Trip Plan Details
- The Surf and Sand Resort1555 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651recommended The Surf and Sand ResortBeautiful hotel to stay at......but if you dont stay there i would recommend grabbing appetizers and drinks at the RestaurantRecommended for:
- Javier's Crystal Cove7832 East Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CArecommended Javier's Crystal CoveGreat Spot for DinnerRecommended for:
recommended Newport BeachNice area, clean beach, amazing Balboa IslandRecommended for:
- Disneyland1040 W Ball Rd Anaheim, California 92802, USArecommended DisneylandLOVE: *Two theme parks *Fast Pass *Aladdin Show is AWESOME *Star Tours - boring TIL THE NEW ONE CAME OUT! *World of Colors show *Photo ops *Turkey Leg *Downtown Disney *IT'S DISNEY FAIL: *Long lines ... read more*Overpriced stuff *Heat in the summer *Crowded at the shows *Parking $15 *Tourists who don't know personal space WIN: *Have a friend who works for Disney to get you in for free and gets 35% off Disney itemsRecommended for:Laura S
A must. Don't care how old you are. I'm in my late 20s and I still love this placerecommended DisneylandFun to visit regardless of agesRecommended for:
- Grauman's Chinese Theatre6925 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
- San Shi Go Sushi & Asian Csn205 Main St, Newport Beach, CA 92661recommended San Shi Go Sushi & Asian CsnMy Friends and I had an excellent experience at Sushi San Shi Go. After biking to Balboa Peninsula from Irvine and spending a long day at the beach I was definitely hungry. One of my buddies and I ... read moredecided to try the Omakase because we have heard good things. The service was excellent. The servers were very attentive. They were quick to refill drinks and clean up dished once we have eaten the sushi. The Sushi chefs are friendly and keep the meal interesting, talking to you while they prepare your meal. They were also joking around keeping the atmosphere laid back. The food was amazing. We had about 12-20 pieces of sushi. Pretty much everything was delicious. The fish was super fresh and perfectly seasoned. Many of the pieces did not even require soy sauce. I just ate them exactly as the chef suggested. Some of my favorite dishes were: * Halibut Sushi topped with Fresh Black truffle shavings. * Fresh Sweet Shrimp which was killed right in front of us (head still moving). Afterward we were given miso soup with the head he had cut off for out sushi! * Toro Handroll * Torched Toro Nigiri I also LOVED the chef made ice cream (complements of the chef). They had a Jasmine Green Tea and a Mascarpone Cheese. I loved the Mascarpone Cheese flavor. I found it to be very unique and quite tasty. Great sushi and overall awesome experience. I also think that the price was reasonable. Our meal cost about $65/person, which is a little steep. However, considering the quality of the food I think it is reasonable.Recommended for:Richard P
One of my favorite sushi places in Orange County. There is also plenty of things to do on the Peninsula beach, biking, etc
- Pacific Marine Mammal Center20612 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CArecommended Pacific Marine Mammal CenterInland from Laguna Beach, this small, hard-working nonprofit marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation center does wonderful, amazing and heart-warming work with stranded seals, sea lions, otters and ... read moremore. Though it's not a big place, and definitely not an entertainment-oriented zoo or aquarium, you can stop by and take a look at the wild "patients" resting and recuperating in the pens out back and learn more about their native habits from the educational displays. Admission is by donation; please be generous to help the animals!Sara Benson
If you haven't been here, it's a great quick stop with kids or teens if they're at all interested in marine wildlife.
- Orange County Great ParkOrange County Great Park, Irvine, CArecommended Orange County Great ParkWhen you fly into John Wayne Airport (aka Orange County Airport or SNA), you'll see a orange dot on the horizon. This is it. It's a giant orange balloon housed on a former military base, way out ... read morealmost to Tustin. Amazingly, it's free. You can climb aboard the blimp-like balloon, rise up 400 feet and get a birds-eye view of the area. Keep in mind that it doesn't have an address, but it's at the corner of Sand Canyon Avenue and Marine Way.Recommended for:Jennifer B
Totally unique, and great for kids!
