The view from here
“LA has millions of hidden gems and I wanted to share some of the things I have learnt that will help you navigate this city like a local.”
Los Angeles is such a rotating-door city. Similar to London I guess. People are always passing through, coming and going. I have now been based in LA (on and off) for three years and I can honestly say that I’m in love with this city. It took me a while to be able to really say that, because, like most people find, LA is massive. If you’re not tapped into a community, you end up just doing the touristy things. Plus it’s a bit dirty and the traffic is horrific! But, LA has millions of hidden gems and I wanted to share some of the things I have learnt that will help you navigate this city like a local.
1. Don’t stay in downtown LA
While it’s worth a visit, downtown LA isn’t the best spot to base yourself – try to find accommodation in Santa Monica, West Hollywood or the Valley (aka Studio City) instead. Both Gypsy Housing West Coast and Airbnb are good places to look for accommodation.
2. Hire a car
LA is really spread out, so it’s a good idea to hire a car or use Uber. But, I’m going to be really honest with you: LA traffic is the worst. Don’t try to pack too much travel into one day, trust me! Oh, and download Waze: this traffic app is life-changing and will help you get from A to B with minimal stress.
3. Go for hikes
LA is well-known for its many hills. Get your hike on with some of friends – this is a great way to enjoy LA’s warm climate and soak up some beautiful views. I would recommend trying Fryman Canyon or Runyon Canyon.
4. Eat at Malibu Farm
This cute eatery is located at the end of Malibu Pier. Enjoy the sea views over a good mean then rent a paddle board and hang out with the dolphins that frequent the area!
5. Visit Abbot Kinney
Go to Abbot Kinney in Venice to get a good coffee. This area is very cool, casual and great for vintage shopping.
6. See a comedy show
I would recommend seeing the ‘Opening Night’ and improv musical comedy troupe at the IO West Theatre in Hollywood on a Friday night.
7. Eat sushi at Sugar Fish
It will blow your mind!
I hope these tips help you on your trip to LA. I would also go to Disney on a night they have fireworks and do the Universal Studios Backlot Tour. Although very touristy, they will make you fall in love with the magic that this city has to offer. After all, this is the city where dreams come true and anything can happen!
Kimberley Crossman is a Kiwi actress, author and presenter living in LA. You may recognise her from television shows such as Shortland Street, Step Dave, Hashtaggers and NCIS LA. You can follow Kim's latest adventures on her blog, www.kimberleycrossman.com.