Your Street Guide to Visiting Los Angeles

    Visiting Los Angeles

    Due to coronavirus, traveling for the rest of this year (and probably into the first few months of next year) is very limited. While your overseas adventures might be put on pause, that doesn?t mean you?re stuck in your hometown until the pandemic is over. 

    Instead, take this opportunity to explore nearby cities or domestic tourism spots, like Los Angeles. Los Angeles, or LA (as it?s referred to by Californians), is known for its celebrity sightings, Hollywood infamy, and big tourist attractions (Disneyland, Universal Studios, and more), but there is so much more to California?s largest city. 

    In 2018 alone, Los Angeles hit a milestone of over 50 million visitors during the year. From some of the world?s best food spots to the great outdoors, there?s something for everyone. Whether you haven?t had the chance to visit before or maybe just didn?t have enough time to visit all the must-sees on your list, you can make your trip to LA a fun experience with the right plan and the right people.?

    Of course, before you go anywhere, make sure you?re not exhibiting symptoms and double-check to make sure everywhere you?re planning on going is currently open. And don?t forget these essentials:

    • This guide to plan your visit
    • Your budget (use this budgeting calculator to get started)
    • Comfortable walking shoes
    • Your face mask 
    • Hand sanitizer

    Let?s get started by giving you some ideas for visiting some of LA?s most noteworthy neighborhoods.

    Downtown LA

    The urban center of LA has no shortage of things to do, see, and eat. If you?re visiting Downtown LA, don?t miss out on these essential stops:

    • What to Do:
      • After walking around Downtown LA, stop in Grand Park for a picnic. The park offers a unique experience with city views and plenty of space to sprawl out (12 whole acres) and even has splash pads for cooling off. 
      • Hunt down the many murals and create a photo series while enjoying the one-of-a-kind street art. This free activity allows you to see the city, stay entertained, and save money in the process.
      • Get an appreciation for the local Japanese culture by stopping in Little Tokyo. Here you can enjoy traditional Japanese food, visit the Japanese American National Museum, find a great karaoke spot, and so much more.
      • Ride the Skyslide. The 45-foot, all-glass slide is an experience unlike any other, allowing you to see Downtown LA from nearly 1,000 feet above. 
      • Pop outside of the city and spend some time testing your luck at the casinos! 
    • What to Eat:
      • Grand Central Market (features dozens of LA?s best street food vendors)
      • Badmaash (a modern spin on Indian cuisine)
      • Nickel Diner (40s-inspired diner known for their traditional favorites and maple bacon donuts)
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    Venice Beach 

    According to the Venice Beach Chamber of Commerce, it is the 2nd-largest Southern California attraction, after Disneyland of course. The beach culture in Venice Beach makes it the perfect place to go if you want to enjoy some water sports like surfing or paddleboarding, or just want to spend the day beachside enjoying the fresh air. Here are some of the best things to do in Venice Beach:

    • What to do:
      • The Venice Beach Boardwalk is iconic and necessary if you haven?t been before. Filled with unique shops, street and wall art, kooky street performers, drum circles, and more, there are virtually endless sights to see along the boardwalk?and that?s not even counting the beautiful ocean views. 
      • Off 25th Street, the Venice Canals are inspired by their European namesake. You can take a leisurely stroll along the canals, ogle at the breathtaking multi-million-dollar homes, and get some memorable photos on one of the unique bridges.
      • Rent a bike and explore the beach, boardwalk, and shops throughout Venice Beach. You can rent a bike for fairly cheap and there are rental businesses at both ends so they?re easy to find. Or, if you?re into the current roller skating trend, grab a pair and take some scenic videos or photos.
    • What to Eat: 
      • James? Beach (known for their mahi-mahi tacos and burgers)
      • Great White (casual cafe known for their beachside coffee and breakfast options)
      • The Butcher?s Daughter (vegetarian eatery)
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    Last but not least, if you?ve never been to LA before, you can?t leave without partaking in the classic Hollywood experience. To get the ultimate tourist experience, these are a few things you can do:

    • What to Do:
      • Visit the Chinese Theatre to look around or watch a film. The iconic movie palace has been home to countless movie premiers since the 1920?s and is part of the classic Hollywood culture you just can?t miss.
      • Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the resting place for many iconic celebrities, but you can also catch movie screenings throughout the summer months, for a cinema experience you?ll never forget. 
      • Madame Tussaud?s Wax Museum is currently closed, but if you?re planning a future trip, this is one of the top tourist stops in Hollywood. Get a picture with your favorite celebrity (okay it?s not actually them, but close enough) and get a reprieve from the heat, it?s a win-win.
      • Did you know you can picnic at the Hollywood Bowl? This venue doubles as a public park, so why not check out the infamous concert arena. If you?re planning your trip post-COVID, you may even be able to score tickets to a performance ahead of time.
      • The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an essential Hollywood experience (about 10 million people visit each year) and it?s free, so you won?t have to even consider adding to your credit card debt. Find your favorite celeb?s star, capture a few photo ops, and see other sights along the way.
    • What to Eat: 
      • Bahn Oui (known for their pork belly sandwiches)
      • Duidoh (craft cookie lab)
      • Velvet Margarita  (Tequila bar and Mexican restaurant – Voted #1 Top Night Spot by LA Times Magazine)
      • The Truth Hollywood (rooftop bar and restaurant)
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    It?s Time to Go to LA

    Whether you?re going for the weekend or just driving up for the day, LA is overflowing with fun and interesting things to do. Don?t wander around aimlessly, with this guide on hand and your must-sees picked out, you?re ready to hit the streets of Los Angeles and make the most of your visit?just don?t forget to plan for traffic. And don?t forget to check for closures throughout the end of 2020 and into 2021 before planning out your trip. Luckily, whether you?re going during or post-COVID, there are plenty of things to do in the busy and culture-rich streets of Los Angeles.

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