combination of an older and more tired neighborhood with fresh, fashionable new attractions makes for an incredible, eclectic mix of sights, sounds and smells to enjoy.
If you want to stay in Hollywood, you’ll have the huge advantage of being close to lots of great bars and clubs for a fun night out. The disadvantage will be that the neighborhood will tend to be one of the less upscale ones in the city. If you’re looking for the best and the brightest, you might not find it here. If you’re interested in the colorful and the memorable, however, this is a great place to look.
3. West Hollywood
Remember all that glitz and glamour you expected to find in Hollywood? Hollywood itself may not be able to deliver too much of that anymore, but West Hollywood has all the razzle-dazzle you could ever ask for, and then some. West Hollywood is known far and wide for beautiful, wide tree-lined streets, huge high-rises, flashy billboards, high-end shopping centers and all the great restaurants, clubs and nightlife you might imagine of Hollywood.
In particular, West Hollywood is known for being central to the LGBT communities in the city, meaning that if you’re looking for a great gay bar or nightclub to visit, this is the perfect destination. Additionally, you’ll find this neighborhood is a hotbed of shopping, restaurants and more. If you choose to visit the iconic Sunset Strip after dark, you’ll have a nightlife experience you won’t soon forget thanks to all the fantastic entertainment, clubs and food options.
There are plenty of advantages to staying here. The restaurant scene is off-the-charts, second only to what you might find in the Downtown area. It’s also not far from the beach, meaning you could easily head there for the afternoon. The nightlife is spectacular as well.
West Hollywood isn’t without its downsides, however. Lodgings here will likely be quite expensive. In addition to this, public transportation in this neighborhood is slightly lacking, and you’ll have to rely on cars to get around. Given the level of traffic, this can result in a real headache as you form your travel plans.
If you’re not from California and not familiar with the layout of LA, you might be surprised to learn that Venice isn’t just a beautiful city in Italy. It’s also a bustling neighborhood in LA. Like its Italian counterpart, however, it’s set on the water and has plenty of canals running through the city, making for beautiful and scenic walking destinations.
Venice is a wonderful hodgepodge of different things all jumbled together to make an exciting neighborhood well worth the visit. It’s long been established as a neighborhood that’s a little bit worse for the wear, but still has an undeniable stream of bohemian-chic charm to it. For those looking for character, you’ll definitely find it here.
This neighborhood’s had a bit of a facelift in recent years, as big companies have started to move into the area and transform it into a more high-end place. Expensive restaurants, charming boutiques and many other attractions have begun to pop up, particularly along the boardwalk and waterfront, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of affordable options in the neighborhood.
The benefits of staying in Venice are obvious. In addition to being close to the water, you also get to enjoy all the character, culture and color that these streets have to offer. One of the major disadvantages is that transportation is slightly more difficult, as there are no rail lines in Venice. There is a bike sharing program that you may want to take advantage of, however.
This might not be one of the neighborhoods you hear talked about the most, but with its exciting restaurant scene, it’s well worth the visit. The area is extremely densely populated, meaning that you’ll always be part of a pulsing, living crowd no matter where you go. And while the area hasn’t always been as popular as it is now, it’s recently experienced a renewed interest from the public and undergone a building boom that has really placed this neighborhood on the map.
You’ll find something exciting to do no matter where in the neighborhood you roam, but you’ll have especially good luck if you stick along Wilshire Blvd. Here, the bars and other eateries are densely backed together to make for a fun and exciting night of bar hopping with friends.
The food and excitement are two great reasons to stay in Koreatown, as well as the multiple Metro stops in the area. If you want to be right in the center of the city, or close to the beaches, however, you might want to choose another neighborhood.
6. Los Feliz
While some of us are all about the hustle and bustle of the big city and love nothing more than chasing the best nightlife in town, that isn’t for everyone. Some of us would much prefer quieter streets, more casual eateries and a pace that feels slightly less frantic. If that resonates with you, Los Feliz might be a neighborhood worth checking out.
Here, the streets are more casual and quiet. The area is less busy and feels more relaxed overall. At the same time, however, it manages to avoid feeling too cool or contrived, like other neighborhoods might. It feels laid-back and authentic, making it a great place to shop, eat or spend the night.
The pros of Los Feliz include the vast number of public transportation options available to you. In addition to this, you also have the advantage of the more casual and calm atmosphere. A con, however, is that you’ll be further from the main action of the city.
