Social Club

What to Do in LA, for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime

Published On 05/26/2016 Published On 05/26/2016
Jesse Morrow/Stocksy
Chris Alcoran/Flickr

Marina Del Rey

7:30am: Get breakfast at Killer Cafe
Drive, bike, boat, or walk up to this 24 hour section of Killer Shrimp, located right on the water in the Marina. Load up with a giant breakfast burrito on the patio while you check out the salty dogs working on their boats. View on Map

9am: Rent stand-up paddle boards
Head over to Marina Paddle, where lessons are available for first-time paddle board renters -- though it actually is easier than it looks. And/or cruise around the Marina and get right up in the faces of seals and things. View on Map

12pm: Honor Bloody Mary time
Direct your rubbery legs toward The Warehouse at the south end of the Marina. It’s kind of a Disney-looking take on a sea shack, on stilts over a koi pond. Get a table outside, order your reward, and pat yourself on the back. View on Map

Silver Lake

8am: Hike up to the Griffith Observatory
Turn off Los Feliz Boulevard onto Fern Dell Drive, past the Bear statue. The hike starts across from the Trails Cafe, and will lead you to the James Dean statue and a great view of the Hollywood sign. Breathe it all in, Griswold style, before you head back down. View on Map

10:30am: Breakfast like a champion
Roll down to Sunset Boulevard and take a load off at Millie's Cafe, and get the Crab Benedict. Trust us. That and a stiff cup of joe will do you right for the rest of the day. View on Map

12pm: Saunter on down to Skylight Books
After you stuff yourself at Millie's, you'll probably be feeling lazy at this point. Head on over to Skylight Books, so grab a bench under the skylights, and sit down to check out the latest bestseller or arty magazine (LOTS of magazines here) -- or slyly check out the hot hipster doing the same thing. A perfect spot to "Meet cute". (Oh, and you can drop the trivia that Arrested Development/Transparent's Jeffrey Tambor is a part-owner!). Now that's a solid morning in East LA. View on Map

Santa Monica

11am: Blend in at Santa Monica Pier
Even California natives feel like tourists at the Santa Monica Pier, but you can still front like a local. There's not a lot more SoCal than digging into a snack from Hot Dog On A Stick (located at the base of the beginning of the Pier on Ocean Front Walk), or hit up The Albright, which has the best fish and chips, no contest. Then, saunter over to the nearby open air chess tables and get schooled by an old time regular. View on Map

2pm: Get up close and personal with the ocean
Check out the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, a hands-on learning facility where you can touch a spiky sea urchin or get squirted by a swell shark from their open tanks. Heal The Bay volunteers will answer your questions, so you'll leave armed with some good aqua trivia. View on Map

3pm: Have an afternoon/sunset cocktail
The Lobster on Ocean Avenue has THE premiere view of Santa Monica Bay, made even better with a drink like the Thai 1 On (Ketel One, muddled basil and jalapeño, ginger beer). You might just find yourself lingering until the best view of the sunset too... or at least the flashy Ferris wheel. View on Map


Beverly Hills

1pm: Catch up on all the TV
The Paley Center For Media is the museum for people who’d… rather watch TV than hang around museums. Check out massive collections of just about every show, ever, as well as special exhibits like the U.S. Olympic Archive -- in time to hype yourself up for this Summer's Rio games. View on Map

5pm: Withdraw a cupcake
Stop by the Sprinkles ATM -- the world’s first 24/7 fresh cupcake and cookie dispenser. Make your choice, swipe your card, and walk away with a little box of happy. View on Map


12pm: Have lunch on the pier
On this pier, even tourists feel like natives. Much less gimmicky than its pier relative down south, here is what California really feels like. Get a delicious fresh, organic, local lunch at Malibu Farm on the end of the pier, like the zucchini crust pizza -- um, yum -- and a smoothie to wash it down. Now you're ready for anything. View on Map

4pm: Rest up
Surfing is tiring. Good thing there are lounge beds on the patio over the crashing surf up the PCH at Moonshadows. Get there at this off time to claim a bed, sprawl out and chill with clam chowder and a margarita on the rocks. View on Map


2pm: Recharge at Menotti’s Coffee Stop
Grab a bench outside this spot on Windward Avenue in the shadow of the famous Venice sign. Say hi to Nicely -- a multiple time National Champion Barista -- and get THE perfect latte. Made with Four Barrel Coffee. View on Map

3pm: Hit the boardwalk of all boardwalks
World-famous Venice Boardwalk has quite possibly the world's best people watching in one stretch. That would almost be enough, but you can't be down there and not stop in at the Venice Beach Freak Show. For a mere $5, you can step inside the old-timey emporium of oddities and see everything from owner Todd Ray's five-legged dog to a bearded lady and Larry the Wolf Boy. View on Map

