Two days in LA. Looking for suggestions.

ValleyMonkey14's picture
Rank: Baboon | 107

I'm going to Los Angeles in early November. I'm going out for a friend's wedding that weekend, but I'll be getting there Wednesday afternoon. I've never been to LA before, so I wanted to make a vacation out of this trip. Of course I've Googled it, but the searches tend to come up with celebrity worship nonsense and articles about where to shop, neither of which are interesting.

I'm a guy in my mid-20's, of decent means, and will be traveling alone. What are some can't miss places to see or eat at? What are some fun parts of town to stay in?

Region: 
United States - West

Comments (29)

Jul 9, 2016

Santa Monica and West Hollywood are the primary areas young locals hand out. Tons of great places to eat in LA...if I had to eat alone I'd go to Urth Cafe or Lemonade or the bar at a full service restaurant. People here are very laid back and you won't be out of place dining alone.

As for hotels, there are several good ones in Santa Monica, less so in West Hollywood, depending on your budget and any preference to rewards program/chain.

Things to see depends a lot on your interests and time. Beverly Hills is nice to walk around especially if you like shopping, as is Santa Monica. Griffith Planetarium & Getty Center are both high on my list and have great views of the area (plus smog).

Definitely plan to rent a car, and if you aren't a regular driver and carry your own insurance, by law you are required to purchase liability in CA.

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Jul 11, 2016

Where are you staying? Stay in Santa Monica. I'll post more based on your response.

Jul 11, 2016

Definitely have to eat at In-N-Out.

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Jul 11, 2016
Sushiology:

Definitely have to eat at In-N-Out.

this place is so vastly overrated it makes my head spin.

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Jul 13, 2016

I'll second that. It's good. But maybe its the animal style that makes me regret eating it.

Jul 11, 2016

Hermosa / Redondo beach. Nice beach bum scene with some cool divey bars.

Stay away from Malibu, unless you want to get hit by some drunk rich person in an expensive car.

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Jul 11, 2016

Wurstkuche in Venice is a great spot for beers and brats if you're in that area. Definitely hit Venice beach / muscle beach on the weekend for some entertaining people watching.

Jul 11, 2016

Santa Monica, Bev Hills, & downtown.

Jul 11, 2016

The consensus seems to be Santa Monica. I've done some more searching, and I think I agree. I'll definitely be renting a car. I'm from Texas, so naturally I believe public transportation to be a communist conspiracy.

The Getty Center sounds interesting, as does Venice Beach. Are there any worthwhile hiking trails around there?

Jul 13, 2016

For hiking, there's Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area just north/west of Santa Monica.

Best Response
Jul 11, 2016

great...

A couple recs for you then.

Hotel:
Fairmont Miramar
Huntley
Shutters
Casa Del Mar
Viceroy

Bars:
The Bungalow
Harvelles (music venue)
Copa d'Oro
Penthouse
Shangri-La
Hotel Erwin
The Brig
Chez Jay (if you want to drink alone and not be bothered with other people drinking alone)

Restaurants:
Sugarfish (must-do)
Gjelina/Gjelina Take-Away/Gjusta (all the same owner)
Blue Plate Taco
Blue Plate Oysterette
Hillstone
Tasting Kitchen
Fathers Office (highly recommended)
Wurstkuche
La Scala
Sunin

To-Do:
Abbot Kinney (must do)
beaches
3rd Street Promenade
Malibu
Venice Beach Boardwalk
museums/art galleries
Will Rogers State Historic Park (walking/hiking trail - I believe it's polo season so try to go during a match)
Runyon Canyon (hiking)
Sunset Blvd.

This is very Santa Monica-centric. If you'd like any recs for other cities or like me to opine just let me know. Hope this helps.

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Jul 13, 2016

+1 on Sugarfish - so dank

Jul 12, 2016

El Chato Taco truck. These $1 tacos will literally change your life

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Jul 13, 2016
Teller:

El Chato Taco truck. These $1 tacos will literally change your life

This! If you're around the Mid City/Miracle Mile stop by here after 9 pm.