7. The Arts District
Do you see yourself as the artsy type? Then you probably don’t need to know much more than the name of the Arts District to convince you that this is a place worth visiting.
Like any good arts district, this area is home to cute coffee shops, outdoor dining, beautiful murals and walkable streets. There is a strong warehouse aesthetic that permeates the entire district, lending it a quaint and unique vibe that offers tons of character.
Although this area is becoming more mainstream all the time, it still manages to maintain a feeling of being slightly under-the-radar. When you hang out here, you can feel a little more relaxed, knowing you’re off the beaten path. There are plenty of unknown gems you might stumble across here, from shops and restaurants to bars and cafes.
The advantage here is the great atmosphere. This is a great place to stay that’s far enough away from the action that you can feel relaxed at nights, while still being close enough that you can travel to the center of the city when you want. A disadvantage to be aware of, however, is that the Metro does not reach into this district. This isn’t a bad thing if you like walking, however, as the streets are great for walking, sightseeing and people-watching.
8. Santa Monica
For many people, Santa Monica conjures up a gorgeous image of pristine beaches, absolute relaxation and life in the lap of luxury. And while there’s a bit more to it than that, this isn’t far from the truth. Santa Monica is gorgeous and a place that everyone should visit if they’re in LA.
Between the white-sand beaches and the laid-back beachside resort-town feeling, it isn’t hard to understand why this is the dream for so many individuals when they come to visit Santa Monica. This town isn’t just about the beach, however. There are also some of the city’s finest restaurants, stores and attractions all within the limits of this neighborhood. The area is friendly, open-minded and liberal, making it a great place to hang out.
We hardly need to point out the advantages of this neighborhood. It’s beautiful, relaxing, convenient and home to some of the greatest places to eat and shop in the entire city. There isn’t much to say regarding disadvantages, except to point out that the prices are likely to be high. You may also find that you’re a bit far from the downtown hub of traffic. If you’re looking to be close to that, realize that Santa Monica is a bit farther out than you might initially think.
If you’re looking for that authentic Los Angeles beach experience that you’ve seen immortalized in so many movies, TV shows and commercials, you couldn’t find a better place to be than Malibu. This stunning beach town is far enough away from the heart of the city that you don’t feel overwhelmed by all the hustle and bustle, but still close enough that you can head into the city for a night on the town if you like.
The views in Malibu range from wide, flat beaches to secluded sections of coastline, tall cliffs and jagged rock formations, making it a photographer’s dream. If you’re worried about being too far from civilization, however, don’t be. There are still plenty of fantastic eateries and shops to visit out here, and you can do it all without the insanity of the downtown area.
The pros of staying in Malibu are apparent. You’ll be right next to the water and removed from the craziness at the heart of the city. The cons are that you’re less central to most of the city’s attractions, and lodgings are likely to be expensive as well.
Travel the City in Style and Comfort
Finding a place to stay is the first part of planning your trip. The second and most crucial step is figuring out how you’re going to get around once you’ve arrived in LA. If you’re wondering how you can see as much of the city as possible without having to deal with all the traffic yourself, then we’d like to invite you to experience a bus tour with A Day in LA Tours. We offer full-day tours, celebrity home tours and private tours of LA.
Book your tour with us today and get busy planning to make your trip to LA one you’ll never forget.
Best Los Angeles Restaurants
Planning a trip to Los Angeles? Or maybe you’re getting ready to make a move there in the near future? Whatever your reason for traveling to LA, one thing’s for sure. There’s a lot to learn about any new city, and LA is no exception. You’ll have to learn the public transportation routes, the best shopping centers and all the greatest places to catch a movie, game or performance. Most fun and exciting of all? You’ll have to learn all the best restaurants in LA.
Finding all the best restaurants is an important thing in any city, but it’s especially important in a city like LA. After all, when you’re surrounded by some of the best and most fun restaurants in the country, it’s essential to learn where they are and take full advantage of their proximity.
To help you out in your quest to find all the best Los Angeles restaurants, we’ve put together this quick and easy reference list for you. Work your way down the list, checking off each place as you visit it. When you’ve tried them all, don’t forget to stop back and tell us which ones you think are the top restaurants in LA!
Best Restaurants in Los Angeles
Ready to hit up all the most iconic and delicious LA restaurants? Don’t miss a single one when you follow this list.
1. Michael’s Restaurant
Don’t be shocked if this name sounds familiar. Michael’s Restaurant has been around for years, and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. Plenty of famous chefs got their start working at this very restaurant. Here, you’ll find traditional dishes and eclectic new combinations, meaning there’s always something for everyone.
