When you live in Los Angeles there is always something going on. I have created a list of my personal favorite, non-cliché things to do in Los Angeles based on personality type.
Here’s a few suggestions for those that would love to explore the great outdoors that California has to offer.
This is a beautiful nature reserve with free access to the ocean, the cliffside and even Zuma beach. I bring visitors here at least once a month and it never disappoints. This trail is full of wildlife sightings with an incredible view. Dozens of seals play at the base of the cliffside and dolphins come up extremely close to the sandbar. So close, that once a HERD popped up right next to me while boogie boarding. Once I was even lucky enough to see a whale!
Here is a step by step guide of the one mile loop via hikespeak.com
There is FREE 2 hour parking on the bluff behind the point. There are only about 5 spots to park but if you wait about 10 minutes one will usually open up.
Although I love Malibu, I think that Marina Del Rey is great for beginners when it comes to paddle boarding. In the marina, you will never have choppy waters interrupt your balance and there’s always a human around to help. Sometimes you’ll have to dodge an occasional yacht. Overall this is a low cost fun activity for visitors who don’t have ocean access or have a fear of open water.
I like Pro SUP Shop. They are pretty affordable at $25 for the hour including a lesson. They have awesome deals for group rentals as well.
The Wisdom Tree Hike
This is my favorite local hike in Los Angeles. It is central to the city, right off the 101 and only takes about an hour to complete. You can also opt to pop over to the Hollywood sign from the Wisdom Tree, making your hike a total of two hours.
The Wisdom Tree stands alone atop Cahuenga peak over a 360 degree view of Los Angeles. People come from all over the world to share their dreams and words of wisdom inside of a tiny box at the base of the tree. Letters and notes are left inside for the next visitors to read and add their own personal touch to the tradition.
There are two trailheads to get here. You can choose the paved trailhead on Beachwood Drive or the dirt road trailhead from Wonder View Drive. I prefer Wonderview Drive because it’s a faster way to get to the Tree. If you’re more interested in the Hollywood sign, you should start at Beachwood Drive.
A list for the intellectuals who love a little thrill.
Los Angeles Museums
There are TONS of fantastic museums for you to discover in Los Angeles. The Broad, The Getty, LACMA, The La Brea Tar Pits, The Griffith Observatory and more are all incredible. Some are free all year while others have select free days or exhibits. It is well worth stopping by any of them if you get the chance.
LACMA features “Jazz on The Green” every Friday evening through the end of November. Bring your blankets, sweaters, chairs and some snacks to while you lounge and listen to live jazz. Totally family and dog friendly because — this is L.A.
The Magic Castle
This is an invite only swanky mansion FULL OF MAGICIANS. If you can finagle an invite to The Magic Castle, don’t pass it up. Dress your best, walk the red carpet and enjoy the thrills. The food is incredible, the drinks magically keep flowing, and there are secret doors around every corner. Each time the experience is different. I’ve heard of a man flicking 37 birds out of his pocket. I’ve seen a bartender make me a drink that unexplainably turned empty as potatoes fell out of the sky. I can’t make these things up. POTATOES. FELL. FROM. THE. SKY.
Malibu Wine Safari
( Stanley is the nicest giraffe I’ve ever met. Because, I’ve been head-butted by one in Nairobi — that’s another story )
For the PETA princesses and wine lovers, Malibu Wine Safari is where both worlds collide. There are currently dozens of safari animals living on the property as rescues from Hollywood who wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild. The Instagram famous Stanley ( The Giraffe from “The Hangover” ) now resides in Saddlerock Ranch, where you will eventually be wasted. The experience is about $300 and thirty minutes outside of Local Los Angeles.
The Last Book Store
If you love books, you’ll be enamored with this place. Far from your typical Barns and Noble, this independent bookstore is filled with elements of art, antiquity, and mystery. You could spend all day exploring the famous “the labyrinth” or the independent artist galleries throughout the space. With every subject you can imagine available, you will never be bored. It lives up to the hype.
Go Early It gets crowded.
Take a Lyft. The parking is terrible. They will tow your car if you are one second late to your meter or give you a massive $93 ticket.