- il Barone Ristorante4251 Martingale Way, Newport Beach, CArecommended il Barone RistoranteIl Barone is a fairly new restaurant. It's upscale without being pretentious. They do a seasonal menu; but one time, my mom asked about something taken off that season, and they still made it for her. ... read moreAnother bonus: it's relatively quiet for the size.Recommended for:Luxury TravelersJennifer B
I grew up near here and this is my favorite restaurant in Orange County.
- Crystal Cathedral12141 Lewis Street, Garden Grove, CA 92840-4627recommended Crystal CathedralNice architecture. Better to visit during ChristmasRecommended for:
- Griddle Cafe7916 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046
- Record Collector7809 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CArecommended Record Collectorif you're a fan of jazz or classical musical (or just an audiophile with a thing for LPs) pay a visit. a huge and incredibly curated space filled with a century's worth of albums. and if you're nice, ... read moremaybe they'll give you a tour of the backrooms where you can see more vintage records and record players. they also have a beautiful piano that many visitors, famous and otherwise, have played over the years.Recommended for:
- Silent Movie Theatre611 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, United Statesrecommended Silent Movie Theatreoffers a constantly rotating program of silent, classic and new films, often featuring special guests. check out their website before your visit and see what's going to be playing. and then have ... read moredinner up the block at animal, one of LA's best restaurants (advance reservations required) or late-night at canters deli.Recommended for:
- Ray's & Stark Bar5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, United Statesrecommended Ray's & Stark Barone of the great recent additions to LA cultural life. ray's is a glass jewel box of a restaurant serving innovative food, stark bar is a great outdoor bar with a limited menu - both located on the ... read moregrounds of LACMA (los angeles county museum of art). LACMA is open late fridays so you can have dinner and tour the museum. ray's fills up fast so make sure you call ahead for a reservation.Recommended for:
- Blum & Poe2727 South La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, United Statesrecommended Blum & PoeOne of the best galleries in los angeles and located smack in the center of LA's best gallery district - la cienega boulevard between venice and washington boulevards, with more great galleries on ... read morewashington both east and west of la cienega.Recommended for:
- Watts Towers1765 East 107th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90002-3621recommended Watts Towerslocated about ten minutes south of downtown, a super interesting architectural landmark designed and built by one immigrant over many decades. frequent tours are given. make it part of a day downtown. ... read moreRecommended for:
- Little TokyoEast Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012recommended Little Tokyoworth a visit as part of a day downtown. some cool shops and good noodle restaurants.Recommended for:
- Long Beach Antique Flea Market4901 East Conant Street, Long Beach, CArecommended Long Beach Antique Flea Marketmany say it's the best of the many flea markets in los angeles. more manageable than the vast rose bowl, better prices, more interesting finds.Recommended for:
- Abbot Kinney BlvdAbbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291recommended Abbot Kinney Blvdone of the best walking streets in los angeles. lots of interesting shops, cafes and restaurants. make it part of a westside day.Recommended for:
- Kidspace Children's Museum480 North Arroyo Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91103-3269
- Vista Theatre4473 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, Californiarecommended Vista TheatreIf you're thinking of catching a movie, matinee showings I think are only $6.50 at this vintage and beautifully constructed theater. This is how every movie theater should be!!Recommended for:
commented on this trip
- The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA152 N Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012recommended The Geffen Contemporary at MOCAGreat exhibits! Right now, they're doing one reflecting the film Rebel Without A Cause (1955).Recommended for:
- Malo4326 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029recommended MaloThe cocktails here are great, the beef and pickles tacos (they even have a fake-beef and pickle taco for the vegetarians!) are amazing. Everything else is good too! Plus it's right next door to the ... read moremural from the cover of Elliott Smith's "Figure 8." I also recommend the chewy chips, even though I know they sound weird.Recommended for:VegetarianBecky M.
