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Los Angeles Cool

Published June 12th, 2015

From sea to shining sea, the USA is huge. With so much to see it’s hard to stay in one place too long, especially somewhere like Los Angeles, which is usually regarded as stopover destination. If you’re flying into LA on your next American adventure, do yourself a favour and extend your stay in LA to see the best of the city.

For a unique experience that needn’t include the Hollywood Walk of Fame or Universal Studios, here are our ‘LA Cool’ tips. Where to head for a night out in Silver Lake, the ultimate coffee fix in the city, where drink cocktails by the pool on Sunset Boulevard, the art galleries with the most contemporary shows, and ‘the place’ to splurge on dinner with celebs in full sight.

Coffee break #losangeles #intelligentsia

A photo posted by kikihut88 (@kikihut88) on

Silver Lake for indie vibes

For the real LA neighbourhood vibe, Silver Lake is a great place to stay. Just make sure you rent a car, because it’s no lie when they say the only way to get around LA is with wheels. If you can get your hands on a bicycle, two is plenty to navigate the Eastside. Dubbed as the ‘Williamsburg of the West’, Silver Lake is great for thrift shopping, dive bars and coffee places with WiFi that you can hang out at for hours. For a fool-proof good night out in Silver Lake: grab dinner at Masa of Echo Park (right next door to Silver Lake) – this eclectic neighbourhood pizza joint serves the best deep dish pizza outside of Chicago. Then, bar hop along Sunset Boulevard checking out lively dive bars with cheap drinks and generous pours. 4100 Bar, Akbar, Los Globos and The Short Stop come highly recommended for dancing the night away. For a greasy breakfast the next morning, hit up Millie’s, it’s an institution for the Silver Lake rocker crowd. When you’re ready for your mid-morning coffee, head to Intelligenista on Sunset Boulevard for the best coffee in the town, and if you’re lucky; a celeb spotting without having to anywhere near Sunset Strip. This very traveller writer spotted one Jack Gyllenhaal there a few summers ago...

You don’t have to stay at The Standard to swim in the pool

Forget Venice Beach, there are plenty of better beaches in Oz. But if you must be by the water, we suggest doing so with a cocktail in hand. Rooms at The Standard are around 300 USD per night, but for a day by the pool, non-guests can dive in for a cover charge that varies between free and $20 depending on events. The day I rocked up to The Standard to sun myself, there just happened to be a liquor brand promo party offering free cocktails, ‘so LA.’

Life right now | @katikai @vfesta @peegirl3 #poolside #thestandardhollywood

A photo posted by Gabrielle Scout Maio (@scoutmaio) on

Get your art on

Aside from all the glitz and excess, LA is actually a really cultural city with a number of world-class art galleries. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) has not one but three locations: Grand Avenue, North Central Avenue and Melrose Avenue. Check out the view from Getty Center, with free entry plus lush gardens to soak up the sun in, and in the summer months live bands play on Friday evenings. LACMA is another great contemporary art museum with a collection that aims to represent LA’s diverse population; here you’ll find unique Asian, Latin American, European and American art. Culture badge: earned!

#gettymuseum A photo posted by Christine Chou (@christine22c) on

Save your dimes for dinner at Chateau Marmont

With a strict ‘no photos’ policy – to protect the high-profile guests – the only place to get ‘selfie’ here is in the bathrooms, which are so plush you’ll want a pic for bragging rights regardless. Chateau Marmont has a reputation for hosting celebrities, namely rock stars, within its exclusive 63 rooms and suites. You can check out part of the grounds of this French-inspired castle style hotel by stopping in for a drink or a meal. You’ll need a reservation to dine at either The Restaurant or Bar Marmont, and if you’re not in the position to drop a hundred dollar bill on three courses, perhaps stick to the bar menu snacks and share plates. For change from the $20 bill, The Marmont Bar Burger is legendary. Let the star spotting begin, just act cool, no staring.

Once you're ready to leave La La Land, you ought to look into exploring more of the USA... luckily for you, we can get you to NYC, San Fran, Chicago or Dallas for only a $1*!

Rachel Surgeoner

A self-confessed 'food-tourist', I take hunting for the world's greatest sandwich very seriously, my quest has taken me from Berlin to Hoboken. Stopping off only for vintage shopping, craft beers and Mediterranean sunsets.