Mothershucker Platter at Fishing with Dynamite

Hidden Gems in the Beach Cities of Los Angeles

04/27/2014

Esther Tseng

The three sister Beach Cities in the South Bay of Los Angeles - Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach - represent a unique L.A. beach culture that can only be experienced in the flesh. The real estate in the area is consistently ranked as some of the most expensive in the country, thanks to spectacular coastal views and its proximity to the ocean. Aerospace, maritime and other industries fuel the economy here, but visitors will be privy to a beach community focused around activities taking place along The Strand, on beautiful beaches, and bustling piers located in each of these cities. Whether you're into biking, beach volleyball, sunbathing, surfing, swimming, body surfing, paddle boarding or simply walking and sightseeing or dining, the Beach Cities offer a slice of Southern California that you just can't miss. Read on and discover the hidden gems in the beautiful Beach Cities of L.A.

Annenberg Space for Photography

Hidden Gems in Century City

04/07/2014

Esther Tseng

Century City originated as the backlot of 20th Century Fox. With the advent of television representing tough competition for the studio and a budget for the movie Cleopatra spiraling out of control, the studio sold portions of its backlot to Alcoa Inc. and William Zeckendorf with the option to lease 75 acres back.

Welton Becket - who designed landmarks such as the Capitol Records building, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, and the Cinerama Dome - as well as other architects were hired to develop a masterplan for the brand new commercial and residential city-within-a-city, using aluminum for high rises. The city was designed with pedestrian bridges and wide boulevards to ease crowding. Today, Century City is a center of business and commerce in Los Angeles, so it can be easy to overlook the public places worth visiting. Read on and discover 10 hidden gems in Century City.

Nuart Theatre

Hidden Gems in the Westside of Los Angeles: Part 2

03/01/2014

Esther Tseng

The area of Los Angeles known as the Westside encompasses a diverse range of multicultural, historic and luxury neighborhoods. In this second part of our guide to the Westside, we cover Brentwood to Westwood and Sawtelle Japantown, including hidden gems of culture, history, shopping and nature.

Malese Jow and Austin Charles at The Mint

Hidden Gems in the Westside of Los Angeles: Part 1

01/28/2014

Esther Tseng

The Mid-City area of LA’s Westside is a treasure trove of art, culture, shopping and dining. The wide range of the area's multicultural residents is exemplary of what Los Angeles is all about - there are pockets and enclaves of each that contribute to the city's beautiful patchwork quilt. And while there's no shortage of museums to see, shops to browse, or restaurants to dine at, you may want to get to know a lesser-known dimension of this side of town. Whether you're a visitor or a resident, there's something new to be learned about this area at the center of Los Angeles.

Suiho En (“Garden of Water and Fragrance”)

Hidden Gems in the San Fernando Valley

12/23/2013

Esther Tseng

To the north of the Los Angeles Basin lies the San Fernando Valley, a bastion of suburban living with network and movie studios, parks, art galleries, shopping centers, sushi restaurants, theme parks and much more. Often referred to simply as "The Valley," it's a good idea to go beyond the stereotypes and visit a few lesser-known attractions to get a more intimate picture of the 260 square-mile region. We’ve gathered some great locations that fly under the radar in dining, recreation and culture, so you can get a good feel for what The Valley is really all about.

Hidden Gems in Beverly Hills

11/28/2013

Esther Tseng

Originally a Spanish ranch that grew lima beans, Beverly Hills is now one of the most famous neighborhoods in Los Angeles, recognized for Rodeo Drive, its high-value real estate, and multiple references in film and television. Investors came looking for oil but found water instead, making it a prime location to build a town. Beverly Hills was incorporated in 1914, named after Beverly Farms in Massachusetts and the hills in the immediate area. The city’s glamour and appeal to Golden Age Hollywood movie stars were established when Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford bought land to build Pickfair, their legendary 56-acre estate. Explore the hidden gems of Beverly Hills and you’ll soon become an expert on an LA neighborhood that’s known around the world as the epitome of luxury and style.

Far Bar in Little Tokyo

Hidden Gems in Downtown Los Angeles

10/24/2013

Esther Tseng

Downtown Los Angeles has undergone a revitalization the past several years, growing beyond the city's business center to becoming a cluster of various neighborhoods with their own distinct personalities. From the Arts District to the Historic Core, and Chinatown to South Park, every enclave makes Downtown rich with culture and opportunity. Check out a few of the lesser-known attractions, which highlight the best of Downtown's history, its exciting present and bright future.

Hidden Gems in West Hollywood

09/25/2013

Esther Tseng

While West Hollywood flourishes as a tight-knit community and neighborhood, its official status goes beyond that as a city in its own right. Famous for passing legislation such as same-gender domestic partner benefits for city employees, and bans on fur sales and declawing of cats, West Hollywood represents not only much of LA’s entertainment history but also a beacon of social justice.

The legendary Sunset Strip has been undergoing a revival of sorts as the home of go-to music venues, and many of LA’s top destination restaurants lie within West Hollywood’s borders, but there are other spots that fly under the radar. Whether you're a longtime resident, or are visiting this bustling city beneath the hills for the first time, there's always something new to discover in WeHo. Take advantage of its rich, creative history and vibrant culture by going off the beaten path.

Hidden Gems in Santa Monica

08/08/2013

Esther Tseng

Named one of the Top 10 Beach Cities in the World by National Geographic, Santa Monica is one of L.A.’s most popular destinations for domestic and international visitors alike. Beat the crowds and go on a trek less-traveled to some of the hidden gems in sunny Santa Monica. Included are historical structures with incredible backstories, as well as cultural bastions of Santa Monica life today. You'll enjoy getting to know the real city by the beach by visiting these places.

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