There is so much Los Angeles has to offer — like belting out your favorite song at a concert, cheering on your favorite sports team from the stands, or mingling over a drink at a beach bar. While not everything is back up, restaurants and businesses are slowly opening up again. There are some things you can safely do to make the most out of your California travel . The CDC has updated vaccine guidelines for Americans so if you’re planning a trip to California, here are the best places to visit in LA.
How can you get away from it all when all this chaos is happening around you? Our answer: A staycation. Our favorite way to define a staycation is staying within the boundaries of your own city or state, but visiting somewhere other than your home for a period. So, instead of jumping on a plane and going halfway across the world, you can hop in the car to your preferred hotel or accommodation and try out the best things to do in LA .
Best Location: The LINE LA
The LINE LA is located in the heart of Koreatown where decades of Korean, Latino, and American heritage converge (authentic Mexican blankets and Korean snacks can be found in the rooms). Originally built in 1964 and once home to journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson, the LINE LA embraces its mid-century design and heritage, and celebrates the culturally rich neighborhood it’s tucked into. Since the hotel’s opening in 2013, it has become a destination for urban explorers and creatives. The LINE LA also gives back to the community, and has partnered with philanthropic organizations like Alexandria House, a resource for women and children without housing, Spacemakers for queer and trans people of color, and World Central Kitchen for communities in crisis.
Price: From $169
- Time: 37 min by car
- Distance: 17 miles
Best for Couples: Hotel June
Wood tones and boho décor make up Hotel June, which pays homage to its SoCal roots. Just a stone’s throw away from LAX, the mid-century modern hotel building has a laid-back aesthetic, complemented by a soothing color palette. Don’t sleep on viewing the pieces from the artist in residency every month. As part of a Proper Hospitality Hotel, Hotel June’s mission is to donate 1% of their time, hotel space, and management fees toward the betterment of the surrounding communities. In 2021, they are working to fight homelessness in the city.
Price: From $134/night
- Time: 7 min by car
- Distance: 2 miles
Best Modern: Modernist Solar Guesthouse
Rejuvenate in this luxury modernist retreat with its own private desert-style cactus garden. This eco-friendly guesthouse is equipped for sustainable living via solar electric power, solar radiant floor heating, and organic bedding …very on-brand for Venice, CA. The host suggests lighting a fire in the outdoor fireplace and relaxing in a lounge chair under the stairs in the evening.
Price: From $297/night
- Time: 18 min by car
- Distance: 6 miles
Best Luxury: The Nomad
You’ll feel like a thousand bucks once you step inside The Nomad. Situated in downtown LA’s Giannini Building, The Nomad is both a piece of history and luxury. If you love art, you’ll definitely appreciate the original artwork from a Paris-based design studio that can be found in all rooms. At the heart of downtown LA, this 5-star hotel also has an excellent location.
- Time: 24 min by car
- Distance: 17 miles
Best Splurge: SLS Hotel
Who doesn’t want to be treated like the royal prince or an A-list celebrity every once in a while? Enjoy the luxurious life at the SLS Hotel with its stunning rooftop pool deck and modern yet comfortable rooms. After a long day wandering around, you can treat yourself to refreshing cocktails by the poolside. When you wake up the next day, a delicious continental hotel breakfast buffet awaits.
- Time: 30 min by car
- Distance: 10 miles
What to do in Los Angeles for starters? Go on a food adventure! While you may not feel comfortable dining in at restaurants in Los Angeles, you can feel relieved to know that there are plenty of outdoor dining, take-out, and pick-up options. These are our favorite restaurants that are still serving during this difficult time.
Grand Central Market
This is the place to find L.A.’s best bites under one roof. Grand Central Market opened in 1917 and never looked back. The Market has always reflected the changing population of downtown Los Angeles. In the 1920s, the Market was an open grocery. The 90 stalls back in the day included greengrocers, fishmongers, Jewish delis, and butchers. Today, the Market is a destination dining spot with 40 of Los Angeles’ most exciting culinary concepts. ‘Evolution’ has been a through-line for the market’s dynamic lineup of vendors over the decades, as downtown Los Angeles evolves, Grand Central Market evolves with it. Our favorite places to graze at the Market: PBJ. LA, Sarita’s Pupuseria, and Sticky Rice. Delivery and curbside pickup are available.
- Best for Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner
Night + Market
Night + Market is an animated Thai spot with a menu that features the classics. It’s almost impossible to go wrong at this restaurant, but you may order a dish that’s spicier than expected. As long as you have a cold drink nearby, and you’re not ashamed to sweat a little, all of their dishes are a must-try. The best part about this place is its backstory — a local kid opened his own Thai restaurant attached to his parents’ old place on Sunset. Today, there are three locations around LA.
- Best for Lunch and Dinner
Milo + Olive
Milo & Olive is a neighborhood bakery and pizzeria created by a husband-and-wife team. The menu is a reflection of the best ingredients available from local farmers and vendors with sustainable practices and it represents the team’s continued commitment to truly seasonal, market-driven cuisine. Even the wine and beer list focus on highlighting small vineyards and breweries from across the globe. Additionally, their coffee is from a local artisan roaster. There’s no wrong answer when it comes to pizza at Milo + Olive, but the Burrata & Prosciutto di Parma is a game-changer. The garlic knots and homemade dipping sauces are also mouthwatering. Their fresh bread, pastries, coffee, hot breakfast, pizza, wood-grilled veggies, handmade pasta, wine, beer, and more are all available for outdoor dining, curbside pickup, takeout, and delivery. They also offer Cooking Kits for an easy DIY dinner at home.
- Best for Breakfast, Brunch, and Lunch
There may not be a lot to do in the city, but there are a few fun outdoor options and things to do in California if you’re willing to grab a car and venture out a bit. Just don’t leave during rush hour.
Wine Taste in Ojai
You’ve most likely heard people rave above the wineries and tasting rooms in Napa Valley or even Paso Robles, but, there’s a place closer to home that shouldn’t be overlooked. Ojai is a charming small town located in Ventura county. If you plan on exploring it for a day, don’t forget to hit up these spots.
Tipple and Ramble
Wine taste on Tipple and Ramble’s wine and cheese patio. The wine bar also sells food and cocktail wares and even home décor.
Pop into Bart’s Books, an open-air bookstore (literally) that is a book lover’s heaven.
Farmer and the Cook Market
Fuel up at Farmer and the Cook, an organic market and bohemian café with a large patio serving vegetarian Mexican cuisine.
Take a Trip to Denmark
Solvang was birthed after Danish immigrants made their way west and eventually settled in the Santa Ynez Valley. Although there aren’t many Danes in Solvang anymore, you will find wooden windmills and rural houses. You’ll also find an assortment of Christmas shops, Hans Christian Andersen and Little Mermaid keepsakes, and Danish bakeries around town.
Eat a Doughnut that Gives Back
Treat yourself to a delicious donut from Sidecar Doughnuts. They make their doughnuts fresh every hour and claim to have the ‘world’s freshest donuts’. Sidecar fries the doughnuts in small batches all day long, for a warm, fresh treat (we recommend their signature Huckleberry). On the first of every month, Sidecar drop a few seasonal flavor options (in addition to their 11 daily flavors). Gluten-friendly and vegan options are available. The shop also gives back to the community via The SideCares program, which donates leftover sweets to local food banks and shelters.
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