Jul 12, 2016

Orange County - Asian Coffee shops with girls either naked serving you drinks or in lingerie or body paint serving you drinks.

Oh yeah, they're practically import models.

Jul 12, 2016

I haven't spent a ton of time in LA, but here are a few highlights:

Hotels: I've stayed at the Mondrian and the W Hollywood, and I enjoyed both experiences. The Mondrian's SkyBar is a pretty great venue.
Food: Chosun Galbee was probably the best Korean BBQ I've ever had. Go to Urth Caffe so you can feel like Vincent Chase. Grab a juice from Body Energy Club to beat back the morning hangover. I haven't really explored the fine dining scene in LA, so I'll defer to others on that.
Daytime: LACMA is huge, so definitely spend a few hours there. Go to Wi Spa and get a full-body buff. Explore Restoration Hardware and walk around Rodeo Drive; they'll give you motivation to improve your lot in life.
Miscellaneous: go to Bungalow on a Sunday at 1 or 2pm. The talent is top-notch, and you should be able to close pretty easily.

Venice Beach is super trashy; avoid it in favor of Santa Monica, Redondo, and Hermosa.

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Jul 13, 2016

The Bungalow is a must.

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Jul 13, 2016

Deleted

Sep 14, 2017

Beach

Jul 13, 2016

Restaurant: Spago (this is OG Wolfgang Puck. order the rabbit if they're doing a special)

Bar: I'll echo Bungalow (gets a 909 crowd on the weekend but you should be safe with locals if you go Wed/Thurs)

Jul 13, 2016

Venice beach my friend. One of the most interesting places in the country. You've got muscle beach, tons of pickup b-ball, amazing beach, skatepark and tons of weirdos.

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Jul 13, 2016

Do NOT go to Venice Beach. It's a total dump. The entire boardwalk smells of piss. Also, do not stay at custom hotel. It's a motel 6 disguised as a 3 star.

Jul 13, 2016

Like lots of others are suggesting, go to Venice Beach, but don't just stop at the beach, go for a walk through the neighborhood where the canals are. Lots of beautiful houses and little boats. Also, I second The Bungalow in Santa Monica. Huntington Beach is a bit of a drive, but very clean. Probably my favorite spot in the LA area.
(I also second the don't go to Malibu comment... not worth it.)

Jul 13, 2016

In N out is amazing. Everybody is going to say Santa Monica/Venice.

I say go to Hermosa Beach pier. Santa Monica is okay, I like Manhattan/Hermosa Beach way better. Just checkout Manhattan Beach, most beautiful upscale beach city in LA county/area. Every house minimum a couple mil, similar to Hermosa Beach. Hermosa Beach Pier is a pretty popular spot, that would be my #1 recommendation.

I'm from Boston, when I first came to LA I was shocked at how shitty Venice is. It's all you ever hear about, but it's trash IMO so hyped up. Same thing with Hollywood. Santa Monica is okay -extremely touristy. Hermosa Beach Pier & Manhattan Beach are must see's IMO.

Hope this helps.

Jul 13, 2016

My tip would be to NOT go to the touristy spots. This includes Venice Beach, Hollywood Blvd, or Santa Monica 3rd Street. Primary reason? Traffic and ... well... tourist. If you want good Japanese food, check out Sawtelle and Olympic in Santa Monica. If you want drinks check out The Standard (cool rooftop view of Downtown LA) or The Edison (an old printing press shop turned into an underground bar with cool shows). For korean food, obviously Ktown. Check out Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong (KBBQ, good quality stuff). If you do go to Santa Monica, check out streets a little away from 3rd. You'll find cool little spots and good local food. Someone mentioned Sugarfish...Yes... you should try Sugarfish. But go earlier in the day because they run out of some of their fish by dinner. If you were to stay anywhere I would say Santa Monica at some airbnb spot. The public transportation is better there and cleaner than DTLA. Sucks your travelling alone though. I'd be down to meet up if I'm still here. Just a different way of networking is the way I see it.

Jul 14, 2016

4play. I think it's in Westwood somewhere.

Also, Polo Lounge at BHH, ask for extra blue cheese bread.

Jul 14, 2016
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