HOW TO BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN CITY: LOS ANGELES
Everyone loves to vacation but it’s not always easy to put life on hold and actually get away. The great thing is that as an LA resident, you don’t have to go away to get the same rest, relaxation, as well as excitement that other people strive for on vacation.
Here are 6 ways that you can experience the joys of vacation without leaving Los Angeles.
One of the greatest pleasures of vacationing is being exposed to the arts and sciences of the area. Taking in a museum of any kind is a great way to spend some time on vacation to get a feel for the history, art, and scienti?c contributions of an area. Luckily, your home town offers some of the most unique types of places for the public to experience this type of learning. Here are our top 4 choices for arts and sciences in Los Angeles.
- Griffth Observatory: For a fun and serene place to see the stars (not the Hollywood stars, but the actual celestial stars) this is such a peaceful wonderful place to learn about the universe. Click here to learn more.
- The Getty Center: An art lovers dream come true! The Getty is a place where you can experience all types of artists spanning every art form imaginable from painting, photography, and sculpting and even performing arts such as theater and music. Click here to learn more.
- La Brea Tar Pits: An active excavation site as well as a museum where you can learn and interact with thousands of fossils from hundreds of species of plants and animals that are thousands of years old. The best part is that it’s right in your backyard! This is a great day for a fun family event. Click here to learn more.
- Walt Disney Concert Hall: One of the most beautiful places to see and moreover hear an Classical, Jazz, or World Music performance. This iconic building was designes by Frank Gehry and is the home of the amazing LA Philharmonic and it’s tenacious director Gustavo Dudamel. Click here to learn more.
If you happen to be among the significant portion of Angelino’s who have migrated here from somewhere else then you probably grew up hearing beach boy songs about the amazing beach life here. Maybe you were imagining bay watch bikini beauties and muscle bound hunks running up and down the sand dunes. Well one thing about this city that lives up to it’s reputation are the beaches.
Much like a lot of LA, even the beaches have character. So you should choose your beach based on the experience you are looking for. Here are 3 beautiful beaches that all offer something completely different to help you decide what is right for you today.
- El Matador Beach– One of the most picturesque spots on the Malibu coast this beach is home to many film, wedding, and magazine photo shoots. The large rock formations and crashing waves off the small sand spots give so much character.
Pros:Great for photos
Cons:Crowds and strong undertow
Parking:Small paid lot
- Venice Beach– The boardwalk is great for eclectic people watching. There are many fun shops that sell great trinkets and funny shirts as well as places to get beach food like hot dogs, candy, and pizza. This is also the home of Muscle Beach, and the Venice Skate Park
Pros:Fun, interesting souvenirs
Cons:Not necessarily family friendly
Parking:Challenging, some street parking, random pay lots
- Zuma Beach– If you are looking for that great beautiful beach experience this is what you want. You get to enjoy the amazing drive up the Pacific Coast Highway. Driving through that area of Malibu is outstanding on its own. This beach has sprawling gorgeous clean sand and mild waves so its great for a family or date beach day.
Pros:Surfing, plenty of space
Cons: Can get crowded even though it’s a huge beach
Parking:Large dedicated pay parking lot
3. LIVE SHOWS:
The life blood of Los Angeles is the creative talents of the people who flock to this city. The artistic thread is one of the things that make LA great, and why many people look at LA on a similar level as New York as a ‘make it here make it anywhere’ city.
So whether you are interested in music, theatre, or any other type of performing arts; you should take in a live show at one of these great venues. Hosting all types of performing artists from super famous to just getting started; here are our picks for great places to see a live show in LA.
- The Holly wood bowl- Sitting right in the heart of Hollywood “The Bowl” as many locals refer to it as is one of the largest outdoor amphitheatres in the world with over 35K seats. They do have tables and chairs right up front for those who like to see a performance in luxury, then moving slightly further from the stage are box areas with 4 chairs separated by little dividers that is nice for small groups, and the rest of the seating throughout is on benches and has a very freeing fun feeling. They allow you to bring in food and have all types of performances spanning from symphony accompanied movies, to LA Phil-Harmonic classical concerts, and even rock concerts as well.
- Greek Theatre-For a very intimate setting this roughly 5,000 seat outdoor theatre is a very fun and relatively small place to see some of your favorite concerts. LA just recently took over the contract to book for this venue and they have been doing such a great job bringing amazing performers here!
- Pantages:For a more traditional theatrical performance the Pantages theatre is a gorgeous place to see a live play, musical, and a whole array of different amazing live stage shows.
Free or close to free:These are some of the most iconic low key places to catch great artists doing their thing on stage.
- UCB-The Upright Citizens Brigade is a studio offering classes to upcoming improvisation actors and comedians and allows them to practice their art on stage nightly. Alumni include Ed Helms, Aziz Ansari, co-founder Amy Poehler and many more. Their shows are fun and engaging often pulling ideas straight from the audience. Tickets range from $5-$12 and they even have child friendly shows earlier some nights so pay attention to their calendar.
- Second City-The world renowned improv studio that hosts classes and nightly shows is Second City. This is the improv company that started the careers of amazing comedians such as Harold Ramis, John Candy, and so many more great legendary comic geniuses including Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, and John Belushi who all later went on to debut on the first cast of Saturday Night Live! Tickets normally range from$5-$10
- Shakespear in the park-Each year in Griffith Park for two months out of the summer, two live shows are put on from Shakespear’s amazing portfolio. The troops create an outdoor set and fantastic performance from Thursday to Sunday Nights at the Old Griffith Zoo. It is free to attend and makes for a really fun family day or date night. Though this is technically a free event, they do take donations at each performance and that is what allows them to function and continue to bring their great performances back year after year.