Eat indoors, or dine on the beautiful leafy patio when the weather is nice. Either way, your time at Michael’s Restaurant will be an experience to remember. If you make your way out to Santa Monica, this is one restaurant you can’t miss.
Another restaurant located out in Santa Monica, Cassia brings a versatility that makes it appealing no matter what meal you’re looking for or what time of day it is. Stop by for a long sit-down dinner with colleagues, or have a quick brunch with friends. The atmosphere is a perfect blend of casual yet classy and combines flavors and styles from Asia along with a heavy emphasis on seafood and classic cooking techniques from France.
3. Scratch/Bar & Kitchen
You’ll have to get a reservation to make it in the doors of this next place, but the foods served up at Scratch/Bar & Kitchen make it worth the hassle. Make a point of putting in your reservation, and head up to the Valley for a flavor experience like no other. Here at this tasting restaurant, you can enjoy the unique flavor combinations and creative dishes that you might have never dreamed of otherwise. Don’t forget that reservation though, as walk-ins are not allowed.
4. Rose Café/Restaurant
Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or a formal sit-down dinner experience, you’ll find it here at Rose Café/Restaurant. Sit at the bar, the tables or even out on the patio in the summer. Best of all? You’ll find pasta to be a heavy focus of the menu, meaning if you’re looking to get your carb fix, this is the place to be. The interior of this restaurant has also recently been entirely made-over — even if it’s a place you’ve visited in the past, it’s worth making a second trip.
Looking for a bite to eat on your lunch break or for brunch on the weekend? Gjusta is the place for you. You won’t find much seating here, but the food more than makes up for it. Enjoy pastries and breads as some of this kitchen’s finest staples, but don’t stop there. If you’re here for more of a sit-down meal than a quick stop-in, try flatbread pizzas, prime ribs, smoked fish and so much more.
Love pasta and traditional Italian cuisine? If so, you can’t afford to pass up the opportunity to stop by Felix in Venice. Good Italian cooking is paramount here as you enjoy exquisite handmade pastas of all kinds in a variety of different sauces and dishes. Pasta isn’t the only thing on the menu either, although it is their specialty. You can enjoy salads, bread, fine wines and more.
When you think of pizza, the cities that probably come to mind first are Chicago and New York. LA might not be on your shortlist of top pizza cities in the U.S., but you might have to re-write that list, because it’s time to include Los Angeles.
Pizzana has crafted a traditional Neapolitan pizza that’s absolutely delectable, and they aren’t about to stop there. They’re always mixing flavors and styles to create new and delicious pizzas for your eating pleasure. Stop by and see if this isn’t one of the best pizzas you’ve ever had.
Do you love Japanese food? If you’ve never had it before, are you adventurous enough to give it a try? Whether you’re a longtime fan of this cuisine or you’re just tasting it for the first time, there’s plenty to love about n/naka. Here, you can enjoy delicious seafood and wine combinations like nothing you’ve ever tasted before. You’ll need to make a reservation, however, and for the best results, you might even want to make that reservation several weeks in advance. This restaurant is that popular.
9. Manhattan Beach Post
Sometimes, you’re just looking for good, simple food perfected with a chef’s careful touch. For just such occasions, we’d recommend a visit to Manhattan Beach Post on Manhattan Beach. This restaurant is mere steps from the beach, making it the perfect spot to eat dinner and then follow it up with a walk on the beach at sunset.
Plates here are small and designed to be shared with one another as you sample multiple dishes, making this a perfect place for a date. This restaurant is always hopping, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time on your visit here.
10. The Exchange
Have you ever wanted to travel the world without ever leaving your city? Food is a great way to do that, and when you visit The Exchange, you can travel all the way to Israel without ever once leaving Los Angeles. This restaurant is on the small side, so you might want to keep your group small. Between the delicious Israeli cuisine and the stylish wood-based and plant-bedecked interior, however, it’s well worth the trip.
When you’re right in the heart of Los Angeles, you won’t want to miss grabbing lunch or dinner at this classic restaurant. The patio dining space is one of the best in the city, although you’ll be comfortable if you sit inside too. Enjoy traditional American cuisine, all cooked with a chef’s perfect extra touch. The fried chicken is especially good, but you can’t go wrong no matter what you order off this menu. No matter what you like, you’ll find that there’s something for everyone at A.O.C.
