Traveling is so much more fulfilling when you can experience the destination in the same way as a local. You can really see and get a feel for what the place is like and get some insider tips on what the locals do. Sure, you can book up one of the Los Angeles luxury homes and get the five-star treatment, but will you really walk away with the same experience? This article will tell you how to do LA like a local.
How to Experience LA like a Local:
The most obvious way is to research, make contacts, and get first-hand tips and advice on how to plan your trip. This may or may not be possible depending on your situation. If you arrive in the city and don’t have a local contact, you shouldn’t worry too much. The people who live here are typically very helpful and can give you a lot of tips and suggestions when you get here. A top tip is to be friendly to your hostel or hotel receptionist and ask them about their favorite things to do in the city.
One of the best ways to experience a place like a local is to find out where people hang out and what they like to do. This may be just relaxing in one of the many parks or hiking the trails at Runyon Canyon on a weekend. Another way is to find out where they like to eat and the best cafes. When you have this information, act on it and go do it. This will also give you the chance to meet with and ask other locals for more tips and suggestions.
What are the Favorite Spots in LA for Locals?
Ask someone where their favorite spot in the city is to get a nice view and they probably won’t say the Hollywood Sign or one of the other attractions listed in the guidebook. Griffith Park, a large 4300-acre park, is a popular place for people to come and hang out. There are lots of trails to hike and for a little exercise to the summit of Mount Hollywood. This place probably provides the best views in the entire city.
If you want to go to the beach, don’t go to Santa Monica and Long Beach. Instead, check out Topanga State Beach where you feel more secluded and are surrounded by mountains. This is a top spot for residents to come down and soak up the sunshine and to go for a quick dip in the Pacific Ocean. And since it’s not as popular, the parking is free too.
Barnsdall Park is one of nicest places in the city to come and relax and to enjoy the sunset. It’s located in Hollywood and you’re rewarded with amazing views of the city below. Lots of locals come here to hang out with their special someone or family and it’s a perfect spot for a picnic. This is relatively unknown and you probably won’t see any other tourists here, which in turn, gives you a better experience.
The Locals Favorite Place to Eat in LA:
Many locals will typically get something to eat at least once from the food trucks. Food trucks are famous in Los Angeles and serve some of the tastiest meals ranging from hot dogs and tacos to dumplings. Sampling some of these is one of the best ways to experience the local food culture in Los Angeles. But, it can be tricky to find out which is the best one to go for. After all, guidebooks and other blogs can be somewhat outdated or based on a tourist’s opinion. The solution is easy. And that’s to just ask someone. Anyone who lives in LA is a great resource.
Another is the numerous bakeries that are dotted around the city. You can find all kinds of cakes and pastries as a light snack in Los Angeles with some selling the best macarons and donuts you’ll ever taste. Find the best bakeries and try their best cakes.
Other Ways to Experience LA Like a Local:
One thing that pretty much everyone needs from time to time is a fresh haircut or a little pampering. Well, I say everyone, but if you have a receding hairline, feel free to ignore this suggestion! There are lots of barber shops around LA with some being responsible for the latest celeb style and others getting business from the people living in the neighborhood. A great way to feel more a local is to get your haircut at one of the barber shops. One of the most famous in all of Los Angeles is Manly and Sons.
Comedy clubs are a great way to wind away the evening with a few friends and drinks. And since the city is the home to Hollywood and a number of aspiring amateur actors, the comedy clubs are typically full and are good value for money. Tourists rarely venture into these places and prefer going to cocktail bars or fancy restaurants. And it’s safe to say that they miss out on a wonderful experience. If you want to have a unique local experience, check out some of the comedy clubs in Los Angeles.
The Bottom Line:
As you can see, doing LA like a local is quite easy and a very rewarding experience. Take advantage of local contacts, whether it’s the waiter or hotel receptionist, to get their input and suggestions. And before you know it, you’ll feel like a local yourself!
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