California: Los Angeles Best Neighborhoods

Los Angeles Made Easy: A Brief Guide to the City’s Neighborhoods

By Terry Bravermann

Disney Hall, downtown Los Angeles.
Disney Hall, downtown Los Angeles.

Are you new to L.A. and wanting to get a handle on where to go and how to get there? Are you a tourist in L.A. and needing to know the best way to get around to the best places? Have you lived in L.A. for a while and seek new and/or off the radar venues to explore? Well…it is time to discover the L.A. you haven’t seen, like the Great Wall of L.A., the spa with a Himalayan Salt Brick Room for maximum body purification, the best ice cream shop, the tranquil Japanese garden tucked away in a leafy residential area, and the many eclectic attractions of L.A.

If you would like to get a great guide to Los Angeles, check out LA Made Easy: From Iconic to Eclectic, a guide to getting the most out of your visit to the glamourous city of LA.

This is your official “One Stop Shop” for attractions, activities, walking tours, restaurants, nightlife, shopping, and hotels. Listed sections like Historic Districts and Walking Tours save you time and allow you to concentrate on areas of most interest to you.

Grammy Museum in Los Angeles: essential for music lovers!
Grammy Museum in Los Angeles: essential for music lovers!

With over 300 listings of what to see and where to go, from the historical (world’s oldest movie palace district) to the hysterical (comedy clubs), from the hectic (Hollywood Blvd.) to the rustic (Santa Monica Mountain trails), from the iconic (Beverly Hills) to the eclectic (fairy tale styled houses), there is plenty for EVERYONE to enjoy here!

Quotes from the author:

“I initiated a monthly diner’s event about seven years ago, for people with adventurous palates…we tasted different ethnic cuisines each time. It amazed me what a variety of options we’re blessed with, here in L.A….from a Basque regional restaurant of northwest Spain, to a Burmese café; from Shandong style Chinese to Chilean; from Nigerian to Nicaraguan…it was as much about connecting with the various cultures embodied by restaurant staff, as it was about the delectable diversity of food.”

“…it became a path of discovery for other dimensions of culture in L.A., some of it very eclectic and unheard of by native Angelenos…little specialized museums, quirky galleries, hidden hiking trails…and some of the so-called iconic attractions had fascinating stories I had not known. After living in L.A. for so long (25 years), I was discovering something more authentic.”

If you’re drawn to an artsy bohemian beach community vibe, then explore Venice, and enjoy the walking tour described in the guide. Relish the beach, but want a little more upscale city ambiance? Santa Monica is a better choice. Are you a film history fanatic and/or live theater buff, one who thrives in hectic, flamboyant surroundings?

Korean Cultural Center
Korean Cultural Center

Plant yourself in Hollywood. Lean toward less hectic, more upscale with some film history of its own? Culver City has Sony Pictures, Culver Studios, and the Culver Hotel. Love the modern state of the art concert halls and arenas, with other close subway distance cultural attractions like Chinatown, Little Tokyo?

Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown L.A. is the way. Prefer a university atmosphere, close to some top museums? Westwood or Brentwood may be a better fit. Or, want to wrap yourself in posh Southern California celebrity chic? Perhaps Beverly Hills is your place. Then again, if you want a central location to everything plus a stone’s throw to Museum Row and CBS television studios, try the Fairfax/Mid-Wilshire district.

LA made Easy, from Iconic to Eclectic
LA made Easy, from Iconic to Eclectic

Deciding how and what you’re going to see in L.A. is crucial. It can easily take 1 1/2 hours or more to drive from the northern city limits to the southern fringe. If you have a car, options are expanded and you can more readily cover distances.

For example, if you’re an ethnic neighborhood enthusiast, you can more easily visit Westwood (Little Tehran), Fairfax District (Jewish, Ethiopian enclaves), Hollywood (Thai Town, Little Armenia), Koreatown, and Downtown (Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Olvera Street).

If you are planning to use public transportation, focus more on your interests in specific districts. Consider staying near a Metro Rail station (Culver City, Downtown, Koreatown, Hollywood, Universal City) if your curiosities gravitate to these parts of the city.

Depending on whether you are visiting for a few days or living here, it will likely be necessary to edit your choices and decide if you want to consume L.A. in combinations, or a la carte. With L.A. Made Easy as your guide, and you can accomplish either or both!

About the author

Terry BravermanTerry Braverman is an internationally renowned keynote speaker/writer, and a total travel junkie! He’s author of “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Lighten Up!” an Amazon best seller from 1997-99 (now in its 5th edition). The last chapter is titled, “Lightening Up Your Load on the Road.”

Nowadays he spends a lot of time on the road as a travel writer, speaker, consultant, and entertainer (playing music and playing with children). Currently posted on GuideGecko (bit.ly/1jIwzjc) are 38 condensed travel guides authored by him, destinations ranging from Colombia to Cambodia, Ethiopia to Iloilo (Philippines), Greenland to Thailand.

His writing is easy to follow, with elements of wit, whimsy, and wisdom to engage you while preparing for your next trip. Going beyond “what to do” guides, Terry gives an immediate sense of the adventure, thrusting you into his travel shoes to gain access to the heart of a new experience of place and culture.

If you’re in or coming to L.A., you’ll probably find him sitting in on harmonica at the Industry Cafe & Jazz in Culver City on Wednesday nights.

Buy Los Angeles Made Easy on Amazon.

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