The Best of L.A. in 2014

Photo Courtesy of: Wobsarazzi, Flickr

Los Angeles is one of the world’s most dynamic cities, constantly evolving and expanding its possibilities. Even frequent visitors and longtime residents who think they know L.A. can always discover something new in this exciting metropolis. Read on to find out more about the numerous developments and events taking place in the City of Angels. How many of these must-sees will you scratch off the bucket list this year?

SKIP THE LINE & ENJOY THE MAYHEM

One-Eyed Minion from "Despicable Me" | Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem is a state-of-the-art motion simulator adventure, debuting at Universal Studios Hollywood in April 2014. Based on the blockbuster Despicable Me animated films and shorts, and modeled after the ride at Universal’s sister park in Florida, the new Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem boasts surprise additions that are unique to Universal Studios Hollywood. The fully immersive experience features the world-famous Despicable Me characters: supervillain Gru; his adorable girls Margo, Edith and Agnes; and of course, the always-unpredictable Minions. Using 3D Ultra-HD animation and an interactive vehicle system, the ride literally takes guests into Gru’s world, where he plots to create more Minions from human recruits. From Gru’s house and his laboratory, to a frantic Minion training mission and a post-show dance party, fans will experience Despicable Me like never before.

Book the VIP Experience for the ultimate behind-the-scenes visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. Limited tickets to the VIP Experience are $289 per person and include amenities such as:

  • Tour the backlot in a special trolley that lets you disembark and explore areas not open to the general public.
  • VIP guide who immerses you in Universal Studios history, gives you no-wait VIP access to all rides in the park, and finds you the best seats at any show.
  • Gourmet lunch in the private VIP dining room, valet parking, and VIP entry and exit from the park.

ATTEND THE YEAR’S BEST CONCERTS

Justin Timberlake 20/20 Experience World Tour |Photo Courtesy of:Justin Timberlake, Facebook

Los Angeles welcomes world-famous acts and rising stars for another stellar year of concerts, and a legendary venue makes its triumphant return.

CHECK INTO LA’S NEW HOTELS

Guest room at The Line | Photo courtesy of Knibb Design, Facebook

The Line is one of L.A.'s most highly-anticipated hotels, located in Koreatown across from the Wilshire/Normandie stop of the Metro Purple Line. The 388-room property is soft opening on Jan. 1, 2014 with a special nightly rate of $168, which includes a free continental breakfast. The Line is a collaboration between a powerhouse team that includes The Sydell Group, sustainability-focused designer Sean Knibb, nightlife impresarios Houston Hospitality, and the art and design collective Poketo. Acclaimed Kogi BBQ revolutionary chef, Roy Choi is opening two restaurants at The Line: POT, featuring Korean family-style hot pots, and the vegetarian-focused Commissary.

Find out more about L.A.’s new and updated hotels, from renovated landmarks to Downtown’s newest boutique, the Ace Hotel.

CELEBRATE CULTURAL ANNIVERSARIES

Walt Disney Concert Hall | Photo courtesy of Candice Montgomery, Flickr

L.A.'s world-famous cultural attractions are celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2014.

EXPERIENCE NEW CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS

Rendering courtesy of Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Facebook

Los Angeles adds to its world-class collection of museums and performing arts centers with highly anticipated openings in 2014.

JOIN THE FESTIVITIES

LA PRIDE Celebration | Photo courtesy of LA PRIDE, Facebook

The BET Experience (June 27-29) is a three-day weekend event at L.A. LIVE in Downtown LA, featuring a celebration of music, entertainment, and culture that coincides with the 2014 BET Awards, taking place on June 29 at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE.

West Hollywood is home to Southern California’s largest LGBT community, and is the site of the annual Gay Pride parade (June 14-15), as well as the Halloween Costume Carnaval, the largest Halloween street party in the world. For more Halloween fun, head to Universal Studios Hollywood, where hundreds of thousands of horror fans make Halloween Horror Nights the scariest event in L.A.

Multicultural highlights include the 115th Annual Golden Dragon Parade in Chinatown (Feb. 1), the 25th annual Fiesta Broadway in Downtown (April 27), and the Nisei Week Japanese Festival in Little Tokyo (August TBA).

The holidays in Los Angeles are unlike any other city, with numerous outdoor ice skating rinks, the Hollywood Christmas Parade and the L.A. County Holiday Celebration.

EAT, DRINK & DINELA

Photo by Stacey Sun

dineLA Restaurant Week returns for its Winter 2014 edition, taking place at restaurants across the city from Jan. 20 to Jan. 31, 2014. Re-discover Restaurant Week favorites like SUGARFISH by Sushi Nozawa and Bouchon Beverly Hills, and try new participants like Herringbone LA and Mud Hen Tavern. Restaurants that participate in the twice-yearly program feature specially priced prix fixe menus for lunch ($15-$25) and dinner ($25-$45). For the first time in its history, diners can opt for an $85 experiential tasting menu, designed for those "looking to elevate their dining experience." Browse the full list of more than 300 restaurants and make your reservations today.

WISH BEVERLY HILLS A HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Known around the world as the epitome of luxury and style, Beverly Hills celebrates its 100th anniversary on Jan. 28, 2014. Events and promotions are taking place throughout 2014 and pay tribute to the city's past, present and future. Highlights include year-long hotel, shopping and restaurant promotions; a July 4th celebration; art installations; a commemorative book and much more. For more information on the Beverly Hills centennial, visit www.lovebeverlyhills.com/centennial.

CHEER FOR CHAMPIONS ACROSS THE CITY

Right Field Pavilion at Dodger Stadium | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Dodgers

An amazing year of Los Angeles sports events includes the 100th Rose Bowl and BCS Championship, the historic NHL Stadium Series, the LA Marathon, summertime volleyball and basketball tournaments, and the crosstown rivalry of USC vs. UCLA.

NOW BOARDING

ink.sack at New TBIT | Photo courtesy of Westfield at LAX

The $1.7-billion New Tom Bradley International Terminal (New TBIT) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) solidifies L.A.’s role as an international gateway by offering world-class passenger convenience, amenities and services. The architectural design of the 1.2-million square-foot facility, the centerpiece of LAX's multibillion-dollar capital improvement awareness campaign, features arched stainless steel that stretches over column-free structures, mimicking the waves of the Pacific Ocean. New TBIT received LEED Silver Certification and features 18 gates, nine of which can accommodate passenger loads for new-generation aircraft.

From brand new eateries in New TBIT, to recent additions in terminals throughout the airport, we’ve rounded up the best dining options for LAX travelers.

SNEAK PEEK: 2015

The Broad | Rendering by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, courtesy of The Broad Art Foundation

But wait, there's more: as if there weren't enough things to do in Los Angeles this year, here's a sneak peek at what's coming up in 2015.