A good place to start your art adventure is the L.A. Country Museum of Art. But before you head inside LACMA, check out the cool installations right outside, like “Urban Light,” an array of 202 restored antique street lamps, and, just across the street, “The Wall Project,” a 40-foot section of the Berlin Wall. Then head downtown to Gallery Row, where more than 45 hip galleries are packed within a seven-block stretch. (Los Angeles County Museum of Art; 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, 323-857-6000, lacma.org; Gallery Row, along Main & Spring Sts., betw. 2nd & 9th Sts., galleryrow.org)
FOOD & DRINK
Start the day with an order of plate-sized red velvet pancakes, French toast or the “Some Like It Hot” scramble. The cafe is cozy, but the portions are huge. Locals say it’s “worth the weight.”
7916 Sunset Blvd.; 323-874-0377; thegriddlecafe.com
A great place to drink in the classics. Try the “Death in the Afternoon” champagne cocktail or down a “The Old Man and the Sea.” You’ll definitely have something to write home about.
(6356 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood; 323-469-0040; hemingwayslounge.com)
This eight-story shopping magnet has served as a backdrop for countless movies, television and commercial shoots and has more than 100 stores ranging from A/X Armani Exchange to ZZegna. Its famous Rooftop Terrace offers sweeping views of Hollywood, downtown Los Angeles and the active oil fields right behind the huge wall that separates Macy’s
(8500 Beverly Boulevard, Beverly Hills; 310-854-0070; beverlycenter.com)
This section of Robertson Blvd. is lined with trendy boutiques, restaurants, and designer stores including Agnes B, Kitson, Lisa Kline, Ghost, and M.A.C., the “go to” cosmetics Mecca for celebrities. Rodeo Drive may be famous for its upscale shopping, but this section of town offers plenty of shopping, more celebrity sightings, and fewer tourists.
(Between Beverly Blvd. & Third St.; robertson
Will Rogers State Historic Park
Visitors can either hike on their own or join a guided horseback tour on trails that feature breathtaking views of canyons, ocean, and the city. Reservations are required for the horseback tour (310-662-3707), and there’s a $12 parking fee. (1501 Will Rogers Park Road, Pacific Palisades; 310-454-8212; www.parks.ca.gov, Keyword: “rogers”)
SANTA MONICA PIER
The Santa Monica Pier has plenty to do and see in mid-summer and come fall more locals return to one of their favorite haunts. Stop by the kid-friendly Santa Monica Pier Aquarium (next to the Carousel), shop at the nearby Third Street Promenade, and then ride the Ferris wheel at sunset. (Pacific Coast Highway and Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica; santamonicapier.org)