Telling your friends you’re headed to Los Angeles for the holidays is bound to make most, if not all, of your buddies jealous. So, after booking your flight, what’s your next move? Create an itinerary that will give you the best of our big city that’s huge on amazing sites, attractions, restaurants and places to stay, all of which prove to be the envy of any other place in these United States. With this in mind, consider five places to confidently put on your well-curated list to be enjoyed during the upcoming and sure to be memorable holiday season in LA.
6317 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Sleek and full of fascinating amenities, The Hotel Wilshire, a Kimpton Hotel, is the ideal boutique for visitors hitting Hollywood over the holidays. This chic property is nicely located in the center of the city of sprawling Los Angeles, about halfway between downtown and the beach enclaves of Santa Monica and Venice. The cost is not too expensive but not so inexpensive that travelers will be living in a stripped-down retreat. Quite the contrary, since the Hotel Wilshire, located on Museum Row and not far from swanky Beverly Hills, comes complete with a stylish environment, a top-flight rooftop pool, a fine in-house restaurant and a great view of the famous Hollywood sign. And that’s just for starters.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Only a half-mile away from the Hotel Wilshire, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art makes for a great escape for those who appreciate fine art of all kinds. In fact, this culturally stimulating outpost holds a whopping 150,000 pieces in a collection that takes you from ancient times to modern art. Plan your LACMA visit in such a way that you have time to see as much as possible and then try to make it back again because you won’t see the entire collection the first time and probably not the second time either. No worries though as another trip to Los Angeles is probably already in your future.
Aquarium of the Pacific
1000 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
If you have been thinking that there’s something’s fishy about Los Angeles, you’d be right. But don’t stay away for fear that this concept is one from which to shy away. Rather, choose to learn more about the mighty treasures of the sea in the highly praised Long Beach venue called the Aquarium of the Pacific. Exhibits with such descriptive names as Gulf of California and Shark Lagoon are popular, as is the chance to pet some of these water-bound creatures who don’t mind a little extra attention from visitors checking out the best of the Southland during this timely visit.
Related: Best Hotel Dining In Los Angeles
Nic’s Beverly Hills
453 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Beverly Hills is arguably among the most brag-worthy places to write home about, so why not plan a special meal with your visitors in this rarified setting? With that established, go edgy and pick Nic’s for your exciting repast. You’ll be delighted after meeting owner Larry Nicola who treats every guest like an old friend about to enjoy a fine American meal at his place. Among the options on the fine menu are a dash of exotica is the house swordfish that hails from south of the border, giving Mexican flair to this savory seafood with its accompanying sauce made with tangerines and almonds. In addition, small plates enjoyed at happy hour are a fine way to fuel up for your big evening ahead. When you do, be sure to sample the French fried artichokes.
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Mixing up a Hollywood experience with a unique venue, the Library Bar located inside the storied Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel serves all kinds of exotic libations. One caveat though: there is no menu so you’ll have to trust the crafty mixologists on the scene to come up with a drink that’s just right for you. Of course, you can ask for a classic cocktail or you can hold out for a house drink in a serving method known as Omakase style, which is the Japanese way of saying this custom made drink is going to take you on what could turn out to be the alcoholic adventure of your lifetime. Also under the roof of the Roosevelt, another lobby outlet appropriately named The Spare Room operates a two-lane bowling alley and a myriad of board games to try while mingling with your out-of-town guests as you all wind down for that perfect evening spent together in Tinseltown.
Related: Best Museum Tours in Los Angeles
Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on Examiner.com.