5 Ways to Live Like a Local in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is the pinnacle of the American Dream. A place where Hollywood stars are a dime a dozen and the sun shines pretty much 365 days a year. The jewel of the California crown, LA attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year who come for a taste of Hollywood glitz and glam. There are so many amazing activities on offer for tourists, but the best of the city is found off-the-beaten track. Here’s how you can live like a local in the City of Angels.
Take a hike
On any given morning, you’ll find hordes of LA locals flocking to the nearest hiking trail to start their day with an early workout. It’s hard to believe these beautiful hikes can be found just minutes from the concrete jungle of the city, but that’s just where you’ll find dozens of trails, from the easy two-mile loop of Wildwood Canyon, to the more difficult 6.2-mile climb of Sandstone Peak. I love Runyon Canyon in the Hollywood Hills, a 2.4-mile trek which takes around 90 minutes, and boasts stunning views of the Hollywood sign. Grab your water bottle and join the sea of baseball caps and cute dogs stretching their legs on this ruggedly beautiful trail. You won’t be disappointed!
Join the breakfast club
Californians take their brunch seriously and there is no shortage of amazing boozy brunch spots throughout the city to spend your Sunday funday, or any day for that matter! I love trendy spot Eveleigh on Sunset Boulevard for its melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin and raisin bread and buttery scrambled eggs. Their stunning outdoor terrace is the perfect place to people-watch as you sip on mimosas. You might even spot a famous face in the crowd. Or, for a low key affair Tart, situated in the quirky Farmers Daughter Hotel on Fairfax Avenue is the place to be. This casual but popular spot serves up delicious all-American classics like French toast but my favourite is the Market Scramble – a mix of eggs, chorizo and a whole host of other home-style ingredients thrown in for good measure. Plus if you jump in the pool with all your clothes on, you get your meal for free!
Shop, snack and sip
Bohemian Venice Beach is known for its free-spirited, devil-may-care attitude and as a result, it attracts a huge mix of people from all walks of life to its neighbourhood – from artists to business owners. Most visitors will stick to the Venice Boardwalk, but just a hop, skip and a jump away from the main drag, you’ll find the hip Abbot Kinney Boulevard – a street adorned with amazing street art by local artists and jam-packed with a mix of local and high street fashion boutiques, independent coffee stores and trendy restaurants. My favourite pit-stop is Gjelina which serves up to-die-for pizzas in a buzzy, casual setting. Save room for dessert as their banana bread pudding is the stuff dreams are made of.
Gear up for a bike ride
You know that La La Land scene where Mia and Sebastian are stuck in a huge traffic jam, trading insults and honking their horns? Whilst this is fictional (but I’m still firmly in the Mia and Seb 4eva camp) the road rage in LA is very real. It can be quite the experience for those of us who don’t spend our lives commuting into the city, so imagine how frustrating it must be for those that do the journey every.single.day! A favourite pastime of locals is to swap four wheels for two, hire a bike and cycle one of the many bike routes the city has to offer. We hired cruisers and rode the well-trodden cycle path from Santa Monica to Venice Beach – stopping to visit the Pier for a well-earned ice cream of course - but if you’re a keen cyclist, try the 26-mile bike path that runs along the Pacific Coast shoreline and takes in stunning views of the coast along the way.
Enjoy a film al fresco
LA natives love making the most of the movies and boy, do they put on a good show! A must-do activity for any discerning film buff is Street Food Cinema - an outdoor cinema experience showing some of the greatest films of all time in the city’s beautiful parks from Downtown LA to Pasadena. Taking place every week from April to October, there are speciality food trucks, live music, plus special guest speakers with a connection to the movie are invited to take part in Q&A sessions to help bring the film to life. We went to see La La Land (sensing a theme here) and loved watching the movie as we tucked into fried chicken burgers amongst crowds of locals. Tickets sell out quickly so be sure to book ahead. Wrap up warm and bring a blanket too, as it can get chilly once the sun has set!
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