Lockdown orders, travel restrictions, and the desire to socially distance has forced us to reimagine traveling in Los Angeles, or in any city. Here are 10 places in Los Angeles that are well-adapted to the current circumstances.
The crown jewel of LA’s park system, this expansive area is six times larger than New York’s Central Park and offers an impressive array of outdoor activities. The Griffith Observatory’s art deco architecture can be appreciated any time of year, as can the many hiking trials, some of which offer outstanding views of the Hollywood Sign. Cycling, horseback riding, and tennis are among the many other activities possible.
The Huntington Botanical Gardens
While the Huntington also boasts a respected art gallery and library manuscript collection, as these may be closed for an extended period of time, take the opportunity to reserve a ticket and visit the magnificent gardens, including the newest addition, the Chinese Garden that is remarkably true to the serene gardens that inspired classical Chinese poets and philosophers.
There are few places in LA that characterize the essence of the city as well as the Venice Boardwalk. Here you will find skaters, surfers, street art, fitness fanatics, hip eateries as well as some of the grimier aspects of living in LA. Take a walk along the shops, use the bike path with rollerblades, or spend some time by the sea. Take the chance to drive by the nearby restored Venice Canals for a taste of LA history, or take a picturesque walk to tourist (and local) favorite Santa Monica Pier.
The world-famous posh shopping district is a way to experience the glamour of the Beverly Hills lifestyle. Join the Prada-loving devils and see filming locations from Pretty Woman, Clueless and other movies and TV shows. At the time of writing, most shops and hotels are open for business.
Downtown’s Bunker Hill has seen numerous transformations, from Victorian mansions to urban blight. Nowadays, it is a hub of high culture in the city, with its architectural highlight being Frank Gehry’s astonishing Disney Concert Hall. Concerts may not be on the schedule for the time being, but the architecture alone makes it a worthwhile visit, while the little-known garden on top makes it a delight. Take the iconic Angel’s Flight funicular down to Grand Central Market for a variety of local eats.
Malibu Pier/Surfrider Beach
For an afternoon living the surfer or celebrity lifestyle, going to Malibu Pier and Surfrider Beach is an excellent option. The Pier, less crowded than Santa Monica, offers gorgeous views of the shoreline and a lovely opportunity to dine by the sea at Malibu Farms. Adjacent Surfrider Beach is the birthplace of worldwide surf culture and still attracts many surfers, while the beach somehow avoids overcrowding most of the time.
Farmer’s Market / The Grove
For outdoor dining and options for shopping, it’s hard to beat Farmer’s Market and The Grove. With local eateries, fresh food vendors, fine dining by the musical fountains, occasional celebrity sightings, and luxury shops, the combination of these two adjacent shopping and dining centers is perhaps more attractive than ever in the social-distancing era.
Malibu Creek State Park
Even at this idyllic slice of nature on the outskirts of Los Angeles, the Hollywood connections are clear. Hikes can take you to the shooting location of the television show MASH, where you can still find old remnants from the show, and numerous other movies have taken advantage of Malibu Creek State Parks natural beauty. But even without these associations, the park is a must visit in the social-distancing era for its incredible natural scenery.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Stretching along several blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, The Hollywood Walk of Fame can provide a socially-distanced, fascinating walk through Hollywood history. Highlights include TCL Chinese Theatre, the El Capitan Theatre, the Capitol Records building, and over 2,600 terrazzo and brass stars celebrating famous entertainers.
The towers reaching up to 99.5 feet in height built single-handedly over 33 years by Italian immigrant Simon Rodilla are a testament to the ingenuity that ordinary people are capable of. Made of sea shells, pottery shards, soda bottles, and other random objects, the Watts Towers have the power to inspire and fascinate any visitor.
You can visit many of these places in a single day through a private 1-day tour of Los Angeles while respecting social distancing guidelines. Inquire at http://www.egctours.com for more details.