Hi folks. I've been told the tip "dont go" a few times but I still am. Staying here end of October for three night with another 4 people and just looking for some tips on the place. Would love the below questions answered but all advice and info much appreciated no matter what it is about.
Where I should stay? (we wanna be near all the nightlife)
What areas are bad?
Info on good exclusive nightclubs?
Whats good to do in LA that isnt touristy?
Some good places bars/restaurants/eateries that locals go.
Cheers people. If you live in LA mybe I'll buy you a pint or 6, if you want that is
In answer to your questions:
(1) Beach areas are best--specifically near Santa Monica or Marina del Rey or Manhattan Beach in the north (I suggest Santa Monica), or Huntington Beach or Newport Beach or Laguna Beach in the south (I suggest Newport Beach). Another real popular area is West Hollywood--which caters to the gay population as well as the regular heterosexual population
(2) Stay out of South Central Los Angeles, Compton, or the Washington-Jefferson area on the west side of town.
(3) I haven't lived in LA for about 10 years, and while I visit often, I've been married for 20 years, so I'm not an expert on the "latest" clubs. Go to the areas I've mentioned, (specifically to Santa Monica and West Hollywood) and ask around and you'll get your answers.
(4) I love to go to the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino. Locals go there all the time. Hang out at Will Rogers State Park. There is a beach section and an inland section (where you can see the polo ponies play like they showed in the movie "Pretty Woman"). During August (if you are going in the next few days), go to Laguna Beach and visit the art festivals, especially the Sawdust Festival. Go see the La Brea Tar Pits in the Wilshire/La Brea section (in the good west side of LA) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Go to the Getty Center (book ahead). Visit their renaissance fairs in the fall--or the LA County Fair in Pomona (in the fall). Drive to San Diego and have fun there.
(5) Probably too many to list here--and it depends upon where you stay at. LA is huge--so me mentioning a place in Newport Beach if you decide to stay in Santa Monica would make you wonder if I lost my mind.
Here's a few, though:
Where the stars go:
The Ivy in West Hollywood, Anyplace on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Cravings on Sunset.
Upscale, but pricey: Lawry's Prime Rib on La Cienega, anyplace on Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood, Spago's and the new spago's in this area. Blue Bay in Newport Beach
Drop by for a hamburger: Tommy Burger (go to the original in the Hollywood area--or the one near Fountain Valley).
Lots of kick-back places are in the Belmont Shores area of Long Beach, or on Ocean Blvd. in Santa Monica--and on the 4th street shopping area of Santa Monica.
Most of the good spots to eat are also either in West Hollywood or near the beach.
P.S. Don't bother staying downtown. There's nothing to see there, and the prices are higher there than in other more desirable locations.
[ Edit: Edited on Aug 14, 2008, at 8:26 AM by Calcruzer ]
One other place I should mention if you decide to stay in Santa Monica:
The town of Westwood (which is actual part of LA), is just east of Santa Monica and has lots of restaurants and nightclub places (and comedy clubs). It's also popular because it is where UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles) is located, meaning it has a built in college crowd of 30,000 people locally. It's also just a few miles from Beverly Hills, Brentwood, and the Holmby Hills (where the Playboy Mansion is and also where Steven Spielberg lives) parts of town. In other words, it's surrounded by the upscale areas, thus, it's cheap enough for college kids, but also affluent enough to attract the wealthy citizens.
P.S. I'm a UCLA alumnus--got my MBA there a few years back.