In the spirit of keeping all of my travel guides current, I’ve done an overhaul of my Los Angeles travel guide so that it is fully up to date for your trip planning pleasure. One thing to note here is that LA is absolutely enormous and there are so.many.places I’ve still never been to and am dying to explore. This is by no means a conclusive listing of everywhere to go in LA, so please don’t take it as such.
Instead, I’ve tried to group activities and dining experiences together by neighborhood, because I’ve found that when spending time in LA, so much of my planning is neighborhood-based because of the transportation element. This is a little bit different than my usual travel guide format, but I hope that you enjoy it nonetheless! Read on for some of my favorite things to do, see, and eat in the ever-inspiring Los Angeles (and even though it isn’t included below, a stop a In N Out is obligatory)!
Between the picture-perfect Abbot Kinney, the beach, and attractions like the canals, Venice Beach is an easy place to spend a day exploring. For food, don’t miss Gjusta for some of the best bread in SoCal, it’s sister spot Gjelina for any meal (because it’s that good), Rose Cafe for a coffee pit stop, and Hotel Erwin for rooftop cocktails at sunset.
I’m taking liberties with this “neighborhood” but it’s all in the name of trip planning glory. Visiting LACMA is an unmissable LA activity, but where does one go to eat nearby? I would vote for either Petty Cash (get the cauliflower nachos) or Pizzeria Mozza (for incredible ‘za).
Even before LaLaLand romanticized this destination even further, Griffith Park Observatory was a place to visit for both hiking trails that show off beautiful LA vistas, and a museum that lets you explore the outer reaches of the solar system. Plan to hit up Sqirl afterwards, and know that there will most likely be a wait but it is entirely worth it.
This little downtown strip in Hancock Park is such a neighborhood gem for shops and foodie spots alike. Visit Go Get Em Tiger for a macadamia milk latte and Salt and Straw for inventive ice cream flavors (I was there before Thanksgiving and one had turkey cracklings in it – no joke).
Look no further than DTLA for culture (visit the Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall), food (don’t miss out on portobello fries at Bottega Louie), and everything in between. Grand Central Market is not to be missed – this overstuffed food hall in the heart of DTLA is a foodie’s paradise. My favorite spot inside is Eggslut, where I originally tried the Fairfax breakfast sandwich.
Culver City/Playa Del Ray/Century City
This mash-up of areas in west LA had some of my favorite food spots on my most recent trip. Lodge Bread Co has some of the best bread and pizza I’ve ever had, period. Playa Provisions is both delicious and high on ambiance for brunch, and is perfect proximity for a stroll on the nearby beach afterwards. Don’t miss Hinoki and the Bird for dinner – get the black cod and chili crab toast.
This beachside hub can be challenging to get to in traffic, but is worth the trek for a trip to the Getty Museum and Malibu Wines. For the latter, pack a picnic, pick up some wine there, and enjoy the sunshine outdoors under the twinkle lights.