So…you’re going to Los Angeles. I would imagine if it’s your first time, your itinerary probably includes places like the Santa Monica Pier, Griffith Park, the Hollywood sign, and perhaps a jaunt down to Disneyland. Those are all Los Angeles icons and even after having grown up calling Los Angeles home, I think they are worthwhile to see. That being said, L.A. is such a massive, diverse place that there is a never ending abundance of cool things to do. Here are 4 of my favorite things to do when I’m hanging out in the city of Angels.
See the Space Shuttle Endeavour
There is nothing quite like that first moment you walk into the room that houses the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center. The shuttle is bigger than you think it will be. It’s awe-inspiring, really. I highly encourage you to go see it when you’re in Los Angeles as it’s one of those unique things that you just don’t get to see in many places.
Here is a video of the shuttle as it made a historic trek through the streets of Los Angeles to it’s new home:
The rest of the science center is pretty cool, too. They have a lot of really great space exhibits and some other fun exhibits as well. It’s a great place to spend the day if you have kids, but it’s also fun for adults.
If you’re interested in seeing the space shuttle exhibit, make sure you reserve your time online. More information can be found on the California Science Center’s website.
Hiking Runyon Canyon
If you’re into fitness, hiking, or even just checking out awesome views, I suggest hiking Runyon Canyon in Hollywood. You’ll be out there with tons of locals getting their workout in, and the sweeping views at the top where you can see all of L.A. (and even all the way to Catalina Island on a clear day) are worth the hike alone. And yes, you get a great view of the Hollywood sign up there as well. Not only that, but Runyon Canyon is a beautiful little piece of nature right there in the middle of L.A. I say it’s a must-do. One thing to keep in mind is that since it’s a popular Hollywood hiking trail, parking can get a little tight. Don’t be discouraged- just look around in the neighborhood until you find a spot on the street. Weekends are more difficult to park than during the week.
If you like delicious food, you should definitely head to Koreatown. This is a neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles dedicated to all things Korean, and it’s awesome. There are so many amazing Korean restaurants serving up dishes like bulgogi, kimchi, bibimbap, korean barbecue, and so many other amazing foods that you just have to try. A few notable restaurants in the area are Soowon Galbi Korean BBQ, the Beverly Soon Tofu Restaurant, and Yup Dduk La, but there are so many more amazing restaurants. When in doubt, look for a packed restaurant and you’ll be in good hands. After you’ve stuffed yourself to the brim with amazing food, head over to Soop Sok for a private karaoke room where you and your friends can belt your heart out. Then, head over to the Koreatown Pavilion Garden for a quiet, reflective space where you can find your zen. For a little culture, head over to the Korean American Museum, where you can learn about the legacy and accomplishments of Korean immigrants and their families in the United States.
Head to the South Bay
My husband is from the South Bay, so I actually spend a lot of time there. I’m sure I’ll devote a whole post to it at some point, but for now I’ll just say that while the quintessential Santa Monica or Malibu beach day might be on every visitor’s list to the city, but if you want to check out a really awesome, laid-back beach community I suggest you head to the South Bay. The Redondo Beach downtown area is packed with great little shops and restaurants, and their beach is as beautiful and classically Southern Californian as it gets. Take a stroll around town and down the pier to get the full experience. Head over to Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes to spend the day at a high end resort right on the cliffs where you can stroll the grounds and have lunch with a fabulous view at Nelson’s.
Have you spent time in Los Angeles? What are your favorite things to do in L.A.?