Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Nine shopping-free ways to spend the day after
Thanksgiving in L.A.
Los Angeles is a world-class shopping destination—the
first U.S.
city to have flagship stores for Neapolitan tailoring masters
Isaia, and COS, the upscale clothing brand launched by H&M in 2007—but
there are 364 other, less-crowded days for retail therapy.
Here are some
alternatives to the hustle and bustle of L.A.'s famed shopping strips and
mega-malls.
1.
Take a Hike Park your car at Trails Café on Fern Dell Road in
Griffith Park, grab a beverage, and climb the steep and winding 20-minute
aerobic path up to the Griffith Observatory, which offers killer views of the
Hollywood sign and the sweep of the L.A.
basin, both coming and
going.
Admission at the Art Deco masterpiece—made famous in the James Dean
film Rebel Without a Cause—is free.
2.
Ride the Metro Los Angeles' subway and light rail system is cheap,
clean, and relatively convenient.
From numerous stops in both Hollywood and
downtown, you can reach Koreatown, Chinatown, Pasadena, Los Feliz, Universal
Studios theme park (which just launched the new Fast & Furious
Supercharged ride), the Autry National Center western museum, and even the
historic ocean vessel Queen Mary and the Aquarium of the Pacific in downtown
Long Beach.
3.
Picnic Breakfast Fans of chef Ludo Lefebvre, the king of pop-up
restaurants, now have one more spot to queue up for.
In addition to his
ticketed tasting menu restaurant Trois Mec and the bistro Petit Trois, the
tattooed French impresario just launched Trois Familia, a neighborhood
French-Mexican café with white painted indoor picnic tables in a strip mall
on a suddenly hip stretch of Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake.
4.
Prowl Downtown From the new Broad Museum to the classic Bradbury
Building, featured in Blade Runner, The Artist, and 500 Days of Summer, Los
Angeles is filled with architectural splendors—including Frank Gehry's
monumental Walt Disney Concert Hall (check out the garden in the back with a
fountain made from Delft china).
And don't miss out on nearby Grand Park, a
vibrant urban green belt that stretches from City Hall to the Music Center.
5.
Howl at the Petersen The city's famed automotive museum is filled
with Hollywood classics, hotrods, and the Popemobile, but its recent
renovation into a mess of steel ribbons wrapped around a red building designed
by New York architecture firm Kohn Pederson Fox, has caused a civic
uproar.
After you've had a look—and a laugh—head over to the more
stylish spots on Museum Row—the La Brea Tar Pits, The Craft and Folk Art
Museum, and the campus of LACMA (featuring Ray's & Stark Bar, which has
a water sommelier, yes, you read that right)—or meander over to Little
Ethiopia (Fairfax Avenue, south of Olympic Boulevard), and try the rich stews
and injera flatbread at Messob or Meals by Genet.
6. Improvise Los Angeles is known for its many famous improv troupes
that have launched the careers of SNL stars and comedians.
Among them: Upright
Citizen's Brigade, Groundlings, and Second City.
But Improv Olympics is
where it all began, and it's a secret gem on the comedy scene in the heart
of Hollywood, with its own bar.
7.
Space Out At Exposition Park, a complex of institutions including the
1984 Olympic stadium and the National History Museum of Los Angeles (check out
the amazing gem vault), the California Science Center features a pavilion
displaying the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
8.
Hit the Beach It might be too cold to swim, but you can check out the
Pacific Ocean, the Santa Monica pier and boardwalk, and the Venice Canals on a
$68 two- to three-hour guided bicycle tour from Pedal or Not.
You can use this
as an excuse to burn off the Turkey Day calories, or just cruise—all bikes
have standard pedals and an electric motor.
9.
Embrace the Dark Side Walking down Hollywood Boulevard, you'll get
hustled by all kinds of tour operators, including the TMZ bus that departs
from the famous Chinese theater.
For an even more salacious experience, head
over to Sunset Boulevard and join one of the Tragical History Tours, which
highlight true Hollywood crimes.
Why not cap it all off with a visit to one of
the city's favorite goth haunts Museum of Death? It is Black Friday, after
all.
David A.
Keeps is on the Los Angeles beat for Travel + Leisure.
The host of
Ovation TV's "Art and The City," he writes regularly about travel and
design.
Follow him on Twitter at @davidkeeps and Instagram at
@davidkeepsinsta.
Los Angeles is a shopper's paradise, but you can indulge in
retail therapy the other 364 days of the year.
For Black Friday, read our
ideas for other ways to enjoy the City of Angels.

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