To find yourself hustling and bustling in the City of Angels, with the sun shining throughout the year, Los Angeles is the epitome of a warm welcome to any American dream. It is a lively metropolis with a diverse and enticing vibe that will surely be one of the best visits of a lifetime.
Photos by The Hoxton, Hotel Figueroa, APL Restaurant, Beauty & Essex, The Lobster, Bia Coffee, Amour Vert, Bearded Beagle, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Faungg, Edward Stojakovic, Darin Kim
This former Los Angeles Railway building has now transformed into a chic, delicate hotel designed by Ennismore in collaboration with Soho House. Visually pleasing with Art Deco elements, floral motifs, bold colours, and lots of artworks, The Hoxton is a 10-story hotel in the Parisian Beaux Arts style that will make your stay delightfully pleasant. Located in the Broadway Theatre District, all you need is a short walk to get to fashion district, Staples Center, as well as architectural and cultural landmarks in LA’s downtown core.
Recently returned following a two-year renovation including a total facelift by Studio Collective, Hotel Figueroa now houses 268 rooms, a renewed outdoor pool, two restaurants, and (thankfully) five bars. First opened in 1926, this hotel was the largest establishment built, financed, owned, and operated by a woman. No wonder that it used to be known as an ideal stopping place for unattended ladies. But worry not; this hotel attentively welcomes you with a beautiful Spanish colonial style lobby, along with a tropical-inspired bar and an all-day restaurant.
Located in the historical Taft Building in Hollywood, Adam Perry Lang’s APL Restaurant is Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Bateman, and Jon Favreau’s favourite restaurant. The grilling guru himself has been rewriting the rules of cooking, dry-aging, and consuming meat for more than two decades. This 143-seat restaurant is not only a place to dine, but also where the magic happens. Yes, the dry-aged steak in your plate had spent 400 days in an environmentally controlled chamber housed in the establishment where you are dining.
Beauty & Essex
It was Selena Gomez, Kyle Jenner, and Cardi B’s birthday party venue in 2018. Enough said. Chef Chris Santo’s multi-ethnic dishes and share-friendly plates such as Caesar Toast with Crispy Chicken Skin and the 24-ounce Bone-in Ribeye with Truffle Hollandaise surely will be the highlight of your day. Walk down the restaurant and you will find Beauty & Essex’s pawn inspired retail show that sells vintage jewellery, custom musical instruments, and unique art pieces.
Nothing is more refreshing than hanging out on the Santa Monica Pier in daylight or dusk, while soaking in the atmosphere of fresh ocean air and, probably, having some seafood. The Lobster is a perfect companion for your day at the pier. Established in 1923, this nearly century-old diner is known as one of LA’s most romantic restaurants. Located at the historic pier’s entrance, its breath-taking views of the ocean become an absolute complement for the irresistible seafood dishes you will be having.
When a florist turns into a barista and opens a coffee shop, Bia Coffee happens. Specializing in flowers, coffee and cakes, this is a dessert spot in LA that hits the right note. Instagramably chic with minimalist design, Bia’s rose and lavender cold brews and lattes are a winner along with its prettiest cakes, of course all with the touch of flowers. Time and patience is the key, it takes 2 to 3 days to make a jar of their flower syrup, and it’s worth the wait.
One way to help Mother Earth is to shop sustainably. Amour Vert, a French term that literally translates as “green love”, is the place where you can shop while creating a better planet for the future. Amour Vert thoughtfully designs sustainable and versatile clothing for men, women, and even babies. Their fabrics are made of sustainably harvested beech wood fibres that are not only biodegradable, but also free of pesticides. The company will also plant a tree in North America for every purchase of Amour Vert.
A heaven for treasure seekers, Highland Park is the home of eclectic wares and artisanal crafts. From vintage accessories to rare vinyl, you can find everything you’ve been searching for in this neighbourhood. Head to the Bearded Beagle for carefully curated vintage clothing and accessories with the best prices. Or, make your way to Future Music to find some used or even discontinued music instruments such as synthesizers and guitars. Update your wardrobe with the past or grab some hard-to-find goodies in this vibrant part of LA.
Relive the Scenes
So many iconic movies have taken place in this city of angels. The marvellous landscape, sunny weather, and beautiful sunsets are the reasons filmmakers shoot their movies in various locations in LA. Start by heading to the Griffith Observatory where Sebastian and Mia danced in La La Land. After that, sweep the streets throughout LA to visit some of shooting locations of John Travolta’s Grease, including Venice High School, the LA River, and Leo Carillo State Beach.
Visit Free Attractions
There are lots of things that will keep you entertained in LA without having to spend a penny. You can head straight to the Hollywood Walk of Fame to see some of the top Hollywood artists’ autographs or go further back, to the ice age, by checking out more than 100 tons of fossilized bones from mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish that have been unearthed from pools of asphalt at the La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park.
See Architecture Masterpieces
There are more than 1,000 World Heritage sites around the world, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House is one of them. Located in the heart of Barnsdall Park, this architectural masterpiece represents the first modern architecture designation in the country. Built in 1921, Hollyhock House was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2019. Check out the popular living room with the monumental bas-relief over the fireplace and search carefully for hidden gems throughout the house that will bring the past to the present.
Hike the trails
LA keeps numerous hiking trails that are perfect for exercise while discovering the neighbourhood. Most of the trails are easy to moderate level, but keep in mind to wear proper shoes, bring water, and wear protection such as sunglasses and sunscreen. Start with the Griffith Park Trails that stretch less than a mile round trip that will take you to the bat cave. Feeling strong? You can take the Brush Canyon Trail, a 2-mile track with spectacular views near the Mount Hollywood Dr. Whichever path you take, the LA landscape will give you an unforgettable experience.