THE PARTY PEOPLE
I’m an old lady at heart. I like taking bubble baths and watching Netflix on Friday evenings. But, once in a while I let my hair down and buss a whine with the best of them. Day parties in the summer are forever changing. Rooftop bars will always be a thing. And if there’s ever a pool party with free food, I will be there. Here are a few things that I will step out for if I’m feelin’ fancy.
I’m a Minneapolis Native. I was born in ’87. It’s only right that I love a bar in Koreatown takes you back into time. I don’t want to spoil ANY of the secrets of Breakroom 86 for you. But I will say that no one will judge your love for PAC-MAN, you sound great during drunk karaoke, and cosplay looks good on you. Sing Whitney as loud as want. Vogue to Madonna and pop it to Prince. If you’re obsessed with Pretty Woman this may be heaven for you — until it gets too packed at 1 a.m.
Roosevelt Night Swim
This night-time pool party even has underwater photo booths and massive pool floaties galore. The great thing about this is that The Spare Room is right upstairs. Before or after you take a dip with the masses you can enjoy the vibes of an Elegant, old-timey cocktail lounge and bowl or play Jenga with some ‘gents.
Twilight Concerts in Santa Monica
I am all for anything “Free 99”. The Santa Monica Twilight Concerts are one of the most L.A. things that you could ever do. Thursday nights the pier are filled with thousands of people who bring blankets, food and even hula hoops to enjoy the show. The lineup is usually pretty awesome with a variety of big name artists appearing on stage.
Get There early. Use the restroom beforehand. No one wants to be stuck by the porta potty while every one else enjoys the show.
THE ZEN SEEKER
Find your balance. Align those Chakras.
The Den Meditation
Have you ever participated in a sound bath?
We are constantly plugged in and bombarded with the media on top of life kicking our asses daily. We all could use a break. It’s time to disconnect to reconnect. Even if you don’t know how to meditate, you are a great candidate for a sound bath healing sesh. You pop in, you lay down, and that’s it! Sound healing has been around for centuries. Utilizing sound for healing can be traced all the way back to the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who utilized sound as a form of medicine to treat a variety of health issues.
Book yourself a sound bath for just $35 at my favorite spot, The Den Meditation.
K-Town is FULL of these traditional bath houses. I vouch for Wi Spa ( Men, women and children allowed) and Hugh Spa ( Women Only). Admission is $25 for to Twenty-four hours. With a personal locker and free wifi, you can really relax and get work done. Detox rooms built are of jade or Himalayan salt with temperatures of up to 231 degrees. They offer body treatments, acupuncture, massages, facials and more. I highly suggest a body scrub for the extra $25 if you can swing it. You’ll feel like a newborn baby. Some even offer restaurants inside!
You’re going to be naked in front of everyone on the bath and soaking tub floors. Sounds scary, but it’s totally liberating. Get free.
L.A. Used to be a real shit place for great food…until now. These are MY personal favorites that I frequent and can completely vouch for.
Modern Day Italian food, sprinkled with crack. I got bone marrow pasta once and now I dream about it.
Make a reservation in Advance
I am now friends with the lead chef because I go here so often. The owners are Indian Canadians, offering a cool fusion that includes dishes like poutine and burgers that are to die for. I mean that very literally because I have requested a casket after my meal once.
A Cajun & Creole Restaurant with friendly service, catfish and seafood gumbo that never disappoints. Alisa is the chef and owner who always makes sure you’re happy. You will see her there every single day which will be another reason to keep you coming back.
Go for the Shrimp and Grits. Every time.
The food is local, organic and farm raised. But, the view is the best part. This restaurant is settled right at the end of the Malibu Beach Pier atop the Pacific Ocean. You can even go straight to the beach right after or take a tour of the little shops in the area.
Miracle Mile Food Truck Row
After going to LACMA or the LaBrea Tarpits, this street is full of food trucks until 4pm. The trucks change everyday but there is always something to satisfy any appetite.
This is a staple in Los Angeles History. While shopping at the Grove you can work up an appetite. This place has any type of food that you are looking for at an affordable price and you can pop over to catch a movie right after.
Im Vietnamese and I can vouch for it. It’s not super traditional but it is damn delicious. They got the Bò lúc lắc on point!