Few amphitheaters are more magical than this one nestled in the Hollywood Hills. Yes, getting in and out is never fun, but once you get there as the sun is setting, indulge in a gourmet picnic and a few bottles of wine, and then catch an amazing act, you’ll have forgotten all about that LA traffic... until it’s time to head home, at least.
Eat an old-fashioned burger at Apple Pan
No city has more options for those looking for America’s meaty mainstay than Los Angeles, and Angelenos perpetually argue over which burger joint does it best -- we've got our own opinions on that front, too. There’s no debating, though, that the 70-year-old (and cash-only) Apple Pan is about as OG a burger experience as you can get. The place hasn’t been remodeled in decades, there’s a Formica lunch counter, staffers wear paper hats, and even the menu’s font just feels old, but the stars of the show, of course, are the burgers (both the Steakburger and Hickoryburger get top billing). Follow it up with a piece of fresh apple pie, and you’ll leave feeling like you were just inside an episode of Happy Days.
Visit the world-famous Venice Boardwalk
It’s a wild scene all day long and not even a tenth as charming as it looked on White Men Can’t Jump (where it didn’t look charming at all, come to think of it) but everybody has to see the Venice Boardwalk at least once. Muscle Beach, head shops, trinket hawkers, a skate park, street performers, guys riding bikes in Speedos, it’s all there. Just nod, call it “vibrant,” and check it off your list.
Brunch is a big deal is pretty much every major city, but the fact that you've had the best brunch in Cleveland, or Chicago, or even NYC doesn't preclude you from diving into the flavor ocean that is LA's brunch scene. There are a ton of places to choose from -- so many that we've devoted an entire guide to the subject -- but if you're looking for a safe bet, look no further than SQIRL. A renowned LA brunch classic with lines to match, the move at SQIRL is to avoid peak hours, or bring a way to pass the time. It's totally worth it, though.
It may not have the notoriety of the Empire State Building, but the 27th-floor observation deck of Los Angeles City Hall (LA’s tallest building many moons ago) is open to the public Monday to Friday, providing 360-degree views of the city for free. It’s a good add-on stop if you’re already doing something else Downtown, but keep in mind it closes at 5pm.