Favorite Places in LA

From architecture to public parks this is the sort of not touristy [or not as touristy] guide to my favorite places to go in Los Angeles.

By reservation only and you can’t take a “real camera” but for architecture nerds it. is. so. worth. it. I loved visiting Stahl House.
Stahl House
You could spend a whole weekend here and not see all there is to see in their extensive gardens. Also one of the best gift shops in the world, it’s worth going here for a stroll and then to shop if it’s someone’s birthday, anniversary etc.
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
Olvera Street is where what we now know as Los Angeles began. With lots of small businesses to shop, restaurants and several cultural museums - it’s a great place to spend a whole day; or just a few hours, several times a year.
Olvera Street
Yes this is a picture of a parking structure but once you go, you’ll understand why it — and what’s around it — is so good. ROW DTLA is a must for shopping and eating. Especially on Sundays when there are all the food stalls [not during COVID].
Descanso Gardens is a fav at two specific times of the year: during Spring when the cherry blossoms can fool you into thinking you’re in Japan. And in December for the Christmas light display.
Descanso Gardens
Did you know there was an island in Los Angeles county?? There is! Catalina Island is a short ferry ride away from the city but feels world’s removed. A short one night or weekend trip is all you need to see it all.
Santa Catalina Island
The best plant store in LA in my opinion. And we have a LOT of plant stores because we can grow things outside all year round. I feel more zen the second I walk in, it never fails.
Rolling Greens Los Angeles
So many great scenic overlooks on Mulholland Drive but this one closest to the upper entrance to Runyon Canyon really is the best IMO.
Mulholland Scenic Overlook
Go in the absolute middle of the night, 3 am (?) and you’ll have LACMA’s ‘Urban Light’ all to yourself. That’s the best time for photos.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Greystone Mansion is a little bit of Europe in LA. An old manor home and gardens that give you a lot to see and photograph, or just enjoy, in a relatively short period of time or all day. Depending on your speed. Nice views of LA too, from the grounds.
Greystone Mansion
I’ve been so many times and I’ve still never seen it all. Getty Center is a must for art, architecture and history enthusiasts. Great views of LA from up there too.
The Getty
So many reasons to love Elysian Park. Listen to a Dodgers game from inside the park, sitting high above the stadium. Swing over the city and try not to get dizzy. Capture the winding road and palm trees that have been featured in so many movies and TV shows. It’s cliché, perhaps, but for good reason.
Elysian Park
I really love this little lake / pond and the area around it. Especially when the giant lotus are in bloom in June or July (?) plus the neighborhood in general is cool.
Echo Park Lake
You might not be able to get away with this anymore because we did it too often — sorry not sorry — but the top level of the parking structure next to the In-N-Out by LAX is a dope place for plane spotting. And if that fails, there’s a grass lot at ground level next door that ain’t so bad either 😉😊
In-N-Out Burger
This can get so crowded and so touristy and yet it really is still a gem if you go early before crowds. Some of LA’s oldest food stalls are still in operation here. And there’s a fantastic French Market called Monsieur Marcel.
LA farmer's market
Not the best photo but mark this down as a must for when the Yamashiro Night Market happens here, before the pandemic it was on Thursday nights and it’s the best.
Yamashiro | Hollywood
Several floors in an old building in the heart of downtown Los Angeles that comprise The Last Bookstore are a paradise for bibliophiles like me.
The Last Bookstore
I hope Alamo survives the pandemic because there’s no better non-vintage movie house in LA in my opinion. Can’t wait to see films here again! It is a small USA chain though with locations in TX and NY as well.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Downtown Los Angeles
a shopping mall, yes, but also a great place for testing your skills at architecture photography. there are surprising lines and vistas if you’re looking for them!
Westfield Century City
An artistic, cultural and community masterpiece that defies explanation.
Watts Towers
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