Your Guide to the Perfect 3-Day Weekend in Los Angeles
Sure, our city has more than a little rivalry with that so-called Dream Factory down south. But we’ve decided there’s plenty of room for both of us in California glory, especially since we discovered how much there is to see and eat down there, from the trail-threaded Hollywood Hills to the powdery sands of Venice. So follow along and book your flight now.
10 a.m. You’re beginning with arguably the newsiest ’hood in town: downtown. Start with breakfast at Eggslut, the breakfast counter in the Grand Central Market, where you’ll keep an eagle eye out for a stool after waiting for the house specialty: a cage-free coddled egg on a bed of smoothpotato purée, topped with gray salt and chives and served with slices of baguette for dipping.
12:30 p.m. Take off on an obligatory walk around the monuments of art downtown, most important, architect Frank Gehry’s stainless-steel-clad Walt Disney Concert Hall. Be sure to climb one of the side stairs to get to the roof’s hidden public park, including a quietly burbling fountain in the shape of a rose.
2:30 p.m. Check out “Jason Rhoades Installations 1994–2006” at Hauser & Wirth gallery, and marvel at the dark humor (and neon facility) of this Los Angeles–based internationally acclaimed artist. Explore the rest of the 100,000-square-foot complex, a former flour mill that’s been redeveloped into exhibition spaces, a restaurant, an art bookstore and a garden space in which a vivid mural overlooks vegetable beds and a high-design chicken coop filled with laying hens.
5 p.m. Order an icy draft at Angel City Brewery, where eight different brews on tap will acquaint you with the city’s expansive craft beer scene.
7 p.m. Angelenos eat dinner on the early side, so don’t be late to your reservation at Redbird, the fancy dining spot inside the rectory of a deconsecrated cathedral. Start with shishito peppers sprinkled with crispy quinoa and bottarga, then feast on the improbably delish barbecue-smoked tofu served on Swiss chard.
9 a.m. Pretty much you have to do a little bit of fitness every day, and since Los Angeles is mad for yoga, best to get it out of the way at Urth Yoga’s morning all-levels class.
10:30 a.m. Today’s your day to follow the east-west path of Sunset Boulevard, which travels from the hipster neighborhood of Silverlake through the touristy nabes of Hollywood and West Hollywood, and finally to the green, green stretches of Beverly Hills. But first, live a little and have a post-workout candy cap doughnut, mollified by the fact that it’s vegan, at Donut Farm. (True fact: Candy cap is a mushroom variety that tastes like maple syrup.)
11 a.m. Enter Griffith Park and hike up to the observatory, because it’s where you’ll see as many celebs and beautiful people as any night spot. Also, there’s nature.
1 p.m. You’ve really worked up an appetite now, so hit up Pizzeria Mozza. This is one of the many restaurants that underscore the great conundrums of Hollywood living: How can a town that’s so physique-obsessed keep this shrine to delicious gluten products packed for lunch and dinner?
4 p.m. Time to hit La Cienega Boulevard, where international decorators and textile reps vie to catch the eye—and interior design budget—of high rollers. Hollywood at Home is a favorite spot to browse the hand-blocked fabrics and English antiques that are in vogue these days.
6 p.m. Take in one of the half-dozen flicks—from art-house releases to studio tentpoles—at the ArcLight Hollywood multiplex. Want the full retro movie palace experience? See if there’s a 70mm projection inside the geodesic dome-shaped theater.
9 p.m. Dinner outside on a patio is so L.A. But dinner outside on the Spago Beverly Hills patio, with a half-dozen oysters and a glass of honeyed DuMol Isobel Chardonnay? That’s a world-class event.
10 a.m. You’ll be reveling in the West Side all day (that’s the pricey sliver of real estate between the 405 freeway and the Pacific Ocean). Start with a morning trip to the stunning Getty Villa (entrance is free, but you have to reserve your admission time). This model of a first-century Roman country home has lush gardens, classical antiquities and a killer view of the pounding waves down below.
1 p.m. Treat yourself to a relaxing float session—that’s the L.A. craze for stress relief in which you recline in salt-rich water while meditation tapes soothe you. Pause Float Studio’ssleek interiors and squeaky-clean tanks leave you as chilled out as a Cali surfer.
2:30 p.m. Dine at The Butcher’s Daughter, an Instagram-ready tiled restaurant, café and juice bar whose vegetarian menu has earned it the nickname “a vegetable slaughterhouse.” Get the avocado toast with strawberry-corn salsa and burrata accompanied by a matcha tea latte made with raw honey and almond milk.
4 p.m. You’re doing some serious shopping along Abbot Kinney, the street of bungalow boutiques where a shop selling bins of $5 vintage smocks sits next to a merchant catering to celebrity clients ordering frocks in the four figures. Get a souvenir pair of super-soft sweatpants at Aviator Nation to wear back home over a long, chilly summer.
6 p.m. You’re hungry, but there’s no time for a big meal. Get a salad-topped slice of ’za at Abbot’s Pizza Company and sit at a charmingly well-worn counter like the locals.
7 p.m. No SoCal weekend would be perfect without a toast to the sunset. Grab a seat at the rooftop bar of the Hotel Shangri-la, where you’ll be hard-pressed to decide which is more beautiful: the crowd or the shimmering light fading over the water. Maybe a second Blue Jack—made with Stoli Blueberi, kaffir lime vodka, ginger beer, cucumber and mint—is in order to figure it out.