Los Angeles Travel Guide

Los Angeles Travel Guide

Claudia Schwarz

Los Angeles is a diamond in the rough: rich in contrast and unpredictably beautiful. With such a versatile array of possibilities, there is no other city like LA. Hollywood glamour meets shabby-chic, and splendid world-class museums compete with dazzling every day street art. A unique cultural blend forms the character of this remarkable city. The City of Angels has it all: a big spectrum of outdoor activities, beaches & mountains, arts & culture, west coast design, culinary adventures, health & fitness, all accompanied by blue skies and never-ending sunshine. Wondering what to do in Los Angeles? Mr Hudson has got you covered.

Things to do in LA

There are many beautiful places to visit in LA. At night Los Angeles seems like an endless sea of lights. A conglomerate of smaller cities connected by spider web-like freeways on a vast territory. Griffith Observatory is probably the best landmark to grasp the city’s immensity and the Hollywood sign. The Observatory is located on Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park.

Hollywood is legendary and famous, built on dreams and known for its glamorous movie industry. It boasts restaurants, stores, clubs, actors, scriptwriters and movie industry wannabe’s. It is as versatile as one can imagine and by no means shy, claiming the Hollywood sign as a signature landmark. Also well known for amazing outdoor concerts is the Hollywood Bowl, an amphitheatre in the Hollywood area.

Right next to Hollywood is WeHo, West Hollywood, mostly known for exuberant gay nightlife, sleek boutique hotels and the Design District, home to many fashion boutiques, galleries and interior design showrooms. Take a stroll on Rodeo Drive and in the neighbourhood of Beverly Hills for upscale boutique and window shopping, where Prada, Gucci and Co. consider their home. Don’t miss the Museum Row on Miracle Mile, a stretch on Wilshire Blvd between Fairfax Avenue and La Brea Avenue. It houses some of the best and most popular LA museums, one of them being the LA County Museum of Art.

And the list of things to do in Los Angeles goes on. Downtown Los Angeles, known as DTLA, is now the hot spot for great city lifestyle paired with architectural bliss. Countless styles can be found, especially Beaux-Arts and Art Deco gems. DTLA is also known as the hub for remarkable restaurants, cafes and bars, some of them located in restored landmark buildings from the early 20th century, fused with contemporary design elements. A Downtown tour should be done on foot, starting at the ACE Hotel passing the Eastern Building, continuing to the classic Biltmore Hotel, the Disney Hall by Frank Gehry and the recently opened The Broad.

Adjacent to DTLA is the Arts District, an area undergoing a complete facelift from industrial underground with repurposed warehouses to a trendy up-and-coming neighbourhood. Venice Beach is a laid-back beach community and home to hippies, mystics, performers and muscle-beach gyms on Venice Beach Boulevard. Unique and charming shops and restaurants are located on Abbot Kinney Blvd. The chic and posh sister to Venice Beach would be Santa Monica with plenty of great restaurants and leisurely shopping on 3rd Street Promenade. The best way to end the day is a sunset drive along the Malibu coast, leaving LA’s bustling cities behind.

Disney Hall and The Broad | Photo: Claudia Schwarz

Disney Hall and The Broad | Photo: Claudia Schwarz

The best hotels in LA

For the eclectic and en vogue individual the stunning ACE hotel is the place to stay. The property is situated in the historic United Artists building, a historical landmark in Downtown Los Angeles. The rooms are modern, with an effortless and classic charisma. For sunny days and starry nights the rooftop poolside is predestined for a cocktail with a downtown view. Once you leave the ACE, downtown is yours to explore on foot. The rule that nobody walks in LA definitely does not apply in DTLA.

For the adventurous and eccentric gent, the Line Hotel in Koreatown is the address to spend the night. It boasts wonderfully designed rooms with picturesque views. This hotel is also well known for its great restaurants: The Pot by celebrated chef Roy Choi and the Commissary, a greenhouse oasis right next to the sparkling hotel pool.

There are two hotel choices for men who like to explore and party in West Hollywood. Both are conveniently located in the heart of WeHo and most attractions, boutiques and nightlife can be reached on foot. The Palihouse West Hollywood, a boutique hotel with 37 rooms is a cosy haven and urban lodge. It is a remarkable private place to come back to for rest and to enjoy a quiet refuge in the midst of WeHo. The London West Hollywood strikes with elegance and grandeur. Luxurious rooms and a spectacular poolside roof deck with a panoramic view, make for a very alluring choice for the gentleman who appreciates glamour and style.

