Lately, the largest city in California has become one of the world's trendiest destinations. Here are the reasons why.
Seventy-one kilometres from north to south and 47 from east to west: Los Angeles is
a huge metropolis, where it is almost impossible to know every nook. For that reason, asking locals for a list of must-see places is essential, especially if you are in town only
a few days. Admittedly, LA is not the type of city you fall in love with at first sight.
That distinction belongs to the likes of Paris, Rome or Sydney. For the past years, however, LA has experienced a cultural boom, resulting in its current fascinating energy. The film and entertainment industry continues to burgeon, while artists, galleries and
museums regularly move from the East Coast to the West Coast, where the sunny and warm weather allows you to enjoy the beach all year long.
In LA, there is a pervading freedom to choose one’s own look, lifestyle and job. But all Angelenos have one thing in common: an ultra-cool attitude that is reflected everywhere in the city. The beach vibes in Santa Monica and Malibu, the glamour of Beverly Hills and Hollywood, and the cultural richness of Downtown LA are some examples of what you can expect.
Legendary hotels such as Chateau Marmont and The Beverly Hills Hotel give the opportunity to catch a glimpse into the celebrity world. Other places are characterized by surprising interiors, such as the rock ’n’ roll SLS Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, at Beverly Hills, designed by Philippe Starck with the right amount of humor and poesy. The hotel’s outdoor pool with its breathtaking views features one of the most fashionable bars during the spring and summer months, when renowned DJs come every weekend from 2 to 6 p.m. The SLS also hosts the renowned Bazaar by José Andrés restaurant, where an elegant and contemporary atmosphere is the perfect backdrop to eat inventive tapas and sip delicious cocktails.
For those who love Kelly Wearstler’s California revival style, the Viceroy Santa Monica hotel –only a few metres from the beach– and the iconic Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills’ Viviane restaurant are ideal destinations. Having coffee at Verve or eating some macarons at Bottega Louie patisserie are two favorite rituals for many L.A. locals.
When visiting Rodeo Drive, shopping is the keyword. This not-to-be missed street for all luxury lovers is home to elegant stores by famous fashion brands Christian Dior, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Ferragamo, among others. Melrose Avenue and The Grove –the shopping centre where actresses Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen opened their first flagship for their brand Elizabeth and James in July 2016– are also worth the visit.
In terms of design, the Consort shop is a top choice for a look at a curated selection of modern and vintage furniture and accessories. Actors Ben McKenzie, Jessica Alba and Sophia Bush are among the famous clients of this interior design studio.
Los Angeles wouldn’t be the same without some emblematic buildings such as the eye-catching Walt Disney Concert Hall by architect Frank Gehry and the recently opened Broad museum, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and inaugurated in autumn of 2015. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Getty Center and Getty Villa are other important cultural institutions.
From the Griffith Observatory –which offers some of the best views of the Hollywood Sign– the immensity of this fascinating city becomes a reality. And for those who need more fresh air, the 65-hectare Runyon Canyon Park is a hiker’s paradise. One thing is for sure: L.A. has everything.
(Published in Only Magazine)