5pm: Get above it all
High Rooftop Lounge at the Hotel Erwin has exactly no competition for a scenic drink in Venice. Take in views from the ocean to the snow-topped mountains in the east as you sip on one of their killer cocktails, like the Drunken Swede -- Fireball, spiced cider, orange peel, star anise -- Skål! View on Map


Mar Vista

5pm: Get your bowl on at Bowlero Lanes
This recently revamped alley is all dark and cool, with black-lit lanes and a full bar. A friendly staff keeps the place rocking with a loud soundtrack and movies play on the wall as you bowl. Sensory overload, in a good way. Get some better than average bowling alley food, but not too much, 'cause you're going to Louie's later. View on Map

7pm: Emerge from the neon cave and walk over to the other end of the spectrum at Time Warp Records.
This full service, serious musical instrument shop is also one of the best places to see live shows from local and touring musicians who really mean business, right there in the store aisles. A recent show featured Bob Forrest (Thelonious Monster) and actual decent comedians on the same bill. Awesome. View on Map

9pm: Sample some very local honey at Louie's of Mar Vista
A huge hive was discovered during construction of this bistro, and it now resides on the roof and provides honey for the kitchen and bar. Try the Bee Sting (Apple jack brandy, honey, ginger beer, lemon) with some Togarashi bacon fries. View on Map

Sherman Oaks

7pm: Relive your childhood, but better
The One Up is both a "gastrolounge" and old-school arcade. Goat cheese tater tots and Cap'n Crunch-covered chicken wings, while playing vertical Donkey Kong? Don’t mind if we do. View on Map

9:30pm: Keep on snacking
"Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos." So reads the sign at Local Ice, a classic "yet curious" ice cream parlor. Get Salty Sam's Caramel, and there will be lightness and order. View on Map

10pm: Sip on a nightcap at Augustine Wine Bar
Owner Dave Gibbs pulls from his personal wine collection, and the rare vintage chalkboard always features something interesting. Want to try a 1961 Burgundy? They got you. A1932 Burgundy? Be right up. Even if your taste runs more to Trader Joe's, you'll emerge a little more wine savvy; these guys know their stuff, and are happy to educate. View on Map

Culver City

8pm: Get your smorgasbord on at Gravlax
This Scandinavian/Turkish (!) hybrid serves up everything from herring to hummus, and you can wash it down with authentic akvavit. View on Map

9pm: Check out live music, in a space the size of your living room
The Cinema Bar has been an LA institution for 65 years. It's a dive bar, a real honky tonk, and the music is usually in the vein of players playing for other players. The bartenders are tough, and the music is reliably great. View on Map

11pm: Drink like a cool grandpa
The Old Man Bar (real name) in the back of this Southern charmer of a restaurant is where it's at. The look is decidedly as the name suggests, with taxidermied animals, antlers, dark wood, and a fireplace. But the drinks are as new and fresh as a kid with a fake i.d. Sip on an "In Fashion" (country ham bourbon, pecan bitters, demerara sugar) and listen to some vinyl. View on Map


8pm: Twiddle your mustache at 2nd Street Cigar Lounge and Gallery
Or your imaginary one, as you puff on a fine Cuban while playing a game of chess or checking out some art. So very classy. View on Map

9pm: Get lost at Clifton's Cafeteria
This historic, multi-level extravaganza demands that you and your friends coordinate really well, or endure much “I’m here! Where are you?”-style back-and-forth. Visit The Monarch (a Deco looking soda fountain), The Brookdale (elegantly appointed with live music), The Gothic Bar (a… Gothic-style bar), Pacific Seas (think Tiki), and the cafeteria itself, with its good food and forest theme. View on Map

11pm: Wind it up at Seven Grand
A whiskey bar for serious whiskey drinkers, they even have a Whiskey Society, for patrons who really mean business. It has a hunting lodge (a really nice one) vibe. If Japanese whiskey is your thing, check out the Jackalope Bar in the back -- an 18-seat Japanese whiskey bar with over 120 varieties of the devil water. Kampai! View on Map

Killer Cafe
$$ Los Angeles

One of the only spots in Marina del Rey that’s open 24 hours a day, Killer Cafe whips up hearty comfort food reminiscent of what you’d find at a county fair, but better. This offshoot of Killer Shrimp serv...more

The Warehouse Restaurant is as close as you can be to the water without actually going surfing. Go for brunch on the weekends, or for dinner and order some surf and turf.