Sometimes, the best restaurants are the ones where the menu is constantly in flux, where there are new and exciting dishes to try every time you visit. With Lukshon, that’s exactly what you get. This Asian-inspired restaurant is continually remixing its own menu, pulling off old dishes and putting together new creations for you to try. Here, you’ll taste things that remind you of common Asian dishes but that are presented in a way that’s unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before.
13. E.P. & L.P.
Located in West Hollywood, E.P. & L.P. is one of the most glamorous restaurants the city has to offer, with all the glitz, glamour and excitement you would expect out of a Hollywood restaurant. Don’t be fooled by the showiness, however. The food has got it where it counts. Enjoy Asian-inspired cuisine in the dining room, or relax with a cocktail and a few small bites to eat on the rooftop, where you’ll find a spectacular view of the city.
14. Jon & Vinny’s
Love pasta, pizza, salads and other delicious Italian meals? If you do, Jon & Vinny’s is one place you won’t want to miss out on. This shiny new restaurant is located right in the heart of Los Angeles, making it an easy and central destination no matter where in the city you’re coming from. For any meal of the day, you can find great comfort food, all while enjoying the sleek, modern design of this wood-based interior.
The interior design of this restaurant is likely to be the first thing to catch your eye as you walk through the doors. You’ll be greeted with striking blue accents and a nearly 100-year-old design built by Charlie Chaplin himself. Republique is more than just looks, however, as the food here is French and designed for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No matter what time of day it is, you’ll find something here to fill your classic French-food cravings.
16. Chi Spacca
If you’re wondering where you can find the best steak in all of Los Angeles, there’s no place better than Chi Spacca. It’s a small restaurant, but don’t be fooled. The steaks and other meals that come out of this small and open kitchen are second to none. It’s also located right in the heart of LA, making for a convenient destination that you’ll want to make sure to include on your LA visit.
17. Petit Trois
Petit Trois is a classic Parisian bistro designed to transport you all the way across the Atlantic and into the streets of Paris, all without you ever having to leave Los Angeles. The food served here is French food in its most traditional form, with a few slight variations.
The menu is fairly small, but don’t let that serve as a turn-off, as everything on it is delicious and worth ordering. Whether you’re looking for a perfect French omelet, escargot or French onion soup, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for and more. The restaurant also has two locations, making it easy to find one close to you.
18. Luv2eat Thai Bistro
If you’re looking for more spices than you can handle, it’s time to head to the Luv2eat Thai Bistro located on Sunset Boulevard. This restaurant may be only a few years old, but it’s already making an enormous splash. Here you can find some of the best Thai food in the city. Be cautious when ordering, however. Unless you’re prepared for some of the spiciest food you’ve ever tasted in your life, order the mild dishes. If you’re up for the challenge though, we say go for it!
Curious about Middle Eastern cuisine but never had the opportunity to try it before? Kismet is the perfect place to start. It’s a small yet modern restaurant that’s open all day, breakfast to dinner. You can sample a variety of dishes from the Middle East, all while relaxing in an airy and sleekly designed space. It’s also fairly new, having just opened in 2017. In other words, you’ll get to be one of the trendsetters currently making this restaurant a popular new spot.
20. Langer’s Delicatessen-Restaurant
There’s no better place in the entire city to sit down and have a good sandwich. Do you love pastrami? Corned beef? Roast beef? No matter what type of sandwich you love, you’ll find that there’s something at Langer’s Delicatessen-Restaurant to tempt you.
Take special note of this restaurant’s hours, as they’re strictly a daytime operation. This spot is a great choice for brunch, lunch or even an early dinner. They close at 4 p.m., however, so if you’re looking for a late-night dining option, you’ll be better off choosing somewhere else.
Tour Los Angeles in Style Today
Are you planning your upcoming trip to Los Angeles? Wondering what the best way to see the city is? Trying to figure out the easiest way to swing past all the best places to eat in Los Angeles? We’ve got a suggestion for you. Why not book a trip with A Day in LA Tours?
We offer full-day bus tours of the city. Our tours give you the chance to see all these nice restaurants in LA and so much more. We understand that driving and trying to navigate the city for yourself can be stressful and hectic. We also know that you want your trip to be stress-free. That’s why we invite you to sit back, relax and let us take the wheel as we guide you through this beautiful city.
When you ride with us, we’ll help you experience the very best that Los Angeles has to offer. Our tour takes guests through iconic locations like Venice Beach, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. Best of all, we offer it all at a reasonable price designed to fit neatly in your travel budget.
Learn more about how you can get started with booking your tour with us today.