If you've never been to the Silverlake/Sunset Junction area, you should check it out for some good shopping and food -- I love Malo but there are lots of other great places too.
- The Pie Hole714 Traction Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90013recommended The Pie HoleThis is a great new pie shop in the arts district, right across the street from the always popular Wurstkuche. They have both savory and sweet pies, tarts, turnovers and other similar treats plus a ... read morefull coffee bar. The food is ridiculously good (the mushroom tart is unreal and the peanut butter pretzel pie tastes like the best peanut butter cup you've ever had) and the staff is super super nice. My friends and I are making this a regular get together spot, just because it is so fantastic all around.Recommended for:Becky M.
If you go to Wurstkuche, get some dessert at the Pie Hole right across the street!
- Mashti Malone Ice Cream & Ice1525 North La Brea Avenuerecommended Mashti Malone Ice Cream & IceMashti Malone's is amazing. They have a great range of unusual and exotic ice cream flavors and I love bringing new people here. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but it is well worth the ... read morevisit!Recommended for:Becky M.
If you've done the regular touristy things, you've likely already been to the attractions in Hollywood. But if you find yourself back in that neighborhood, you should really get some ice cream at Mashti Malone, which doesn't look like much from the outside but is really really amazing.
recommended The Getty MuseumSet atop the low-lying hills of West L.A., the Getty is one of the most stunning spots in the city. On clear days (after high winds or heavy rain has dissipated the city's trademark smog blanket) ... read morevisitors can see all the way to Catalina Island. Though the Getty houses a more than formidable collection, I tend to spend most of my time gaping at the elegant architecture (made from local limestone) or wandering the perfectly kept grounds. However, I always make sure to take a gander at the new, often unusual exhibits in town.Alison Kjeldgaard
You may have already been here if you've hit most of the big tourist attractions in the city, but I thought I would recommend it just in case. The Getty is great for spending a quiet afternoon enjoying art and the outdoors.
- It's A Wrap3315 W. Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank, CArecommended It's A WrapIf you're passing through the Valley, this shop is a fun detour on a generic-looking street. All of the clothes, shoes, accessories, costumes, jewelry and more are cast-offs from real TV and movie ... read morestudios. Sometimes the tags even tell you the names of the projects they were bought for, although you never know for sure if a star or supporting cast member actually wore them (but you can pretend!). It's a way to get cutting-edge this year's or last year's styles for less, plus bragging rights that the piece you're wearing came right off the lot.Recommended for:Budget TravelersSara Benson
This shop also has a Mid-City location, and either is a fun stop.
- Santa Monica Farmers' Market200 Santa Monica Pier Santa Monica, CA 90401-3126recommended Santa Monica Farmers' MarketA mainstay in Santa Monica. This is a great place to head for Sunday brunch. You can sit outside on the grass beneath a shady tree or on one of the tables, eat mouth watering buttermilk pancakes, huge ... read morehome-made omelettes or fresh tamales, and even ride a pony if you are so inclined. They also have some of the best organic produce in the world! They usually have a live band performing as well.Travis Katz
Robert, this is a really cool thing to do - you can hit the santa monica pier or venice afterwards.
