The Best Things to Do in Los Angeles During Coachella

Enjoy a car free, hipster free LA!

Charlotte Gainsbourg will play the El Rey in Los Angeles between her two appearances at Coachella, 2019 | Photo: Charlotte Gainsbourg, YouTube

For music fans, Coachella is one of the biggest events of the year. While the masses head out to the desert for the next couple of weekends, Los Angeles has plenty of unique and awesome things to do - and you don't even need a VIP wristband.

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Photo courtesy of Broken Shaker at Freehand Los Angeles

Dive Into L.A.'s Hottest Hotel Pools

Instead of getting caught in a dust storm at the Empire Polo Club, you'll be kicking it poolside - preferably with a cold drink in hand - at these red hot L.A. hotels.

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Yayoi Kusama, "Longing for Eternity," 2017. Photo by Maris Hutchinson/EPW Studio. Image © Yayoi Kusama. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London/Venice; Yayoi Kusama Inc.

Gaze into the Infinity Mirrors at The Broad

One of the most popular artworks on view at The Broad museum in Downtown L.A., Yayoi Kusama’s installation Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away is a mirror-lined chamber populated with a dazzling and seemingly vast array of LED lights, creating a sense of limitless space.

In March 2018, a second Infinity Mirror installation debuted at The Broad, Longing for Eternity. The Broad describes the experience: "From outside Longing for Eternity, viewers can peer through porthole-like windows into the dazzling, LED light–filled hexagonal chamber. … Through extreme repetition, both types of Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms create phenomenological experiences that provoke a sense of boundlessness and transcendence."

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Photo courtesy of TreePeople, Facebook

Learn How to Go Green at Earth Day in L.A. (April 21-22, 2018)

More than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. The theme for Earth Day 2018 is End Plastic Pollution. In Los Angeles and around the world, Earth Day participants will be marching, signing petitions, planting trees, and cleaning up beaches and roads. Read on for events in L.A. taking place on Earth Day Weekend.

Cheech and Chong GRAMMY Museum

Cheech & Chong | Photo: GRAMMY Museum

LOL with Cheech & Chong at the GRAMMY Museum (April 20, 2018)

GRAMMY Award-winning comedy duo Cheech & Chong will be the subject of a new exhibit opening on 4/20 at the GRAMMY Museum. Cheech & Chong: Still Rollin'—Celebrating 40 Years Of Up In Smoke is curated in collaboration with GRAMMY-winning producer Lou Adler, who uncovered the legendary duo, produced many of their albums, and directed the film. The exhibit explores what made the world fall in love with East L.A. native Richard "Cheech" Marin and Canadian Tommy Chong, while chronicling the development and success of their first feature-length film, Up In Smoke.

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Photo courtesy of L.A. Times Festival of Books, Facebook

Celebrate the Written Word at L.A. Times Festival of Books (April 21-22, 2018)

The 23rd annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is taking place on Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22 at the University of Southern California (USC). The largest literary festival in America, the weekend-long celebration of the written word welcomes more than 150,000 attendees to experience conversations, live performances and demonstrations led by over 500 authors, celebrities, musicians, artists and chefs. On Friday, April 20, the 38th annual Book Prizes will honor pioneer of modern gay and Chicano literature, John Rechy, with the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, and Glory Edim (founder of Well-Read Black Girl) with the Innovator's Award, alongside 11 outstanding literary works published during the last year.

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Photo courtesy of BROKE LA, Facebook

See the Next Big Thing at Broke LA (April 21-22, 2018)

BROKE LA is back for its 8th year, taking place on Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22 at the Regent Theatre in Downtown L.A. The festival formerly known "Brokechella" features an eclectic lineup with indie, hip-hop, DJ, and comedy acts culled from an open-submissions process. BROKE LA's commitment to the community, ticket and drink prices have maintained competitively low despite a fluctuating economy. The festival proudly offers premium, accessible experiences for the budget set. Day Pass admission is just $15, and a Weekend Pass is $25.

