LA travel guide: How to live like a local

LAX

by Bella Evennett-Watts |

Explore the local scene behind Instagrammable Los Angeles

LA LA Land: local style

Home to the rich and famous including, ahem, Kardashian royalty, it’s no wonder that LA is the destination for boujee brunches, plush roof-top spots and Insta-worthy vacays. But there’s even more to the sprawling city than meets the eye. We’ve travelled away from the bustling tourist scene to check out what the fashionable residents actually get up to. Here are the hottest places essential for every wannabe-local – even The Hills cast would be impressed.

Sleep in style

Downtown LA is quickly becoming the trendy new scene for locals, and where better to stay than Level Furnished Living. The luxurious complex blends boutique hotel vibes with the accessibility of a fully-serviced apartment block, where you can stay for a weekend, month, or even 365 days a year. It has exclusive access to an outdoor cinema, an NBA regulation basketball court, glistening pool, and spa facilities. Whilst the penthouse is the ultimate party pad with four bedrooms and TEN bathrooms, each apartment feels just as luxurious and all offer immense views across the dreamy city.

stayinglevel.com

Level Furnished Living
©Level Furnished Living

If you want to rub shoulders with celebs, nowhere oozes Instagram-appeal like Dream Hollywood, where you’ll catch glamazons relaxing at the rooftop pool, or dining in front of the famous Hollywood sign at the Highlight Room Grill. The lunch menu (filled with oysters, lobster on toast and taco) will get you drooling. And if you fancy a workout after your meal-marathon, you can pop down to the fully-equipped hotel gym, designed and frequently used by no other than Khloe Kardashian’s personal trainer, Gunnar Peterson.

dreamhotels.com

Dream Hollywood
©Dream Hollywood

Go Sporty Spice

No trip to the City of Angels is complete without some good old American sports. Catching a game at the LA Dodgers' Stadium where you can mingle with local fans is an electric experience. Even if you’re not a sports fanatic, nothing beats the buzzing atmosphere and the infamous jalapeño margaritas. Besides, who needs to know the basic rules of baseball when there’s more in-game entertainment than you can shake a giant foam finger at? The game might go on for hours, but so does the party – expect music, intense rivalry with the New York Mets, Mexican waves and of course, Kiss-cam. For some pre-game grub, go to Phillipe the Original – LA’s much cooler answer to British football fans’ pie n mash – in this old-school diner, you can build your own sandwich and have it dipped it in gravy. It’s as good (and greasy) as it sounds.

mlb.com

Los Angeles Dodgers & Dodgers Stadium
©Los Angeles Dodgers & Dodgers Stadium

We'd highly recommend a trip to Sunset Ranch. This horsey haven feels like the set of a western movie – complete with cactus plants, cowboy hats and ponies with patriotic names like Kennedy, cute. Hack the Hollywood hills by horse – don’t worry if you’re no Jessie, a knowledgeable guide will accompany you and your furry friend as you get up close to the Hollywood sign and admire the lush views over the Griffith Observatory and LA. You’re bound to pass a few Californian locals hiking in swanky gym gear with chihuahuas in toe, too. But if you can’t shake your tourist urges, Hollywood Boulevard and the walk of fame are just minutes away.

sunsetranchhollywood.com

Sunset Ranch Hollywood
©Sunset Ranch Hollywood

Walk this way

For a spot of culture, feast your eyes on the walls of LA’s Downtown Arts District, which are full of quirky street art and graffiti. And if you want to upgrade the gram with your very own candid graffiti angel wings shot, this is the place to do so – they’re the only wings in higher demand than Gigi’s on the Victoria’s Secret catwalk. And you’ll be in good company – J Lo, Taylor Swift and Emma Roberts are just a few celebs who have been wingin’ it. The renowned feathered wings were created by artist Collette Miller in 2012, who created the project especially for the City of Angels, before the trend took flight of its own on social media.

laarttours.com

Or soak up the sights of California’s most famous seaside location – Venice Beach. An in-the-know tour guide will give you the inside scoop behind Muscle bBeach and Little Venice, which is so pretty it gives the pastel painted doors and wisteria hysteria of Notting Hill a run for their money. Our tour guide turned out to be an actor himself - not hard when half of Hollywood are aspiring to be a screen star! Afterwards, treat yourself to some retail therapy on nearby Abbot Kinney – because vacays this good are tiring, right? We recommend heading to the Salt & Straw ice cream shop, where you can try wacky flavour combinations like buttermilk pancakes, bacon & eggs.Sounds weird, but trust us. Fellow Brit Rosie Fortescue is also a massive fan – if it’s good enough for a MIC star, it’s good enough for us.

walkingtoursla.com

Walking tours LA
©Walking tours LA

Insta-worthy eats

Breakfast at Bottega Louie

Forget London’s bottomless brunches, grab breakfast at Bottega Louie. This restaurant is the perfect place to head down to for a picture-perfect brekkie. If you need a hair of the dog after one too many in Hollywood, you can sip on a Bloody Mary at the fancy marble bar, or dig straight into the delicious menu with your LA squad. The portions are all generous, but the French toast is particularly worth feasting on. Remember to buy some macaroons from the front counter on your way out too..

bottegalouie.com

Bottega Louie
©Bottega Louie

Pasta at Rossoblu

No one does it better than the Italians, so it’s no wonder that this low-key restaurant in downtown LA is a must for any foodie. Blending indoor and outdoor seating into one open space, this urban restaurant gives a whole new meaning to alfresco dining. For an authentic Italian dish, choose Nonna’s tagliatelle al ragu’ Bolognese, or if you fancy an something with an American twist, go for the Apennine fries – thick-cut fries seasoned with rosemary and sage that ooze balsamic vinegar – they’ll go down a treat.

rossoblula.com

Rossoblu
©Rossoblu

Dine at Auburn

Auburn puts a cool twist on classic fine dining. The restaurant has minimalist scandi vibes with modern artwork, fancy Le Labo products in the bathroom and a tree growing in the middle of the main dining room. For special occasions, you can book a private room, separated from the other diners. The tasteful interiors are to die for, but nothing beats the delicious seasonal menu, made with fresh ingredients. No diner should leave without trying the avocado butter with the chef’s homemade bread loaf – it will put your smashed avo on sourdough toast to shame.

auburnla.com

Auburn
©Auburn

End your trip in VIP style – and hold off on those holiday blues – by flying home from LAX, where you can expect to spot lots of A-list celebs. And Virgin Airways’ new thrice-weekly flight route to/from Manchester Airport means there’s even more reason to pop open the bubbly onboard.

virginatlantic.com

For more inspiration on what to do in L.A. Visit discoverlosangeles.com__.

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