"My Hometown: Los Angeles" Top 5 Page for this destination Los Angeles by Erin74

Los Angeles Travel Guide: 4,626 reviews and 9,577 photos

Skip the theme parks, see the REAL Los Angeles!

Los Angeles tends to get a bad rap from people who think of it as being full of shallow, beautiful people and not much else. Many people aren't sure what to see in Los Angeles aside from the obligatory theme parks and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Well, I'm here to tell you that Los Angeles is a great place to live and to visit. The thing about Los Angeles is that it's not like New York. You won't discover it by just walking down the street. You have to dig a little deeper, ask a few more questions, and be open to exploring the nooks and crannies of the area.

Los Angeles is a very young city. When you talk about something "historical" in Los Angeles, you're probably talking about the 1920s. While there are still many examples of fine art deco architecture in L.A., its real history is not to be found in buildings. Los Angeles was built on oil, shipping and movies. People came here chasing a dream and built lives that reflected those dreams. As you drive around Los Angeles (and you must drive), look carefully for all the little oddities. Talk to people on the street (we're pretty friendly) and see what they have to say. Check out the museums and the old movie houses. Explore. This is the real L.A.--- you won't find it at Universal Studios.

THE BEST OF L.A. (according to Erin)

Best Burger:

In-n-Out Burger

Best Fine Dining:


Best pedestrian shopping areas:

3rd Street Promenade
The Grove (at the Farmer's Market)

Best Museums:

LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

The Getty Center (for the architecture and views)

Best Movie Theatres:

Mann's Chinese Theatre (enormous theatre with elaborate decor and a huge screen)

Grove 14 (Stadium-style seating in a well-designed theatre)

Best specialty theatres:

The New Beverly (run down theatre with bad prints.. but where else can you see a double feature of Apocalypse Now and The Godfather for $5?)

The Silent Movie Theatre (See my page on this for more details-- it's a truly unique place!)

Most Luxurious Hotels:

Hotel Bel-Air
The Regent Beverly Wilshire
The Peninsula
The Ritz Carlton (Pasadena and Marina Del Rey)

Most central and convenient areas to stay in if you're visiting L.A.:

West Hollywood
Beverly Hills

Best Hotels at the Beach:

Shutters on the Beach
Casa Del Mar

Best Spa:

Burke Williams Day Spa (in Santa Monica and West Hollywood)

Best Nightclubs:

White Lotus
The Concorde
Rooftop Bar at the Standard Downtown

Best Martini:


Best Live Music:

The Hollywood Bowl

Best Places to take Kids:

Disneyland (not technically in L.A.-- it's an hour south)

The California Science Center

Aquarium of the Pacific (also not in L.A.-- it's in Long Beach, about 40 min. south)

Best Place to Get Tickets to TV Show Tapings:

Audiences Unlimited (818-753-3470)

Best "haunted" sights:

The Pantages Theatre (supposedly haunted by Howard Hughes)

Chateau Marmont (supposedly John Belushi)

The Knickerbocker Hotel (supposedly haunted by Rudolph Valentino, Marilyn Monroe and Harry Houdini)

Points of Architectural Interest:

Disney Hall
The Getty Center
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great weather, good shopping, lots of diversity, great cultural events/activities, excellent dining, friendly people.
  • Cons:Traffic, traffic, traffic.
  • Intro Updated Jun 17, 2005
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Reviews (64)

Comments (56)

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Sep 5, 2011 at 3:27 AM

    I enjoyed exploring the real LA with you! Very interesting and extensive tips. Thank you!

  • Mr.Sparkle's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2011 at 3:36 AM

    cool page. some of your links are broken, in the restaurant section....

  • nkhong's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2010 at 5:19 AM

    Do I need to make reservations? Going to be around that area on the 31st and hoping for a nice lunch...

  • vinc_bilb's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2009 at 3:14 AM

    Nice tips and pages, in my view. Thanks! I'll have to try a concert in The Hollywood Bowl at least one time ... and to forget may be stereotypes I could have in mind about LA :)

  • y2ketan2007's Profile Photo
    Oct 29, 2007 at 6:55 PM

    Nice and informative page on your hometown. Three cheers for being a featured member today !

  • Sep 23, 2007 at 4:42 PM

    Rita Flora is closed as of Spring 2007, although the adjacent flower shop remains open. Too bad. The restaurant had great coffee and nice ambiance.

  • Misha_abq's Profile Photo
    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:25 PM

    I love gardens and always visit them when I go to different places. I'll have to hit this one soon.

  • Stargazer1's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2007 at 12:07 PM

    Some great tips here, Erin. I'll definitely make use of some of them on our upcoming trip. Thanks!

  • Apr 8, 2007 at 2:19 PM

    Wow! As an LA native I would have never thought to include that tip about making a left turn! Good looking out! And GREAT LA pages.

  • starstudio's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2007 at 3:07 AM

    exellent L A info's. Is not so easy to visit your city, but this Virtual tour throw your page, was realy nice.


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