**This post is part of the coLAB between Diana and Natalie Notions. For more info on the coLAB project check here.
Natalie is sharing her tips to visit Los Angeles like a local!
The great thing about visiting or living in L.A, or any city for that matter, is the fact that you’re just there. Experiencing, watching, tasting, observing and taking it all in. Every city speaks differently to different people, and has its own vibe. There are lots of reasons why I love L.A., and lots of things that I love to do here, and I’m still exploring and discovering new things about the every changing city. That’s the beauty of ever thing in life. As soon as you think you may have it all figured out, you find that you’re just learning more. There’s no end to the discovery.
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – The Roosevelt is an iconic Hollywood hotel and has played host to some famous faces, including Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable. Marilyn Monroe lived there for awhile and you can stay in the exact room she had overlooking the pool. In the room there’s a picture of her hanging over the bed of her in that exact spot on the bed. It’s pretty surreal. Grab a drink in the large lobby, where the dark wood and high beam ceilings transport you to another era. The pool is a popular spot during the summer and not just for hotel guests.
Chateau Marmont – This is another iconic Hollywood hotel and another one of my favorites. Hotels in L.A. aren’t just for visitors; they’re also hangouts for the locals. A popular hideaway spot among the stars for years, the Chateau Marmont is tucked into the Hollywood Hills and often times lined with paparazzi outside. No pictures are allowed inside the restaurant and the waitress will be sure to let you know. The hotel bar is only open to guests, but Bar Marmont is open to the public and still has the same under the radar feel.
Hollywood Bowl – I love going to the Hollywood Bowl in the summer. The outdoor amphitheater has seen the likes of The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and countless other amazing musicians. There’s nothing like feeling the warm summer breeze, while having a glass of wine and listening to some good music. If you can beat the traffic and get there early, take a walk through the Hollywood Bowl museum and see how it has changed over the years since it was built in 1922.
Hit the Beach – With so many great beaches in the L.A. area it’s hard to choose just one. Everyone has their favorite spot, and my personal favorite is Topanga Beach. I like that it never gets too crowded and there’s always surfers and body boarders out in the water. The most popular is Santa Monica. It stretches for miles and has a great running and bike path, as well as a park that lines the edge. It’s also home to the famous Santa Monica Pier. I’m such a beach bum, I say if there’s sand and surf then go there.
Rose Bowl Flea Market – One of the places on my L.A. hit list is the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. I’ve found the best treasures there. Locket necklaces, an awesome blazer, vintage t-shirts, dresses, 70’s YSL sunglasses, and the list goes on. People sell anything and everything, but you have to remember to negotiate. If something seems like a steep buy for a flea market find, try to talk them down a bit. If you can walk away with no regret, then move on to the next booth. The place is so big you might not get to all of it in one visit.
Urth Caffe – This is an iconic Los Angeles café and has appeared in several films and shows that take place in the city, including Entourage. Urth Caffe has some amazing teas and coffee. The teas are so amazing because they are made with fresh loose tea leaves. All of the different teas are on display in canisters at the various locations. There are so many options it’s like the 31 flavors of tea.
Food Trucks – Gourmet food trucks in L.A. are restaurant style meals on wheels, serving every type of food imaginable. Even real eateries have their own food truck, like Border Grill and Sprinkles cupcakes. Food trucks line the streets at local events and on a weekly basis outside of businesses. You can even track their whereabouts on Twitter.