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Visiting LA? My Must See Spots, Restaurants & Activities

I have been living in LA for nearly 10 years so this post is over due.

Here are my MUST see recommendations if you are visiting the city, especially for the first time. Of course, there's much more to do in this city, but these are the top things you can't miss out on.

NOTE: For each area I am recommending restaurants, make sure to check out their website's first (linked) as they are all different vibes from super casual to super fancy!

1. Santa Monica

More urban beach style

- Third Street Prominade (shopping US top retailers & great to walk around)

- The Pier (12 mini rides at Pacific Park and a great spot to take photos and cruise along)

- Bike Ride (rent a bike right underneath the Pier and head to Venice beach through the beach bike lane, the best way to experience that section in town)


- Herringbone

- The Bungalow (cocktails)

- Mercado

- Sugarfish

- Terraza

2. Venice Beach

A much more laid back bohemian & hippie beach vibe. Venice Beach is great for people watching

- Muscle Beach (you can literally workout outdoors, but you'll mostly watch body builders)

- Abbot Kinney (with tons of boutiques and cute coffee shops & restaurants)

- Venice Canals (you will have to Google map where they are at, but these are DEF a hidden treasure, MUST see without a doubt)


- Café Gratitude (vegan)

- Gjelina

- Felix

- Scopa

- Rose Café

- High Lounge Rooftop


3. Malibu Beach

One of my all-time favorites, my fav beach in LA

- Drive down the PCH coastline

- Visit the Getty Villa (breathtaking property, views & art)

- Walk down the pier (the most beautiful spot to

- Enjoy the beach (park anywhere along the coast and enjoy the beach. Def more narrow but I think more charming than Venice & Santa Monica, which are more touristic too)


- Malibu Farm

- Malibu Beach Inn

- Moonshadows

- Nobu

- Neptune's Net

- Geoffrey's


Beverly Hills:

What can I say, 90210

- Visit the Beverly Hills Sign and drive around the palm tree streets behind it

- Walk around Rodeo Drive

- Shop at Canon Drive

- Visit The Beverly Wilshire Hotel (Pretty Woman Hotel)

- Getty Museum (this is Brentwood area, close, but def a MUST too for views & art)


- The Cabana Café at The Beverly Hills Hotel

- Mastro's

- Spago

- Il Pastaio

- Il Cielo


West Hollywood:

- Sunset Strip & Sunset Plaza

- Shop on Melrose Ave

- Shop & walk at The Grove

- Freeze at Cryohealthcare



- Urth Café on Melrose ("bobas" or coffee)

- EP&LP (drinks)

- Catch

- Skybar (drinks)

- Chateau Marmont

- Toast On Third

- The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker

- Alfred's Coffee

- Barton G

- Rosaline



- Hike Runyon Canyon

- See The Hollywood Sign

- Stoll the Hollywood Walk Of Fame

- Griffith Observatory (to me, a MUST)

Hollywood FOOD:

- Republique

- Mozza

- Animal


Downtown LA:

- Walt Disney Concert Hall

- The Broad Museum

- Helicopter Tour



- Staples Center (catch a game)

- Flower Market


- Perch

- Bottega Louie

- Broken Spanish

- Baco Mercat

- 71 above

- Bestia LA

- Rossoblu

- Otium

- Bavel



- Tackle one area (or 2/3 but near each other) per day, commuting may be much more time than distance shows, as traffic gets bad

- Avoid traffic hours to commute (7am to 11am and 4pm to 7pm)

- If you are looking for sunshine, avoid the beach areas before 1pm as depending on the season it does not clear up up until then

- Even on warm days, always bring a jacket with you, it gets cold once the sun sets

- Read parking signs carefully

- The ocean is cold, even in the summer :)

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