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The Greater Los Angeles area is home to over 18 million people, so there are tons of things to do and places to live that it was impossible to narrow down our favorite neighborhoods. Instead, we made up a list of some of our favorite activities and places to eat scattered throughout the city that you MUST experience. So, without further ado, here is our Ultimate Los Angeles Bucket List.
Food and Drink
Start Your Day Off Right: Aroma Coffee and Tea
Whether you’re looking for a carefully crafted cappuccino and pastry or huge portions of classic breakfast specials, you should find time to visit this cozy breakfast spot in Studio City. Enjoy a nice mix of indoor or outdoor seating in their spacious patio.
Favorite Boozy Brunch: Barbrix
There are plenty of options around L.A. for a boozy brunch, but you can’t beat Barbrix in Silver Lake. On weekends, purchase a $12 food item (most are $12 or over) and you can add bottomless mimosas for only $8!
Quick, Affordable Lunch: Ricky’s Fish Tacos
If you’re constantly on the move, a sit down lunch is out of the question. Ricky’s Fish Tacos is a popular food truck located in East Hollywood that serves the best fish tacos in town. Check his twitter page for daily specials and hours of operation for the day!
Leisurely Lunch: Eveleigh
This West Hollywood restaurant has one of the best outdoor patios in the city, not to mention great food. This farm-to-table establishment serves both small and large plates to share or grab a tasty sandwich or salad and enjoy the outdoors!
Dinner With a View: Cafe Del Ray
Situated in Marina Del Rey, diners enjoy views of boats and yachts of all sizes at this working marina where you might just see a deep sea fishing boat coming back with your catch of the day. You can’t go wrong with any of their fresh caught seafood, but they also have tender poultry and prime cuts of steak to pair with locally sourced ingredients and an extensive beer and wine list.
High End Dining: Maude Restaurant
Make your reservations yesterday, as this place is one of the more popular restaurants in all of Los Angeles. Chef Curtis Stone picks a seasonal ingredient to highlight each month with his 9 course tasting menu. Kick back, relax, and let the chefs work their magic!
Savory Sweets: Scoops Westside
Scoops has multiple locations around L.A. and has become the go-to spot for ice cream. The flavors are constantly changing with dairy and non-dairy options throughout the week, so be sure to check Facebook or Twitter for the daily menu. The one constant is the Brown Brown Bread, caramel ice cream with candied Grape-nuts.
Best Burger: Belcampo
It’s probably fitting that the best burger is made at place where they use grass-fed beef directly from their farm. While the Belcampo Cheeseburger is delicious, try their drive-thru style burger for only $5.
Pizza, Pizza, Pizza: Maximiliano’s
When you walk into this Highland Park restaurant, it’s hard not to notice the double-decker, red tiled pizza oven. The Margherita Pizza is to die for, but try one of their creative, monthly specialties and you’ll be wanting more before you can say pizza 3 times fast.
Best Place for a First Date: The Spare Room
High school dates at the bowling alley were always a classic! Now you can relive those nights, although a little more pricey, at The Spare Room, a gaming parlor and cocktail lounge with 2 bowling alleys and plenty of other fun games to enjoy!
Happy Hour: Madera Kitchen
At Madera, you’ll find the perfect combination of delicious food and drinks all under $7 during happy hour, Monday-Friday from 5:30-8. $7 specialty cocktails, $5 barrel wine, and $4 draft beers complement the $7 plates including Pulled Pork Sliders and Spicy Calamari.
Best Dog-Friendly Hangout: Golden Road Brewing
Ditching your best friend to go get drinks is cruel. That’s why you always need to bring your dog with you when you go out and what better place to experience it than Golden Road Brewing. The outside area has fake grass, a covered “doggie deck”, water bowls, and dog treats!
Neighborhood Nightlife: Cahuenga Corridor in Hollywood
There are tons of different neighborhoods in Los Angeles to go out and experience the city, but Hollywood’s Cahuenga Corridor is our pick. This diverse section of the city has something for everyone: down-home country bars like Outpost, sports bars to catch the big game like Big Wangs, stylish bars like St. Felix, and of course you can party way into the night at nightclubs like Couture.
Brewery Tours and Tastings: Angel City Brewery
Angel City Brewery is located in a spacious warehouse in the downtown Los Angeles Arts District. Grab a quick bite from one of the food trucks nearby and spend all day touring and tasting some of the finest beers in LA. They consistently have 8 rotating styles on tap for you to try that you can take home with you in a growler, a 1/6 barrel keg, or a 1/2 barrel keg.
Wine Tour and Tasting: San Antonio Winery
The oldest and largest winery in Los Angeles is both a historical landmark and a must visit to try their delicious blends of award winning wines. There are a few different tasting options to try as well as a tour of the facility, but be sure to make reservations here.
Fun in the Sun
Sensational Sunsets: Manhattan Beach Pier
There are probably thousands of places to watch the sunsets in Los Angeles but few places compare to the Manhattan Beach Pier. Grab a blanket, bring your camera, and find a seat on the beach with fellow sunset gazers as it sets over the Pacific Ocean still crowded with surfers. Even if it is a little too cloudy, the pier and sky are always picturesque.
