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Finding worth while places to go on vacation is always difficult. It is especially difficult when you have never been to the state or country before. I have been working/living in Los Angeles for almost 6 years now. The first time I came here I did all the cliche touristy stuff. Now, with 6 years experience I have a better feel of the city.
A lot of people upon coming to Los Angeles want to visit places like Grauman’s Chinese Theater. I get it, it’s one of the most famous places in LA. However, it is a massive tourist trap and is one of the grungiest places in the city. The list I have compiled are places that I would bring a friend if they were visiting LA. They’re less frequented places but show the more beautiful side of LA county. Here’s your travel tips to hooray for Hollywood!
Getty Villa is a museum for Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art and antiquities. The audio guides and tours here are really well done. There’s no way to kill a museum experience quicker than to have a bad guide. Now, not everyone is into art. I get that, but the museum looks over the ocean. Gorgeous right! The architecture of the building is amazing! It was designed based on the Villa of the Papyri. The beach across from it is nice as well. I like it because a lot of people don’t go down there. It also doesn’t cost too much to get into the museum.
Westwood and Diddy Riese
Westwood is right next to UCLA so if you’re looking for the young hip area, this is where you’ll find it. They have a ton of really cute shops here and a good amount of restaurants. Now, I always take people to Diddy Riese when they are visiting. You may think, ice cream sandwich, so what? I had a friend from Holland visit and this sandwich is what she told all her friends about when she got home. I have never had a friend not like this place. Plus, it’s only a $1.50, cash only.
There a quite a few film studios you can visit in LA. My favorite it Paramount because it has so much history. Sony Studios (formerly MGM) is also a good studio for a tour. They can get a little costly so make sure to research before going. I also believe you have to book ahead. If you have a friend who is an employee, they can usually get you a discount. Do your research before picking a studio, Sony I know is where they shot Wizard of Oz, Spiderman, Star Trek, and Batman.
Course this is always on the list for Los Angeles. But it is worth it. If you’re adventurous, do the hike up to the sign. You can’t get all the way to it, but you can get close enough. It’s not a really hard hike either so don’t let the word hike discourage you.
Santa Monica is a really nice shopping area, 3rd Street Promenade is where you’re going to find the most action. I do warn you that at night it can get a little sketchy so make sure to go with friends if you’re going in the evening. The pier is a great place to spend some time as well. I don’t really like their rides, but the experience and the view are nice. The beach is usually packed!
Melrose and Robertson
You know all those photos of celebrities shopping? Yes, the ones in People magazine and such? They were probably taken on either Melrose or Robertson Blvd. These two streets are very popular shopping areas. If you’re like me, you just window shop, but it’s still a nice place to hang out. I’d recommend eating at the Newsroom, as it has good food and is also across the street from the Ivy. The Ivy is a popular celebrity eatery.
TV Show Tapings
A lot of TV talk shows give away tickets for their tapings. Depending on how popular the show is, will depend on how hard it is to get tickets. Do some research ahead for these, as depending on the guest, tickets can be hard to get. http://1iota.com is a good site to get tickets on. I’ve gone to events with them before, and they turned out really well.
Sometimes you can get tickets to a movie premiere, it’s not super likely. But, what you can do is show up for the red carpet. Warning, depending on how popular the film is, will depend on how many people show up. The premieres at the Directors Guild or in Westwood are usually more tame. Show up early to these events to get the best view and the best chance of getting autographs.
Beverly Hills is the most popular and best place to shop in LA, if you have the money to afford it. If you want to get the experience however, I’d recommend window shopping and grabbing a coffee at Starbucks or one of the local cafes. It’s a really pretty area and you can usually see some pretty interesting people hanging around. The Farm is a really nice place to grab a bite.