Paul

LA Guidebook

Groceries
Groceries less than a mile from the house, open 5am - 1am.
Ralphs
12842 Ventura Boulevard
Groceries less than a mile from the house, open 5am - 1am.
Large and also close to house.
Whole Foods Market
14311 Ventura Boulevard
Large and also close to house.
Shopping
The closest mall just 2 miles from the house with Macys, Bloomingdales, Apple Store, Z-Gallery, and lots of food and fashion.
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Westfield Fashion Square
14006 Riverside Drive
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The closest mall just 2 miles from the house with Macys, Bloomingdales, Apple Store, Z-Gallery, and lots of food and fashion.
Newly renovated with a fantastic selection of shops, great AMC movie theaters, and a killer food court. Also Apple, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, the Italian mega-store Eataly, and home to Dreamscape.
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Westfield Century City
10250 Santa Monica Boulevard
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Newly renovated with a fantastic selection of shops, great AMC movie theaters, and a killer food court. Also Apple, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, the Italian mega-store Eataly, and home to Dreamscape.
All indoor, higher end mall In Beverly Hills (Bloomingdale’s, Macy's, Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret and Forever 21, as well as high-end boutiques such as Calvin Klein, Diesel, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton and Prada). Just completed a $500-million renovation.
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Beverly Center
8500 Beverly Boulevard
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All indoor, higher end mall In Beverly Hills (Bloomingdale’s, Macy's, Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret and Forever 21, as well as high-end boutiques such as Calvin Klein, Diesel, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton and Prada). Just completed a $500-million renovation.
Over 130 brand name stores like Kate Spade, Michael Kors, TUMI, Hugo Boss, NIKE, UGG Australia, Tommy HIlfiger, etc. They also have foreign currency exchange, free baggage check, and a luggage repacking room.
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Citadel Outlets
100 Citadel Drive
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Over 130 brand name stores like Kate Spade, Michael Kors, TUMI, Hugo Boss, NIKE, UGG Australia, Tommy HIlfiger, etc. They also have foreign currency exchange, free baggage check, and a luggage repacking room.
A large discount/outlet shopping mall with 120 stores like Aldo, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, DKNY, Forever 21, Guess, H&M, Lucky, Nike, Nordstrom, Perry Ellis, Saks, Sunglass Hat, Sports Authority, Victoria’s Secret, and Wet Seal. Open 10a - 9p.
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The Outlets at Orange
20 City Boulevard West
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A large discount/outlet shopping mall with 120 stores like Aldo, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, DKNY, Forever 21, Guess, H&M, Lucky, Nike, Nordstrom, Perry Ellis, Saks, Sunglass Hat, Sports Authority, Victoria’s Secret, and Wet Seal. Open 10a - 9p.
Located at Fairfax and 3rd, it’s a beautifully done outdoor mall with fountains, movies, restaurants, Apple, Gap, Nordstroms, Sur La Table, etc. plus the original LA Farmer's Market full of international food stands. Great place to spend a day or evening and people-watch. Garage can be a madhouse on weekends so if you have a car, splurge on the $10 valet.
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The Grove
189 The Grove Drive
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Located at Fairfax and 3rd, it’s a beautifully done outdoor mall with fountains, movies, restaurants, Apple, Gap, Nordstroms, Sur La Table, etc. plus the original LA Farmer's Market full of international food stands. Great place to spend a day or evening and people-watch. Garage can be a madhouse on weekends so if you have a car, splurge on the $10 valet.
Theme Parks
Popular theme park with shows and rides, and also a behind-the-scenes Studio Tour, just a 15-minute drive from the house. Be sure to download their app for live wait times. (see additional tips in printed guidebook)
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Universal Studios Hollywood
100 Universal City Plaza
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Popular theme park with shows and rides, and also a behind-the-scenes Studio Tour, just a 15-minute drive from the house. Be sure to download their app for live wait times. (see additional tips in printed guidebook)
Disneyland and California Adventures are 2 mega-theme parks located next door to each other, about an hour’s drive from the house. Download their apps for helpful maps and live wait times.
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Ντίσνεϋλαντ
1313 Disneyland Drive
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Disneyland and California Adventures are 2 mega-theme parks located next door to each other, about an hour’s drive from the house. Download their apps for helpful maps and live wait times.
