Entering LA LA Land: A Guide to Los Angeles NeighborhoodsBy Courtney Voegele
Infatuated with the rich and famous? Hollywood is the epicenter for sights dripping with stardust. But if you really want to immerse yourself in LA LA Land, there are more than 100 neighborhoods in LA to explore. Whether you’re looking to ramble through Little Tokyo or ransack Rodeo with your credit card, the City of Angels won’t disappoint. Here’s a quick guide to things to do in Los Angeles neighborhoods.
Don’t be ashamed if you’re more interested in a city’s rich history rather than its rich people. Downtown Los Angeles is a hub for historic and iconic landmarks. Wander past a Warhol or ponder a Pollack at the Museum of Contemporary Art, where you’ll discover more than 6,800 pieces of post-war artwork created after 1940. MOCA hosts thought-provoking exhibitions throughout the year. When you are done there contemplate the undulating steel curves of the nearby Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry, a work of art itself.
Who would’ve thought you could find one of the world’s most famed fossil environs in the middle of metropolitan Los Angeles? The Page Museum houses over 1 million Ice Age fossils. From mammoths to mice, you’ll see fossils from 650 species pulled out of the La Brea Tar Pits. After watching excavators dig up new discoveries (which surprisingly happens almost every day!), stop at the fossil lab and uncover the art of paleontology as scientists prepare fossils for exhibits.
Imagine you are one of LA’s glitterati at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. This cultural gem will take you back to the birthplace of Beverly Hills in the city of Los Angeles, as the Robinson Mansion was one of the first homes in this neighborhood. Built in 1911, the estate hosted some of the most extravagant, legendary parties in its day. We’re talking Gatsby-style celebrations. Once home to Virginia and Harry Robinson (department store giants), Virginia made sure her lavish soirees were well-attended. Royals like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor made appearances, as well as some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
Immerse yourself in the culture of Chinatown by starting at the Chinatown Central Plaza. Exotic architecture, the delicious smell of Asian cuisine and colorful shops envelop you as you wander the streets of this LA ‘hood. After grabbing a bite at the Golden Dragon for some succulent dim sum, hit the local shops for a unique selection of porcelain, jade, woodwork, books, teas and other eclectic must-haves.