There is good news and bad news about living in a city that is a popular vacation destination. The good news is that it's easy to get people to come visit. I've been lucky to meet quite a few of my blogger buddies because they just happened to be heading to Los Angeles on vacation. The bad news is that our already overcrowded city is constantly clogged with tourists. We used to live up in the hills right below the Hollywood sign, and it was always a battle to get in and out of our driveway around the knuckleheads standing in the street taking pictures of themselves.
Despite the overcrowding and traffic, Los Angeles really is a beautiful city and a great place for a vacation - mountains, beaches, great weather, culture - something for everyone. But unfortunately, when you live in a city, you don't really take the time to enjoy the attractions. I lived here 8 years before I finally went to Disneyland! I can't tell you how many New Yorkers I know who have never been to the top of the Statue of Liberty, or taken the Circle Line Tour.
What we need is a staycation. Not that we'll ever take one, because we always need to see family. But one can dream. Here are three Staycation LA ideas. Maybe one of you could make it an actual vacation!
We often go to the beach. It's probably both Jude and Jimmy's favorite place to be. But we live on the other side of town, so every trip to the beach ends with a looooooong, torturous trek home, stuck in traffic on the freeway. It would be so nice to have a hotel out there so we could really relax. I dream of staying at Shutters on the Beach...
It's super luxurious and sits right on the beach. There's a pool and a fabulous spa, but honestly, just sitting on a private balcony looking at the Pacific with a book and a glass of wine sounds like about the best thing I can imagine. And while I'm doing the balcony/wine/book thing, I'll send Jimmy and Jude down the beach to the Santa Monica Pier, one of Jude's favorite places in the city.
Santa Monica has so many excellent restaurants that I'm not even going to choose a favorite. THIS link lists a Top 10 that makes me weak with desire. But one morning we'd need to drive up the coast to Malibu and have brunch at Geoffrey's, a favorite restaurant on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Aaaaah!
Downtown LA is having a renaissance. After years of decline, it is now THE place to be, with lots of amazing new restaurants and hotels. And though the area around the Staples Center/Nokia Theater/LA Live/Ritz Carlton area is hopping and a major tourist attraction, I think I'd prefer to go a little old school, and stay at the classic 90-year old Biltmore.
We could grab a martini in the vintage bar (which just happens to be the last place visited by Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia, before her murder) then head out to dinner at one of THESE restaurants. Then we could take in some culture, either a concert at the Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, or maybe a play at the Ahmanson.
And of course, we couldn't leave downtown without a lunch at Jude's favorite restaurant in LA, Philippe the Original, the Home of the French Dip, which has been downtown since 1908.
Maybe we could stroll through historic Olvera Street or Chinatown for a little ethnic culture. And if it's Sunday, we could take in mass at the beautiful Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
Okay, this would be a real, genuine staycation, because Koreatown is our 'hood. Realtors refer to our neighborhood as Hancock Park adjacent (Hancock Park being the fancy schmancier neighborhood), but really, we're Koreatown adjacent. Though K-Town used to be kind of crummy and gang-infested, it has also gone through a gentrification, and is kind of a hip place to be nowadays. And though we could stay home and take in the sights, it might be fun to stay somewhere uber cool, like The Line Hotel...
The Line boasts Pot, the latest restaurant from Roy Choi, one of the hottest chefs in America. But while in K-Town you also have to go for Korean barbecue, a real cultural experience which involves cooking your own food on tiny grill in the middle of the table.
You can't visit Koreatown without visiting a Korean day spa. I've written before about my visits to the cheap but delightful Olympic Spa, one of my favorite places in the world, and an amazing experience (though you must get over any issues with nudity fairly quickly). But maybe, if we're trying new things, we should visit Wi Spa, which is much fancier, and offers a place called the Jimjilbang, which is an area where the entire family (yes, kids too) can be pampered together.
And no Koreatown experience would be complete without a little...karaoke. That's right, Koreans are crazy for karaoke. So we might have to pop by the Brass Monkey. Hmmm...a little Dusty Springfield, a little Pat Benatar, oh yeah, I love some karaoke!
Dang, now I really want a staycation! Though I REALLY shouldn't complain since we're going to Disneyworld in a few weeks! But still, I'd love to experience my city like a tourist, seeing everything through fresh eyes.
What would you do on your staycation?
Check out our other Staycation spinners!
Share your spin!
Highlight the code.
Copy to your HTML.
Et voila! Linked!