Go around from one place to another in the pursuit of pleasure or entertainment.
Southern California – a place I call home!
There is a lot to do in the Golden State, and whether you are visiting for the first time or you live there, it can be pretty overwhelming.
I’ve listed a few of my favorite things I like to do when I visit. I say visit because my parents and I live on the east coast now!
Usually, I’m visiting to see my boyfriend, Christian, who is in graduate school at UCLA, but I also travel to Santa Clarita Valley (that we locals just call the Valley) to see old friends and family.
Growing up in the Valley, I did not have the freedom to drive up and down the 405 whenever I wanted to. I had rules as a teen, and one of them specifically was not to leave the SCV unless given permission (which was usually never). I left the state for college and now that I’m a young adult I’m just getting a chance to visit a lot of the places that I didn’t have the freedom to go to as a kid.
Warning: My list is a little biased because I like to do activities that include photography & eating with my boyfriend since we both are photographers.
In-N-Out Burger is at the top of my list for a few reasons. First, everyone should try it and, second, it’s my first stop after I get off the plane because long trips always make me hungry!
Unlike the majority of Californians, I believe Shake Shack is WAY better, but nothing beats the price of In-N-Out. I usually get a grilled cheese w/ grilled onions (off the secret menu), fries and a vanilla shake!
The Broad (rhymes with road)
I’ve only been here twice, and it is one of my favorite museums. You must get tickets in advance or wait in an extremely long line. It’s also closed on Mondays.
I recommend getting your tickets for your desired date as soon as they are available, which happens on the first of each month at noon PST. Try to get the earliest time as well because of the Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room exhibit. This exhibit is super popular so you’ll want to sign up to view it the second you get in (there are no pre-reservations). I was probably 50th in line (to get into The Broad), and by the time I signed up for the infinity room, there was a 2-hour wait. While you wait, there is a ton of awesome contemporary artwork and other special exhibits within the museum. Oh, and did I mention that it’s FREE?!
If you like art you better take your behind to LACMA! I enjoy this place as much as The Broad, if not more. LACMA is the “largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection that includes nearly 130,000 objects dating from antiquity to the present, encompassing the geographic world and nearly the entire history of art.” I’ve spent a lot of time here. LACMA is also home to the famous Chris Burden's Urban Light.
Depending on the time you visit, it is perfect for a date. The museum has extended hours during the holidays, and they host a lot of events as well. You do have to pay, for visiting the museum and parking, but not for the lights (you can park for free after 7 p.m.).
Why would you not visit the beach in California? There are so many to choose from, but I like Malibu because it’s not super packed with tourists. However, it is a little harder to get to if you do not have a car.
I always listen to Beach Vibes playlist on Spotify on the way to the beach. It is something special about driving down the Pacific Coast Hwy.
I am obsessed with street artwork, and Melrose is a place for this. There are a lot of places to eat and shop, but if you’re like Christian and me, we love to shoot here.
I enjoy eating here because the food is healthy and the lemonade is wonderful and comes in many different flavors. The lemonade is perfect for those really hot days when you want a cold drink. I always get blood orange or watermelon rosemary lemonade and their seared pepper crusted ahi tuna with pasta, quinoa or a salad.
This is a cool place if you like to take pictures, read and possibly go crate digging (like Christian). The Last Bookstore is California’s largest used and new book and record store.
They have a lot of books, obviously, and some cool book fixtures for photos. They’re located in Downtown Los Angeles and have their own documentary!
This place is wonderful for the simple fact that it’s a rooftop restaurant inside of a greenhouse!
Since Christian and I both love plants, it’s a nice location to share a meal. I’ve gone on a Thursday morning and didn’t have a problem getting a table, but that’s not a guarantee, so be safe and make reservations. I’ve only been here for breakfast and always get the breakfast burrito and coffee.
Saving my absolute favorite thing for last…DONUTS! Anyone who knows me knows how much I love donuts. This place is amazing, and they have the best combination of donuts flavors. My favorite is the one with the Fruit Loops!
I guess we’ve reached the end of my favorite things to do in Los Angeles. I hope that this makes it easier for you to figure out what you want to do when you visit.
Please add any of your recommendations in the comments below. I always love trying new things!
" For the sake of your soul, venture out..."
Edited by @joshuaperrin_