The park most known for having the best rides - a must for roller-coaster fans.
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Magic Mountain
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The park most known for having the best rides - a must for roller-coaster fans.
Sightseeing
You can't actually get to the Hollywood sign, as it is situated on a tightly guarded and fenced in property, however you can hike around and above it for a close view. There are miles of hiking trails in the hills around the sign. Bring water and hike when it’s cool — early in the morning or when overcast. You can great pictures of the sign from Hollywood & Highland, the top of Runyon Canyon, the Griffith Observatory, and many spots all over Hollywood. (hollywoodsign.com). It can be confusing to get up there, so I highly recommend joining one of the Airbnb Experiences for an inexpensive and personalized hike to the sign.
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Hollywood Sign
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You can't actually get to the Hollywood sign, as it is situated on a tightly guarded and fenced in property, however you can hike around and above it for a close view. There are miles of hiking trails in the hills around the sign. Bring water and hike when it’s cool — early in the morning or when overcast. You can great pictures of the sign from Hollywood & Highland, the top of Runyon Canyon, the Griffith Observatory, and many spots all over Hollywood. (hollywoodsign.com). It can be confusing to get up there, so I highly recommend joining one of the Airbnb Experiences for an inexpensive and personalized hike to the sign.
The oldest cemetery in LA is a beautiful and serene place to explore. Ducks, geese, swans, and peacocks roam among the ponds and grass. Celebrities at rest there include Rudolph Valentino, Mel Blanc, Mickey Rooney, Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks, and even Toto, the dog from the Wizard of Oz. During the summer months, they show movies outdoors on one of the large lawns - it’s a popular and very LA experience (tickets at cinespia.org).
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Hollywood Forever Cemetery
6000 Santa Monica Blvd
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The oldest cemetery in LA is a beautiful and serene place to explore. Ducks, geese, swans, and peacocks roam among the ponds and grass. Celebrities at rest there include Rudolph Valentino, Mel Blanc, Mickey Rooney, Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks, and even Toto, the dog from the Wizard of Oz. During the summer months, they show movies outdoors on one of the large lawns - it’s a popular and very LA experience (tickets at cinespia.org).
The Getty Center is a popular museum in Westwood designed by Richard Meier, with an equally famous Central Garden created by artist Robert Irwin. Rotating exhibitions with ongoing libraries, galleries, and workshops. Open Tues - Fri and Sun. 10a - 5:30p, and Sat. 10a - 9p. Closed Monday and major holidays - admission is free, parking is $15 per car.
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Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Drive
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The Getty Center is a popular museum in Westwood designed by Richard Meier, with an equally famous Central Garden created by artist Robert Irwin. Rotating exhibitions with ongoing libraries, galleries, and workshops. Open Tues - Fri and Sun. 10a - 5:30p, and Sat. 10a - 9p. Closed Monday and major holidays - admission is free, parking is $15 per car.
Beautiful lake shrine and meditation garden — open to any denomination, great place to get away from the city. 9am - 4:30pm Tues-Sat, and noon - 4:30pm on Sunday. lakeshrine.org
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Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple
17190 Sunset Blvd
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Beautiful lake shrine and meditation garden — open to any denomination, great place to get away from the city. 9am - 4:30pm Tues-Sat, and noon - 4:30pm on Sunday. lakeshrine.org
Near the top of La Brea Blvd. is a cool city park and LA “scene” with a nice hike on an easy trail. Parking can be a challenge but street parking is easiest on weekdays. Locals (including celebrities) brings their dogs and hike to a rewarding view of the city and Hollywood sign at the top. If you’re in great shape you can even jog the loop, and some people even do 2 loops for a more intense workout. But it's a generally easy and relaxing walk to the top and back if you go at your own pace.
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Πάρκο Ράνιον Κάνιον
2000 N Fuller Ave
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Near the top of La Brea Blvd. is a cool city park and LA “scene” with a nice hike on an easy trail. Parking can be a challenge but street parking is easiest on weekdays. Locals (including celebrities) brings their dogs and hike to a rewarding view of the city and Hollywood sign at the top. If you’re in great shape you can even jog the loop, and some people even do 2 loops for a more intense workout. But it's a generally easy and relaxing walk to the top and back if you go at your own pace.
If you love cars (and even if you don’t) this car museum is fun and interesting. From classic to concept cars from every era, memorable cars from TV and film, etc. petersen.org.