- Venice Beach1905 Ocean Front Walk, CArecommended Venice BeachOK, so as someone who lived in Santa Monica for 5 1/2 years, I generally tried to avoid the Venice Boardwalk in my day to day life. But when people came from out of town, this is a must see ... read moredestination. It is crowded with people - rollerskating electric guitar players, people in American Flag speedos with boa constrictors around their necks, tourists, locals and all sorts of other people. There are tons of shops - mostly tshirt shops catering to tourists but there are a few gems tucked amongst the stalls. You can watch skaters doing tricks on the skate ramps, people playing handball, and every night at sunset there is a giant hippy drum circle which is definitely worth looking at.Recommended for:
- Hamburger Mary's8288 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, Californiarecommended Hamburger Mary'sCome here on a Weds night for Drag Queen Bingo and you will NOT regret it. Without the Drag Queen Bingo, I would probably give this place 3.5 stars, but the experience on Weds nights is amazing ... read moreentertainment. You should definitely make a reservation, since Weds nights are no secret. Every Bingo night is hosted by a different non-profit and the ball callers are "celebrities" (normally not huge stars, but someone you've likely heard of). Sometimes, you might just be lucky enough that a celebrity is just there attending for fun. When I was there once, Minnie Driver was at the next table and very excited about the possibility of winning at Bingo. Drag Queen Bingo nights also have lots of rules that you will quickly learn. There are things you are expected to yell back at the bingo caller if they call out certain numbers, and if you falsely yell bingo, you will be flogged by a drag queen as punishment. Oh, did I mention they also have $5 well martinis also?Recommended for:Traci
if you want to do something very fun and unique, go to Drag Queen Bingo on Weds nights at Hamburger Mary's. All the proceeds go to a local nonprofit and it's a very fun way to spend the evening!
- Wurstküche Restaurant800 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013recommended Wurstküche RestaurantThe name literally translates to "Sausage Kitchen" and the food here is great. You can choose from your standard bratwursts or if you're feeling more adventurous you can try things like the ... read morerattlesnake sausage. They also have great beers on tap (as any self respecting German-inspired restaurant should!) Even the veggie sausages are great -- the vegetarians I ate with once even bought some to take home! They also cater private events!Recommended for:VegetarianTraci
a great place in the Art District to grab some food! You can be as adventurous or traditional as you want (i.e. rattlesnake or plain bratwurst)
- Lacy Park1485 Virginia Road, San Marino, CA 91108, United Statesrecommended Lacy ParkI love going to Lacy Park, especially for their 4th of July festivities every summer! On non-holiday weekends, it's just a great place to stroll, have a picnic or do some people & dog watching. Lush, ... read moregreen and just a nice oasis in the middle of San Marino.Recommended for:Traci
you can get tickets to this great fireworks show and picnic before the show on the park grounds! It's a little ways to the east in the Pasadena area, but I used to go to this 4th of July show every year!
- El Matador State BeachMalibu, Californiarecommended El Matador State BeachMalibu's Matador Beach is a short stretch of sand with beautiful rock formations. As a smaller beach, it's a nice alternative to Santa Monica's crowded strips - though every time I've been to Matador ... read morethe parking lot has always been full. You can park on the street as well, then take the winding staircase down to the water. Very family-friendly and clean.Erin K
Beautiful beach that's never too crowded.
- Aroma Coffee & Tea Company4360 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604recommended Aroma Coffee & Tea CompanyAroma Cafe is my absolute favorite place for breakfast and lunch in LA. There's usually a line out the door, but it's worth the wait and moves fairly quickly - and with a clear view of all the cakes ... read moreand pastries before the cashier, you'll want to take your time. Aroma has a room for every kind of mood you may be in. If you're looking for a quiet, home-like setting, head to the library to eat your meal. If you want a more lively atmosphere, opt for the covered patio....and if you want to enjoy the sunshine, sit outside in the garden area (heat lamps are available for the chilly nights). The breakfast here is phenomenal, especially their brioche french toast and Rosemary potatoes. I also love coming here for dessert and cappuccino at night, when they turn on the string of lights that line the patio and garden. Love love love this place.
