Los Angeles

Couldn’t find a thread so starting one!

Any recommendations? Appreciate the place is massive but we’ll have a car so happy to travel about

The observatory (Griffith?) is good.

Also you can do a day trip to Palm Springs and go up the mountain on a cable car to play in the snow, if you fancy that.

1 Like

But you have to watch 10 seasons of vanderpump rules before you go


Been to LA three times. First two times pretty much hated the place. Third time, absolutely loved it - might have helped that I was visiting a friend who lived there so had a bit more insider knowledge.

If you like music/film history then LA is probably the best city in the world for visiting cultural landmarks.

Go see the handprints at the Chinese theatre:

Visit your favourite celebs on the walk of fame:

Go celeb spotting at the Guitar Centre on Sunset Boulevard (the staff here are actually super friendly - much nicer than your average music store snobs):

There’s a good book on rock landmarks if you want to get super geeky:


Alternatively, this website covers a lot of the main ones:

The Rainbow is a really pleasingly grungy bar that’s good for drinks/food. Obviously no Lemmy propping up the end of the bar anymore :frowning: but they have a memorial to him in his spot:


Gig-wise, LA is THE place. I love living in London and feel very privileged at the number of shows we get, but LA probably has more gigs than London, NYC and Berlin combined - everyone seems to be playing here all the time.

Will post some more non-music recommendations in a bit. Are you just in LA or travelling further afield in California? As you have correctly identified, you will need a car to get around…


One of the coolest things I did out there was drive into the desert and visit some abandoned ghost settlements…

There’s one that’s a bit of a tourist trap with fake skeletons and photo souvenirs that’s a bit of silly fun, but also some really interesting places to go to out there. Zyzyx is in the middle of the desert down a long, dusty highway that leads to an abandoned health spa that was turned into a cult settlement and then abandoned. There’s a university research dept in there now but loads of the old artefacts from around that time like this signage and old rowing boats…


There’s also Amboy, which used to be a bit of a hub on Route 66 and now has a population of roughly 4 people, plus the Guardians of Route 66 - two chinese dragons dumped in the desert about 200 yards from the road.


Then you have the Alien Beef Jerky shop and all kinds of other things you can stumble into. Basically go out and get weird in the desert for a day is my tip.


Went 3 times in the space of 18 months when I was 17-19 as my first bf was from there - I couldn’t drink and this was 20 years ago but I loved the Getty Centre and had the best burger I have ever eaten at a restaurant called Duke’s in Malibu, so, go there.

1 Like

Districts-wise, if you want to be in the heart of things then stay around West Hollywood/Sunset Strip. A lot of sites are just about walkable in this area. I found the La Brea tar pits fascinating:

Also, apparently not everyone is as much of a Michael Myers fan as I am, but the Haddonfield setting for Halloween was filmed on Orange Grove Avenue and it’s literally like stepping into the film when you visit.

I’ve stayed in Venice Beach before (convenient for the airport) and enjoyed it a lot. It’s kind of a Camden-sur-mer. Boardwalk is good for cycling or skating along and takes you up to Santa Monica pier. Also stayed in Long Beach, which people seem to look down on, and enjoyed that also. The Naples Islands are worth a look and you can kayak around the canals which is fun. The Queen Mary is moored down there which is worth a look.

If I were to visit LA again, would probably take in Vernon as it looked so otherwordly in True Detective season 2:

Food-wise, have no specific recommendations except to say that California has the best Mexican food I’ve had anywhere in the world. The Parts Unknown episode in LA is worth a look, if only for seeing the weird Latino obsession with Morrissey:

1 Like

This isn’t useful, but just that i LOVE LA.

Lots of great walking trails in the Hollywood hills - would 100% do lots of walking, and marvelling at ridiculous mansions.

I also really enjoyed visiting the Descanso Gardens - botanical gardens with lots of native californian planting, cactuses and also a big Japanese garden.

Too many food/drink recommendations to even start - but eat as much mexican food as you possible can.

Venice boardwalk as described above is more like Camden on steroids (and also by the sea).

Love love love it there. Wonderful, stupid city.

1 Like

Thanks for all the recs! They all look great.

We’ve been once before but we stayed in Marina del Rey and without driving it was a bit limited in terms of things to do (other than walk up to venice/Santa Monica).

We’ve got a car this time and we’re in silver lake so a lot more central so excited to get about to the different areas/sights more.

We stayed in Santa Monica when we were there a few years ago. The highlight was having a mooch around the Eames House in Pacific Palisades

and the LACMA gallery was pretty cool. We did LA as part of a West Coast tour and did the tourist open top bus ride (with commentary) for each of the cities we stayed in; San Diego, LA, and San Francisco - a good way to get your bearings.


I love LA, it’s so weird and unlike anywhere else in the world.

I’d echo the above recommendations but also say that the Amoeba records in LA is better than the one in SF and the last couple of times I went I stayed in Echo Park which is a nice neighbourhood.

It’s a great place to just find a dive bar or restaurant and people watch.


The Friday evening classic car show in the car park of ‘Bobs Big Boy’ diner in Burbank is pretty cool if you’re into that kind of thing. If you’re lucky you may also be able to sit in the same booth in the diner that the Beatles sat when they requested to go to ‘a real American diner’ whilst in LA for their 1965 shows at the Hollywood Bowl.

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena run public tours once a week and are well worth joining. Tours are free but you have to book a good few months in advanced to get a place on one.

The Cabazon Dinosaurs are proper roadside americana and well worth dropping in to see if you are heading out towards Palm Springs and Joshua Tree.

Musso and Franks Grill on Hollywood Blvd is proper old school Hollywood glamour. As seen in ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ and many other films. It ain’t cheap but it’s the real deal unlike everything else on Hollywood Blvd.