If you want to get the most out of your vacation, you can go for the local experience. Tourists typically head to the so-called must-visit attractions and rarely venture out in the areas where the locals hang out.
Visitors who crave this type of experience don’t have to miss out on luxury either. You can do the city like a local and still book your own private village (find out more at https://www.luxuryretreats.com). Below you’ll discover how to get the most out of Los Angeles and experience the city like a local.
Experiencing Los Angeles Like a Local
If you have the time, the best way is to spend a few days researching the city. People in California tend to be friendly and are always eager to help visitors. You can take advantage of social media to make contacts in the city before you arrive. Then you can ask them for insider tips and for some suggestions on what you can do. Facebook groups on Los Angeles has a range of people inside who can give local advice. Make the most out of the platform before you travel to the city.
Not everyone will have the opportunity to make contacts before they arrive in Los Angeles. If you fall into this category, it’s nothing to be worried about. When you go to a more laid-back bar, you’ll quickly make friends. And almost everyone who you meet in the street will offer suggestions if you ask. You can also arrange a free walking tour. The guides operate on a tip basis and take you through the areas that you otherwise wouldn’t see and experience.
But the easiest way to have a local experience is to simply find out where the Los Angelites hang out and go and join them. This might include heading for a picnic in the many parks and green spaces. Or spending the day at Santa Monica beach. You also have the chance to meet and interact with locals on the hiking trails in nearby Runyon Canyon. Strike up a conversation, introduce yourself and then you can ask for tips and suggestions!
Eat Like a Local in Los Angeles
Many tourists come to Los Angeles and spend their time eating in the classy restaurants in Beverly Hills or having candlelit meals on the beach. But they’re missing out on the thriving street food scene. The most popular street food in Los Angeles comes from the food trucks. Each truck prepares their own speciality dish ranging from burgers and hot dogs to sushi, Mexican and Asian cuisine.
You’ll find some of the city’s tastiest tacos, burritos and dumplings here for a fraction of the price as in the restaurant. But the best part is that most of the food trucks don’t stay in one place. Every day they move to a different location which they announce on social media. If you search online, you can find out where they are going to stop each day. Don’t take the advice from the guidebooks too seriously as most are outdated.
The Best Hang Out Spots
If you want to spend the evening with the locals (and some of the resident celebs), check out Griffith Park. The 4300-acre parks consists on open green spaces for a picnic, hiking trails through the woods and a path leading to the Hollywood Sign. Locals come here at all times of the day to chill out, exercise or to photograph the stunning views of the city below.
Beaches are the next favorite place to hang out in Los Angeles. But many of the more popular ones like Long Beach and Santa Monica have too many people and tourists. We’d recommend visiting to snap a few photographs and to see the place. But not to spend the day. Rather, you can find more secluded stretches of sand at Topanga State Beach.
The white sand sits against a backdrop of the mountains as the Pacific Ocean laps against the shore. You can bring your towel, relax and swim in the warm waters and share the space with just a handful of people. And the best part? The parking at Topanga is free!
If you’re in Hollywood and don’t want to do the touristy celebrity stuff, check out Barnsdall Park. This is relatively unknown outside of the residents of Hollywood. But aside from the green haven in the busy city, it’s also one of the best spots in the city to watch the sunset. You can drive to the park in the late afternoon to enjoy a picnic and to relax. Then have a romantic evening with your special someone as the sun starts to dip in the warm evening.
When you come to Los Angeles, you should take the chance to go to one of the comedy clubs. These usually feature amateur comedians and actors. While you won’t spot any A-list celebrities here, you are in for a treat. The tickets are usually a lot more affordable and the experience gives you a chance to have a laugh with the locals. You probably won’t see another tourist in the comedy clubs. Rather, they prefer to spend their evenings in the cocktail bar recommended by their guidebook!
Los Angeles Like a Local
If you want to experience Los Angeles like a local, try to make contacts before you arrive in the city. You can find the places where Los Angelites hang out and then make new friends. And remember to check out the parks, comedy clubs and more secluded beaches.