If you’re visiting Los Angeles soon (and I hope you are), it’s easy to find ideas for activities and sightseeing–the beach, glamorous shopping streets, A-list restaurants. Those are all must-dos, but I thought you should also know about the more low-key local treasures that are beloved by those of us who live here. These are a few of my favorites:
The Cinefamily Movie Theater: This non-profit theater, formerly a historic silent theater, shows new indie films, classic art films and provides an immersive experience that Netflix just can’t rival.
Runyon Canyon: A paradise for dogs (and people who love them), this is a rigorous hiking trail right smack in the middle of the city. Dogs are allowed off leash in some areas and it’s so much fun to see Great Danes frolicking with Chihuahuas, often alongside incognito celebrities in workout clothes.
Mulberry Pizza: For 20 years this Beverly Hills pizzeria has been cooking up authentic New York-style pies in a brick oven. There are now five locations in the LA area, and locals flock to all of them for a warm vibe and delicious pizza.
Menchies Frozen Yogurt: My favorite spot for a sweet treat, Menchies has frozen yogurt flavors and toppings to satisfy any craving.
The Jewelry District: With roughly 5,000 jewelry vendors within a few block radius in historic downtown LA, this is one of the biggest and most bustling jewelry marts in the world! You can find all manner of new and antique jewelry, as well as loose gemstones and jewelry artisans able to design whatever your heart desires. (And prices are usually well below retail!).
Local Lakes: Lake Hollywood and Lake Balboa are both scenic spots that provide a dose of serenity in an often frenetic city. Lake Hollywood is a reservoir in the hills behind the Hollywood sign, and is a great spot for hiking, biking or just walking. Just north of the heart of LA, in the San Fernando Valley, Lake Balboa offers tons of recreation options—including fishing, boating, biking and picnicing, and in the spring is surrounded by the beautiful blooming cherry trees.