Another what to do in LA question, but....
February 28, 2023 3:51 PM   Subscribe

I'm from LA. Because I really don't want to dox myself more than I already have, let's say I was born and bred on the west side, and when the area code split happened my home phone was 310, but very close to the 213 border. We'll be staying in my childhood home.

I live across the country and used to visit often. And then when I married (we also got married there), I took my husband to all MY places, many of the usual LA places and the metafilter approved Museum of Jurrasic Technology. We haven't been since pre-covid when the twins were 2 months old and that time we had time for nothing alone. This time we should be able to escape for a day/night to let relatives happily watch the children (and a car).
Ideas? I haven't taken him to the Getty or Venice, but those are family-friendly activities. I guess I'm searching for whimsy or only in LA or....I DON'T KNOW. (we wear masks inside, and dine outside, but are a bit more flexible currently because we recently recovered from our first (only?!) covid experience).
posted by atomicstone to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (19 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
If you’re looking for whimsy and a very Los Angeles experience, The Inn of the Seventh Ray has a magical atmosphere that will only be heightened by the fact that there will likely be water in the creek next to the patio. Lots of outdoor seating!
posted by corey flood at 4:12 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]

I'm an Angeleno, and a parent. I think I'd love to do something "family friendly" but without the kid(s) -- meaning, you could go to a Dodger game and have several beers and just chill...without having to chase after anyone or do restroom breaks, etc.

I'd look at all the things *I* like to do -- what's on at all the Music Center theaters and the Pantages, what's new at the Broad, definitely the Getty Center, maybe Huntington Gardens or Descanso Gardens. Do you want a day of several movies, a taco crawl, flea market, fancy high tea? So what are the things you like to do?
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:28 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]

Northeast LA:
Go retro bowling at Highland Park Bowl
Try a ton of little shops/restaurants/bars up and down Highland Park's York Blvd
Browse weird stuff at Galco's
Enjoy a craft beer at Verdugo Bar
Check out Revenge Of... for some pinball adventures
Enjoy home-grown craft beer at Eagle Rock Brewery

For the sheer novelty of it, the new 1920s art-deco Taco Bell Cantina (they serve booze)
Classic Hollywood Musso and Frank
See a film at El Capitan or Grauman's Chinese.
Eat at Toi Thai on Sunset (not because it's great food but because it's fun)

... I am not doing justice to Hollywood here, I know -- I have a huge list of things in DTLA, NELA, Hollywood, Sunset Junction, etc. I also have a few recommendations in Long Beach, WeHo, Burbank, Pasadena, Glendale... totally depends on what sort of things you're looking for.
posted by erst at 4:30 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]

There's a Bob Baker marionette exhibit until 3-19 at forest lawn Glendale
posted by brujita at 4:32 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Share them all! I may have been a Westside kid (yes, my local malls were century city and the Westside pavillion kill me), but I'm more fun than that.
posted by atomicstone at 4:36 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]

I loved visiting Watts Towers.
posted by theora55 at 4:53 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]

Seconding Musso & Frank.

And when I'm in LA, I enjoy getting around on the Metro whenever possible. But that makes me deeply weird and incomprehensible to most people I know in LA, who never ride it. (I live in NYC.)
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 5:47 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]

I dragged my kids through both Gettys (Getties?) last week. While they may be family friendly, they are boring for little ones, and I would have loved to have had a whole day to drift around without being asked if we can go back to the hotel every five minutes. YMMV
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 6:00 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]

Little Tokyo!

Historic Filipinotown (I've really wanted to take the jeepney tour).

Oh and it's the 150th anniversary of the LA Public Library and they often have great events (both at the central library and at other branches): LA Made series for one.
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:31 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]

If it's hot when you visit, maybe make a stop for micheladas (if you drink alcohol).
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:37 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]

Leaning towards the adult and whimsical here:
posted by mr_roboto at 8:55 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]

A little more... If you're doing the Academy Museum or LACMA, lunch or dinner in Little Ethiopia before or after is perfect.

And echoing BlahLaLa... check out what's going on at the Music Center etc. I'm sure you know how awesome Disney Hall is, and I think we have a really, really great Opera.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:04 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]

Sorry if this is dumb but what about going to the Hollywood Bowl?

What about seeing Metropolis II at LACMA?
posted by vunder at 9:04 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]

I don't miss much about LA, but I do miss some of the outdoorsy things. Mandeville Canyon, trails crossing Mulholland, the view into the valley from high points in the Santa Monica Mountains... those are usually surprises to people who haven't spent much time in LA. Ditto biking, like the path from Playa Del Rey to Culver City along the Ballona Creek path. Rent a bike in Culver, head to the beach, grab a bite to eat in Playa, bike back. Playa is a hilarious, ramshakle remnant of what coastal neighborhoods used to look like before money took over. It's only able to stay like that because the Marina cut off easy driving access from Vnice and, of course, the constant overhead noise of flights departing LAX will always keep it from being a property developer's dream. Playa Provisions has a bunch of outdoor seating, and its surrounded by the Shack, Cafe Milan (for superbly cheap beach-proximate breafast-brunch staples), Señor G's (for fantastic salsa and also surprisingly good fresh juices), and all sorts of other little gems in an easy walking strip. I lived in the Jungle my last two years in LA nad it's a wonderful, wacky little spot.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 3:05 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]

Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale!
posted by infinitewindow at 7:04 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]

Share them all! I may have been a Westside kid (yes, my local malls were century city and the Westside pavillion kill me), but I'm more fun than that.

The Pavillion has the Apple Pan, though.

We also had the Promenade and Santa Monica place (with that one tobacconist that would sell you cloves and beedies to smoke on the beach).

Downtown Santa Monica has had quite the makeover and would be a fun place to spend the evening as a couple if you aren't intent on escaping the familiar. Hard to beat a good sunset from the palisade or on the beach.

If you can give a rough time frame there may be events worth considering, a lot of the more interesting LA stuff is like that these days. Were you coming this weekend 626 Night Market would be happening in SM.

Or if you want iconic/nostalgic, you could spend the day in SM and Venice and then drive up to Geoffrey's for the sunset and then dinner. Advance reservations are needed. The food's not that great, but the spot still is.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:13 AM on March 2

Along the same lines, someone else might be able to say how the food at the Saddle Peak Lodge is these days; I haven't been in a while and it's very changeable. I have never thought much of the food at the Inn of the Seventh Ray and would not go there unless I was already in Topanga.

I'd probably go to Dan Tana in WeHo over Musso and Frank's for the actual Hollywood scene. Maybe Bar Marmont. Mr. Chow's is still amazing, too.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:22 AM on March 2

Oh, BTW, are you a Blade Runner or Outer Limits fan? If so, you should make sure to visit the Bradbury Building. (Even if you're not, it's worth a visit.)
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 9:14 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]

How about Angel's Flight?
posted by JimN2TAW at 10:12 AM on March 8

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