Vacation in your own city: Los Angeles

Destinations

In our next installment of our staycation series, we're off to the west coast and digging into the very best that Los Angeles has to offer those who call La-La Land home.

Hike your way up to breathtaking views

The Santa Monica Mountains are as picturesque as its iconic pier

The Santa Monica Mountains are as picturesque as its iconic pier

There's no better way to take in these unprecedented skyline views than by scaling one of the many nearby mountains. Our favorite trail is Sandstone Peak, which is a six-mile hike leading to the highest point of the Santa Monica Mountains. Or you could take a winding drive through the San Gabriel Mountains up to the Mount Wilson Observatory, the lesser-known but just as incredible vantage point as the Griffith Observatory in the Hollywood Hills. For easy access to the Mount Wilson Observatory, book a night at the funky-chic Hotel Constance in downtown Pasadena.

Picnics and pedal boats in Echo Park

Admire the skyline from the middle of an urban lake

Admire the skyline from the middle of an urban lake

The hills surrounding the Echo Park Lake are the perfect place to throw down a blanket and kick back for a picnic. When you're ready to venture out of the shade, rent a pedal boat—in the shape of a huge swan—to explore the lake and its tiny island. Once dusk settles, take a stroll along Sunset Boulevard for some of LA's coolest vintage stores, coffee shops, and cocktail lounges. Afterwards, treat yourself to a night at the Noon on Sunset Hill, an cozy inn that puts a modern twist on the classic California bungalow.

Map out your own film-history tour

Discover countless Hollywood memories well beyond the Walk of Fame

Discover countless Hollywood memories well beyond the Walk of Fame

How many times have you been hit by deja vu while driving past an unfamiliar facade or marquee? As the nation's movie-making capital, Los Angeles is home to countless quintessential film settings that have lodged themselves into locals' memories – whether consciously or not. Now, with the help of Discover Los Angeles's useful guide, you can map out your very own driving tour of movie history, according to your favorite movies set in LA or even by various genres. Any classic noir fan should book a stay at the Hotel Normandie, which stays true to its 1920s roots and sits just a few blocks from The Prince Bar & Restaurant, immortalized in Chinatown.

Get a dose of art and culture

The Getty's collection is as breathtaking as its mountaintop vistas

The Getty's collection is as breathtaking as its mountaintop vistas

While some of California's best museums—such as The Californian African American Museum, The Getty, and The Broad—have recently set up virtual tours, there's plenty of outdoor installations you can still check out. Make a day of visiting the city's best open-air artwork, from the 202 cast-iron lamps of Urban Light outside of LACMA to the incredible Great Wall of Los Angeles, a half-mile long mural depicting the city's rich history. Keep the creative wave going with a night at the American Hotel, nestled in the heart of the historic Arts District.

Hit a brand-new beach

El Matador Beach is one of Malibu's best-kept secrets

El Matador Beach is one of Malibu's best-kept secrets

Just about every Los Angeleno has one particular beach that they hold dear and visit religiously. However, dedicating a full day to a brand-new beach can feel like a far-flung escape, given the wide range of vibes across the 75 miles of coast between Malibu and Long Beach. If you've never been, one of our favorites is the secluded and picturesque Point Dume, just outside of Malibu, where you can stay at the Villa Brody, complete with a beachfront garden, perfect for watching the sun set over the Pacific.

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