I'm a mom and location scout living in LA, always looking for something to do. My life and job are one big adventure, and I thought you might enjoy some of these adventures too!
Here's my list of the Top 10 Things To Do in LA
It's always inspiring to see the richest neighborhoods of every city. Beverly Hills is definitely one of them for Los Angeles. You can detest the rich, but this place has the lushest parks and fluffiest burger joint cushions in the commercial world.
The palm trees are immaculate, and it's a popular place to see celebrities shopping and dining. Rodeo Drive is home to luxury flagships, and their displays are very cool. The safest place for middle class folk in Beverly Hills is Beverly Gardens, Greystone Mansion, the Beverly Hills Library, and the Beverly Hills Sign.
Climb to the top of the observation deck for 360 views of Los Angeles and Hollywood. Enter the building off Main St. (on the east side). Pass through security, take the elevator to the 22nd floor. Change elevators and go to the 26th floor. Hike one flight of stairs, open the doors, and you're on top of the world. Another spectacular building view of Los Angeles is OUE Skyspace. Tickets cost $20-$45, City Hall is free.
Who doesn't love flowers? Better yet, who doesn't love flowers at wholesale prices?! Woo!! The Flower District is a burst of color and creativity in nature's freshest blooms. This is the perfect place to come to jazz up the house or office, or give your friend a thoughtful gift. You can really wow your wife with a dozen 18" roses from Guatemala for $12.99, or exotic orchids ($6-$12+) at Lee's Orchids. $1 succulents for the simple gal ; ) My whole patio is filled with money trees from the flower distinct and I'm always looking for an excuse to go back!
The best flower shops in the flower district are the Los Angeles Flower Mart, Lee's Orchids,
Grand Central Market. Who doesn't love food?! Grand Central Market is the mezcla of food. You'll find every genre, every treat, every possible savory scent and flavor your mouth could salivate over. In the same city block, you'll find Angel's Flight (a historic landmark lift) on the west, and the Bradbury Building (historic, popular film location) on the east.
Olvera St. is home to the best Mexican food in Los Angeles. It's the oldest and most vibrant neighborhood in Los Angeles full of Mexican culture. Eat, shop, and enjoy the music. Come on a Saturday and be prepared to dance in the town square! There's so much color, life, delicious Mexican food and culture on Olvera St!
Watch our adventure here!
The California Science Center. African American Museum. Natural History Museum. Olympic Memorial . Rose Garden.Coliseum
This place is a gold mine for every one. Singletons, families, dates - every one. If you have a fascination for science, arts, and culture, this is the spot. The California Science Center offers so much to the imagination and learning of children and adults. Best of all, it's free. Right there's the King Tut exhibit that costs money, but girl I'm payin' for it! The Endeavour Space Craft is parked here and it's home to the '88 Olympics.
Hollywood Walk of Fame I'd love to put this #1, but it's grimy. I honestly don't know what's worse... The stink meat sausage carts, the emotional trace music, or the dirty Mickey Mouse that just ruined my childhood dreams.
Go for the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Chinese Grauman's Theatre (with the cement hand and foot prints) Pantages, and El Capitan (kid friendly screenings Tuesdays at 10am).
Get lost in the magic of the stars by finding your favorite entertainer.
LACMA + The Getty
There are so many incredible art collections on display in LA from The Broad to MoCa to Marciano, but if I had to pick 2 it's LACMA and the Getty. The Getty is free. The only cost is parking which is $15-20. The holds Vincent Van Gogh's "Iris" painting.
LACMA is a mix of everything from classic to modern to contemporary works of art. The exhibits are always changing, but in their permanent collections you'll find the iconic " Urban Lights".
Where to start... Griffith park is massive and has something for everyone. The observatory (which is free and open to the public) is by far the most fascinating thing to see here. The views are equally incredible. You can hike around the observatory, take pictures with the Hollywood sign, find secluded green spaces and let your kids run around.
There's so much to do! There's train and pony rides! You can take your kids to the Travel Town Museum. It's free and gives you access inside real trains. If your child is in love with Thomas, you'll be a hero for bringing them here.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Hollywood is what sets Los Angeles apart. The best place to get a close look at the movie making industry is Universal Studios Hollywood. The studio tour is a classic behind the scenes look. You'll see the sets from Back to the Future, Hitchcock's Psycho, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, War of the Worlds, Jaws and more. There's a replica of Hogwarts and Hogsmeade in Harry Potter World and it's as absolutely magical as the book describes it. Tickets are $100/day and are worth it.
I'll warn you: There's something different about the rides at Universal Studios. They use this robocoaster technology that highjacks your senses. I never get sick on thrills, but here, it just makes me sick. I like to keep a low profile, people watch, take my youngin' to the playground, and visit Hello Kitty.
How cute is she?
You'll find classic Hollywood characters here like Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball, The Simpsons, Shrek, Puss in Boots, Dora the Explorer, Beetlejuice, Frankenstein, Dracula, the cast from Despicable Me, Kung Fu Panda, Hello Kitty and more! They're all over the park and the Universal employees are more than happy to help you take a picture with them on your own phone.
I will always choose nature for the #1 because it's the best thing we can experience. Unique to Los Angeles is our beaches, and when you're hear, you have to hear the waves and smell the fresh salt air. Malibu has the most pristine, beautiful beaches in LA. Zuma and Point Dume ($7) are great for families. El Matador for fine art photography and plein air painting. Paradise Cove for a hip Mediterranean hangout ($20) + beach cafe /restaurant.
If you want the quintessential Los Angeles experience, walk the Santa Monica pier. Classic Route 66. Ride the ferris wheel, take in the view and pretend you're on top of the world. Near this beach, you'll find the Annenberg Community Beach House which is a beautiful public space for families. Great place to refresh.
Here's a Google map of all the locations (hidden treasures included)! Follow me @valdouroux on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
Thanks for reading!
Have an amazing trip to Los Angeles.