There’s so much to do in L.A and it is so big, so it is often hard to recommend activities to visitors. I am originally from L.A. and even though I don’t miss traffic, I do miss a lot of the activities I did on a regular basis. These are a few activities you can squeeze in if you have a short vacation and want to explore:
- Visit the Santee Alley (210 E. Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015)
I miss the Alley SO much. We went there at least once a month when I was growing up, I went weekly when I briefly moved back home after college, and I try to visit every time I am back in L.A.
The Santee Alley in Downtown L.A is located in the Fashion District and it is a long alley (hence the name) full of flea market style shopping. There are hundreds of vendors squeezed next to each other selling clothes, shoes, bags, food, accessories etc. There are also a ton of vendors and store all around The Alley selling similar items, so its best to just park near all the excitement and walk around. There are places that sell individual items, bulk items wholesale, fabric and more. Just wander around until you find what you are looking for.
Tip: Bring cash. Bargain with people to get the best deal, which is part of the fun!
Tip: In the same area of Downtown L.A near the fashion district, you’ll also find the Arts District, Jewelry District, Toy District, and lots more.
(Thank you to the Santee Alley PR team for permission to use photos. Instagram:@TheSanteeAlley)
- Eat Mexican food
There is nothing like the Mexican food in Southern California. I didn’t realize how much Mexican food I consumed in L.A. until I moved to Boise for college and there was barely any authentic places to eat at – except Taco Bell (I’m kidding. Relax).
I’m not going to even give you a specific restaurant to go to. Just pick a place and eat there. The smaller and sketchier looking, the better. And don’t you dare go to a chain Mexican spot. Pick a random place, with a random name, and you’ll thank me.
Weird people…marijuana dispensaries…shopping… what more could you ask for in a beach? Venice beach isn’t a normal beach though (enter that water at your own risk). It’s more of a place to wander and see street performers, shop with vendors, have a beer, watch people play basketball, watch meatheads showoff overly defined muscles people workout, and more. Every once in awhile you’ll even see a celebrity wandering around. Its definitely a fun and unique experience!
(Permission to use photo from @miiiii_world on Instagram).
- Visit the Santa Monica Pier (200 Santa Monica Pier)
You can actually run (if you’re into that exercise stuff), ride a bike, or skate to Santa Monica Pier from Venice beach. You can also be classy like my boyfriend and I walk – but to be fair we walked and stopped at every bar along the way to chug a beer. The pier has restaurants, rides, food, shopping, and more. Its family friendly and it is a pretty fun place in So Cal.
Tip: The 3rd Street Promenade is maybe a half-mile from the Santa Monica Pier. Walk there for TONS of shopping in the outdoor mall area.
(Permission to use photo from @Justnobody03 on Instagram)
- Disneyland/California Adventure (1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802)
Obviously, I have to put Disneyland on a list about visiting Los Angeles. It’s Iconic! I’ve probably been to Disneyland a hundred times, yet it never gets old. If you’re planning on hitting both parks it’ll probably take an entire day, or two.
Tip: Go on a weekday. It’s less crowded.
Tip: If Disneyland is out of your price range but you still want to visit an amusement park, consider Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios, or Magic Mountain. They’re all cheaper and just as fun.
(My boyfriend and I are too cute. * flips hair *)
- Shop on Melrose Ave. (between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood)
I love Melrose Ave. because there is a ton of unique, hip, and one-of-a-kind places to shop, eat, and visit. I usually just park wherever I can and walk and shop until all my money is gone.
Tip: Since you’re already in the area if you go to Melrose, you might as well hit two other fun areas: Rodeo Drive ( where the rich folk shop) and West Hollywood (where I like to go and let out my inner gay boy!).
- Go to a game
I’ve never been overly obsessed with any of the professional teams in L.A., but I think that it is still cool to see a live game. There are a lot of teams to choose from: Lakers, Clippers, Kings, Sparks, Dodgers, Anaheim Ducks, Angels, L.A. Galaxy, and now even the L.A. Rams. It’s always a fun atmosphere and a great excuse to eat crappy food and have some beers.
Obviously, I left out a million other fun places to visit while in L.A. Because there are too many to name. If you have any questions about places in L.A., let me know.
If you’ve been to L.A before, or you currently live there, what are some of your favorite places to visit?