Los Angeles is a city of perplexing contradictions. From the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the laidback coastal enclave of Malibu, the city is brimming with an undercurrent of culture beyond the silver screen. Your experience within the city mixes gastronomic delights with a cacophony of architectural marvels, a refined yet rugged natural beauty with the very best of Americana and a SoCal attitude. For 24 hours in this seemingly endless city, we’ve crafted an itinerary to see each distinct side to this multi-faceted city. Whether you’re looking to live like the characters in the locations of your favourite films or are drawn to the city’s bubbling arts and culture scene, we have you covered.
With over 4 million inhabitants, waking up in a city like Los Angeles means something different to everyone, individual rituals and routines guiding each day. The one thing they all have in common though is breakfast, even if what that entails differs. Head toward Downtown’s foodie hotspot Grand Central Market where choice is not a premium but something to revel in.
There are a plethora of options that skew from trendy and health-conscious all the way to hearty eats. If you’re looking for the latter, the bacon, egg and cheese roll on offer, Eggslut is certain to please. Beyond their signature dish, their artisanal blend of cold brew coffees complements the decadent food, hitting the spot that it should. No matter the choice you make, you will not be disappointed in this foodie haven.
The Butcher’s Daughter is an alternative offering vegetarian options and a juice bar that screams pure LA. Have your camera ready for the Instagram ready interiors boast a relaxed and bright, light-filled dining spaces teeming with hanging plants. Beyond the usual picks like acai bowls and smashed avocado on toast, we suggest you try the basil BLTs made with delectable adzuki bacon. While the wait is never long, it certainly is worth it.
Now that you’ve had your energy levels revitalised, it’s time to start exploring and what a better place to start than the futuristic city setting of the J. Paul Getty Museum. Displaying a collection of Western Art stretching from the Middle Ages to the present, you’re bound to find a piece from van Gogh or Cézanne, that’ll make you ponder and stare in awe.
Head for the coast and be charmed by the cosmopolitan, bohemian vibe of Venice, what has now transformed into one of the city’s coolest areas. The iconic and chiselled bodybuilders at Muscle Beach remain as do the street performers and local vendors of the beachfront. However, thanks to the Broad Museum and the Hauser & Wirth gallery, it is now a bona fide art destination that has also reinvigorated its shopping and food scene.
Follow the boardwalk north to visit the historic Santa Monica Pier. As the end to Route 66, it’s a must for every child at heart. Its lively blend of arcades with the sea and musicians and beachgoers all looking to enjoy themselves is infectious. Beyond the pier itself, what’s our choice for the perfect holiday snap? The heart-covered Love Wall on Montana Avenue, it’s sure to be a hit.
LUNCH AND AFTERNOON
Owing to the sheer diversity of its expatriate communities, LA’s food truck scene is eclectic, undoubtedly the best in the world and your choice pick for lunch. With piquant wafts luring you around every corner, head for the food trucks on Wiltshire Boulevard where you can find buttery hot quesadillas and tacos oozing with flavour that runs down the chin. Look out for the Heritage LA truck and try its California bowl with whole grains, baby greens and herbed chicken, all locally grown and sourced.
It’s time to treat yourself so why not head for Palisades Village, the city’s newest shopping destination set amongst a beautifully landscaped outdoor mall. If you’re into people-watching, window shopping or something a little more upmarket then look no further than Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. The two-mile shopping strip is commercial paradise boasting brands such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton that sit alongside iconic American brands like Levis and Calvin Klein.
The light on the west coast is one of its most celebrated features so head for the hills to enjoy panoramic views of the city bathed in hues of orange and pink. The hike to Griffith Park and Observatory varies with an option for every fitness level and time constraint. Be sure to arrive in time for sunset and bask in the serenity as you sit and watch the sunset over the sublime Pacific Ocean horizon.
DINNER AND NIGHTLIFE
Head Downtown to find many of the city’s best restaurants. Visit Miro for sublime pasta and other Italian fare or Le Petit Paris if you’re interested in French cuisine. Sitting in the lobby of an old Art Deco hotel, it houses the perfect aesthetic oozing sophistication and comfort. If you’re looking for something more casual, try The Pantry where you can enjoy old school American comfort food in a diner setting.
Koreatown has now become the city’s epicentre teeming with a buzzing nightlife. The Brass Monkey is sure to entertain with its late-night karaoke while the Normandie Hotel boasts a stylish and suave cocktail bar with another hidden within. Head to the Wiltern for a nightcap and find solace in the fact that you’ve seen the very best that Los Angeles has to offer.
WAKE UP AND REPEAT!
With a day and night in the sprawling urban metropolis flourishing with a plethora of sights and experiences, we hope this article helped as a guide. If you’re looking to stay to explore further afield then a Sixt car rental is the perfect solution to explore the rest that the state has to offer.
(written by Christian Keshan)