- Huntington Library Art Collections and Botanical Gardens1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CArecommended Huntington Library Art Collections and Botanical GardensI've been putting off a trip here just because the admission fee is a bit expensive (at least when it comes to touring a garden), but we visited today and it was absolutely worth it. The library ... read morecollection is impressive - they have one of the original copies of the Gutenburg Bible - and art lovers will have a great time checking out their European and American collections. But the gardens are definitely the highlights, especially the Chinese Garden and the Desert Garden. It's like you're entering an entirely different world when you come to the Huntington. They are currently renovating the Japanese Garden, but it should re-open by Spring 2012.
recommended Temescal Canyon TrailThis is now my new favorite hiking trail in LA. The views of Santa Monica, the ocean, and everything beyond are picture perfect on a clear day, and the hike takes you through so many micro-climates ... read morethat you really feel like you could be anywhere. There is ample parking at the base of the canyon ($7 to park), and it's just a short walk from the parking lot to the start of the hike. The loop is roughly four and a half miles, and I would recommend taking Temescal Canyon Ridge Trail on the way up. It is a sharp ascent, but if you start here you'll have more energy on the way up. The trail then connects to Temescal Canyon Trail, which is a gradual descent into the canyon that passes by a small, albeit pretty, waterfall. Dogs are only allowed in certain areas of the park, so you won't have to worry about running into them (or, um, everything they leave behind). It's an absolutely stunning hike, a great workout, and a nearby escape. Don't forget to bring water!Erin K
If your family enjoys hiking, this trail has some fantastic views.
- Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401
- Sam's by the Beach108 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica, CA 90402
- Santa Monica Pier321 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA, United States
- Universal Studios100 Universal City Plaza 5511-6, Hollywood, CA 91608
- JT Schmid's2610 E Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92806recommended JT Schmid'sWhen I'm seeing a concert at the Honda Center, JT's is my traditional pre-gig cocktail and dinner. Best enjoyed with a group, the terrace has a great party atmosphere while the inside is more intimate ... read more-- but not quiet. It's a fun, lounge style brewery, perfect for just drinks at the bar or a full dinner. Since it's directly across the street from the arena, it's extremely popular among concert-goers. If you're just seeking a beer and a burger, check the Honda Center's web site for events that day, and avoid JTs in the hours before and after the event. And if you are going to a gig that night, get to JT's early - I'm talking 3pm for an 8pm show. My friends and I always go for a late lunch/early dinner between 2 and 4, and get in just before the crowds. By the time we're working on our meals, the line is out the door. But it's worth it for the great food and atmosphere, so check it out!Becky Mahan
Great place for happy hour. :)
- Bayside Restaurant900 Bayside Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660recommended Bayside RestaurantWhile riding the Ferris Wheel at the Balboa Fun Zone, you might find yourself suddenly hankering for quail and fois gras. :) If you ride the ferry over to Balboa Island and then cut across to the ... read morebridge to the mainland, you'll be very near Bayside, a successful staple of upscale local cuisine. Sadly, the bay view is only in its name -- Bayside has no views to speak of -- but the food is consistently spectacular. Every time I go, I have to talk myself out of ordering the venison again, and I must plan for at least a couple bites of their bread pudding. Not so much a hip restaurant as a classic one, you can easily host a business luncheon here or your grandmother for dinner.Recommended for:
- The Grove189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90036-6221recommended The GroveAn amazing outdoor mall megaplex with fountains and signings and events!Recommended for:Daniel Jones
They have either an awesome book signing or TV show taping or more here virtually every day, and its already an awesome outdoor mall with tons to see/eat/do including the American Girl store.
- Coffee Commissary801 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046-7200, United Statesrecommended Coffee Commissaryserves some of the best coffee in los angeles. and it's next door to LA's best snout to tail butcher, lindy & grundy.Recommended for:
- Urth Caffe2327 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405recommended Urth CaffeMy favorite cafe on the west side. Amazing espresso drinks served in big cups, mind blowing pastries and sweets, great sandwiches. The egg sandwich for breakfast, on fresh baked bread with avocado and ... read morecheese is my favorite - I get it every time I go to L.A. The bread pudding is also mind-blowingly good. The seating is all open air, so if you are there on a chilly morning, bring a jacket so you are not cold.Travis Katz
hey robert, if you are going to be on the west side, you have to have breakfast here (there is also one in beverly hills)