4.TAKE IN A GAME:
It’s an exciting time to be in the LA area for sports! There are tons of great teams and games happening all the time. As a local maybe you have ‘an in’ that may help you score tickets from a season holder that doesn’t go to all their games, so put a feeler out there to find out. If you have a favorite team or sport then why not take in a live game sometime! Heck it’s your vacation right?
LA Lakers:LA Clippers:
Both play home games at the Staples Center downtown Los Angeles.
LA Rams: The new football team to the area and they play home games at the historic LA Memorial Coliseum at Exposition Park in Los Angeles.LA Chargers: (formally known as the San Diego Chargers) Now home in LA! They play their home games at the Stubhub Center in Carson Ca while their new $2 billion stadium is built in Inglewood Ca.
LA Kings: Play their home games at the Staples Center downtown Los Angeles.
LA Dodgers: Play at Dodgers Stadium at Elysian Park in Los Angeles.
LA Angels: Play at Angel Stadium in Anaheim Ca.
LA Galaxy: Play at the Stubhub Center in Carson Ca.
5. FOOD MADE FAMOUS IN LA:
From street food to Michelin Star restaurants Los Angeles has it all. This is where the food truck craze started before taking the country by storm. LA is full of unique, fun, and trendsetting foods and places to find them. Here are three places that will make you feel like you are on a trip to this lovely city anytime you take a bite. However, the reality that you live here only means you get to enjoy them anytime you like. You’re welcome!
- Pink’s Hot Dogs-Award after award this LA iconic hot dog stand has been wracking them up since 1939 including best hot dog stand in the US says Fox news. If you are a fan of the hot dog away from home then Pink’s is a must!
- The Griddle-If you are like me then breakfast is always a treat and vacation is the perfect excuse to make it my favorite meal. Mom and pop type breakfast shops are the best in any city. The Griddle is everything you want out of Hollywood as well as quite literally the best breakfast you can have. Not only is this a great scene to catch a peak at such famous people as Jay-Z, Tommy Lee, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie; but also the food is as Bernie Sanders would say HUUUGE! Though they are famous for their delicious original and gigantic pancakes; keep in mind their lunch food is just as amazing. Only open during the morning through afternoon this is the perfect breakfast or brunch spot.
- Miduri Sushi-Los Angeles is well known for having unlimited mouth watering fresh outstanding Sushi. The area that owns the title for sushi capitol of LA is Ventura Blvd. Many great spots go the route of cheaper limited menus, others have really great quality ala carte menus, and many are catching on to either a partial or full all you can eat (AYCE) menu. Miduri does offer their menu ala carte but also their full menu is offered at a flat price for all you can eat. They make everything hand made and to order. Their fish is extremely fresh, and their menu has a huge offering of original rolls as well as warm appetizers. They have three locations right on Sushi Alley on Ventura. Take your pick and enjoy the best all around spot for Sushi that LA has to offer.
6. TAKE A CITY TOUR:
Are you an LA native, or one of the many people who have journeyed here in order to chase your dream or better your life? In any case it is very easy to get caught up in your daily pursuit as well as your nightly reward that you may not exactly take the time to stop and look around at this beautiful amazing place we all call home. Here are our favorite ways to take the time to truly visit in your own city.
- Helicopter Tour- A helicopter can be a crazy experience. It is as close as you get to flying on your own because it can feel like tight quarters. But if you love the small spaces and are not afraid of heights then take an aerial view on the city. Even though you don’t get an up close hands on tour you do get to view many areas from afar.
- Studio Backlot Tour- LA is a draw for movie goers as well as movie makers. Visiting where the movie movers and shakers have filmed and created is always a fun way to get a more fine point look at this city. Choosing a tour on one of the backlots of the studios where some of your favorite films where shot is a fun way to get a behind the scenes look. Universal’s Tour is a trolley ride through some film sets, sound stages, and props.Warner Bros. Tour brings you through active sound stages as well as a self-guided portion where you get to test out some Hollywood magic.
- Sunny Day Scoot Red Carpet Tour- This adventure puts you in the drivers seat and gives you the ability to get out on the open road and sightsee at many different iconic areas. Get up close and really explore the sights and sounds of LA with The Red Carpet Tour by Sunny Day Scoot. You get to have a hands on experience by driving the street legal little 2 seat scooter cars. It’s extremely fun and also social because you share your scoot with your guest. This is the #1 tour in LA to scoot around and go sightseeing. The great thing about this tour is that you are outside seeing and touching and driving around LA while your guide leads in their scoot and shares history and facts that guarantee that even as a local you will learn something that you didn’t know before; and that is what being a tourist in your own town is all about. If you would like to book a tour or ride with Sunny Day Scoot CLICK HERE.
Have you gotten a chance to experience any of these wonderful activities or visit these amazing places? Do you have any other great suggestions on how to be a tourist in your own town in Los Angeles? How about any other cities you have lived in but chose to visit as a tourist for a day? Let us know in the comments below. Feel free to subscribe to our blog for more fun articles like this!