I can’t believe I’ve been living in Los Angeles for almost 5 years. I was driving through Hollywood Boulevard the other day (to get to an appointment) and I had one of those flash back moments from when I first visited LA. I was 18 or so and remember REALLY wanting to see as much as I can. From the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Beverly Hills sign to walking down Rodeo Drive pretending I was Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. When you visit a city like LA, there’s so much you want to see while soaking everything in.
Whether you’re a resident of LA or planning an upcoming trip – here’s a little city guide of my favorite fun things to do while you’re here. Note: The tourist attraction in LA during the spring and summer season is HEAVY. I recommend steering clear from these areas unless you absolutely want to see a touristy spot. However you won’t want to spend an entire day there.
Sushi By H: Hands down my favorite sushi spot I’ve ever been to in my life. I MEAN IT! Faves on the menu: Albacore Onion Sashimi, San Vicente Roll, The Lava Stone, Crab Avocado Harmony. (P.S. I always get extra ginger because theirs is so delicious). We love going for dinner!
Kazunori: Located in Westwood, it’s a wonderful place to grab a quick bite before heading out. Fantastic hand rolls.
Nomura Sushi: This is located in Studio City and it’s one of the first sushi spots me and Stevie fell in love with. We would always escape bad days in LA and go out there for some peace and quiet. Their TUNA TARTARE is on another level!!!
Au Fudge: I recently went here for the first time and it was such a cute spot! I love how they keep it “young” and fun for the kids. The adult menu has tons of great options too to hit a variety of taste buds. I got the mini beef sliders and stuffed pretzel bites! Yum!
Grand Central Market: Located in downtown LA, you can find an eclectic mix of foods, spices, fresh produce and more. It’s quite the experience and a must see.
Blue Plate Taco: If you’re looking for good tacos in LA, I recommend hitting up Blue Plate during happy hour! It’s the ultimate hang out spot on the beach with delicious margaritas and tons of Tex-Mex options! Must Try: Brisket Tacos, Lobster Tacos, Chips and Guac (full size order) and the Passion Smash margarita!
Franco: Located on Melrose, it’s the most charming little Italian spot with a great outdoor seating patio. The ambience is fantastic (I always feel like I’m in Italy!) A Must: Ravioli Zucca, Lasagne Ferraris, great selections of wine.
South Beverly Grill: Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, I love their modern take to classic American cuisine with handcrafted sushi, USDA Prime steaks and a delicious selection of premium sandwiches and entrée salads. Great for lunch or dinner. Stevie recommends: Their filet steak with mashed potato puree! So delicious! I personally love their sushi (of course), tuna tartar and deviled eggs!
AOC: I used to live right around the corner from this super cute and charming spot on 3rd street and Hamel. It truly is a great girls night out spot with an incredible atmosphere and loads of appetizers! Get their charcuterie board with a round of drinks. It’s on me! Jk. But seriously, so fun!
Ice Cream Lab: Get the Banilla or Salt Lick Crunch. You can thank me later.
Salt and Straw (Larchmont Village): If you want an ice cream joint that legit lets you sample all their unique and crazy flavors, this is the spot. The Salted Carmel Ribbon and Avocado Strawberry are my faves!
More Fun Brunch Spots can be found HERE
If you’re looking for the best burgers I also did another post HERE.
The Getty Museum: It is so beautiful this time of year! You can seriously spend half a day here exploring the gardens and having a picnic.
The LACMA: Because everyone needs a cute pic under the giant light beams! It’s definitely become a famous spot seen in movies and so many Instagram feeds. 😉
Santa Monica Pier: Experience the ferris wheel at sunset. So magical!
The Broad – for all you contemparary art lovers, this is the place to visit. You won’t regret it!
I’m not usually a “going out” to the clubs kind of girl so I can’t really recommend tons from this category LOL However there are some great spots I’ve experienced and loved.
Moonlight Rollaway :If you’re looking for a fun night out go roller skate here! You’ll definetly enjoy the vibes, the classic throwback jams, and yummy junk food.
The Ace Hotel Rooftop :located in downtown LA, this is definitely a chill rooftop bar that serves great drinks, plus an awesome view.
El Carmen: located on third Street in West Hollywood, this is the ultimate hang out spot. Enjoy dinner a great ambience and finish it off with tequila and good company.
Breakroom 86: For all my eighties babies, you will love this speakeasy that literally blows you away from the start. Mention there’s of Michael Jackson impersonator and live performance? You better bring your dance moves.
Brass Monkey: if you’re looking for karaoke that absolutely rocks you’ve got to check out one of my faves in Koreatown. You better bring your skills because you’ve got to sing in front of the crowd. Whether you sing or decide to hang out and grab a drink, it’s a fun spot to unwind and conquer your stage fright with friends. (P.S THERE’S FREE PARKING!!)
Moonshadows Malibu: This has quickly become a place of tradition when we have family and friends in town. I love the outdoor seating overlooking the ocean. The music, drinks and atmosphere is great for hanging out and catching up!
Melrose Flea Market (Sundays only): I remember really enjoying this when I first visited Los Angeles. It’s located outdoors on Melrose and Fairfax featuring everything from home to fashion and cool vintage things. You can haggle and truly make it an experience. (P.S. You’ll find great gifts for friends and snag a few things for yourself to take home!)
Third Street Promenade (shopping mall): This is my favorite outdoors shopping mall located right on the beach in Santa Monica. You’ll get a better variety of stores and tons of surrounding restaurants.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery: Before you creep yourself out, this is an awesome outdoors movie experience that totally isn’t creepy! It has become a well known attraction in LA to watch old school classics and hang with friends. Don’t forget your picnic basket, blankets and lawn chairs if you really want to enjoy the screening experience. Check all the upcoming movies. (CLUELESS May 28th!!!)
El Matador Beach (near Malibu): this is my favorite beach in Los Angeles. The golden hour is on another level! It’s a quiet beach and it’s not super packed with tourists so it’s one that you can definitely relax and enjoy. (Fun fact: It’s 2 minutes from where Stevie and I got married. We took our wedding photos near this beach and the lighting was on point!)
Griffith Observatory: You probably saw this recently in the movie LA LA Land. I love seeing the stars out there and during the day hiking up to the Hollywood sign! Bring a water bottle. So fun.
Cycle House – When I’m on vacation sometimes I still want a good sweat (especially if I’m pigging out everyday!). If this is you then hands down, take a spin ride at CYCLE HOUSE in West Hollywood. I’ve been spinning there for over a year now and it’s transformed my body and core! In my opinion it is better than Soul Cycle and all of the other cycling classes in the market. Within the first 10 minutes of class you will be sweating. So worth it! My Favorite instructors: Nichelle’s morning classes, Aaron’s afternoon classes and Haley’s 75 minute weekend classes! Classes fill up quick so book 24 hours in advance if you can (first ride is $18!)
Hiking in General – Malibu has some great hikes as well as Runyon Canyon in Beverly Hills. You will definitely feel the burn and want to bring your photo game for all the beautiful scenery pics! Afterwards, get a green juice at Juiced Served Here or Kreation! mmm! If you want to stay away from the crowd try Topanga Canyon National Park for tons of trails and a great view of the mountains AND the ocean!
The Huntington Gardens (Near Pasadena) – these gardens are seriously out of a picture but. The first time I visited I felt like Alice from Alice in Wonderland! Make sure you wear a cute outfit because you’re going to want to take a picture in every single garden. (My personal favorite were the Japanese Gardens)
I hope this guide was helpful! Comment below and let me know your top 3 favorite things to do in LA.