The Solo Traveler's Guide to Los Angeles: Music & Arts

Anthony Wilson Nonet performs at Jazz at LACMA
Jazz at LACMA | Photo: LACMA

Solo travelers heading to Los Angeles are in for a treat. The city boasts some of the world’s best art, music, theatre, nightlife and cuisine. And there’s plenty of scope for meeting fun-loving folks along the way. Whatever your vacation of choice, we have the itinerary for you. Scroll down for the lowdown on the city’s juiciest spots.

Nocando at Amoeba Music in Hollywood
Nocando at Amoeba Music in Hollywood | Photo: Matthew Cullen

Start your arts crusade at Amoeba Music on Sunset Boulevard. This long-standing independent record store is a treasure trove of vinyl, movies, t-shirts and posters – and a Hollywood landmark in its own right. Or if trading music is your thing, look no further than Permanent Records in Highland Park – the friendly staff is always on the look-out for quality merch.

Concert at The Greek Theatre
The Greek Theatre | Photo: Francisco Saiso Alva/The Greek Theatre

Live music? No problem. For outdoor shows on balmy summer evenings, you can’t go wrong with The Greek in Griffith Park. This plush, semicircular amphitheater is big enough to attract stellar artists like Al Green, The Raconteurs, and George Clinton (all playing this summer), but small enough to feel snug and intimate. For local indie acts, make a beeline to Resident, a beer garden-cum-venue in the DTLA Arts District. Or catch some live jazz at LACMA, every Friday evening from April to November.

The Last Bookstore Book Tunnel
The Last Bookstore  |  Photo: Discover Los Angeles

If you’re mad about books and want to meet some like-minded literary folks, consider joining an Esotouric bus tour. You’ll follow in the footsteps of classic L.A. scribes like Charles Bukowski, John M. Cain, and Raymond Chandler. After your fiction fix, you can stock up on novels at The Last Bookstore – the largest (and arguably the best) independent bookstore in California. The Last Bookstore is also the starting point for LA Artwalk – a local gallery tour taking place on the second Tuesday of each month.

Yayoi Kusama, "Longing for Eternity" The Broad
Yayoi Kusama, "Longing for Eternity," 2017 [detail]. Photo: 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.

Speaking of art, why not take a short walk to The Broad? The permanent collection includes works by Cindy Sherman, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol – and entrance is free. Snap a selfie at Yayoi Kusama’s eminently Instagrammable mirrored infinity rooms, then head west to Hollywood for a side-splitting show at The Comedy Store. There’s a plethora of up and comers, as well as famous comics like Jeff Garlin and Nick Kroll.

The Willows
The Willows | Photo: Just Fix It Productions

Solo curveball: Get a taste of the city’s best immersive theatre with The Willows. This tense psychological drama (with a maximum of 18 tickets) takes place in a 10,000 square-foot mansion in a secret L.A. location.