The Lobster
$$$ Los Angeles

The Lobster remains in its original structure that was built in 1923 and serves killer lobster rolls made with Japanese mayo and pickled cucumber.

$$$ Los Angeles

This resto and wine bar also houses the Blue Lounge bar, where you won’t care who sees you order another strong manly drink that definitely is NOT a strawberry daiquiri. Spend your Sundays wisely at this M...more

Rooftop bars are far and few between in Venice -- as in, there are barely any -- which is why High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin literally stands above the rest. A 10min walk from Abbot Kinney, the Pacific...more

A neighborhood joint in Mar Vista, Louie's has dellectable dishes that won't make you any healthier, but WILL give you a healthy appetite for more. Fill up on some of their Monte Cristo rolls, stuffed with...more

The Valley's wine bar game is TOTALLY upped with this marble-bar-topped vino paradise. The spot has 75 by-the-glass options (including selections from the 1800s!!!) and food like charcuterie and braised oc...more

Cinema Bar
$ Los Angeles

This bar is what every dive should be: friendly, casual, cheap, and offering up a stellar rotation of live music most nights.

This five-story, upscale cafeteria is the love child of the Rainforest Cafe and the Museum of Natural History. With stuffed animals, constructed ecosystems, and winding caves throughout the restaurant, Cli...more

Located in the upstairs of Clifton Cafeteria, this bar has some really creative drinks like the gummy sharks inside jello drink. The decor is very old-fashioned. Walking into this place is taking a step ba...more

Seven Grand has a hipster-esque hunting lodge decor to match its massive whiskey selection. Vintage and contemporary recipes are featured on the cocktail menu, which incorporates freshly squeezed juices an...more

Jackalope Bar
$$$ Downtown

In the back of Seven Grand is the bodacious, lustful Bar Jackalope -- seducing you with delicious whiskey flights, serious ambiance points, and a rowdy crowd.

Malibu Farm Cafe
$$ Los Angeles

Malibu Farm Pier Cafe is a dining destination, offering a delicious organic menu serving breakfast and lunch directly on top of the Pacific Ocean at the end of the pier. Pass by casting fisherman to reach...more

Griffith Observatory in Silverlake details the history and progress of human observation of the sky. Exhibits include the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, Wilder Hall of the Eye, and Ahmanson Hall of the Sky, am...more

Millie's Cafe
$ Silverlake

Millie's is a cafe that likes to serve their customers only the freshest, most natural ingredients, and chefs take pride in their do-it-from-scratch menu. The cafe also lists a variety of healthy lunch opt...more

Marina Paddle
$$ Los Angeles

Marina Paddle is a great location to spend a balmy summer day. If you're new, you can take one of a variety of instructional paddle boarding or kayaking classes or take an aquatic yoga class. If you're a s...more

Heal the Bay's Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is home to more than 100 aquatic animal and plant species native to Santa Monica Bay. Conservation efforts are a large part of Heal the Bay's programs at the aquar...more

Menotti's is the place to go if you want your coffee served by an award-winning barista. With vegan and organic coffee options, you can chill out with your morning coffee as you watch the goings-on at the...more

If you like all things odd, the Venice Beach Freakshow is the place for you. With everything from preserved aliens to conjoined twin skeletons in bell jars to live "freaks," this is a place that prides its...more

The Paley Center for Media focuses on the cultural, creative, and social impact of various forms of media, including television, radio, and new platforms (like podcasts!). Here you can browse an extensive...more

Need a cupcake right now? Well, you're in luck. Just walk up to the Sprinkles Cupcakes ATM and swipe your card, order your perfect cupcake, and walk away with exactly what you were looking for to satiate t...more

Bowlero is the place to be if you want to have fun late into the night. With lit-up lanes, appetizing menus, and a great soundtrack, you and your party (or date) can have fun into the wee hours while bowli...more

Timewarp Records
$$ Los Angeles

Timewarp Records has everything a music lover needs to add to his or her vast collection. Murals of rock stars like Lemmy and David Bowie grace the walls and watch as you browse CDs, records, and -- wait f...more

The One Up
$ Los Angeles

The One Up is a gastrolounge/arcade that's got it all: free retro games, draft beer and cocktails, and an amazing menu that includes Cap'n Crunch wings and goat cheese tots, among many other quirky and del...more

Local Ice
$ Los Angeles

This local ice cream shop's motto is, "Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos." The menu includes soda floats, organic ice cream, New York style Italian ices, coffee, and more. And with flavo...more

$$ Los Angeles

Combining Scandinavian and Turkish cuisine, Gravlax is anything but ordinary, though their offerings are more than delicious. A great place for lunch or dinner, Gravlax has traditional offerings such as he...more

Complete with tasteful taxidermy on the walls, The Old Man Bar at Hatchet Hall is reminiscent of an old-school hunting lodge. Hatchet Hall's dinner menu changes daily but expect classy, country club-like f...more

If you're looking for a place where you can relax with a good hand-rolled cigar, search no more. 2nd Street Cigar Lounge & Gallery provides in-house cigar rolling, accessories, knowledgeable staff, and eve...more

Skylight Books
$ Silverlake

Located in Griffith Park near the observatory, Skylight books serves five neighborhoods and has been around since 1996, and has books of all genres.