Commence your Los Angeles odyssey at the Venice Beach Boardwalk. This is the birthplace of America’s surf and skate culture.
As the backdrop for all things entertainment, Los Angeles takes the Oscar for most photographed city in the world. Yet, despite its frequent focus in television, movie and paparazzi lenses, it’s a city regularly misunderstood and relatively undiscovered by many tourists, who may see Los Angeles in a limited state of back-lot tram tours, Rodeo Drive gawking and Hollywood Boulevard strolls. So, gird yourself with reliable wheels and prepare for a day visiting these must-see L.A. destinations.
Commence your Los Angeles odyssey at the Venice Beach Boardwalk
. This is the birthplace of America’s surf and skate culture, and a stroll here reveals an eclectic mix of street performers, shops and Muscle Beach. Take in the dancing roller skaters, the Coney Island hubris, even the lawn chair fortuneteller shouting, “The end is near.” It’s all part of Venice Beach’s bohemian charm.
Exit the boardwalk at Brooks Avenue, which turns into Abbot Kinney Boulevard. With its art galleries, boutique shops and restaurants, it’s a funkier version of Main Street USA. Surfers saunter with boards under their arms, setting the tone for a chilled-out shopping experience—a stark contrast to Beverly Hills’ uppity Rodeo Drive. Stop for lunch at Joe’s Restaurant
, a local favorite. The weekend brunch draws a crowd for the eggs and smoked salmon on a rosti potato.
The Museum of Tolerance
is dedicated to educating visitors on the Holocaust and current struggles against prejudice, it is both sobering and hopeful. Don’t miss the Point of View Diner for a unique look at issues such as gang violence and civil rights.
Tonight, get a taste of old Hollywood at Musso & Frank Grill
, Hollywood’s first restaurant (opened in 1919), it has served the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Johnny Depp in its cozy red vinyl booths. Split the porter-house steak and cream of spinach. If you’re dining solo, snag a spot at the counter and listen as servers spin tales of the golden years.
This article has been adapted from the original, which was published in February 2009 by MSP Communications