As many of you know, my husband and I relocated to the West Coast from Boston a couple of months ago. The original plan was to end up in Los Angeles, but our plans changed a bit when my husband got a job offer in San Diego that he could not pass up. But we are close enough to LA that it's now my new favorite for a weekend getaway.
I know there are tons of people who can't stand LA but maybe they have not been to the right places? I dunno, because I LOVED it. LA reminds me of a sunnier, more spread out version of New York City. Lots of energy but not too much (because after all it IS California we're talking about) and made up of a bunch of neighborhoods all with their own personality. So just find your groove and you too will learn to love LA.
By no means am I an expert in this city, considering this was my first real visit (can't really count the night before my Mexican Riviera cruise in '09) but I can promise you that these things will not disappoint:
Hollywood Boulevard & the Walk of Fame - Okay so this one might disappoint. It's kinda gross (this is where Vivian was picked up by Edward in Pretty Woman...) but it's fun to look for your favorite stars. No need to spend more than an hour or two here and avoid the Chinese Theater if crowds are not your thing--it's like Times Square. TIP: To maximize your time, look up the location (by block) of your star in the search bar here so you're not wandering around aimlessly.
Hollywood Sign - Nothing defines LA more than this and the best view is from Griffith Park. But if there are events being held at the park making it impossible for you to get there (need I mention the awfulness known as LA traffic?!), the next best thing is to head up into Hollywood Hills to Runyon Canyon Park. The view of the city and the mountains are spectacular and you're able to spot your famous sign.
Rodeo Drive - Don your best outfit, don't forget your wallet and take a stroll down this beautiful boulevard lined with designer shops and fancy cars. Big mistake. Big. HUGE.
Beverly Hills - Home to gorgeous parks and streets, celebs, Rodeo Drive, icons like the Beverly Wilshire Grand and the Beverly Hills Hotel, and the best show of the 90s (but if you want to see the Walsh residence, you'll have to drive to the 'burbs...Altadena to be exact).
West Hollywood - If Beverly Hills is the Upper East Side of LA, then West Hollywood is the Village. This neighborhood feels super trendy/cool and has more going on than adjacent Beverly Hills.
If you're curious about where to eat, some memorable places include Mario Batali's Osteria Mozza (reservations needed) and the Neapolitan pizzeria and craft cocktail joint Sotto (also need reservations) for dinner. Check out Bouchon in Beverly Hills, perfect for brunch or lunch on a lovely outdoor patio (don't forget to pop into their bakery for a treat and keep your eyes peeled for celebs). For top notch espresso drinks and delish avocado toast, visit Comoncy in Beverly Hills.
And lastly if you're curious about where to stay, first choose your neighborhood (like Beverly Hills or West Hollywood..really I don't know where else you'd want to be) and then see what's available in your price range, roofdeck pool a plus. We landed a good rate (and wanted the Starwood points) at the hip SLS but some other good options are the Mondrian, the Viceroy and the Montage. Enjoy!