Oh hey you! You Los Angelino you! Welcome to the city of dreams, where darn near about anything can happen! So what do you want to happen? Any ideas? Well, here are a few of my faves from over the years that just might help getcha started!
1. Hollywood Sign
The old but faithful number one touristy tourist thing to do as soon as you land at LAX is get your personal signature snap in front of that sign so you can instabrag all over social media, right? So there are a couple of cool ways to do it: on foot – get your hike on at Runyon Canyon, make a few friends, hear a bit of gossip, maybe even see a celeb or two. Go by horseback – for the bargain price of $20! Horseback riding is fun as it is, but horseback riding up the canyons getting a panoramic view of LA and stopping for a snap on horseback by the sign is definitely a tourist bonus! Go by car or tour bus – there are car look out points to give you a nice little view while you can check out the Hollywood hills on the drive up there, tour bus – stating the obvious, you’re on a tour, they’ll take care of you, show you all the must-sees. And lastly a great way to kill two birds with one stone – you can hike or drive up to the Griffith Observatory which is free FYI, see some amazing astronomy discoveries (you can see what you weigh on every planet!!) and then have a nice cafe meal with a beautiful view of the Hollywood sign behind you! Great for if you are shorter on time!
Voted one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, this one is a must! It’s a little exsy, I’m not going to lie, but you won’t regret it! With absolutely stunning views over Los Angeles all lit up beautifully at night time whilst you dine on Japanese cuisines, delicious cocktails and relax by candlelight, it’s not hard to see why this one is a winner at the top of the LA restaurant list. Whether you are dining alone, with a romance or with a big group of friends, Yamashiro’s can cater to all types and set the mood for whatever setting you desire. You will need to book in advance, usually a month or two as it is quite in demand and like I said, bring those wallets full as it will be on the higher side of your Americano budget, but definitely well worth it, I’ve never had a disappointing time there to say the least, always lives up to my expectations and is to die for! Try to get a table outside if the weather suits, it’s a nice vibe with bright-light views at your finger tips and a cool breeze in your hair while you dine at the top of Los Angeles. I’m excited for you!
3. Magic Castle
So it just so happens underneath Yamashiro’s is probably one of favourite places to hang out and where I have had some amazing times! Welcome to The Magic Castle! Oh, this place, where do I even start! Okay let’s get the formalities out of the way first, so number one – you NEED a member to either escort you in or invite you via guest pass but the latter of the two means you have to pay the door fee and have dinner (which is soooo worth it and yummy, honestly foodgasm, never had a bad meal here and as classy as this place is, you will hear a faint moaning of enjoyment at the tables next to you from everyone just loving all over their food, SO good!) secondly – DRESS. CODE. okay for reals, this one is major important or you wont get let in, Ladies must be in cocktail attire anywhere from dress to gown to smart jumpsuit/suit combo but remember this place is class so dress to impress, I know you have that old Hollywood glam in you, now is your time to get it out! Men MUST be in full suit combo, jacket, tie or bow tie, suit pants, collared shirt, dress shoes – if you’re wearing sneakers say bye to your mates and cab it home, if you don’t have a tie – seeya! This one is strict lads, they want you looking as dapper as you can and don’t worry your ladies are going to love it! Now that I have you both looking slick rick, we can get down to the fun part! You arrive, have dinner, waltz around this CASTLE and yes, it’s a castle equipped with dungeon and all, maybe check out a seance in the Houdini room, make your way down to the Palace for the big show and have your mind-blown with close-up magic in none other then the close-up ROOM! This place is magic galore, dozens of celebrities love it, hey, who wouldn’t? It’s magic! It’s the place you can go to feel like a kid again and the martini’s are sublime! It is a 21 and over venue although on Sundays they do have a matinee for children where it’s youth magician’s performing, kids performing for kids, how cool is that! But for the adults out there, bring your ID but your childlike mind and be completely blown away by some of the world’s most talented magician’s and their memorabilia! So lastly, I’m sure you are wondering, ok, we don’t know a member, ahhh but you do my friends, you do, it just so happes RJ is a Magician for those who didn’t know and he is a Member at this prestigious club, so give us a contact via the Contact Us page and we will get back to you as soon as possible with some guest passes to have a great time, because we’re super nice and cool like that. For even more info check out http://www.magiccastle.com/
4. Red Carpet event
Anyone, who’s anyone, and anyone who THINKS they’re anyone, are all going to these puppies left, right and centre! You can too! Okay, maybe not the same one that Jennifer Lawrence is going to be at, but there will be a carpet and it will be red! You can go one of three ways:
1. Make friends. Chances are whoever you are talking to is an actor…slash something…but STILL an actor! L.A. is swarming with them, managers, PR, agents, producers, directors, you name it…they are there! And a lot of them will naturally extend an invite it’ll sound something a long the lines of “Yeah, I mean, I’ve got this hollywood “thing” tonight if you guys wanted to come along?” – The “thing” usually is a red carpet event, well at least it was whenever I got invited. Or, it’s gonna be a really cool party! Either way, you’re gonna have fun, be a yes man and just do it!
