Not So Touristy: Los Angeles

May 11, 2016
Los Angeles

This past weekend I was in Los Angeles (LA) for the Create + Cultivate Conference.  This wasn’t my first time in LA, so this trip wasn’t about doing all those “must do” touristy things.  Been there, done that.  Now when I visit, I like to do things that are less tourist oriented and more “local” minded.  Read on to learn about some less typical LA things to do.  To find out about my Create + Cultivate experience, click here.

There are a LOT of things to do in LA.  A lot!  You’d need far more than a weekend to see it all.  And since I also had a conference to attend, this post will be short.  But I wanted to share a few ideas in case you are looking to get away from the tourist crowds.

Los Angeles

View at Griffith Park

Shopping/Strolling LA

If you like shopping or simply strolling around, you might be thinking you’ll head over to Rodeo Drive.  If you’ve never been and just want a look around, go!  But if you are looking for a place less known to tourists, I would suggest the West 3rd Street area (between La Cienega & Fairfax).  This area is lined with boutique shops and cafes, making it a perfect way to spend part of your day (if this is your kind of thing, that is).  If you’d like to browse some larger box store options, The Grove is nearby.  Aside from several well known brand stores, the Grove is also home to a farmer’s market.

Quick Tip:  If you are parking at The Grove, be sure to ask stores if they validate parking (so you don’t have to pay).

LA Beach

Outdoors LA

If you are interested in getting outdoors in LA, that’s easy, too.  There are any number of beaches, of course.  But if you’re wanting to stretch your legs and take in some views, I will offer up a few options.  One of the most popular areas to hike is Runyon Canyon (think Hollywood sign), however, it can be quite crowded.  And, at this time, it’s closed for repairs.  If you are up for heading out to Malibu, Solstice Canyon offers fantastic trails, some with ocean views (there’s also a nice drive).  I highly recommend this area if you have the time.  For some hiking a bit closer to LA, check out Griffith Park.  The trails we took double as equestrian trails (dodging some horsey poo!) and weren’t marked, but it was pretty evident which way to go for the views (up!).  You can also pay a visit to Griffith Observatory while you are at it.  You do get a sort of sideways view of the “sign” from here, but you can’t get any closer with these trails.  There are also several ranches in the area offering guided horse rides in this area.  At the top, there’s nearly 360 views of LA-mountains, city, ocean (on a clear day).  Just gorgeous!


Hiking through Griffith Park

Another spot worth a visit, though technically not a hike (unless you count the walk up and the walking you’ll do while there), is the Getty.  Even if you are not a huge history buff, this place has a sort of relaxing vibe and some lovely views.  If you’ve got little ones in tow, there are activities to keep them busy, too!

I know this is a super short “Things to do in LA” list.  It’s certainly not meant to be exhaustive; just a few suggestions that are a bit more “local”.

Eat/Drink:  The list of amazing restaurants in LA is loooong!  These are just a few of the ones I have visited recently and recommend.  Mercado, Joan’s on Third, Toast, Gracias Madre, AOC

Do you have any favorite “local” LA spots to share?


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  • Reply BBeaty May 13, 2016 at 2:30 am

    Might I also suggest The Malibu Cafe, off Latigo Canyon Road, in Malibu?! This is a chic outdoor dining space with a really great menu! There are heaps of outdoor activities (i.e. billiards, table tennis, paddle boats, hammocks, etc.) to keep everyone entertained for hours! In addition, there are plenty of parking spaces! 🙂

    • Reply May 13, 2016 at 2:58 am

      Thanks so much for the recommendation! Sounds like a place we will have to check out next time!

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