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Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Boulevard
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If you love cars (and even if you don’t) this car museum is fun and interesting. From classic to concept cars from every era, memorable cars from TV and film, etc. petersen.org.
One of the best places to go for a view of LA and the Hollywood sign. The park includes LA Zoo, Travel Town museum, Sunset Horse Ranch, bike rental, Pony Rides, a Merry-Go-Round, and a train ride and railroad museum. Free admission to the astronomy museum and there’s a $7 show in the planetarium (griffithobs.org). Best city view is just before sunset.
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Αστεροσκοπείο Γκρίφιθ
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One of the best places to go for a view of LA and the Hollywood sign. The park includes LA Zoo, Travel Town museum, Sunset Horse Ranch, bike rental, Pony Rides, a Merry-Go-Round, and a train ride and railroad museum. Free admission to the astronomy museum and there’s a $7 show in the planetarium (griffithobs.org). Best city view is just before sunset.
In the center of LA near the Grove is a museum featuring many excavated fossils from what was a massive tar pit 11,000 years ago. It is also within walking distance to the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA), which has rotating exhibitions and some cool places to take a selfie.
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The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
5801 Wilshire Boulevard
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In the center of LA near the Grove is a museum featuring many excavated fossils from what was a massive tar pit 11,000 years ago. It is also within walking distance to the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA), which has rotating exhibitions and some cool places to take a selfie.
City/town information
Explore the 3rd Street Promenade, the Santa Monica Pier, the Venice Beach and Canals, and the beach. You can also rent bikes or roller skates to travel the very long beach boardwalk, from Malibu to Manhattan Beach or further.
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Santa Monica
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Explore the 3rd Street Promenade, the Santa Monica Pier, the Venice Beach and Canals, and the beach. You can also rent bikes or roller skates to travel the very long beach boardwalk, from Malibu to Manhattan Beach or further.
Beautiful beach community and iconic pier, with a long strip full of art galleries, shops, and restaurants. Nice drive along the coast for lunch and exploring.
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Santa Barbara
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Beautiful beach community and iconic pier, with a long strip full of art galleries, shops, and restaurants. Nice drive along the coast for lunch and exploring.
Popular desert city known for its hot springs, stylish hotels, golf courses, spas, art community and midcentury-modern architecture.
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Palm Springs
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Popular desert city known for its hot springs, stylish hotels, golf courses, spas, art community and midcentury-modern architecture.
It’s about a 2-hour drive (without traffic) to San Diego, famous for its zoo and beach communities like La Jolla, and access to the Mexican border and Tijuana.
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San Diego
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It’s about a 2-hour drive (without traffic) to San Diego, famous for its zoo and beach communities like La Jolla, and access to the Mexican border and Tijuana.
It’s a 4-5 hour drive depending on traffic to get to the Las Vegas strip. Gamblings, shows, restaurants, and great people-watching.
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Las Vegas
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It’s a 4-5 hour drive depending on traffic to get to the Las Vegas strip. Gamblings, shows, restaurants, and great people-watching.
About a 5-hour drive to the cool beach community of Santa Cruz, known for surfers, the Beach Boardwalk, and a very natural/eco-community. (the 5 is the fast, boring drive — take the 101 for slightly longer but much more scenic drive)
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Santa Cruz
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About a 5-hour drive to the cool beach community of Santa Cruz, known for surfers, the Beach Boardwalk, and a very natural/eco-community. (the 5 is the fast, boring drive — take the 101 for slightly longer but much more scenic drive)
One of the most beautiful cities in the world. Golden Gate Bridge, Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, North Beach/Little Italy, the Castro, etc. (the 5 is the fast, boring drive — take the 101 for longer but more scenic drive)
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Σαν Φρανσίσκο
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One of the most beautiful cities in the world. Golden Gate Bridge, Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, North Beach/Little Italy, the Castro, etc. (the 5 is the fast, boring drive — take the 101 for longer but more scenic drive)
Entertainment
Huge outdoor amphitheater within walking distance -- great place to see all kinds of performances. Lots of classical, plus pop, comedy, movies, and fireworks. A fun and quintessential LA scene.
