Everyone has a different vacation style.
Some people like to check out the tourist attractions. They’re the ones who are going to book a tour or plan to spend the day visiting an iconic landmark. They’ll stick to the restaurants written up in guide books.
And that’s great for them! Everyone should experience new places in a way that feels good and allows them to get the most out of their visit. Then there are the tourists who prefer to live like locals. They seek out the hidden gems. They hit the small coffee shops and ask the regulars where the best food is.
If you’re one of those people, this post is a shout-out for you. Here are our tips for living like a local in LA.
#1. Get your zen on. Vacation is time to chill. Take the trip to the only drop-in meditation studio in Los Angeles, aptly named Unplug Meditation. Classes are morning, noon and night for all levels. And they’ve got a pretty cool gift shop. 12401 Wilshire Blvd #101, Los Angeles, CA 90025.
#2. Get thee to the beach. Zuma is awesome for tourist-free privacy, but Topanga State Beach takes it to another level. It’s got some beautiful scenery, in the shadow of the mountains behind. And it’s a popular surf beach, so you’ve got built-in entertainment.
#3. Hike off the beaten path. Anyone can hike Griffith Park or Runyon Canyon. For more of an insider’s trek, try the Lake Hollywood Reservoir. This is really more of a walking path than a hike, but that’s probably just fine for vacation mode. It’s well worth the extra effort to find it buried in the Hollywood Hills. Head to the Mulholland Dam and you’ll be rewarded by a view of the Hollywood sign.
#4. Frozen Delights. Forget the trendy gelato and small-batch ice cream. Get back to where the frozen dessert craze began - The Bigg Chill at 10850 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064. It’s cash only and the lines get ridiculous, but that first heavenly bite makes it all worth it.
#5. Barbecue not like your mama made. Head over to Koreatown for some incredible barbecue. Don’t skimp on the kimchi and enjoy an ice cold Hite beer to wash it all down.
#6. Farmer’s Markets! Particularly when you’re staying in a vacation rental, you’ll appreciate having access to fresh, local produce. Whip up a batch of guacamole or make a huge salad with all farm-fresh ingredients. Maybe try a new fruit or veggie you’ve never tasted before. The Original Farmers Market gets the lions to share of press, but don’t let that stop you. There are great ones everywhere!
#7. Take in an improv comedy show. Even at the better-known spots like Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, tickets are rarely more than $10. With so much relatively unknown talent in LA, you never know when you might see the next great stand-up comedian. Think of the bragging rights! “I saw so-and-so when he was just starting out….”
#8. People Watch in Venice Beach. With its eclectic and sometimes gritty regulars and boardwalk vendors, you’ll have no shortage of interesting sights to take in.
#9. Beachfront wine tasting in Malibu. How very California. At Rosenthal Winery, you’ll find their tasting room featuring a long list of favorites, like Viognier, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and numerous others.
This list is a great jumping off point to start your adventure in LA. Living like a local always adds a flavor to a trip that you just can’t get visiting all the regular tourist stops. You’ll bring back some incredible memories.
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