With nicknames like “Tinseltown” and “La La Land,” it’s easy for outsiders to write-off Los Angeles as a proper destination for true travelers. Grown men typically don’t envision themselves kneeling to place their palms into the handprints outside of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre or trying to spot celebrities walking down the street. However, there’s more to the Entertainment Capital of the World than shrines to show business and movie stars. LA is not only the capital of American popular culture but a massive urban sprawl offering a little bit of something for everyone.
For grown-ups interested in grown-up things, here’s our advice on where to stay and what to do when visiting LA:
Where to Stay
The grown-up guide to visiting LA begins with choosing wisely a place to stay. Since the city is quite large, logistics play into the decision. Assuming visitors aren’t interested in traveling all that way just to lodge in a cookie cutter chain hotel, the type of hotel matters as well.
With these two factors in mind, the place to look is West Hollywood. Most West Hollywood hotels are within walking distance of incredible bars, popular restaurants, and stores selling just about anything. Furthermore, they’re considered some of the more interesting hotels in the city, due to their one-of-kind architectural styles and layouts.
What to Do
For guys (and gals) all grown-up and ready to do the town, where should they begin? Why not start off with the basics:
If booked in a WeHo hotel, there are iconic and renowned restaurants within walking distance. If looking for some classic diner atmosphere, Mel’s Drive-In is the place to go (despite the name, there’s seating available.) Or if renowned is more your preference, check out this list of the 12 Essential West Hollywood Restaurants put out by Eater Los Angeles.
If you end up liking what Eater suggested for food, trust what they have to say about the essential bars of LA. Many, like Melrose Umbrella Co, are located in WeHo, while others are accessible via bus or rideshare.
LA has clubs galore – no surprise there. With no shortage, it’s simply a matter of atmosphere. Even once this is decided, visitors are still faced with narrowing down a list with a dozen or more options.
When we were kids, visiting a museum was often a drag with the exception of field trips, at which point it was fun. Most grown-ups can appreciate visiting a museum without it being an excuse to miss work – so long as the exhibitions and displays are something they genuinely find interesting. Fortunately LA has a museum for just about everybody, whether it’s traditional fine art, natural history, automotive, or even the Museum of Death located in Hollywood.
Attend a Game or Two
For men interested in reigniting their love of athletics, LA is definitely a place to be. The region has more than 8 professional sports teams across baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer. There’s sure to be a game or two happening in town no matter what time of year, so be sure to check one out.
See a Show
Why not see a show? If that sounds broad, that’s because it is; LA is packed with live entertainment venues ranging from comedy clubs to iconic concert halls. Simply envision the ideal live show and start Googling what’s going on around town – there’s sure to be no shortage of choices.
Okay, so if you like movies then you really can’t visit LA without acknowledging its role in motion picture history. But instead of touring the studios and being driven by the mansions of the rich and famous, why not try and go on an “on location” adventure? While plenty of movies were shot in the studios, many more were filmed on location throughout LA. Visitors simply think of some of their favorite films which were most definitely shot in LA – Pulp Fiction, Chinatown, etc – and track down the places where famous scenes were filmed. Once there, see if you can frame a photo to match a screenshot from the movie.
Well, there you have it – a general guide for grown-ups visiting LA. With a safe and clean place to stay and plenty to do, it’s likely one trip will lead to multiple later on.