If you’re unsure of where to hang out beyond the sandy beaches of Santa Monica, here are a few L.A. ‘hoods we’d recommend touring. Whether you’re looking for a day of shopping and celebrity-spying in Beverly Hills, or a more relaxed afternoon diving into a big bowl of beef soup and getting your feet massaged in Koreatown, Los Angeles has you covered.
Downtown LA has seen a resurgence in recent years, with splashy restaurant openings, new highrises and great shopping. This is where the cool set heads for a stylish night out.
Maybe shopping on Rodeo Drive isn’t your jam– if that’s the case, and you prefer to see a different side of Beverly Hills, consider spending some time at Virginia Robinson Gardens, or Beverly Gardens Park. Both spots are verdant and calming– with perfectly manicured gardens instilling a little bit of order in a chaotic L.A. day.
If you’re going to hang out in Venice, you should probably spend some time shopping and eating on Abbott Kinney– one of the hippest streets in the city. Do a little shopping at high-end boutiques, Heist and Milkmade, then enjoy some wood-fired pizza and seasonal veggies at Gjelina.
Forget fancy coffee shops and craft breweries–Frogtown is best known as a hub of art and culture. Check out the Nomad Art Compound, a sprawling warehouse that’s home to a bookstore, print shop, music venue swimming pool, and event artist lofts.
Koreatown is known for both its wealth of delicious Korean food, as well as for its vast network of soothing spas. Don’t miss either. Get a big bowl of hot dog and ramen noodle-laden budae jjigae at Chunju Han-il Kwan, then unwind at Beverly Hot Springs–it’s the only spa in town fed by actual mineral springs.
Most of Silver Lake’s main attractions are situated along Sunset Boulevard–its intersection with Santa Monica Boulevard representing its epicenter. Start your day with a cappuccino from Intelligentsia, then head down the street to United Bread and Pastry for one of their famous turons—a delicious blend of sliced bananas, jackfruit and brown sugar, all rolled up and fried in a spring roll wrapper. Game over.
Our personal favorite, Santa Monica is the beachy, residential neighborhood southwest of downtown that’s loaded with charm. Check out our Santa Monica destination guide and our blog for the most recent recommendations on all there is to experience in sunny Santa Monica!