1. Bask on the beach: Just because most of the tans in LA are fake doesn’t mean you have to pay for yours. A beautiful bunch of beaches run the gamut from romantic and out of the way to the place to see and be seen.
2. Go out for drinks: Nightlife is huge in LA. Hotspots come and go, so check with the locals for current favorites. A few hangouts with good longevity include Playhouse Hollywood, Avalon, Boulevard3, La Cita Bar and Elevate Lounge.
3. Catch a local team in action: Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine is a superb baseball venue. The Lakers and Clippers play hoops and the Kings play Hockey at the Staples Center downtown. Those are all tough tickets, but they can be had for a price. Soccer fans should be able to score ducats to watch the Galaxy at the Home Depot Center now known as the Stub Hub Center.
4. Procure local produce and more: The LA area is home to many outstanding farmers markets, none better than the Santa Monica Certified Farmers market. Fresh produce in most months of the year and extras like coffee and pastry shops make for a pleasurable morning. Whichever part of town you’re in, you won’t be far from a great farmers market. Just ask around.
5. Get in a workout with a view: The mountains and ocean combine to produce many climbs worth taking to enjoy the splendiferous vistas. Some of the most popular hikes include the Texas Canyon, Escondido Falls and the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook.
6. Enjoy a hearty dinner: While some in LA eat like birds to stay slim for that next casting call, most residents of the area are quick to indulge in a great meal. Local restaurant favorites include Jar steakhouse, Providence seafood, the Four Sea, Guisados, Sea Harbour Seafood in Rosemead, Kang Ho dong Baekjeong, R & R Soul Food, Dominick’s and the Bay Cities Italian Deli.
7. Ruin a good walk: Mark Twain called golf, “a good walk ruined.” Presumably his handicap was fairly high. If you enjoy smacking the little white ball, the LA area has quite a few nice courses open to the public at reasonable rates.
8. Go for a scenic drive: This means staying off the crowded Ventura Freeway or the I-405 and sticking to the PCH (no one in LA calls it the Pacific Coast Highway), Palos Verde Drive or North Sepulveda Boulevard.
9. Have coffee and breakfast at a sidewalk café: This one is more about the experience than the specific place. Outdoor cafés dot the city. There’s no better way to greet the day than enjoying great coffee, a tasty breakfast and sunshine while doing a little people watching.
10. Frolic at a Festival: The locals are always ready to celebrate. Popular music festivals include the Ragga Muffin Reggae Festival, the Dog Star Orchestra Festival of Experimental Music, the Cuban Music Festival and the Long Beach Bayou and Mardi Gras Festival. Favorite food and wine festivals are the Laguna Beach A La Carte and Uncorked Festival, Belmont Shore Chocolate Festival and the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival. Top film festivals include the LA Children’s Film Festival, the Italia Film Festival and the FirstGlance Hollywood Film Fest.