The Locally-Approved Beginner’s Guide To LA

Being an East-coaster I find that there is never a bad time to head to sunny Los Angeles.

The palm trees, the ocean, the endless fun, the delicious eats… it’s oh-so-easy to call L.A. home, if even for just a few days.

What to see


Living in Los Angeles means you can fill your Instagram with photos of stunning beaches, like Santa Monica and Malibu — even in December you’ll be able to taunt your pals stuck in the Polar Vortex II. Make sure to also take a stroll down to nearby Abbott Kinney Blvd. in Venice and check out the chic boutiques.

By evening, soaking up quality comedy is a must. Whether it’s an improv show at Upright Citizens Brigade, which Parks and Rec and SNL alumni Amy Poehler helped co-found, or a stand-up show on Monday nights at The Virgil, which recently hosted special guests Zach Galifianakis and David Cross — it’s a guaranteed good time that rarely sets you back more than six bucks.

If you happen to be in town the second Sunday of the month, check out the Rose Bowl Flea Market. You will be met with hundreds of rare, beautiful, strange, eclectic furniture and clothing finds. Expect to spend a few hours here rubbing elbows with locals as they search for that one-of-a-kind steal.

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - Los Angeles

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Where to sleep


In Santa Monica, Shutters is a beautiful beach-side staple that’s insanely comfortable and relaxing.

For the more action-minded, The Ace Hotel Downtown is a no-brainer. The Ace opened early last year in the historic 1920’s United Artists building and houses the delicious L.A. Chapter restaurant, a coffee bar, and a fun rooftop bar.

Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles
8.2 Very good (2057 reviews)

Sharlene’s Tips

Los Angeles is vast so the best way to get to know the city is by exploring it neighborhood by neighborhood and you can’t deny the fact that it’s a driving city so keep in mind the following tips:

You can’t take an Uber from LAX but you can take a free hotel shuttle to any hotel near the airport and then Uber from there. Money saver!
After 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, you can park in any yellow loading-only zone.
Fountain Avenue is the fastest street east to west between Highland and La Cienega.
Never leave your belongings visible in your parked car!