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Photo courtesy of Magic Bus Experience, Facebook

Board the Magic Bus Experience (April 20-21, 2018)

Taking place at The Reef DTLA, the Magic Bus Experience is a 60,000 square-foot psychedelic wonderland featuring numerous whimsical environments inspired by marijuana culture. These interactive environments are designed to stimulate the senses, inspire creativity and engage the imagination, from navigating the “Hotbox" white-out maze to leaving your creative mark in the Giant Coloring Book or crawling through the adult-sized Pillow Fort to enjoy a drink at the Make-Believe Bar. Grab a quick bite at the Munchie Mountain, a floor-to-ceiling snack bar or satisfy your cravings with food from one of the many food trucks.

VIP guests enjoy expedited check-in, exclusive access to the Cloud Room VIP Lounge, a private cash-bar, and a complimentary all you can eat Chicken Nugget and Tater Tot Bar. Two sessions each day: 11:30am-4:20pm and 6-11pm. Tickets are now on sale at the Magic Bus Experience website.

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Photo courtesy of Songkran Festival, Facebook

Ring in the Thai New Year (April 22, 2018)

One of L.A.'s largest cultural festivals, the 13th Annual Songkran Festival celebrates the Thai New Year in the heart of Thai Town. The festival spans six city blocks along a one-mile stretch of Hollywood Blvd between Western and Normandie Avenues. Highlights include a parade, beauty pageant, cultural dancers, Hill-Tribal Costume Show, Muay Thai Championship Face-Off, demos (Thai cooking, fruit carving, ice sculpture, lei making), Thai Wedding Ceremony, Singha Beer Garden with live jazz, and of course plenty of Thai food from local restaurants. The Songkran Festival takes place on Sunday, April 22 from 8am-8pm and admission is free.

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"Purple Rain" courtesy of Kelly Lee Barrett/Cinespia

Watch a Movie Under the Stars

The outdoor movie season has officially begun, and now is the best time to pack a picnic and spread out a blanket before the summer hordes descend on popular screenings like Cinespia at Hollywood Forever.

Majordomo Whole Plate Short Rib

Whole Plate Short Rib at Majordomo | Photo: @majordomola, Instagram


Food critics and gourmands alike agree that Los Angeles is home to one of the most exciting dining scenes in the country. No wonder so many New York chefs like David Chang are opening restaurants in the City of Angels.

If you're hungry for more, there are endless dining options in L.A., from pizza by the ounce to bustling food halls, hearty ramen bowls, modern iconic dishes, and delicious tacos as good as the motherland.

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MoShow the Cat Rapper with DJ Ravioli | Instagram by @iammoshow

Help Celebs Save the Kitties at CATstravaganza (April 21, 2018)

Get your tickets right meow for CATstravaganza, the animal welfare fundraiser of the year! Taking place on Saturday, April 21 at the historic Montalban Theatre in Hollywood, CATstravaganza is presented by Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats, the West Coast's only 100% feral cat socialization facility and rescue. Doors open at 7pm featuring live music by Almond&Olive, magic by Fantastic Fig and his cat Newton, carnival games and over $20,000 in prizes. Take your seats at 8pm for the star-studded World Premiere musical spoof, "Hamilton's Cats" featuring Fred Willard, Emily Deschanel, Mindy Sterling, Nicole Sullivan, Rumer Willis, MoShow the Rapper & DJ Ravioli, and many more. Join the stars for the afterparty and enjoy an open bar, tapas, treats, DJ and gift bags. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit the Kitty Bungalow website.

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"Kiss Me Deadly" at the Film Noir Festival | Photo courtesy of Egyptian Theatre, Facebook

Live Dangerously at the 20th Annual Film Noir Festival (April 13-22, 2018)

Now in its 20th year, the Film Noir Festival of Los Angeles returns to the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood with an incredible lineup of rarities, presented as they were meant to be seen - on the big screen! The longest-running film noir festival in L.A. will delve deep into the archives to present a sizzling slate of sinister cinema - virtually all in glorious 35mm, including prints struck expressly for this series. Returning as hosts are Eddie Muller and Alan K. Rode, whose Film Noir Foundation is presenting a program of sinuous shadows, dangerous desires and bitter beauties brimming with broken dreams.

