0 comments / Posted by Samantha Lee

The City of Angels.  The Entertainment Capital of the World.  La-La-Land.  You guess it: Los Angeles.  This is my second year living in the Bay Area and exploring San Francisco.  During this time, I am proud to have found some hidden gems with the help of some native San Franciscan friends.  As an LA native, however, nothing compares.  Here are a few of my favorite spots in LA that might not be in your average tour book:

Downtown:
Eat: What most people think of when they hear LA.  Grand Central Market has expanded greatly in the last few years with amazing vendors featuring quick, fresh, and trendy fare.  Check out Eggslut sandwiches, McConnell's Ice Cream, and Valerie's Confections to name a few.  You won't be disappointed.  





Arts District:
Eat: Hidden away between large industrial buildings and beautiful murals, you can find some of LA's best cafes and restaurants.  Check out the Daily Dose Cafe located snugly between two buildings but with a beautiful patio decorated with string lights and romantic ivy-covered walls.  Also check out the famous Blue Bottle Coffee just down the street.  If you are craving some sweets with that coffee, head over to The Pie Hole for LA's best sweet and savory pies.  Just across the street is Wurstkuche -- a delightful German sausage spot.





Explore: Discover the amazing wall painting around the Arts District. They don't call it the "Arts" District for nothing.  The walls make for amazing photo ops.



Santa Monica: 
Explore: The Santa Monica Pier if you never have before.  It's full of tourists, but I am a firm believer in experiencing it at least once!  Take a ride on the giant ferris wheel at sunset for an amazing view of the city and the ocean.  Third Street Promenade has some of the best shopping in the city as well as some of the best street performances!  Andy Grammer was discovered there!



Eat: If you're looking for a full fine dining experience, try Rustic Canyon on Whilshire, but Mercado also has one of the best happy hour menus in town.  



Venice:
Explore & Eat: Last but not least, Venice has an interesting reputation, but I guarantee you will love Abbot Kinney Blvd.  Home to great boutique shopping and even greater pizza, this street has it all.  Shop brands like Rag & Bone and Illesteva Sunglasses while you brunch at Gjelina restaurant and sip on Intelligentsia coffee.

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