New York or Los Angeles? That seems like the evergreen question that creeps into most of the conversations with friends. Although I love Manhattan and I’m not nearly ready to leave this city any time soon, I admit that the draw of sunny California is hard to deny. Here’s your weekend guide to a splendid time in LA.
Day 1: Explore the city
Griffith Observatory & Hollywood Sign: start your day here and take the hike to the Hollywood sign. It’s about 5 miles and you’ll want to start your hike early to avoid being caught under the sun for too long. The hike should take under 2 hours, and once at the top, you’re rewarded with a stunning view of LA on a clear day. The observatory itself is also recently renovated and looks gorgeous and clean. Checkout the museum if you get the chance.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA): This is a world class art museum with some stunning exhibits. There is a main location on the Grand and a smaller building (the Geffen) in Little Tokyo. Admission is for both so museum lovers can take advantage of both. Pro tip: admission is free on Thursdays after 5pm.
Grand Central Market: The Grand Central Market is almost 100 years old, AND it’s got so much charm to show for it. There has been a new wave of vendors coming to the market and your appetite can thank them all. Make sure to try: Sticky Rice (thai street food), Egg Slut (for egg dishes), and Horse Thief (Texas bbq).
LA Art District: With a full belly, head over to the Art District - home to old warehouses and the vibrant creative scene. Check out the stylish art galleries in the area and the boutique stores. While you’re at it, soak in the the neighborhood’s handsome coffeeshops.
Venice Boardwalk & Venice Beach: When you think of LA, the beach comes to mind. Stroll down the beach and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the boardwalk. The famous boardwalk is home to many vendors, street performers, and artists. You can easily spend a few hours here enjoying all the odds and ends the boardwalk has to offer.
Santa Monica Pier: You can spot the Ferris wheel and the roll coaster from miles away. This 100-year old landmark is not only home to the Pacific Park amusement park, it’s also the center for tons of pubs, restaurants, and, of course, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. With something for everyone, it is the perfect place to unwind after the long day yesterday.
Malibu beaches: End your day here, home to the fine estates of millionaire and some incredible surfing. There are tons of great beaches in Malibu, but the most popular ones are Point Dume State beach and El Matador. Point Dume features trails and bluff viewpoints, overlooking rocky coves and sand dunes, while El Matador is a collection of small cliff-foot beaches with beautiful rock arches and rock formations scattered along the water.