2. Get your google on and search for L.A. events, trust me, if they are legit, they’re gonna be advertised. You get on a few mailing lists and nek minute you’re being invited to things all over the place! Half the time my friends would just tell me to email someone and I would end up on a mailing list, it’s honestly not hard, the internet is a beautiful thing!
3. That promoter guy at that club, well guess what, he knows EVERYONE, he even knows you, no not really, but he will! And he knows about every hot thing going down and his JOB is to bring people, in fact you are doing him the favour! My biggest advice to get your invites is too be friendly! Be open! Talk to people! Network! And you will find yourself a swanky pseudo red carpet regular in no time!
Still not convinced and not into the whole putting yourself out there, well if you are just filled with money to the brim and don’t know what to do with it anymore you can always try to attend the real deal for a mere standard $2000.00 ticket and go to an ACTUAL red carpet event, where yes, J-Law is probably going to be at. Check out this website for all upcoming real events and how to buy your tickets, big spender! – http://www.thevipconcierge.com/
5. After party
“Then after the showwwww is the after party, and after the party is the hotel lobby, round about 4 you gotta clear the lobby, then take it to your room and….” well we all know how the rest of the song goes, but R.Kelly was on to something guys! After Parties. In my previous post I talked about how clubbing etc stops at 2:00am in America (aside from New York and Vegas) but L.A. is just too full of energy for that, thus the land of the after party! And it’s not hard to get your invite, I mean really not hard, when the clubs shut you will have tons of people yelling “after party this way” or even coming up to you “after party at this address round the corner, bring people!” I love L.A. its one of the biggest cities in the world but you’ll always know someone by 3rd degree because people are just so out-of-their way friendly and it’s awesome! You will get an invite from people at the club and you should go, sometimes they bum out, but other times you meet the most amazing people and have the best time!
Ok, officially the best music festival I have ever been to, and I’ve been to my fair share. If you’re planning a visit to L.A. around April, Coachella is compulsory! However, plan ahead, tickets sell out a year ago basically! Which doesn’t mean there are none left, just people selling the usual $390 tickets for $1000 tickets or more, why? Because they can. People will pay it because this festival is the bees knees. It’s not just about the festival, or the amazing A-level artists, or partying with your friends in a desert, or the carnival crazy statues and rides for you as a big kid, or the Dj’s or the insanse music…it’s all of this, and….the after parties. Those insane after parties is where it’s at! But guest list, guest list, guest list! You gotta know someone who knows someone otherwise you’re paying an arm and a leg to get in (Neon Carnival is the one to pay for if you’re going to)
Ok a few Coachella tips
-if you can get in quick, pay the extra $200-$300 at the time for the VIP, if you buy two as well you can basically sell the VIP for $3000 plus closer to the festival and not only cover what you spent on yours but also spending money etc etc worthy investment, and you get to dance in an open space closest to the stage without bumping into everyone (although that’s sometimes the fun part) and you have a private drinking area, basically makes it crowd-free and you can meet a few of the artists in these VIP areas too.
-so a lot of foreigners don’t know this but you can actually rent out a Coachella house for the weekend instead of camping, think about it, clean, fresh hair every day? Plus you can have your own after after parties with your amazing house, with a pool, close to the festival! These houses aren’t crazy expensive too if you have a few mates pitching in and they are all richie mcrich properties in this area, definitely worth it!
-remember you’re in the desert, take your moisturiser cause it is dry as dry can be out there and you don’t want to start breaking out in all your photos! Take sunscreen, pack appropriately, this is a no-jean-zone, it is HOTTTTT, so hydrate and appreciate!
HAVE SOOOOO MUCH FUN!!! I will hopefully see a ton of you there at some point – but not this year as I’ll be in Italia, can’t be mad about that!
7. Dodgers Game/Lakers Game
Take me out to the ball game! You’ve gotta! it’s tradition. Buy yourself an LA Dodgers hat, buy yourself an all-you-can-eat ticket and stock up on Hot Dogs and American Beer to be a classic LA fan! Just catch the metro in because that car park is a nightmare, and it’s expensive! Same with the Lakers, it’s right at the Staples Centre, perfect for metro drop off, if you buy your tickets early in the season you can get for $30 – cheap as chips! And not horrible seats either.
