I'm heading to LA for a couple days before Thanksgiving! I've been to LA a bunch of times for weddings, family gatherings, and even school trips, but I've never really just gotten to hang out and explore. I've been researching places to go for about a month, and rounded up a bunch of my top picks. There's no way we'll get to do everything on my list, but I love making bucket lists!
I'm super excited to explore DTLA and Silver Lake. Maybe it's the San Franciscan in me, but I love finding little neighborhoods packed full of walk-able activities. Whenever I'm on vacation, I search out small, locally owned stores, restaurants and cafes. I love finding amazing coffee and cute home stores. I know LA is a driving city, but any chance to walk around and experience the city and neighborhoods up close is welcome.
My boyfriend and I aren't really amusement park or organized tour kinda people, and would rather explore on our own, so you won't find Disneyland, Universal Studios, California Adventure or the Hollywood Star Walk on my list. You also won't find going to the beach listed--don't get me wrong, I love the beach! But I grew up in San Diego, my boyfriend is from Maui, and I still go to the beach a fair amount in SF, so we don't really need to go to the beach. We do love to eat! And drink! And would love some foodie suggestions!
Let me know if I've missed anything you love!
We're staying at the Ace Hotel in Downtown LA. The hotel looks beautiful and is centrally located. My boyfriend and I are pretty cliche San Franciscans--we love our coffee, green juice and artisanal touches. The hotel is walking distance to plenty of bars and restaurants, and is adjacent to a historic theater. I wanted a classic LA experience, and the Ace has a rooftop bar and pool/hot tub, and hosts free parties. I spend my days working at an architecture firm, and love that Downtown LA is full of historic buildings! I can't wait to explore!
BUCKET LIST :
The Broad is LA's newest museum. Both the architecture and the art within are contemporary. The building's unique punched skin was Instagram famous before the museum even opened. Jeff Koons, Andreas Gursky and Jean-Michael Basquiat are just a couple of the artists you'll find. The Broad is located right down the street from the famous Disney Concert Hall, which offers free tours. Admission to the museum is free, but parking will cost you about $10.
Free! Offering up great views of downtown and the Hollywood signm Griffith Observatory has been in countless movies. Inside, you'll find Interesting science displays, interactive learning and tons of LA facts.
Located in Pacific Palisaides, the Getty Villa offers four expansive gardens to wander through, and ancient and classical art to enjoy. The gardens were inspired by ancient Rome, and hold more than 3,000 species of plants. The Roman Villa was built in the 1970s, and offers a taste of the Old World without leaving California. The museum is closed Tuesdays, open Wednesday-Monday. Admission is free, parking is $15/car.
Located in West LA, this museum is known for their extensive European and American art collection and beautiful architecture. The art covers history from the Medieval Times through present. The Getty Center is closed Mondays, free admission, parking is $15 per car.
When my mom was growing up in Santa Monica in the late 1960s, the Venice Canals were polluted and the area was known for crime and violence. The canals are historic, and have recently been redone. Now, little cottages along them sell for well over $1 million. The Canals look like they'll be an awesome place to take a walk for an hour, and stretch our legs.
Fulfilling the SF-foodie agenda, this market reminds me of the Ferry Building. It's within walking distance to our hotel, and looks like a great place to pick up lunch or grab a few specialty items for Thanksgiving.