suggestions in LA for tired newlyweds
March 8, 2007 9:35 AM   Subscribe

A day and a half in Los Angeles, as the beginning of a honeymoon. Any suggestions for one or two places worth visiting for very tired newlyweds?

A friend of mine is getting married next friday. She's honeymooning in Asia, but has to fly to Los Angeles and sleep there for a night, flying out to Bangkok sunday evening. I've been to LA twice and so she's asking me to give her some suggestions, but the places I'd suggest probably won't interest their tired selves.

They already have a day at Magic Mountain planned, on sunday, after a full night's rest, but what could they do saturday evening after getting there around noon coming directly from the wedding? Knowing them, they're not going to want to spend the day inside the hotel resting, but are open to options that don't require much energy.

I've already suggested they go catch the 8pm show of "Wicked", but in case they don't like that idea, what other options do they have? I just don't want them to get lost in the hugeness of the city and end up just having dinner at some "meh" restaurant.
posted by CrazyLemonade to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (27 answers total)
Sounds like the perfect time for a leisurely stroll around the grounds of the Huntington Gardens, or the Arboretum. Both are packed with neat ancient (for LA) plantings and lots of secluded places to neck.

On the other side of town, someone else is going to suggest they go to the Museum of Jurassic Technology.
posted by Scram at 9:42 AM on March 8, 2007

Second Huntington Gardens. Just wonderful and refreshing to a tired soul.
posted by orangemiles at 9:47 AM on March 8, 2007

where in LA are they staying? with LA half the trouble is getting from point A to point B, so my suggestions would be based upon their hotel location...
posted by sharkfu at 9:53 AM on March 8, 2007

i sure like the getty.
posted by alkupe at 10:01 AM on March 8, 2007

Response by poster: sharkfu, just before asking the question i realized I didn't know where they're staying. I just emailed her about that.

Thanks for the suggestions so far but keep them coming. I'd really like to give her varied options so they can choose based on their mood or level of energy that day. Gardens, restaurants/bars, shows, streets to visit, etc., are all good.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 10:05 AM on March 8, 2007

Response by poster: Forgot to say, they're not really into museums.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 10:06 AM on March 8, 2007

Have they never been to LA?

Don't neglect the goofy touristy stuff. Check out the stars on the walk of fame on Hollywood Boulevard, drive by the Hollywood sign, grab a hot dog at Pinks, end the night by strolling on the beach.
posted by GaelFC at 10:16 AM on March 8, 2007

Yes, if they're tired newleyweds it might be it's easier to pinpoint stuff around their hotel if you let us know where that is. Huntington Gardens is great, but if they're unfamiliar to LA & tired, it would take some quality time on the freeway to get there from Santa Monica & they might not be up for that. The Museum of Jurassic Technology really does rock (and it has a tearoom now!) and always instills some fun in the day, but they might not want to try finding it on Pico if they are staying in Pasadena.

I'll give you a between-you-and-I hush hush tip that would make their whole weekend amazing though. You just can't pass it onto everyone because it's my secret. Ready?

First look on the website for The Magic Castle, which is a private magic club up in the Hollywood Hills. See what magicians are playing when they're there. Do a google search on those magicians and find their websites. Then e-mail the magicians a little note (playing up to their egos never hurts) saying how you know that the Castle is a private club but that it would mean everything to your SO to be able to experience the club and that you would REALLY love to see their magic show. 9 out of 10 times, the magician will put you on their guest list. (Sometimes the club will then waive the $20 entry fee when you show up, sometimes they won't. The other way to get on the guest list is to stay at The Magic Castle Hotel which can be a nice home base, their suites are more like little LA apartments.) Call and make dinner reservations before the first shows (and request a view if you can)... last time I was there we ate at 6pm. It's fancy & if you're on a budget then you can just have a salad or something, but it's worth going as a fun special once-in-a-lifetime thing. From the dining room, you go from show to show and there are also wandering magicians everywhere. It's an all-night thing, really. I recommend the Close-Up room especially, but since they only allow 20 people into it you will have to stake your place in line right away when you can. Then when you get out of one show, stake your path to the next showroom you need to get in line for. Otherwise you won't get a good seat. Downstairs it the Hat & Hare pub that has AMAZING close up magic. Don't buy a drink there though, buy them at one of the other bars. The drinks down there are 3x as expensive.

It doesn't matter if they don't like magic... The Magic Castle is an experience. And it's something that 99% of Los Angelenos haven't gotten the chance to do.