Surfer’s Paradise: Hermosa Beach Pier
Head south down the beach from Manhattan Beach where you’ll find a Surfer Statue and some of the best waves in LA at the Hermosa Beach Pier. The sandy bottom surf area is perfect for both intermediate and advanced riders.
Best Beach for Families: Zuma Beach
You’ll need a car to get here, but it’s completely worth it. Located in Malibu on the Pacific Coastal Highway, Zuma Beach is perfect for families. There are lifeguards, plenty of parking, mild waves, wide sandy beaches, bathrooms, and food stands to keep the family entertained for the day.
Take a Hike: Runyon Canyon Loop
What makes this hike the best is the variety of things to do on the “loop”. There is an easier hike for beginners, a leash free dog area so they can roam free, free yoga classes, and a challenging outer loop for those looking for a harder workout. Insider Tip: Celebrities are constantly spotted hiking the trail, so you keep your eyes open!
Best Park: Griffith Park
Get lost in Los Angeles’ biggest park with over 50 miles of hiking trails and a myriad of other activities to enjoy. Pay a visit to the L.A. Zoo, the Greek Theater, Bronson Caves, and of course the Griffith Observatory to observe the iconic Hollywood Sign.
Dog Park: Lake Hollywood Dog Park
This hidden dog sanctuary is paws down the best dog park in LA. There is tons of parking, lush green grass, and plenty of room for your furry friends to run around and meet new friends. Did we mention that there’s also breathtaking views of the Hollywood Sign and an Ice Cream Truck…
Family Day Trip: Disney Land
Just outside Los Angeles in Anaheim is the Happiest Place on Earth, Disney Land. Grab the kids and plan on spending the whole day there going on all the rides, watching magical performances, and taking pictures with your favorite Disney stars.
Shopping Galore: Rodeo Drive
Was there any doubt where the best shopping was? Rodeo Drive is the most iconic shopping street in the world and has high end shops like Armani and Gucci as well as small shopping centers like Neiman Marcus and Saks. Even if you’re just window-shopping, a visit to Rodeo Drive is a must.
Secret Comedy Club: BrewHaHa Comedy
This secret, underground comedy club is one part comedy show and two parts drinking game. Held once a month in a backyard in East Los Angeles, the producers set rules for the night and when the comedian says the secret word, everyone drinks. Bonus: The set is turned into a rowdy house party with the comics after the show!
Art Gallery: Getty Center
The Getty Center is a humongous museum with tremendous displays of both artwork and architecture. There are paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from many spanning several different eras as well contemporary and modern sculptures throughout the grounds.
Museum: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
You better plan on spending a few days at LACMA due to its size and abundance of collections and displays that span hundreds of years. From the Pavilion for Japanese Art to the Urban Light display at the entrance, there are more than 100,000 pieces of art to see at LACMA.
Live Music: Hollywood Bowl
This legendary outdoor amphitheater has been attracting big name stars like Frank Sinatra, the Beatles, and Jay-Z since opening in 1922. The band shell above the stage makes for immaculate acoustics as you watch the sun set and the stars light up the night.
Get a Glimpse of a Hollywood Star: Hollywood Walk of Fame
While you might actually see some famous Hollywood icons, the Walk of Fame is the most famous sidewalk in the world. The 15 blocks of Hollywood Blvd. are decorated with more than 2,500 terrazzo and bronze stars honoring the achievements of popular celebrities in the entertainment industry.
Where to Live
If you’re looking for ultra-modern, luxurious apartments in West Hollywood, you can start and end your search here. This pet friendly community features 1 and 2 bedroom apartments with ground-level retail and 2 floors of underground parking. The apartments are equipped with quartz counter tops, stainless steel appliances, European cabinetry, and hardwood style flooring throughout. 10 ft ceilings and Elfa style closets give you maximum space to decorate and customize your apartment to your liking. Community amenities include a state of the art fitness center, comfortable resident lounge, and two rooftop terraces. NMS@La Cienega are conveniently located in West Hollywood close to tons of restaurants, shops, and entertainment and just a short drive to Beverly Hills.
The Wilshire Margot Apartments are located in Westwood near the UCLA campus and the famous Miracle Mile. The ultra-chic studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments come with granite counter tops, Frigidaire stainless steel appliances, and modern kitchen designs. Some units feature extra large bathrooms and balconies with breathtaking views of the Santa Monica Mountains. Workout in the onsite fitness center then relax afterwards in the sauna. The rooftop deck and lounge area offer some of the best views Los Angeles has to offer. The combination of luxurious apartments and prime location near all of the popular shopping destination and attractions should put the Wilshire Margot Apartments at the top of your list.
These luxury downtown apartments offer high rise living with the city’s cultural destinations right at your front doorstep. The studio, 1, and 2 bedroom apartments feature spacious floor plans, stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, and gourmet open kitchens. Residents can enjoy the outdoor pool and spa, penthouse lounge and terrace, grills, a fitness and yoga studio, and many more essentials to further enhance your living experience. The community is walking distance to restaurants, shops, and the Financial District as well as the Disney Concert Hall, MOCA, and the Broad Museum. Bonus: Residents will also receive special benefits to Equinox Fitness Clubs.