5 Things to Do in Los Angeles

Whether you go for the glitz and glamour vibe of Hollywood, the laid-back beach scene, or the varied attractions of LA, a visit to this southern California destination is a good choice if you want a mix of everything. Instead of highlighting 5 things to do, we’ll highlight five ways to visit to get that perfect mix. First stop, a glamping accommodation at Thousand Trails Soledad Canyon, which is less than 60 miles from LA proper and full of beautiful views. Choose a glamping cabin or cottage at this great resort set in the high desert and get set for an LA Adventure, par excellence.

  1. Hollywood: Highlights include the Hollywood Walk of Fame which encompasses 15 city blocks and displays over 2700 stars honoring some of the greatest of all time, including newcomers Michael B. Jordan and Courteney Cox. Start your self-guided walking tour at Grauman’s Chinese Theater and check out the celebrity handprints and footprints in front of the theater. The Hollywood Theater, located in the historic Max Factor Building has the most extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia in the world! From costumes to cars to props and personal artifacts, it’s all here. For movie-themed fun, visit Universal Studios Hollywood and take a tour to get a glimpse of what it’s like behind the scenes. And, of course, the not-to-miss is the newly opened Academy Museum of Motion Pictures dedicated to the history, science, and cultural impact of the film industry.

  2. LA Highlights: LA proper has a tremendous amount of offerings when it comes to attractions – from museums to the famed Griffith Observatory to the Angels Flight® Railway. Open seven days a week, the Original Farmers Market has been selling fresh produce since 1934 but that’s not all visitors can find here. There are all kinds of food offerings from baked goods to meat, seafood, and poultry. How about a walk on the prehistoric side? Visit the La Brea Tar Pits, a sticky, tarry urban paleontological site that has fossilized bones of Ice Age animals preserved in the tar as well as prehistoric plants. Right next door is the LA County Museum of Art, worth a visit even if you just stop by to see the outdoor public art installation, Urban Light. Want to ride a funicular? Check out the Angels Flight® Railway – a 118-year-old funicular, or cable railway, that treats passengers to a ride up, or down, one of the city’s steepest streets. For some of the best views of the city and the famed Hollywood sign, visit Griffith Park Observatory which has, in addition to the planetarium, daily shows and exhibits.

  3. Beach Life: There are several “beach” towns to be found here which makes perfect sense since the Pacific Ocean is the backdrop to fun in the sun. Consider visiting as many as you can including Malibu, Venice, Santa Monica, and Laguna Beach; each offer their own vibe. From a Malibu perspective, there are several beaches to enjoy: Zuma Beach which is great for walking in the surf; North Beach at Leo Carrillo State Park is dog-friendly and if you walk the beach toward the park’s South Beach you can see some interesting caves and tide pools; for stargazing of the Hollywood kind and checking out the cool beach homes, visit either Broach Beach or Malibu Colony Beach; and for surfing or just watching the surfers, head to Malibu Surfrider Beach. Venice Beach has a boardwalk where artists sell their works as well as shops and eateries to enjoy while Santa Monica Beach has three miles of beach plus the iconic Santa Monica Pier with shops and restaurants, plus a Ferris wheel and roller coaster!
Marina Del Rey, California
Marina Del Rey, California
  1. Outdoor Life: Thanks to the sunny California weather, there’s a lot of fun stuff to do outdoors. You can stand-up paddleboard with the sea lions at Marina Del Rey; bike along Venice Beach; hike with scenic views (consider the Charlie Turner Trail in Griffith Park or Runyon Canyon, which is popular with the stars who love to hike); enjoy a private boat tour or rent your own canoe or kayak for a leisurely water ride along the canals of Venice; or stroll through the many public gardens which include Descanso Gardens featuring more than 600 varieties of camelias or the Storrier Stearns Japanese Gardens which features a Japanese tea house set among the traditional Japanese gardens.

  2. The Wild Side: Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the final resting place of stars from all ages, including Dee Dee and Johnny Ramone of The Ramones and Rudolph Valentino, America’s first movie heartthrob and mobster Bugsy Siegel. Guided tours are available for $25. Fans of storybook architecture will enjoy a ride past the Spadina House in Beverly Hills or the cluster of “Snow White Cottages” in Los Feliz to view these very unique homes. There’s also the giant Chicken Boy statue on Figueroa Street and the giant donut atop Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood for some great Instagram shots. For something different, take in one of the shows at The Bob Baker Marionette Theater, which is one of the longest running puppetry theaters in the U.S. All the marionettes are hand crafted and there are a variety of shows on the schedule.

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Not your Average Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day has been traditionally celebrated in the United States on the second Sunday of May since 1914 but the tradition to honor Mothers dates to Ancient Greece. Here are a few things to think about when considering what to gift Mom with this year – Mother’s Day is the busiest day for restaurants; it’s the third highest selling holiday for plants and flowers; and more phone calls are made on this day than any other in the year. So, if you want your celebration to be like everyone else, by all means buy the flowers, book the restaurant, and give Mom a call. But, if you think your honoree is extra special and want the celebration to be unique, just like her, check out these options. And remember, whether you celebrate on May 9, or choose another day – these are all still good ideas!

Cabin at Spring Gulch in New Holland, PA.

Take in a Farmer’s Market: Plan a stay in an oh, so tranquil yurt at Tall Chief and head into Seattle to explore the iconic, and always entertaining, Pike Place Market. If you’re there during Mother’s Day Weekend, check out the Market’s 13th Annual Flower Festival that runs May 8-9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Whether you book a cabin at Pennsylvania’s Appalachian or Spring Gulch, you’re about an hour’s drive from Philadelphia’s Headhouse Farmer’s Market which is open on Sundays and features 50 rotating vendors. Taking in Santa Barbara for a Mother’s Day holiday? Book your stay at Rancho Oso and then consider a Sunday drive down the sunny California coast to Santa Monica to explore the city’s Downtown Farmer’s Market that runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Waterfall in Portland Japanese Garden.

Walk Through a Garden: Reserve a charming tiny house at Oregon’s Mt. Hood Tiny House Village and then spend the day in nearby Portland taking in the views at the city’s Japanese Garden. Spread over 5.5 acres, the garden is serene and tranquil with several different gardens including the Tea Garden and the Natural Garden. For information and reservations for timed visits, go to japanesegarden.org. The Wild Gardens of Acadia can be found in Maine’s Acadia National Park and feature over 400 species of flowers, shrubs, trees and other plants native to the area. For more details visit acadiamagic.com. For the perfect accommodation when visiting Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, book a colorful cottage at Narrows Too in nearby Trenton.

Botanical gardens of Acadia National Park in Maine.

Get Active (sort of): Try an e-bike (pedal-assisted) and enjoy the scenery of Leavenworth, Washington. The Leavenworth Mountain Tour explores downtown Leavenworth as well as Icicle Creek Canyon and the historic Leavenworth Ski Hill. Visit bavarianebiketours.com for more details. Book one of the five tiny houses at Leavenworth Tiny House Village for your stay. Or try something a bit out of the ordinary, but very trendy, and take a goat yoga class. Check out Legacy Lane Farm in Stratham, New Hampshire, which offers goat yoga classes every Sunday, and also has a Country Home Store onsite that sells handmade lotions and soaps made from goat’s milk. To continue your Namaste kind of day, book a tiny house accommodation at Tuxbury Tiny House Village and relax after a day at the farm.

Tiny House Emerson at Tuxbury Tiny House Village in South Hampton, NH.

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