/end of insider tip. Shhhh.

Also good & right near the castle: drinks at Yamashiro's overlooking the city.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:20 AM on March 8, 2007 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: My friend emailed back. New info:

They're get to LA at 4pm saturday, and fly out 11pm sunday.

Staying at Loews Beverly Hills.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 10:20 AM on March 8, 2007

It'll take 1.5 hours to clear LAX and get settled in the hotel. So that's 5:30. They'll probably be hungry. So that's the rest of the evening...
posted by notyou at 10:26 AM on March 8, 2007

Given their hotel location and the time they will actually get to their hotel as noted by notyou I would recommend a restaurant in West Hollywood. I can't think of any nice ones at the moment but when they get done they should cruise the Strip to get a quick flavor of the area (and maybe even find a nice place to hear music or have a drink.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 10:50 AM on March 8, 2007

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

go to the beach at David Geffen's house
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:57 AM on March 8, 2007

Plenty of nice restaurants in West Hollywood, one of my faves is Cheebo, for casual Italian, Bossa Nova for outdoor Brazillian grill, etc, etc.

Pink's on a Saturday night will be packed. I doubt they'd want to stand in line right after a flight and a brush with LAX.
posted by kitalea at 11:00 AM on March 8, 2007

Best answer: They have only one day in LA and choose to spend it in a theme park? Okay, whatever.

If they only have a little over a day to explore, limit their options to a few highlights that aren't too far from their hotel. A few hours at Hollywood and Highland is fun for the pure touristy-ness of it. Heck, they might enjoy one of the tacky "tour the stars' homes" bus tours.

I just did a good walking tour of downtown LA this weekend (sponsored by the LA Conservancy), which is recommended if they would like to see some non-Hollywood LA.

Alternately, if they don't have anywhere specific to be, it can be fun to just drive around Beverly Hills and Hollywood.
posted by arco at 11:04 AM on March 8, 2007

Heading North, Beverwil turns into South Beverly. There are some nice little restaurants on the street (South of Wilshire). If they like pizza, Mulberry Street Pizza is pretty good. For a nice breakfast & coffee, I recommend sitting on the porch at Urth Caffe at 276 South Beverly.

They'll be near the Jurassic Museum, so that actually might be a good call. I'd also recommend going to Main Street in Santa Monica, parking, and just walking around. Maybe then driving down to Venice Beach & taking a walk along the boardwalk just to stare (the glass walkers, bodybuilders and guitar-playing, roller skating eccentrics will always be a source of entertainment).There are a few nice cafes with outdoor patios.

If they want a real LA experience, they can head to Hollywood Blvd. between La Brea & Highland. The Hollywood & Highland complex sucks, but it's nice to walk through the Roosevelt Hotel (home of the first Oscars) and then catch a movie inside the big theatre at the Chinese. Then for dinner go to the Grove/Farmer's Market on 3rd & Fairfax. Farmer's Market is just the way it was when I was a kid with every type of food you could imagine (although now it also has a great French restaurant/wine bar too) & then walk through the Grove shopping center, which is... honestly... pretty cool. That's another great place to catch a movie, the people who work in the theatre all dress up like movie ushers from the 40s. The Grove is probably one of the best places for celebrity sighting too (especially the apple store, I've found).

I could go on and on but that will have to end this chapter because - gasp - I actually have WORK to do today. ;)
posted by miss lynnster at 11:11 AM on March 8, 2007

I need to correct myself... Hollywood Blvd. is not a "real LA experience" I just typed that fast. I meant a Hollywood experience... because a lot of people visit LA for that.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:14 AM on March 8, 2007

I'll second the drinks or dinner at Yamashiro - it has a spectacular view of the city.

Another great, romantic restaurant with an incredible view of the Pacific is Geoffrey's in Malibu...up the coast a little bit, but well worth it (imho).
posted by malocchio at 11:16 AM on March 8, 2007

I'm with alkup, don't miss the Getty. Even if they're not into museums, it's an amazing place to take in the SoCal weather and views... and FREE to boot!

For a memorable dinner, try the Encounter restaurant in the spaceship building at LAX.
posted by afx114 at 11:17 AM on March 8, 2007

well if they're going to go all the way to the Getty, they may as well visit the Santa Monica Beach and maybe get dinner at the Promenade, which is nice and touristy but a bit more low key than Hollywood and Highland.
posted by kitalea at 11:38 AM on March 8, 2007

Best answer: I agree with anyone who says to skip Hollywood & Highland but go to The Grove or the Promenade instead. I tend to recommend the Grove because Farmer's Market is Los Angeles history. But H&H is a pet peeve of mine to say the least.