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Χόλιγουντ Μπόουλ
2301 N Highland Ave
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Huge outdoor amphitheater within walking distance -- great place to see all kinds of performances. Lots of classical, plus pop, comedy, movies, and fireworks. A fun and quintessential LA scene.
Famous improv school on Melrose that produced the likes of Phil Hartman, Lisa Kudrow, Jon Lovitz, and Edie McClurg. Shows on Fri/Sat/Sun -- book at groundlings.com.
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The Groundlings Theatre & School
7307 Melrose Avenue
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Famous improv school on Melrose that produced the likes of Phil Hartman, Lisa Kudrow, Jon Lovitz, and Edie McClurg. Shows on Fri/Sat/Sun -- book at groundlings.com.
An equally famous improv troupe nearby — book at ucbtheatre.com.
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Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
5919 Franklin Avenue
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An equally famous improv troupe nearby — book at ucbtheatre.com.
The best backstage studio tour (wbstudiotour.com). Ellen tickets are almost impossible to get, but there may be tickets to other shows or some of the new pilots which also tape here.
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Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood
3400 Warner Boulevard
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The best backstage studio tour (wbstudiotour.com). Ellen tickets are almost impossible to get, but there may be tickets to other shows or some of the new pilots which also tape here.
2-hour tours. $58/each - book online at paramountstudiotour.com. Download their studio tour app before your arrive.
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Paramount pictures studio tours
5515 Melrose Avenue
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2-hour tours. $58/each - book online at paramountstudiotour.com. Download their studio tour app before your arrive.
Wellness
A nice full-service spa with separate men’s and women’s facilities including steam, sauna, and jacuzzi. Menu includes several types of massage, facials, mani/pedi, etc. Massages start at $120. Book at 323-822-9007 or burkewilliamsspa.com
Burke Williams
15301 Ventura Boulevard
A nice full-service spa with separate men’s and women’s facilities including steam, sauna, and jacuzzi. Menu includes several types of massage, facials, mani/pedi, etc. Massages start at $120. Book at 323-822-9007 or burkewilliamsspa.com
If you want a high-end, luxury spa experience, this is the place. Turkish steam rooms, whirlpools, lounges with fireplace and mineralized wellness pool. Get a massage and facial, then layout at the rooftop pool for lunch. The Maybourne (formerly Montage) is also in the center of the Beverly Hills shopping district, so there’s plenty to explore after your treatment.
The Spa at The Maybourne Beverly Hills
225 North Canon Drive
If you want a high-end, luxury spa experience, this is the place. Turkish steam rooms, whirlpools, lounges with fireplace and mineralized wellness pool. Get a massage and facial, then layout at the rooftop pool for lunch. The Maybourne (formerly Montage) is also in the center of the Beverly Hills shopping district, so there’s plenty to explore after your treatment.
Expensive, but the best and most luxurious massage in LA. Highly attentive staff, great for couples, you get your own private lounge with shower and tub (no locker rooms here). Massage starts at $180 for 60 min + 15-minute foot bath and acupressure massage. 5.5 miles away in the heart of downtown Beverly Hills. Book at 310-205-7300
Tomoko Japanese Spa
141 S Beverly Dr
Expensive, but the best and most luxurious massage in LA. Highly attentive staff, great for couples, you get your own private lounge with shower and tub (no locker rooms here). Massage starts at $180 for 60 min + 15-minute foot bath and acupressure massage. 5.5 miles away in the heart of downtown Beverly Hills. Book at 310-205-7300
If you’ve never experienced a Korean spa, it’s a must when you’re in LA. Giant and popular wellness centers with massage, facials, plus steam and sauna, as well as specialized salt rooms, jacuzzi, heated relaxation rooms, Korean food, and juice bars. Often open late or 24 hours, you’d be surprised how many people go there after dinner or after clubbing to relax and detox — it’s a fun, relaxing and surreal experience, even at 11pm or 2am! (see others in printed guidebook)
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Crystal Spa
3500 West 6th Street
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If you’ve never experienced a Korean spa, it’s a must when you’re in LA. Giant and popular wellness centers with massage, facials, plus steam and sauna, as well as specialized salt rooms, jacuzzi, heated relaxation rooms, Korean food, and juice bars. Often open late or 24 hours, you’d be surprised how many people go there after dinner or after clubbing to relax and detox — it’s a fun, relaxing and surreal experience, even at 11pm or 2am! (see others in printed guidebook)