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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Los Angeles on a Shoestring Budget



Los Angeles will always be my favorite U.S. city for the laid-back vibe, weather, Venice Beach, and phenomenal restaurants. The "City of Angels" is more than Hollywood and celebrities. If you follow my guide, I guarantee a smashing time while spending very little cash.

Transportation

The cheapest and quickest way to get to and from LAX is via the Flyaway Bus http://www.lawa.org/welcome_LAX.aspx?id=292. It drops you at Union Station for $8.00 one way. During your stay, you can use your feet to get around (the gorgeous weather allows me to walk for miles) or take the Metro. I suggest getting a re-loadable TAP card if you plan to use public transportation often http://www.metro.net/riding/fares/.

Accommodations

I like to mix things up by using Airbnb, the Orange Drive Hostel in Hollywood, and Beverly Inn in West Hollywood.

Restaurants 

Here is a list of my favorite vegetarian/vegetarian-friendly eateries where you can spend as little or as much as you want, depending on your menu choices and if you go during happy hour. My heart will always belong to Hugo's:)

Hugo's West Hollywood (healthy/organic American) - $$
Lucky's Tavern (American w/great beer) - $$
Flore Vegan - $$
Swinger's (American) - $$
The Kitchen (American) - $$
Blossom Restaurant (Vietnamese) - $$
Farmer's Market at the Grove - $$
Nakkara on Beverly (Thai/Fusion) - $$
Toast Cafe (American/Bakery) - $$
Sharky's Woodfired Mexican Grill - $
Aventine (Italian w/killer patio) - $$
City Tavern Downtown (American, I go for the amazing beer selection) - $$
Toi on Sunset (Thai) - $$
Cafe Gratitude in Venice (vegan/raw) - $$
Venice Ale House (Gastropub right near the beach) - $$

Entertainment/Activities (FREE unless otherwise noted)

School Night at Bardot Hollywood - several live music acts on Monday nights (I highly recommend)
Amoeba Records on Sunset - ginormous record store that offers mini-concerts (check the calendar)
The Getty Center - one of the most amazing places on earth
Nick Metropolis Collectible Furniture - an outdoor collection of spectacular wares
Spend the day at Venice Beach including a stroll down Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Book Soup - great bookstore w/author events
Runyon Canyon - get your hike on and take a free yoga class
Hammer Museum - fantastic exhibits
The Last Bookstore - I suggest getting lost here for hours
Hollywood Forever Cemetery - beautiful and serene 
Barnsdall Art Park (check the calendar for free events)
Griffith Park Observatory - great place to hike, observe and learn
Little Tokyo - wander around and grab some food
Heck Yeah Karaoke at the Japanese Village Mall in Little Tokyo - Fri and Sat nights from 6-9pm
Olvera Street - experience Mexican culture
Bradbury Building - admire the interior architecture on the 1st floor
Peddler's Creamery - peddle/churn for them and get free ice cream in return
Eat/See/Hear - have a blast seeing live music and an outdoor film while noshing from food trucks for only $10 (food extra)
Jazz Nights at W Hollywood Hotel - vintage jazz & blues every Sunday from 9pm-midnight in the Living Room Lounge
Phenomenal street art to soak up, especially in the Downtown Arts District


Seen on Abbot Kinney in Venice

Go Green Frittata at Hugo's

Aren't they gorgeous?

In my "book," the Last Bookstore is the coolest:)

video


Sunset at beautiful Venice Beach






With the one and only Nick Metropolis




Four Angels entree at Nakkara


One of many unique places at the Farmer's Market

Like stepping back in time with this piece (downtown arts district)

Pretty in red - Little Tokyo


video



Shopping at Olvera Street

The Getty Center after dark

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Vegetarian crepe at Blossom

Great street for a snap of the sign - Beachwood Ave.

Can you feel the love now? Contact me for any further advice and see you on the west coast.



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