Love Liza Paley Center for Media

"Love, Liza" | Photo: The Paley Center for Media

Look Back at a Legendary Career with "Love, Liza" (April 4-29, 2018)

The public has a once in a lifetime chance to see Love, Liza: The Exhibit, a blockbuster exhibition now on view at The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles. The exhibit—featuring highlights of an upcoming auction produced by Profiles in History—showcases the legendary career of one of the world's greatest entertainers, Liza Minnelli. Highlights include photographs by Andy Warhol, Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, and David LaChapelle; the finest collection of rare and unpublished photographs on the lives and careers of Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli; important costumes from stage and screen including Liza’s iconic “Sally Bowles” look from Cabaret; and an extensive showcase of custom fashions by Halston. In conjunction with the exhibit, the Paley Center will screen classic Liza Minnelli television appearances, as preserved in the Paley Archive, every Saturday at 4pm throughout the exhibit’s run.

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Photo courtesy of Wilshire Country Club

Welcome the LPGA Back to L.A. (April 16-22, 2018)

The HUGEL-JTBC LA Open is the newest tournament on the LPGA's global stage. This spring, the world's greatest female professional golfers, including Shanshan Feng - currently ranked No. 1 in the world - and I.K. Kim (ranked No. 5) will compete for a share of the $1.5 million purse at the historic Wilshire Country Club in Hancock Park. Rising stars like Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson and Lydia Ko will play alongside longtime fan favorites like Natalie Gulbis, Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.

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Photo courtesy of Westfield Century City, Facebook

Shop till You Drop at L.A. Malls

Westfield Century City has emerged from a $1-billion redesign with a stunning new three-level Nordstrom, a completely remodeled three-level Bloomingdale’s, and a modern two-level Macy’s. In addition to over 200 designer brands, Westfield Century City is a dining mecca as well, featuring the West Coast’s first Eataly, Shake Shack, and the first Westside location of the famed Taiwanese dumpling house Din Tai Fung.

You'll find the best shopping from global luxury brands to discount outlets, paired with entertainment and dining, at malls from Downtown L.A. to the Beach Cities. Read on for the best shopping malls in Los Angeles.

El Matador State Beach at sunset

El Matador State Beach

 |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Soak Up the Sun & Surf at the Beach

Enjoy beautiful spring weather and spectacular coastal scenery without the usual crowds at L.A.'s world famous beaches.

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Rocky Peak Park at sunset | Photo courtesy of Kevin Dinkel, Flickr

Take a Hike on L.A.'s Best Trails

Exploring L.A.'s numerous trails during Coachella is the perfect way to discover why hiking in L.A. is such a popular outdoor activity.

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Corvette Stingray on PCH | Photo courtesy of 45SURF, Flickr

Rev Up with Coastal Drives & Motorcycle Rides

Less traffic on Coachella weekends means there's more fun on the road! When a cliff is the only thing separating the road and that beautiful mass of Pacific blue, it's time to crank up the stereo and sing L.A.'s praises. These scenic coastal drives are a sports car's dream - winding roads, tight turns, beautiful beaches and clear skies.

If you're more of an "Easy Rider" type, our expert has created a guide to the Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in Los Angeles.

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Photo courtesy of CicLAvia, Facebook

Go Car Free at CicLAvia: Heart of the Foothills (April 22, 2018)

The biggest open streets event in the country, CicLAvia kicks off 2018 with a brand new route: Heart of the Foothills on Sunday, April 22 to celebrate Earth Day! Since the inaugural CicLAvia in October 2010, more than one million people have explored over 159 miles of open streets in Los Angeles County. This new route will connect San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont. Streets will be closed to cars and open to cyclists, pedestrians, runners and skaters to use as a recreational space.

CicLAvia is a free event and will take place from 9am till 4pm. CicLAvia is not a race. There is no starting point or finish line - begin where you like and enjoy the day your way. CicLAvia is two-way traffic, just like regular traffic.

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The Jousters | Photo by Ian Henry - courtesy of Renaissance Pleasure Faire, Facebook

Get Medieval at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire

Since its inception in 1963, more than 5 million people from around the world have visited Southern California’s Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Located at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, the Renaissance Pleasure Faire spans 20 acres, with 13 stages offering a variety of entertainment along with the Queen and her Court, arts & crafts, delicious food, fine spirits, rides and games.

There's much more to do in L.A. this spring, from the extraordinary King Tut exhibit at the California Science Center, to Wild for the Planet at the L.A. Zoo, and the Dodgers 60th anniversary season.

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