Each neighbourhood in Los Angeles has a different aspect that makes it special and attracts different types of people. To be honest, LA is like a big mass of tiny cities placed around the express ways, 405 – from north to south – and 10 – from east to west. There is so much to do, but the tourists, poor thing, get really lost when thinking where to stay or to visit. So, thinking about this CONTA LÁ decided to do a mini guide of the main neighbourhoods in LA with their characteristics and what to do there. Let’s go?
What to do: beach, stay, eat, party and vist
We’ll start with the beach. Santa Monica and Venice are placed side by side. Santa Monica has the pier with the amusement park (and the Bubba Gump restaurant, from the movie “Forrest Gump”). Venice has the boardwalk and the skate park. This means it’s the place to spend a good Sunday.
There are many options of hotels and hostels, and the prices vary, but it’s for sure not the cheapest neighbourhood to stay. People who live there are pretty fit and like those green juices and shopping at the Promenade. At night, there are many options to eat and party, one of the most popular spots is The Bungalow (it’s free to get in, there is music and cool vibe, but, please, arrive early to avoid the line).
To give you the idea of this region nothing better than the hot hot hot Adam Levine strolling around Santa Monica in the vídeo clip of “I’ll never gonna leave this bed”, from Maroon 5.
What to do there: visit, eat, go to the movies
Leaving the beach and getting inside LA, you’ll find the west side of the city: Westwood. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is located in this area, which brings a very young vibe. The campus is beautiful, totally worth a visit! And the village is super cute, you can do everything walking, like this scene of “Crash” shows. There are two super traditional movie theaters, that receive premieres and artists of big blockbusters.
The Getty Center is another great spot to visit in this area, with gardens and a museum on the top of a hill. Fans of “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” will like passing by the gates of the neighbourhood located close to UCLA.
Although is a region full of Young people, Westwood doesn’t have a very strong nightlife. It’s better try spots on Culver City, another neighbourhood close by, full of bars. Or try your luck on one of the many student parties in the hills around campus.
What to do: Shopping (or window shopping), stay, eat and tourism
Beverly Hills is known as the neighbourhood of the mansions of the famous actors. Indeed, there are tours to show around these houses, but you’ll see the gate of someone famous and not the inside the house. The fun part of this area is Rodeo Drive, famous for the scene of the movie “Pretty Woman”, when Julia Roberts go shopping and is mistreated at a store (“Big mistake! Huge”. I love this scene haha).
Back to our story here, you might see someone famous around this area at a café or a bar, but it’s not so usual as you might think.
If you’re on a budget, one option to eat in Beverly Hills is the Cheesecake Factory, the food is good and the price is accessible, compared to other spots. And, of course, take a pic at the classic Beverly Hills sign!
What to do there: Party, eat, stay
Right next to Beverly Hills, you’ll find West Hollywood. This place is widely known as the gay area in Los Angeles and had a super fun vibe. A must go is The Abbey, a bar and club, free to get in and very welcoming. The pride happens there and also the Halloween parade, when all angelenos put on the craziest costumes and go have fun in the streets.
There are many options of hotels, probably cheaper than Santa Monica and the region is very central, close to Hollywood and not so far from the beach. One of the most famous streets of LA is the Sunset Boulevard and the main area, the Sunset Strip is there, packed with bars. Traditional spots are Rainbow, to eat (many rock stars have been there) and The Roxy, for concerts. One Oak, one of the most expensive clubs in LA, is also located there. Oh! There is also a special place to shop: Melrose.
What to do: Party, stay, tourism
Much more than the Walk of Fame, Hollywood offers a vast amount of entertainment options. There are a lot of nightclubs, one of the most traditional is Supperclub, and also bars with bans, like Good Times. As usual, these places always have lines, so get there early! The Jimmy Kimmel Live, a TV show, is recorded there, as you can see in the video.
There are also the Hollywood cemiter, where they play movies in a giant screen (buy in advance cause it’s always sold out) and the Hollywood Bowl, with the best concerts. Oh, yeah, and hikes, like the Hollywood Sign. Another must go is the Griffth Observatory (“The Terminator 1” scene was shot there)
The neighbourhood also offers a lot of hotels and hostels and is very close to Burbank, where the TV ando movie studios are located, and you can do those famous tours. In Hollywood, you’ll find a wide range of people, from beautiful young aspiring actors to old people that live in the area and many many tourists.
What to do: tourism, eat and party
One of my favourite places in LA is Downtown. It used to be a very dangerous area, but has been revitalized and doesn’t stop growing. There are many office buildings as well as eating options around the streets.
The movie “500 days of Summer” was shot in many places in the neighbourhood. The architecture, as the movie clip suggests, its really cool. This area has a very active nightlife, one of the options is get some drinks at the rooftop bars, like The Standard. What I like the most is that you can go walking from one place to other.
But getting there might be very stressful! Avoid at any cost the I-10 during week days in the peek hours. I would suggest arriving there before the end of the afternoon or later at night!
And, how can we talk about Downtown and not mention the hipsters?! Surrounding DT-LA there are a lot of small charming neighbourhoods where the cool people live and party. Silver Lake, Echo Park and Los Feliz are great options to eat and dance, with indie bars and new restaurants popping up every now and then. My tip is try to talk to someone that looks cool and you might find out about some new hype spot for party!
Oh, yeah, I left out a lot of neighbourhoods, because LA is huge! There is just so much to talk about, so I promise a second edition of this post soon with more tips. For now you can see a big resume of LA in the video clip of Best Coast. Now enjoy and the city and tell me what I should include in the next post 😉