Why You Should Go to L.A. This Fall

With Halloween horror nights, new hotels, and a much-anticipated bar opening, autumn is taking Los Angeles by storm.

Why You Should Go to L.A. This Fall

Swimming season extends well into Southern California’s fall.

Courtesy of the Hoxton Downwon

The palm trees may not change colors, but the season’s shift is still palpable in Los Angeles. Scary movie monsters bare their fangs at Halloween-themed fright nights all October, and an A-list lineup of new restaurants signals the beginning of a season meant for sharing great food with great friends. Plus, two new hotels offer better ways to stay. Now is a fine time to fall for L.A.

Stay where the dreams don’t stop when you wake up

There’s no shortage of beautiful places to stay in L.A., but two newly opened hotels offer the most in convenience and style. The 174-room Hoxton Hotel, which opened this month in downtown L.A., has a rooftop pool that’s open year-round. Plus, its ground-floor restaurant Sibling Rival, the sister of the smash-hit Sunday in Brooklyn, brings a New York flair to a West Coast table, serving dressed-up childhood classics (think pancakes smothered in maple-praline-hazelnut syrup or a turkey sandwich with sprouts, pickled carrots, and miso mustard).

Or venture west to the newest boutique hotel by Edition, which boasts outposts in Times Square, Miami Beach, and—now—West Hollywood. The 190-room luxury stay is all glass walls, sharp angles, and fantastic cityscape views—and is ideally situated at the junction between two of L.A.’s most iconic neighborhoods: Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.

In Santa Monica, Pasjoli serves French food made with California ingredients.

In Santa Monica, Pasjoli serves French food made with California ingredients.

Courtesy of Pasjoli

Eat, drink, and be merry

Los Angeles is one of the best eating cities in the world, but it’s outdone itself this year. In November, DTLA’s the Row will get a new tenant: M.Georgina, the highly anticipated project from chef Melissa Perello, well-known for Frances and Octavia, two Bay Area favorites. The menu will include upscale California fare, such as oysters dressed with pickled ramps and pink peppercorn mignonette.

Then there’s Santa Monica’s Pasjoli, the latest from chef Dave Beran, who earned a Michelin star for Dialogue (another Santa Monica hot spot). While the 18-person-capacity Dialogue goes the ultra-high-end tasting menu route, Pasjoli is more approachable, using local market produce to serve versions of French classics à la carte.

Save room for a few drinks from the Arts District outpost of Death & Co, opening this November. The New York City cocktail bar known for its intricate and ground-breaking mixology is being touted as the biggest bar opening in L.A. of the year. While you have to wait to sip a Space Cowboy (bourbon, aquavit, Greek yogurt, peach, lemon) at the new location, Death & Co is throwing pop-ups hosted by other bars throughout the city.

The photos of young Stanley Kubrick reveal much about the director he would become. (Stanley Kubrick. “Rosemary Williams: Showgirl.” 1949. Museum of the City of New York. The Look Collection.)

The photos of young Stanley Kubrick reveal much about the director he would become. (Stanley Kubrick. “Rosemary Williams: Showgirl.” 1949. Museum of the City of New York. The Look Collection.)

Photo used with permission of Museum of the City of New York and SK Film Archives

Celebrate the season three ways

The Halloween spirit is alive and really, really scary at Universal Studios in Universal City, where Halloween Horror Nights are on through November 3. The annual event features 10 haunted-house-style mazes based on shows and movies, including Stranger Things and Us, as well as rides and “scare zones,” where you better watch out for performers decked out in ultra-realistic monster, ghoul, and zombie gear. In Buena Park, Knott’s Berry Farm has transformed for the season into Knott’s Scary Farm (select nights September 19 through November 2). The usually cheery theme park goes full haunted thriller every year for Halloween, with mazes, scary performances, and terrifying actors playing the part of your worst nightmare. Don’t miss Ghost Town Streets, the very first scare zone that started it all for Knott’s Scary. Under the cover of fog, half-human creatures lurk, waiting to give you the scare of your life. For younger kids, Knott’s Spooky Farm is a more sedate, treat-filled daytime experience.

For an event that’s more pumpkin spice than scary spice, head to Los Rios Rancho for apple picking season, which runs through Thanksgiving. The farm, located east of L.A. in San Bernardino, grows varietals like rome, red delicious, spartan, granny smith, and pearmain apples, as well as raspberries and pumpkins (although the pumpkin patches are open only on the weekends). You can press your own cider as well as partake in horseback rides, a corn maze, and hard cider tasting, any of which will get you into the flannel-and-boots spirit of fall.

Finally, prep yourself for awards season with a one-of-a-kind look through the eyes of Stanley Kubrick. Opening at Brentwood’s Skirball Cultural Center on October 17th, Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs features photos taken by the legendary film director when he was a young photographer for Look magazine. The stills give an insight into Kubrick’s mind and vision and the talent that would ultimately create films like A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey —and offer some perspective for when it comes time to root for the new year’s Oscar nominees.

>>Next: Plan Your Visit with AFAR’s Travel Guide to Los Angeles

Sarah Purkrabek is a Los Angeles-based travel writer.
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