Ultimate neighborhood guides

Ultimate neighborhood guides

Single-day itineraries to keep summer sizzlin' from sunup to sundown.


1. Brunch: Plate
2. Midday activity: Rent a sit-on-top kayak at Malibu Surf Shack
3. Treats: Coffee at Cafecito Organico or gelato at Grom
4. Hobby: The Getty Villa
5. Bite & beer: Malibu Seafood (BYOB)
6. Shopping: Malibu Country Mart
7. Wine & dine: Nobu
8. Nighttime activity: Malibu Wines
9. Cocktails & hotel: Malibu Beach Inn

Get a healthy start to the day at Plate, one of Malibu’s best brunch spots. Fuel up on berry-topped waffles and egg-stuffed breakfast burritos before walking down to the Malibu Surf Shack.

There, you can rent single and double kayaks by the hour or day and even take a guided ocean tour.

If all that paddling makes you hungry, make the quick drive to Cafecito Organico for coffee and pastry, or grab some authentic gelato at Grom.

After, you can calm any lingering adrenaline with a walk through one of the peaceful gardens — we love the re-created Roman Villa — at the Getty Villa, just a 15-minute drive away.

Next, make your way to Malibu Seafood and grab a seat on the patio, where you can share shrimp and crab cocktails, fried oyster sandwiches and beer (they don’t sell it, though, so BYOB). If luxury shopping is your thing, your next stop should be Malibu Country Mart, which has a bevy of big-name designer stores and is just a seven-minute drive away.

When you’re done, drop off your purchases in your room at the Malibu Beach Inn and while you recoup, take in the gorgeous ocean view.

A luxurious sushi dinner at Nobu, a local institution, is next. If you do dinner early enough, you’ll have time for a sip or two at Malibu Wines. Malibu isn’t a late-night town, so if last call comes too early for you, bring a bottle back from the winery to enjoy at the hotel.


1. Brunch: Napa Valley Grille
2. Midday activity: The Hammer Museum
3. Treats: Donuts at Stan’s Corner Donut Shop and ice cream sandwiches at Diddy Riese
4. Hobby: Westwood Music
5. Bite & beer: P’tit Soleil
6. Shopping: Flax Pen to Paper
7. Wine & dine: Fundamental L.A.
8. Nighttime activity: Geffen Playhouse
9. Cocktails & hotel: W Hotel

Fill up on short-rib hash and $5 mimosas at local favorite Napa Valley Grille before making the short walk to the UCLA-affiliated Hammer Museum. There, you can spend a few hours taking in four permanent collections, which include works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, as well as a diverse range of temporary exhibits. The Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden is a sight to behold, too.

Take a 10-minute walk to satisfy your sweet tooth with a peanut butter donut at the classic Stan’s Donuts or head over to nearby Diddy Riese. You’ll have to wait in line, but their delicious ice cream sandwiches are worth it.

Next, you can hop on a bus or walk 15 minutes to Westwood Music, a world-class music shop open since 1974 and a favorite among famous musicians like Joni Mitchell. Once you’ve finished jamming, head over to P’tit Soleil for small plates of poutine, fondue and other French-Canadian dishes, plus a nice selection of Canadian beer.

Afterward, walk over to Flax Pen to Paper, a lovely store filled with an eye-candy array of stationery and gifts. A 10-minute walk will take you back to the W for a little relaxation before heading to dinner at Fundamental L.A., just minutes away and one of the neighborhood’s best dining spots. Go for the four-course seasonal tasting menu with optional wine pairing and don’t miss the house-made vanilla cream soda.

A play at the Geffen Playhouse is the perfect way to spend the evening, followed by a nightcap back at the W.


1. Brunch: Little Dom’s
2. Midday activity: Hike/picnic in Griffith Park
3. Hobby: Skylight Books
4. Treats: Coffee at Bru or dessert at Ramekin
5. Shopping: Wacko Soap Plant
6. Bite & beer: Vinoteca Farfalla
7. Wine & dine: Mozza2go
8. Nighttime activity: Movie at Hollywood Forever
9. Cocktails & hotel: The Redbury

Soak in the neighborhood vibe while feasting on ricotta and blueberry pancakes or breakfast pizza at Little Dom’s.

You can walk it off with a hike at Griffith Park, just a quick four minutes away by car, where you can hoof it up to the Griffith Observatory for one of the most spectacular views Los Angeles has to offer. Once you’re back down, you can picnic with cold drinks and sandwiches from the Trails, an outdoor café in the park.

Now you’re ready to spend some time walking the aisles at Skylight Books, a six-minute drive away, where you’ll find an eclectic selection of books on art, culture and film, plus zines and graphic novels. After, you can stroll one block to Bru Coffeebar for an afternoon caffeine boost and, if you’re still in the shopping mood, head over to Wacko Soap Plant, which has toys, rare books, pop-culture novelties and a small art gallery in the back.

Afterward, drive over to nearby Vinoteca Farfalla for a cheese plate and some wine. They serve 45 varieties by the glass. Don’t indulge so much that you can’t make the quick drive back to the Redbury for some downtime.

Before you leave, call in an order to Mozza2go for one of the best pies in town. You can eat it under the stars at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where classic films are screened all summer.

If you’re still up for some nightlife, check out the Library, an indoor-outdoor lounge with inspired craft cocktails, back at the Redbury.


1. Brunch: KTCHN DTLA
2. Midday activity: MOCA
3. Treats: G&B Coffee or McConnell’s Ice Cream
4. Hobby: The Last Bookstore
5. Bite & beer: The Black Sheep
6. Shopping: Oak
7. Wine & dine: Alma
8. Nighttime activity: Orpheum Theatre
9. Cocktails & hotel: Ace Hotel

Tres Leches French Toast from KTCHN DTLA, a Latin-inspired weekly brunch pop-up, is a decadent way to start your day Downtown. Don’t miss the Bottomless Bubbly special. You can regroup with a seven-minute leisurely walk to the Museum of Contemporary Art, which has the nation’s best permanent contemporary art collections with works by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, plus temporary exhibits from emerging artists.

If you’re in the mood for a quick treat, make your way through the lively Grand Central Market for a scoop of Churros con Leche at McConnell’s Ice Cream. GCM has a litany of other options that’ll strike your fancy. You can also reboot at G&B Coffee.

Now you’re ready for another cultural hub just a five-minute walk away — the Last Bookstore, a massive space that stocks thousands of new and used books. Walk through the book tunnel to get to the Labyrinth on the second floor, a dizzying display where every title goes for $1 and hours feel like minutes.

If you need to refuel with some essentials, The Black Sheep, a casual gastropub serving an affordable array of bar bites and beers, is just a few blocks away. The Ace Hotel is nearby too, so you’ll have time to refresh.

As you head back out, pop into the neighboring Oak, a clothing store specializing in chic minimalist fashion, before making the two-minute trek to Alma for an elegant seasonal tasting menu. Now you’re ready for a show at the historic Orpheum Theatre. Cap the night off back at Upstairs, Ace’s rooftop bar, where tropical drinks are served in style.

Text by Valentina Silva; Illustrations by Emma Trithart;Tribune Content Solutions