It wouldn’t make sense to talk about a right season to visit Los Angeles since you always feel a never-ending spring here. This “City of Angels” promises lovely days with its streets and colorful lifestyle as well as its climate.
By Fulya Ozgener
Los Angeles is a city formed not with an outer expansion but with the union of small cities. That’s why you usually need a car to travel from one point to another. However, the flat landscape enables you to explore more and in a fun way by cycling rather than by car.
You can find rental bike stores all around the city or opt for one of the thousands of green bikes offered by Metro Bike Share. If you’re lucky and feeling adventurous, you can also partake in local cycling tours.
For your first day in the city, let’s begin in a place which will reveal you the illuminated Los Angeles; it’s the observatory at Griffith Park. In addition to its view, the observatory is a great place for kids and pretty impressive for “big kids” who love science with its display of scientific tools, giant pendulum, planetarium and the lightning-filled Tesla coil.
At the end of this visual and intellectual feast, let’s move on to a palatal and vocal one at Vibrato Grill Jazz. Live jazz performances, an ordinary small table and a menu of delicious seafood dishes – what more can you want from a city? By the way, keep an eye on the guests because you can always run into a silver screen celebrity. Make sure to book a table and remember that it’s closed on Mondays unless there’s a special event.
And the next day… You wake up to fresh air and all your body craves is a wonderful breakfast. You’re in luck because Los Angeles has a lot to offer for this expectation. The first is Blu Jam Café, jam-packed even in the early hours of the morning. Norwegian style eggs benedict with salmon and fresh fruit juice will be worth every minute here. If you’d like to have breakfast near the ocean, then there’s only one place to go: Venice Beach. Known as the American version of its namesake, the beach was a project realized by Abbot Kinney, an American tobacco businessman, in 1905, and now it houses the world-famous Abbot Kinney Boulevard.
Venice Beach is one of the world’s most vibrant beaches, filled with people having fun from volleyball players to surfers, body-builders to vendors selling handcrafted objects. Here, you can visit Gjusta which will steal your heart at first glance with its rich alternatives, savory dishes and presentation. All you have to do is to choose one of the delicacies on the long counter.
The best plan after breakfast is to get lost among the designer shops on Abbot Kinney only a few steps from the beach. Considering that each corner is home to stores that greet you with various flavors and sights, Abbot Kinney is a fulfilling experience throughout the day.
You don’t have to travel far to watch the sun recede from the Pacific Ocean. The terrace of Erwin Hotel, included in all tour booklets and the signature landmark of the Venice block since the 1970s, is the perfect choice to watch the sunset and to relieve the day’s fatigue.
If this is not your first time in Los Angeles and you have already shopped at Rodeo Drive or taken pictures with the handprints of Hollywood celebrities, then you can find different alternatives on Santa Catalina Island which is 26 miles of the coast of the city with many ferries available daily from different ports.
This city is a true treasure if you’d like to enjoy the blue waters by snorkeling. Offering alternatives like wild eagle hunting or zip wire, the island is only an hour from Los Angeles so it’s perfect for daily excursions.
When you’re back in the city, you can enjoy the pool at Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills for a change after the sun and salty water. Or, for a more entertaining experience, you can end the day with laughter at the Hollywood Improv Comedy Club.
In Los Angeles, the home of almost all movie celebrities, you can watch some films from the world-renowned director Quentin Tarantino's private collection at the movie theater he owns. Talking about cinema, you should also visit the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel which was opened in 1927 and has hosted famous personalities such as Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe.
This is a city that offers endless options for each meal and you have to decide which one to try. Though the city’s close proximity to the Mexican border has left an influence on its cuisine, the variety is not limited to this. You can book a table without hesitation at Gjelina on Abbot Kinney for pizza, at Fig&Olive on Melrose for tasty ribs, at Cleo in Hollywood for Mediterranean cuisine, and at Benihana in Santa Monica for Japanese dishes.
Don’t be upset if you missed the L.A. Restaurant Week in January to sample the cuisines the city has to offer because some of the finest restaurants offer preset menus for a special price on Sundays. It’d be amiss not to include Crossroads Kitchen in Melrose and Church&State in the city center to your plans. For snacks, you can try a healthy and zinging giant bowl of frozen yogurt and acai berries, which has become a symbol of the city along with its palm trees. You won’t regret it!
You’d be wrong if you think that it’s expensive to visit the city’s first-class museums. The Getty Center and Getty Villa, the California Science Center, and the Hammer Museum all have free admission while LACMA, the Huntington Library, and the Norton Simon Museum have free-of-charge visits at least one day a month.
A leading force in the entertainment and cinema industries, Hollywood Universal Studios is one of the most exciting places in Los Angeles. It promises hours of endless fun you never wish to end with a variety of movies from Jurassic Park to Harry Potter. Disneyland is another popular place among families with friends. Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Roger Rabbit, King Arthur Carrousel, Tarzan’s Tree House, Star Wars heroes and Mickey Mouse and his friends await visitors.
Disneyland is an option that guarantees happiness!
Los Angeles is a city that caters to different expectations with its entertainment scene, numerous culinary options and streets that lead to the ocean. An oasis for bookworms, The Last Bookstore is an interesting two-story shop. You can find pristine old books or buy a well-preserved copy of a magazine from 1960 in this wonderland.
We record our feelings and experiences about the places we travel. It’s no surprise that this city, meaning “angels” in Spanish, has earned itself a place in our hearts with lasting springs when we’re there and with longing when we’re away.