The Line Hotel | Photo: Art Gray

The Line Hotel | Photo: Art Gray

Where to eat in LA

LA is unquestionably a culinary heaven for foodies. A melting pot for numerous international cuisines, a platform for grand chefs and home to the so- called California Fusion kitchen. Angelinos take pride in what they eat. The choices are diverse, eclectic and creative, and there is no need to visit only Michelin-star restaurants to indulge in some of the best food this town has to offer.

Spending a day in DTLA is a great way to pamper your gusto, as it harbours some of the greatest restaurants in town. Dining at Terroni combines traditional Southern Italian deliciousness with a grand interior setting in one of the landmark bank buildings. Bottega Louie is another restaurant with a sense of splendour, where traditional architecture meets modern design. They serve a breath-taking diversity of beautiful pastries with great lunch and dinner menus.

Grand Central Market offers various cuisines in a casual setting. This food emporium and market is the key to a perfect lunch. The selection ranges from diverse international gastronomy to juice bars, beer brewing, fancy coffee and old fashioned ice cream. Zinc Café & Market is an excellent address for modern Californian breakfast and brunch with urban outdoor seating. For seasonal and local Farmers’ Market-inspired dishes and a fabulous selection of boutique wines from around the world, Rustic Canyon Wine Bar is the perfect choice. It is a neighbourhood restaurant and wine bar located in Santa Monica. For Artisan kitchen, a trendy atmosphere and a rustic interior, Gjelina is a local Venice Beach favourite and the hottest place to be. Le Comptoir, far from the ordinary, is a very special treat, located within Koreatown ‘s Hotel Normandie. There are only ten seats per night at the counter, where you’ll get to observe Chef Gary Mendes up-close while preparing a six-course tasting menu. Pump in WeHo is a well-liked spot within the gay community. Especially the weekend brunch in the magical garden restaurant is a popular highlight. Last but not least, you will find the best Mexican tacos on a food truck, a fabulous way to enjoy some of LA’s best. Guerrilla Tacos, by Chef Wes, offers superb Mexican cuisine with a modern, creative twist. All ingredients are locally sourced daily. The food truck can be found at several locations throughout town, which can be found on their website.

G&B Coffee at Grand Central Market | Photo: Andrea Alonso

G&B Coffee at Grand Central Market | Photo: Andrea Alonso

Shopping in LA

Looking fabulous, feeling good and living well, is the motto of any Angelino. And the possibilities to satisfy one’s desires are endless. The WeHo Design District is worth a leisurely walk, as it offers a bounty of interior design showrooms with furniture and home accessories, par excellence. Restoration Hardware on Melrose Avenue is a marvellous, three storey, opulent interior design dream. Its striking 3rd-floor rooftop garden is a tranquil oasis, comfortably furnished with outdoor seating and simply perfect to take a break.

From furniture design to fashion design: for the dapper rock star-gentleman, John Varvatos on Melrose Avenue in WeHo is the proper address. Suits, fitted leather jackets, casual outfits, everything an urban gent needs for the perfected wardrobe. Across the street is Maxfield, a high-end department store for women and men with curated ready-to-wear collections by selected designers. Unique shoes can be found at John Fluevog on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach. Remarkable Canadian shoe design, with flagship stores only in Canada and the US. Just One Eye is a seductive shopping highlight introducing luxurious couture, accessories, interiors and art in an exclusive, swank ambiance.

Los Angeles nightlife

West Hollywood has a lot to offer when it comes to gay nightlife, but The Abbey Food & Bar is a WeHo institution and without a doubt the best bar of them all. Whether it is for a cocktail, some food on their outdoor patio or dancing. Another very special place is The Edison in Downtown LA. It is probably one of the most distinctive bars you will ever see. A big staircase leads you to a Metropolis-like world of the first private electrical Los Angeles power plant, now a cocktail bar. It is a wonderful place to have a drink and marvel at the architectural and mechanical artefacts, as Art Nouveau meets industrial interior. Visit The Varnish to get a glimpse of the old-times of prohibition. It’s a modern-day speakeasy in the back of Cole’s restaurant, a historic diner from 1908 in Downtown LA.

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