I love L.A.
Because L.A. is a city that offers so much for every type of person.
Last week, I was having a conversation with a friend who was asking about my recent trip to London.
He was shocked I hadn’t done a bus tour.
He couldn’t believe I hadn’t ridden The London Eye.
“You didn’t even hit Piccadilly Circus?!” he asked, incredulous.
I’m sure I would have enjoyed these things, but often when I visit a new place…
…. I WANT TO EXPERIENCE IT LIKE THE LOCALS.
10 WAYS TO EXPERIENCE THE REAL L.A.
#1 Hike Runyon Canyon
This is classic L.A. A 45 minute loop, hiking Runyon is good exercise and always packed with L.A. locals. Bring sunscreen, water, and your dog, or if you don’t have a dog… bring your friend’s dog. Keep your eyes open – you are likely to see a few celebrities. However, if you want to be a TRUE Angeleno, you must pretend not to care about such things.
#2 Have Dinner at Katsu-Ya
This iconic sushi restaurant has become a chain in L.A., but my favorite Katsu-Ya remains the first storefront which is on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City. It’s a tad divey and loud, but you won’t find better food anywhere.
#3 Shop Melrose
I’m not talking about the fancy stores west of Crescent Heights. Those chains are for the tourists. If you have lived in L.A. for some time, you know that the most fun shopping on Melrose is between La Brea and Crescent Heights where you’re sure to find classic vintage and retro-treasures.
#4 Spend a Day in Venice
Take a stroll down Abbot Kinney Boulevard, stopping for the occasional latte or fresh juice. The charm of this area will capture your heart.
#5 Get Your Zen on at El Matador State Beach
Everyone knows that we have beautiful beaches here in L.A., but not everyone knows about El Matador State Beach in Malibu. Accessed by walking down a long magical staircase, El Matador will likely be your favorite photo op.
#6 Take in A Movie at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
This is a classic way to spend a summer evening in L.A. Bring a picnic, a blanket a few pillows, and hang out with some locals watching a favorite film.
#7 Hear Some Local Music
Sure, L.A. is the home of Capital Records and the place where American Idol is shot; but if you want to mix with the people who call L.A. home, you need to think differently. Check out some cool local bands at The Dresden Room, El Cid and Viva Cantina to name a few.
#8 Spend an Evening at The Moth
Okay, so if we are being honest, The Moth Storytelling Competition began in New York City, but we feel comfortable also claiming if as part of our city’s culture. You can find a Moth event every couple weeks somewhere in the City of Angels (locations move). Laugh along with other locals as you connect to the performers through their TRUE stories. And if you’re feeling brave and bold, tell a story of your own! All you have to do is put your name in the hat.
#9 Consume Some Mexican Food
Any true L.A. dweller eats Mexican food at least once a week. Why wouldn’t we? Here in Los Angeles, we have the best Mexican food in the world (well, other than maybe… ummm… Mexico). The local faves are Casa Vega in the valley, El Coyote in Hollywood, and Gracias Madre if you’re a vegetarian (or even if you aren’t). Todo esta muy bien!
#10 Stroll a Farmers Market
Here in L.A., we have fresh produce year round! Thank you, California Sunshine! There isn’t a day where you can’t find a local Farmers Market set up somewhere in the city. If you’re a foodie, or even if you aren’t, artichokes as big as your head are sure to make you smile.
Who Loves L.A.?!
Let me know if I missed anything!