A Sun-Soaked Weekend in L.A.
Sun-soaked palm trees, chic Rodeo Drive shops and celebrity glitz entice travellers to Los Angeles like a beach-blonde siren. This fast-moving city is the pot of gold at the end of the aspirational dream, and everyone with an adventurous spirit and an open mind is welcome. Fresh new boutiques, modern art galleries and trendy bistros keep the city on the cutting-edge, while the ghosts of Hollywood past breathe life into its glamourous history. It’s always a good time to hang with the cool kids in L.A., and we’ve got you covered with our best travel picks for a weekend escape in the California sun.
For oceanfront views and a peaceful stay just outside the hustle and bustle of the city, tuck yourself away in Santa Monica at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. Stay in the 10 story Ocean Tower for views of the Pacific and Santa Monica Beach. Seeking a secluded romantic getaway? Book one of the “surf modern” bungalows surrounded by lush palm trees and sparkling waterfalls.
Start your weekend by heading to the Griffith Observatory for panoramic views of the city, including a stellar view of the iconic Hollywood sign. Time your visit to watch the sunset and see L.A. magically light up for the evening.
Art lovers should plan a visit to Los Angeles County Museum of Art. LACMA’s mission is to represent “Los Angeles’ uniquely diverse population” through its collections. The museum boasts strong collections of Asian, Latin American, and Islamic art. The museum campus, part of which was recently renovated by the celebrated architect Renzo Piano, is worth a visit itself. Enter the museum through the Wilshire Boulevard entrance to experience Urban Light, a large-scale installation of over 200 restored vintage street lamps, most of which lit the streets of Southern California in the 1920s and 1930s.
A stroll down the iconic Venice Beach boardwalk is a must. A range of characters from eccentric street performers to workout buffs and skateboarders dominate the boardwalk. After you’ve had your fill of people watching, head to the Venice Canals Walkway, a serene system of manmade canals built as an homage to Venice, Italy.
L.A. offers a diversity of vibrant cuisine. FIG Restaurant Santa Monica, conveniently located at Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, offers locally-sourced Mediterranean inspired-dishes. As you arrive, note the 130 year old fig tree which stands at the entrance. Fresh seafood and inspired vegetarian dishes, as well as a nice selection of cheese and charcuterie, are menu highlights.
The Silver Lake neighborhood is a fun destination featuring vintage shops, quirky eateries and cool cafes. Fuel up at Night + Market Song with James Beard nominated Thai cuisine. This authentic Thai cuisine is intended to be eaten with your hands by dipping mounds of sticky rice into each spicy dish. For small bites and a stellar glass of wine, Barbrix will fit the bill.
Coffee break? Los Angeles has no shortage of topnotch establishments and award-winning baristas to service them. Blacktop Coffee serves quality brew, or try Alfred Coffee, a hip hangout in several locations around town. Order a house-made pastry and flight of coffee at Go Get Em Tiger and be transported to roastery heaven. In Venice, Menotti’s is the place to pick up your cortado. Need a chic, casual space to work on your screenplay? Swing by Coffee Commissary or Cognoscenti for the perfect pour-over and the chance to meet your next best actor.
For a relaxed, romantic night out, you can’t go wrong with oysters and wine. L&E Oyster Bar offers oysters harvested daily from around the globe. Wash them down with a bottle from their extensive wine selection. Animal serves innovative plates and is always packed; call ahead for a table well in advance. In more of a taco frame of mind? Head for the best: Guisados, with fresh, handmade tortillas topped with an assortment of slow-roasted meats. For an authentic BBQ experience in Koreatown, the buzz is Parks BBQ. Try galbi, a specially cut beef short rib and a classic Korean BBQ dish. Be sure to check out the kitschy Wall of Fame, adorned by autographed photographs of visiting celebrities.
Head to The Grove for an outdoor shopping experience that is as much about the strolling and people watching as it is about the shopping. Take the free trolley to the Farmers Market next door for a bite to eat. An astonishing array of restaurants and specialty shops await, including DuPar’s, a 24hour diner that has been at the Farmers Market since 1938.
Famous for being one of the largest independent record stores in the world, Amoeba Records is the place to spend an afternoon diving through bins of LPs. The Hollywood location occupies an entire city block on Sunset Boulevard. Live in-store performances are frequently scheduled, so be sure to check Amoeba’s website for upcoming shows before you go.
Destined to open this spring, Platform in Culver City is the city’s newest shopping destination, featuring the brightest new designers and creatives in all things fashion, art and food. Also coming soon is Australia’s BNKR, full of modern, unique pieces that won’t break the bank. If vintage threads are on the menu, seek out exclusive high-end labels at Resurrection, score your next new-to-you bauble at Regeneration Vintage, or take a trip through the fashion decades at The Way We Wore. Of course, a weekend vacation in L.A. wouldn’t be complete without a luxe stroll along famous Rodeo Drive (if only to dream through the window displays).
The City of Angels is always fun, always hip and always unapologetically itself. With a cornucopia of options to keep any traveller well-entertained, it is the perfect place to get your California groove on. Pack a pair of comfy (yet stylish) flats, your SPF 60, and a sunny smile, and you are well on your way to a memorable getaway in the L.A. sun.
This article was written by our partners at Flytographer, who will be regular contributors to the Fairmont Moments site moving forward. Interested in booking a Flytographer experience to capture your special #FairmontMoments?
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