Los Angeles, LA, the City of Angels, home to the stars. There’s many a name for it and one could only imagine why until they visit.
But LA wasn’t what I had envisaged on my first trip to the California Coast when I was 21. I think it was my obsession back then with 90210 that had skewed my perception. I was also spoilt from the convenience of Manhattan (the other major city in the States) and I wasn’t aware of how sporadic the city really was. But it was LA, and I really wanted to like it, so I went back, this time clued up.
I researched well, booked a boutique hotel away from LAX and hired a car to get around.
Beverley Hills was where we stayed, in a beautiful hotel 15 minutes walk from where the rich and famous hang on Rodeo Drive.
Just walking around here for an hour or two is enough – to make you feel a tad depressed – venture down one of the side streets and you’ll find a couple of cafes that you might be able to afford a coffee from.
On the flip side of the coin is Hollywood Boulevard, one of my least favourite parts of LA but nevertheless one that is a must to visit, with the Walk of Fame, Chinese Theatre and the wax museum.
The most enjoyable part for me is checking out the stars, which seem to go on forever! The TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly known as Grauman’s and Mann’s Chinese Theatre) is also worth a stop. Comparing your hand and feet size to the prints of the famous is cool, especially of those legends who have passed.
Apart from all of the above, I wouldn’t take too much time out to explore this area. Personally, I thought it was a little rough and disappointing considering the hype that surrounds it.
But it’s fair to say that going back a second time and understanding the layout of LA made all the difference. LA is awesome and there are so many elements to it, you’ve just got to know where to go.
Where are your favourite places to hang out in LA? I’d like some ‘off the beaten path’ ideas for my next trip.