1) Visit the Arts District – The Downtown Los Angeles Arts District is an amazing hub for young professionals, up and coming artists and creatives. The mix of warehouses and new condos/lofts makes it an interesting place to visit. In the Arts District, you’ll find beautiful murals, stunning buildings, stylish galleries, cute boutiques, hype coffee shops and also a ton of delicious restaurants. The approximate neighborhood limits are Second Street to Seventh Street and Alameda Street and the LA River. If you’re a fan of the series New Girl on Fox, you may also recognize some buildings from the show. The famous apartment in the tv series can be found in the Arts District. When in the area, another famous spot to visit is the L.A. River. Finding the entrance can be a bit tricky but it’s worth the trek and exploration. As soon as you get there, you’ll recognize it from countless movies, music videos, photoshoots, etc.
2) Make a stop at California Donuts – Those who know me know that I have a serious thing for donuts. Thanks to Instagram, I heard of the infamous California Donuts shop, where they make the most colorful and unique donuts I’ve ever seen. Whether they’d be shaped like a panda, covered in cereal, cookies, peanut butter cups, etc, these donuts are beautiful to look at and most importantly super tasty! One of the coolest things they make are letter donuts that you can custom order for any special occasion. If you also have a thing for donuts, you’ll want to follow them on Instagram.
3) Explore Marina Del Rey’s fisherman’s village – If you’re looking for a cute spot to ride a bike or for a leisurely stroll, the fisherman’s village is a great spot to spend time at. You can rent kayaks or SUPs and paddle around the different channels, you can also go for a boat ride or go fishing. It’s a great place to have an afternoon snack or beverage. Watching the sunset from the village is never a bad time either. It may feel a little touristy in the summer but during the rest of the year, it’s actually pretty quiet. They’ve also got a handful of shops (which I personally don’t care for) that could interest those looking for a local souvenir. But if you were to ask me what the best thing about the area is… I’d tell you that it’s looking for seals. They’re all over the place. I guarantee you’ll see them either propped up on a pier or swimming around the marina. They’re really the funniest to watch!
4) Rent a surfboard from Malibu Surf Shack – The Malibu Surf Shack is a local institution in, you guessed it, Malibu. Located right across the PCH from the Malibu Pier, this shop has been around since 1972. They rent a great selection of longboards, shortboards, softops and also for those not into surfing, kayaks, SUPs, Body Boards as well as wetsuits. They also give lessons and tours of the area. The shop is located right beside the Surfrider Beach, the perfect spot if you want to longboard and spend the day at the ocean.
5) Go for a trail run – There are so many great places to go running in and around Los Angeles. If you’re looking for a group run, you can join the Nike Running Club (NRC) in either Santa Monica, at The Grove in Beverly Hills or Pasadena for a guided run evenings and weekends. If you’re looking for a flat run, take the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, it’s a 22-mile trail that you can find right along the beach in Venice, Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades. If you’re looking for more of an incline, you can choose from a variety of trails such as Runyon Canyon, Griffith Park, etc. If you’re looking for a track, the Drake Stadium at UCLA, is a 9-lane 400-meter track that you can use if none of their local teams are training. There are so many other places to run in and around the city, but these are some of my favorites.