Beautiful beaches, fine art, stand up comedy… Los Angeles has it all! In what other urban city can you ride a ferris wheel overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the morning and drive across town in the evening to watch Amy Pohler perform sketch comedy at Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre?
Every beach in L.A. has its own unique personality and set of quirks. Yuppies and young families descend upon the South Bay beaches of Manhattan, Hermosa, and Redondo. Interested in people-watching? Artsy Venice Beach teems with street performers, professional skaters boys, and steroid-infused body builders. Are you the outdoors type? Take advantage of the carefully maintained path that runs from Venice to Santa Monica by renting a bicycle or skates to explore the boardwalk. Out-of-town visitors flock to Santa Monica Beach for its popular carnival-like Pier, shopping on 3rd Street Promenade, and tempting seafood restaurants like The Lobster. Surfers unite on Malibu’s Surfrider Beach, and naturists can enjoy the scenery at state parks/beaches like Leo Carillo and Dockweiler. No visit to Los Angeles is complete without a beach day so pack your sunscreen and dive in!
A paradise for art lovers, Los Angeles is home to famed museums like the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Free admission gets you into Getty Center, which boasts awe-inspiring exhibits like “Herb Ritts: L.A. Style” and “Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line”. Along with incomparable art, explore the detailed architecture, gorgeous gardens and views of the city from the Getty.
LACMA's Urban Light by CHris Burden — Photo courtesy of Maria Gilbert
A visit to Museum Row is a must! LACMA houses more than 100,000 works of art throughout history. With a rotating list of can’t-miss exhibitions like “Metropolis II” and “Maria Nordman: Smoke”, LACMA continues to shine as a place where music, film, art and culture meet in perfect harmony. MOCA Grand Avenue offers free admission every Thursday evening to explore its fabulous masterworks collection and new exhibitions like “Tribute to Mike Kelley” and “Naked Hollywood”. Architecture buffs will squeal in wonder at MOCA Pacific Design Center, where it presents new work and hosts many public programs.
As a mecca for performers, L.A’s famous comedy clubs provide laughs from newbie comedians and experienced ones. The Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach hosts Jay Leno Sundays at 7pm. Call ahead for advance reservations to cheer on your favorite talk show personality, in the flesh, as he tests out his monologues and jokes for the upcoming week. In the mood for improv? Pop in to Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre for hilarious sketch comedy shows like Facebook and Cagematch. Sunday night’s show, ASSSSCAT, often features special guests (Amy Poehler, Donald Glover, Aziz Ansari, to name a few), so get there early to ensure a seat.
Celebrating 40 years of business and counting, Hollywood’s Comedy Store, is notorious for giving Jim Carrey, Chris Rock, and Chelsea Handler their big breaks. The world-famous Laugh Factory’s impressive roster includes Ellen Degeneres, Dave Chappelle and Bill Maher. Where drinks are strong and laughs are a-plenty, L.A.’s comedy houses bring you the best of the best in up and coming acts and well-known stars. If you’re looking for laughter, surf, and the latest in contemporary art, L.A.’s got you covered!