Los Angeles is so much more than the Hollywood sign and tours revealing where movie stars live. In fact, the City of Angels is one of the most exciting places in the world, with its trendy neighborhoods, restaurants and lounges, a booming arts scene, and—yes, it's true—the thrill of celebrity spotting.
The best place to start when your flight to Los Angeles touches down is downtown. Thanks to the light rail Expo line, which connects downtown to west Los Angeles, it’s one of LA’s coolest cultural hubs. Other neighborhoods you could add to your list are Silver Lake, with its food trucks, record stores, and farmers’ markets; Echo Park, an edgy mix of hipsters and young artists; and Koreatown, which the locals call K-town, a place where high-end lounges and invitation-only nightlife venues sit alongside cheap barbecue restaurants and all-night karaoke joints.
Despite having one of the most famous nightlife scenes in the world, this is also a city that caters to the healthy. LA is a place where you’re never far from a juice bar or a vegan cafe, where sun-kissed surfers, runners, and rollerbladers happily coexist. In this city, the latest fitness trends take root more quickly than wheatgrass, and you’ll probably be glowing after your trip.
While you could easily have an action-packed week in LA without ever going near the ocean, it’s worth spending at least one afternoon at the beach to get that Cali feel. Locals go to Zuma Beach, Will Rogers State Beach, and Playa Vista. And let’s not forget Disneyland or the city’s world-class museums, vintage clothing stores, and classic 1950s diners.