Although LA is the city of angels it can be just as fun if you’re a little bit of a sinner. With the hottest nightclubs, restaurants, and shows in California, Los Angeles should be your first stop when traveling the west coast! Because LA is fairly spread out I would recommend renting a car when getting there. The weather is always perfect so a sporty convertible would be the way to go. One of the days I was walking around and I stopped in a store and started talking to a salesperson. I told her how excited I was that the weather has been perfect all week, and she looked at me strangely. She exclaimed, “Oh no… It has been pretty cloudy this week”. I couldn’t help but laugh, “Cloudy?!”. I might have seen several clouds passing during the day, but compared to the unpredictable New York weather LA was a dream.
With the blistering sun overhead make sure to pack enough sunglasses and straw hats! For me, it was an opportunity to wear hats that I had stored away for my summer trips to Saint Tropez. Also, because majority of the city commutes in cars rather than walking it is a perfect time to wear those heels that aren’t exactly comfortable, but you had to justify buying because of their beauty.
I would recommend spending about a week in LA, but if you only have a few days these are the go-to spots I would suggest!
Breakfast: The Ivy
For breakfast I would recommend The Ivy. The décor is very light, and airy, however the overwhelming amount of bright flower print is sure to make you smile. During brunch time, you are usually welcomed at the door with a glass of mimosa. The drink is a perfect mix of sweet, fresh-squeezed orange juice and bubbly champagne. After you had time to glance over the menu I would recommend the Fresh Santa Barbara Crab Cake Benedict. The chunks of fresh crabmeat go very well with the yolky texture of the eggs. If, however, you have more of a sweet tooth the Buttermilk Pancakes are to die for.
*If you have a little time before brunch I would recommend taking a run or hike up the Hollywood Hills. It is one of the most rewarding walks and the view at the top of the hills is absolutely breath-taking.
Art: Getty Museum
LA is a cultural hub for artists and musicians alike, however the Getty Museum is one staple I would make sure not to miss! The museum itself is a work of art, and if you didn’t have time to catch a run before brunch, no worries! Walking around the museum itself will serve as a small sweat-breaker. The museum has both a classical and a modern art wing and although the structure and pure grandiosity of the museum may seem overwhelming I recommend dedicating a few hours to it. And, make sure to stop by the café for a lunch break. They have great chopped salads and mini, chilled, wine bottles that will serve as a perfect refreshment for your mid-day outing.
Shopping: Beverly Hills
Never one not to take advantage of a shopping spree, I couldn’t help myself in LA. Not only does Beverly Hills have the best stores, it also has the most beautiful houses in the hills. After fulfilling all your shopping needs on Rodeo Drive make sure to take a drive through the windy roads of the private mansions of the rich and famous. Although I’m not a fan of the Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, the one in Beverly Hills is my favorite! It is very well organized, and they have a great selection of the latest designers. The sales people are also extremely friendly and will give you their honest recommendations for what looks good and what doesn’t. For a city that has a reputation for being fake, I found the people to be extremely genuine!
Night Outings: Live Shows
At night I would recommend doing something that can only be done in LA, go see a live taping of your favorite show! I was lucky enough to be there when the final episode of American Idol was being tapped. Not only did I see the young, talented, musicians of our future but also I was able to see JLo live. After seeing her dancing around the stage the whole night without breaking a sweat I booked myself a soul cycle class immediately. If she can be in perfect shape while managing one of the most demanding careers, so can I! Since American Idol has just finished their last season I would recommend going to a live taping of Ellen, or the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Both shows will leave you entertained and amused.
*If you would like to experience LA nightlife after a live show I would recommend going the Nice Guy in LA. Its clubby atmosphere is perfect for having a great conversation with a stranger by the bar, or dancing the night away with your girlfriends.
LA is my go to destination when I want to experience a warmer, more relaxing, version of New York City.