The Culture Vulture's Guide to Los Angeles

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Curated By

Zoe Schaeffer

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  • USA

  • California

  • Los Angeles

  • Arts & Culture

  • Boutique Travel

  • City Travel

  • Couples Travel

  • Family Travel

  • Group Travel

  • Outdoors

  • Museums

  • Sightseeing

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Curator’s statement

While you might associate Los Angeles with Hollywood hotshots and palm-lined streets, the city has risen to the top in the past decade when it comes to food, design, art and retail. This is why so many creative types have flocked here (aside from the glorious year-round weather). Once you log your early morning hikes and surf lessons in Malibu, it's time for some serious exploring in one of the coolest cities on Earth.

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Where to stay in Los Angeles, California

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Chateau Marmont

Historic property along Sunset Boulevard with Hollywood-inspired rooms, suites, cottages and bungalows.

The Beverly Hills Hotel

This spot for Hollywood’s brightest lights, the ultimate beacon of glamour, greets you with posh rooms, stellar service and an array of activities.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade whenever possible.

Santa Monica Proper Hotel

A luxury lifestyle hotel on sun-drenched Wilshire Boulevard where guests will have a front-row seat to sunsets over the Pacific.

Fora Perks
  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

  • Complimentary bottle of wine in room on arrival.

  • Complimentary welcome gift on arrival.

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Things to do in Los Angeles, California

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  • Stomp around the Arts District and visit the stunning Hauser + Wirth gallery that's been known to host performers like Savion Glover.

  • Visit the Griffith Observatory in a historic structure and killer city view.

  • Go gallery hopping everywhere from lower La Brea to SaMo's Bergamont Station and many hubs in between.

  • Step into the east side's wild Descanso Gardens for an impromptu photo shoot.

  • Explore the Getty Museum and take in the massive 360 views of the city.

  • Catch a concert at Hollywood Bowl and drink wine in a box with friends.

  • Check out the new Academy of Motion Pictures Museum for some serious Hollywood history.

  • Wander through LACMA, the city's crowned contemporary art museum and explore the family painting room for calligraphy projects.

  • Wander through mid-century furniture shops on La Cienega and be inspired to re-design your home.

Day Trips from Los Angeles, CA

In a little over an hour, you are in Ojai, the beautiful countryside filled with orange groves. Two hours south and you'll hit Laguna Beach for sun and surf. A two-hour drive brings you to dreamy Santa Barbara for fresh local fare and gorgeous coastlines.

Places to eat & drink in Los Angeles, California

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  • Honey Hi for the most vibrant, healthy meals from local farms.

  • Sqirl for legendary crispy rice bowls and brioche and ricotta.


  • Beverly Hills Hotel for a splurge-worthy chopped salad, people-watching and pool-side lounging.

  • Park's for the best Korean BBQ that only accepts walk-ins (which is why lunch is better).


  • Sushi Park for epic omakase where you're sure to see your favorite movie star solo at the bar.

  • Damian for modern Mexican from a prized Mexico City chef in a lush patio setting.

  • All Time for an elevated neighborhood hang with incredible local ingredients.

  • Tsubaki for gorgeously plated Japanese small plates in an off-the-beaten-path neighborhood.

  • Found Oyster for out-of-this-world oysters in a modest setting.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out my Family Holiday Guide to Porto and Lisbon.

Zoe Schaeffer Travel Agent wearing gray shirt in open room with brown and white tiles

Travel Advisor

Zoe Schaeffer

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