Welcome to the concrete jungle of what is known as the City of Angels. That’s right, Los Angeles, CA, is a sprawling city that offers up some of the most extreme variety of lifestyle that you will ever encounter. From the Beverly Hills mansions to the streets of Compton, and from the freaks of Venice Beach to the streets of Mulholland, this Southern California city is somewhere neither truth or fiction.
A quick glance through any guidebook on the planet will point you in the direction of one of the famous beaches like Venice, or Santa Monica, and then tell you that it’s a must to go visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame to stare down at the stars that line the walkway. Truth is, there’s something here for everyone, and it’s just a matter of finding what’s right for you. We always recommend skipping the Walk of Fame for sanity sake, but if you feel the need to mix among the chaos of crowds and street performers, take the leap and enjoy the day. If you feel like stalking celebrities instead, take a drive through Beverly Hills and Bel-Air. It’s actually incredibly beautiful up there, and there are times that you will feel like you have ventured deep into a lost forest that has miraculously spat out famous people.
If you have just a few days in Los Angeles, here’s some of the really great things that should not be missed. It’s definitely wise to hit up one of the beaches. If you like a bit more of an eccentric, freaks-of-the-beach type of a place, go to Venice. It’s weird, and it’s cool. The people watching here is some of the best on the planet. Santa Monica is a little more swanky but beautiful, and further south are more local hangouts like Manhattan, Hermosa, and Redondo Beach. All great places. Once you’ve got your sun tan on, head to the hills to Griffith Park to check out the observatory to explore the planetarium, telescopes, and some of the most amazing views of Los Angeles. If you would like, from there you can even hike over to the famous ‘Hollywood’ sign. However, don’t expect to climb on it and take photos leaning up against it, as it has been barricaded.
One stop we always make it is to Deus Ex Machina USA in Venice (1001 Venice Blvd. Venice, CA) where we can stock up on the latest accessories for the bike build project, enjoy a great cup of coffee, and talk for hours with staff and patrons alike about bikes, surfing, and everyday life. Whether you are a 2-wheel junkie or just someone that respects the art of motorsports, this should be the top of your list to always visit.
If you have not gotten your fill of nature, you can also check out places like Runyon Park, and Topanga Canyon. However, if you’ve seen enough of the outdoors and would like to see the rockstar, Hollywood type of life that’s seen in movies, cruise on over to the Sunset Strip. This is where the action is, and this is where you will discover just how weird the city is (in a cool kind of way). Dive on into the Rainbow Bar and Grill to feel like you have somehow ended up in a music video featuring Van Halen and Poison, and then hit up a concert at the Viper Room, or the Hollywood Bowl. Most places, it would seem odd to find a celebrity, a prostitute, a doctor, and a junkie all sharing the same street corner, but oh no, not in West Hollywood.
One thing is for sure, there’s tons to see and do in Los Angeles. There’s some really amazing ethnic cuisine, some great scenery, beautiful beaches, hopping nightclubs, great music venues, and anything and everything in between. It’s a place that can grow on you like a bad habit, just as soon as you escape madhouse traffic of the I-405.
One last note, did you know that the original name of the city is “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula”? Easily translated to: “Town of our lady the Queen of Angels of the little Portion.”