8. Santa Monica/Venice
Photo By: Josh Whelan
There’s something so irresistible about Santa Monica Pier at sunset, that ferris wheel just seems to catch the suns glows beautifully! And so will you, either beach side or sipping an authentic Margarita at Mariasol – the Mexican restaurant at the end of the pier – with top-notch Cali-Mex! Then make like circa 80’s Californian babes and rent some roller skates or bike and ride down to Venice! About a 30minute skate a long the beach pathway there with so much to see and do! Venice is sooo artsy, I love it! It’s this cool, hippie, relaxed, boho vibe with tons of creativity! There’s always live music and crazy-cool paintings from artists and handmade knick-knacks! Two things to watch when you are wandering the Venice Markets; people trying to give a.k.a sell you their CD to buy, just a simple ‘no thanks’ and keep walking is the best approach to avoid any harassment, secondly there are a LOT of Marijuana stores since it is legal in Cali and you will have a lot of people approaching you to get you to come in to sell you a medical marijuana card, again, just continue walking and going about your day, they’re not going to be offended and you’re not going to be harassed or in any situations you don’t want to be in. Other then that, relax and enjoy the vibes!
Luckily “The Bu” is just a short 30minute drive on the PCH from Santa Monica or there are public transport options if you aren’t driving. We stayed at the Malibu Country Inn and Ivy the receptionist was just so lovely and accommodating. It was just a short 5min walk down to the beach, which was nearly deserted, but then again, it was closer to winter! It’s so peaceful and quiet. You can rent paddleboards for a stand-up paddle board session out on the calmer water and just enjoy the serenity and country side. Great for a change from the hustle and bustle from LA city!
10. Playboy Mansion
Have I got your attention? Great. Because this is a party you WON’T want to miss! No, this is an experience you wont want to miss! The Playboy Mansion is like going to Disneyland, on Christmas Day, with your parents platinum credit card. Everything is available to you and you will never hear the word no! This is a yes party my friends, and you are invited! Where wearing clothes is considered over-dressed and you can chase your top shelf, triple-shot blue label with a bottle of Dom! Enjoy the most scrumptious catered buffet of food you could possibly imagine while rocking out to this years HOTTEST DJ’s! Yes, they go ALLLLL OUT!
So there are four major parties during the year that are the best to go to. Masquerade Ball in March, Midsummer nights in June, Halloween in October and White Christmas in December. Personally, I love Halloween the best as they get so creative with the decorations and the haunted houses, plus, you’re dressing-up (or down) anyway so it makes it fun to see all the out-there costumes that are considered totally appropriate! There are three ways to get your entry into this adult playground – One: Working the event or knowing someone working the event (near impossible) Two: Getting a sponsored ticket via your Facebook profile (semi-possible but only available for the ladies, sorry fellas, but Hugh likes a five beautiful women to every guy ratio) Three: Buying your $1350.00 ticket (possible, but expaaansive!) So there you have it, and remember to pace yourselves because you’ll want in to the official after-party at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, sometimes they change the venue but for the most part they stick to the Roosevelt, also a great Hotel to check out when you’re in the Hollywood area, has such an elegant atmosphere and great history! Say Hi to Hugh for me! Don’t get too naughty, or do 😉
11. Avenue of the Stars/Walk of Fame
Go on, you know you wanna be an ultra-tourist and find your fave celebrities name on the Walk of Fame, place your hand down next to where their hand may have touched, get a photo, then immediately sanitise your hands, I get it! So why not make a game of it? See who can find all of the names of the people you love first, or if you waltz past the Chinese Theatre, see if your hands or feet fit where other past celebrities have printed theirs into the cement. My personal faves are there – Harry Potter Trio – Dan, Emma & Rupert!! My loves!!
So you know L.A. is famous for Hollywood and it’s celebrities and The ‘Biz’ but you probably don’t know its full to the brim with Canyons that are amazing to hike on! I mentioned the Griffith Observatory Hike before where you can catch a glimpse of the Hollywood sign, but some other personal Faves are Topanga Canyon which has 6 different trails to hike (The Santa Inez waterfall does NOT exist, it is a trickle of water, you WILL get lost, and their will be wildlife, but the memories!!) Runyon Canyon as featured above, Laurel Canyon is great for taking your dogs hiking through as their is a dog park. Personally my fave is Runyon because its short, sweet and a little tough – just the way I like it! For more of a challenge you can take the steeper route, but for your first visit I would stick with the normal central entrance and enjoy the view of LA, maybe even make like me and jump like a dork when you get to the top, it’s fun, I promise!
HAVE FUN MY ANGELS!!! GIVE LOS ANGELES A BIG KISS FOR ME!