Another cool thing about the Grove, if you know where to look, one of the oldest adobe residences in LA is hidden right next to the parking structure. Little known fact. They built the mall around it, they couldn't tear it down.

Anyway, here's a pretty good neighborhood guide. Some of my favorite things to do are to just explore the various neighborhoods, especially the ethnic ones. You can travel the world without leaving town... have a margarita Olvera Street. Eat sushi at the rotating sushi bar at Frying Fish and walk around Little Tokyo.

So much to do in LA... wishing I was there as I write this! I could go for some Frying Fish right now...
posted by miss lynnster at 12:12 PM on March 8, 2007

Of course I MEANT to say "have a margarita AT Olvera Street."

Or you can go to El Coyote. Not the best Mexican food but the margaritas are cheap & good & it's fun! Been there since 1931. Very LA.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:15 PM on March 8, 2007

Response by poster: Heh. Loving your suggestions so far, miss lynster, but we're actually IN Mexico, so I don't think they'll be looking for mexican food in LA.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 12:21 PM on March 8, 2007

Ahh. Got it.

I do recommend Farmer's Market for at least one meal though. You can find any kind of food you could possibly want there. One person could eat gumbo & chips and the other could have Singaporean mee goreng, and then you could have a wine & cheese tasting & fresh Bennet's ice cream for dessert. The choices are fun! Plus, I love that it really is a farmer's market... my grandma used to take me there. The neighboring Grove is more of a theme park in comparison, but a shockingly well created one. I like the contrast between the two. There are good restaurants in The Grove too... I usually eat at The Farm but they have a bunch of selections. :)
posted by miss lynnster at 12:50 PM on March 8, 2007

Response by poster: You can stop whispering, miss lynster, I like your recommendations so far.

I had already considered telling them about the Farmer's Market & The Grove but I think maybe I wanted someone else to confirm that it was a good idea.

I really liked the Market when I went there last summer. Went for a quick lunch on saturday, and decided to go back the next day to watch one of the [soccer] World Cup games at a bar that had a good TV and a special beer of the day or something like that.

Since LA is just a quick stop before their "real" exotic Asian honeymoon, a not-so-expensive meal at the Market will be more to their taste than an expensive restaurant.

I also loved the experience of watching a movie at the Chinese Theatre, and of course walking around Hollywood Blvd. isn't quite like walking around the Getty, but it's still probably a must-do for a couple going to LA for the first time.

*tells herself* See, that wasn't so scary.
/first AskMe question.

posted by CrazyLemonade at 1:24 PM on March 8, 2007

Farmer's Market is cool, I work right down the street. Loteria is highly recommended for Mexican, also the Singaporean place whose name I don't recall is good.

Hollywood Blvd. is a "must-do" in the same way as Times Square and Fisherman's Wharf, which is to say, if you feel like tourists traps are something you "must" do.

I would recommend walking down Melrose in the afternoon- less touristy, more cool shops, less sex offenders dressed as Disney characters and Darth Vader.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:05 PM on March 8, 2007

oh and I should probably get a plug in for my own neighborhood here and say that Silverlake is great and walking around the Sunset Junction area is a lot of fun and kind of off the beaten tourist path. (so far)
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:07 PM on March 8, 2007

I think the biggest difference between Hollywood Boulevard & Fisherman's Wharf is that people in San Francisco visibly cringe at the mere suggestion of going near Fisherman's Wharf, but people in LA really DO go to see movies at the Chinese Theater. Hell, there are people in LA who volunteer to spend time on their hands and knees scrubbing the street there so the stars names stay shiny despite being walked on every day. My understanding is that there are actually disputes over who gets what celebrity (no doubt whoever does Marilyn Monroe's is the probably the grand poobah of the cleanup crew). Sometimes the touristy stuff in LA is part of the fun of living there... after all, that's what brought a lot of the residents there in the first place: a lot of people have a soft spot in their hearts for that glamorous tinsely fantasy of Hollywood. I don't think there is any other industry or place that promotes & thrives on such a love affair with the fantasy it has of itself.

Odd thing is... as annoying & pompous as I can find that "look how cool we are" self-love fantasy sometimes, I can also find that side of LA's personality contagious, fun & incredibly endearing. But hey, Southern California is my heritage so I've got that familial love/hate thing going big time. ;)
posted by miss lynnster at 7:09 PM on March 8, 2007

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