The Comprehensive Insider's Guide to Los Angeles
Collected by Kathryn Romeyn , AFAR Contributor
221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA
When it opened in 2015, this museum drew headlines for its extensive contemporary art collection and Diller Scofidio + Renfro–designed building, which resembles a futuristic honeycomb. Then a single exhibition catapulted it into fame: artist...
1298 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, USA
This highly curated yet laid-back Echo Park art gallery and shop is where the desert meets the sea, and independent LA and international artists are celebrated for their unique individuality. Near Dodger Stadium, this shop is the second California...
8700 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
With A.O.C., which opened in 2002, chef Suzanne Goin and sommelier Caroline Styne have proven their uncanny ability to create not only an essential L.A. restaurant, but also one with true staying power. Although the Mediterranean-meets-Big...
900 Wilshire Blvd #8023, Los Angeles, CA 90017, USA
Superlatives abound at the InterContinental in downtown L.A. The 73-story structure is the tallest building west of Chicago and, at 889 rooms, the largest InterContinental in the Americas. (It set a Guinness World Record for the longest continuous...
3386, 1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA
Never has a restaurant name captured the emotions of its guests quite like Felix, which means “happy” in Latin. It also means “lucky,” which is what you’ll feel when you score a table. Enjoying an evening of...
17985 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272, USA
J. Paul Getty’s original museum is as much about the transporting setting as it is about the pieces inside. When the billionaire oil tycoon decided to open a museum for his extensive collection of antiquities in 1974, he modeled it after an...
Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275, USA
On arrival at Terranea, it’s natural to release a big, tension-melting sigh. The luxury resort occupies 100-plus acres along the bluffs of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, providing expansive views of the Pacific and a sense of spaciousness...
3599 Hayden Ave, Culver City, CA 90232, USA
Verspertine isn’t so much a restaurant as an experience—a collaboration between chef-owner Jordan Kahn and architect Eric Owen Moss. The futuristic four-level structure, wrapped in undulating steel with glass walls and minimal design...
8850 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, USA
A sense of discovery pervades at this innovative, open-air retail development in Culver City, which opened in 2016. Six buildings house first-to-market concept shops, pop-ups, and creative company headquarters. The place is constantly evolving,...
176 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, USA
Wolfgang Puck's flagship restaurant Spago is simple but delicious, serving classic California fare in a bright room of dark booths and white linen tablecloths. The seasonal dinner menu is split into three courses, plus a "From the Garden"...
9850 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, USA
In a city known for glamour, Waldorf Astoria managed to up the ante when it opened in 2017. Lalique crystal, Italian marble, hand-blown Murano glass, and custom-made art deco–inspired furniture fill the interiors, decorated by French...
1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA
As the name suggests, the best way to experience this Abbot Kinney stalwart is to order the three- or five-course family-style tasting menu—never written and unique for each table. While James Beard finalist chef Casey Lane’s...
1224 Beverwil Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90035, USA
Think of the Mr. C Beverly Hills as a trip to Italy without the jet lag. Opened in 2011, the 138-room property was the first hotel by the Cipriani family of Italian restaurateurs. Through and through, it’s true to its Old World heritage,...
1746 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA
A good cocktail can cure almost anything that ails you—at least that’s the philosophy at Apothéke, the West Coast outpost of the award-winning New York City bar. In keeping with the playful apothecary theme, barmen don white lab...
1147 3rd St, Santa Monica, CA 90403, USA
Tucked away on Third Street since 1979, Michael’s is arguably the best-kept secret in Santa Monica—a Cheers-like stalwart for locals, who return to proprietor Michael McCarty’s inviting restaurant and bar regularly. It...
1 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405, USA
There’s a lot that makes Shutters on the Beach special, starting with its location—it’s one of only two Santa Monica hotels right on the beach (the other is sister property Casa del Mar next door). Its waterfront spot gives it a...
6667 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA
This restaurant is such an institution that it predates the city’s most iconic landmark—the Hollywood sign. In a way, Hollywood was born in Musso & Frank’s red booths, back when the famed boulevard was still a dirt road. The...
225 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, USA
Modern yet classic, upscale yet relaxed, the Montage Beverly Hills channels the best of modern and classic California. Take Georgie Restaurant, where chef Geoffrey Zakarian made his Los Angeles debut: at breakfast, guests can enjoy avocado toast...
8500 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069, USA
The name Fred Segal—and especially the logo—encapsulates L.A. style. Since the early 1960s, it’s been where Angelenos shop for their denim-heavy wardrobes and, in more recent history, where such trendsetting SoCal brands as Juicy...
5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038, USA
Santa Barbara spot prawns roasted under a layer of salt. Nasturtium leaf tacos filled with scallop tartare. Gelée of littleneck clam and chorizo served in the clam shell. These are just a few of the delicacies guests might taste at...
1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049, USA
Crowning any one location as having the “best view in L.A.” would be controversial, but the Getty Center is certainly a contender. The anticipation that builds upon approach to the arts and cultural center—up a driveway to park,...
1020 N San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069, USA
As the name suggests, this hotel’s personality is one part laid-back Californian, one part British aristocrat. Nowhere is that clearer than at the 10th-floor rooftop pool, where plantings inspired by formal English gardens stand out against...
3339 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, USA
Since launching her handbags and accessories line in 2008, accessories designer Clare Vivier has mastered the delicate combination of Parisian chic, American prep, and California cool. While her brand has spread to seven boutiques across...
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA
Encyclopedic is one way to describe L.A.’s oldest art institution. Sprawling is another. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened in its current Miracle Mile location in 1965 and has not stopped growing, becoming the largest museum in the...
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, USA
Call it the magic of Hollywood: Since opening in 1964, this theme park has continued to reinvent itself, creating ever-more ambitious experiences inspired by blockbuster movies. For Harry Potter fans, a visit to The Wizarding World of Harry...
250 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA
Founded in 1979, the mission of this institution is clear—it’s committed to preserving, presenting, and interpreting art created after 1940. Its methods, however, are ever changing. Three distinct venues in the city shine a spotlight...
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