The city of angels – angels with “dirt on their wings”! Los Angeles is far from the picture of innocent angels with white wings and pristine intentions. It`s the city of the rich, the poor, the clean, the dirty, the “Be`s” and the “wanna Be`s” — all in a strange and wonderfully colored mix. Los Angeles is a city that you have to get to know bit by bit – and on the way of exploration, you see things that you like and things that you might have to “get used to” (using a lot of “quotation marks” right now)!
I have been to Los Angeles several times. Every time, I liked the city a little bit more. It is a city of never-ending opportunities!
Here some of my favorite places and things to do in Los Angeles:
Santa Monica versus Venice Beach
Santa Monica (which I love) and Venice Beach (which I find crazy in a confusing way) are two opposites that you need to get to know when visiting LA. Santa Monica, on the one hand, is cool, good for shopping (and especially if you like the surfer style. If you prefer up scale shopping and luxury brands, go to Beverly Hills and the Rodeo Drive, famous from the movie Pretty Women), a great area to have dinner with friends in nice restaurants or to go have a drink. On the other hand, you have Venice Beach. A little “rough”, stores selling “medical marihuana” everywhere, stores like “Botox on the beach” (drop-in) right next to the Freak Show Circus, promoting their show with a two-headed turtle crawling around. Venice Beach really sparked my curiosity. But somehow, I am happy when I arrive back in Santa Monica…! Everyone will find their personal favorite in Los Angeles; the city has something for every taste.
My special favorites:
Venice Beach: at the Hotel Irwin High Lounge you can have a drink in the evening, watching the sunset with an amazing view (and the cocktails are delicious). Important: you do not have to be a hotel guest to enjoy in the High Lounge (just take the elevator up to the Lounge – no problem. You might have to show some identification).
Also important: do not do Botox on the beach!
The traditional Farmers Market
I fell in love with the traditional Farmers Market. I booked a tour with a tour operator called Melting Pot Tours, and it was wonderful. Our guide, Sarah, was really nice, and we had tastings on our tour through the market which I can describe as true culinary experiences. We tried donuts, french Cheese, Churrasco, hand-made peanut butter and a dream of a fudge, just to mention a few things. The following day I returned to the market with friends, had dinner in a Spanish restaurant and just strolled around, letting the impressions, smells and tastes work on me. Bon appètit!
The Getty Museum and the Getty Villa
The Getty Museum and Getty Center house European paintings, drawings, sculptures and a lot more. It provides a wonderful view of LA, and has a mix of modern and traditional architecture, making it an exciting place to discover. Additionally, you can visit the Getty Villa in Malibu, exposing various art works as well as Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities. I really liked it, and I do not typically spend a lot of time in museums.
Follow this link to read more about visiting the Getty Museum and Getty Villa!
Do no miss out on all the beautiful beaches around Los Angeles; Manhatten Beach, Redondo Beach, Malibu and Hermosa Beach, just to mention a few. Rent a car and go! Here a few pictures to show you why:
This autumn, I will go back to Los Angeles, and I can`t wait to see what the city of surprises has got up its sleeve for me this time!
Dare to make your dreams come true – the journey starts with a single step!
– Charlotte –