A few weekends ago, we had friends in town staying with us and neither of them had spent ANY time in Los Angeles before. You can only imagine how excited I was to show them around my favorite city and HOME! They were here for less than 2 days and that meant we really had to strategize about where to go. It really got me thinking about what the MUST-VISIT places are when you come to LA. Ya know, like if you had 24 hours to see the dang place, what would you be terribly missing out on if you decided to spend all your time at Hollywood & Highland? For example, don’t spend all your time at Hollywood & Highland. I’ve narrowed my favorite visitor staples down to 4 things:
GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY: This is my favorite place in LA. Sure, there is a great view of the Hollywood sign, but don’t forget about that downtown skyline to the left or the Santa Monica coast to the right if you squint real hard and the haze isn’t too heavy. Goodness, it gets me every time. You can’t forget about the architecture of the Observatory itself. STUNNING, I tell you. You’ll get lots of likes on your Instagram. AND YEAH, it’s educational too! Take a gander through the place and learn a thing or two. I always leave inspired and humbled by the beauty.
ABBOT KINNEY: You can’t really beat the mix of shopping and restaurants on Abbot Kinney in Venice. New stores are popping up every 2 minutes (or so the legend goes), but there is so much GOOD, it’s unfair. On the West side of the street, start at Urbanic and make your way all the way down to Tortoise General Store, with Aesop and Warby Parker stops along the way and definitely a juice shot at Kreation (Rag & Bone just opened on that side as well). The east side of the street I couldn’t even list all the great stops (pretty much every store), but you can’t miss Steven Alan Annex, Firefly, and a lunchtime fix at GTA (Gjelina Take Away) or Axe.
DOWNTOWN: Knock out the Disney Concert Hall, MOCA, and brunch at Bottega Louie in one shot if you can, then pop over to Grand Central Market for a snack/coffee/popsicle and the Bradbury Building for amazing architecture. Still have time to wander around? Head over to the Arts District for pie and Poketo or Olvera Street.
TACOS: I’m not about to start a debate about where the best tacos in LA are. I probably still haven’t even experienced them yet. But you can’t go wrong with Guisados or Kogi Truck. The Guisados menu is straightforward, but so unbelievably delicious. Order one of each taco if you’re feeling adventurous (and hungry). Kogi Truck is another level of LA. It is LA. I beg of you: please seek out a Kogi Truck on your next visit. The chicken burrito with extra kimchi is my go-to.