There’s so much to do in L.A. that you never have to get stuck in a rut. Finding spots you didn’t realize were there is one of the most exciting parts of living in this city.
If you’ve already been to the LACMA, check out:
Museum of Latin American ArtLocation: Long Beach
Good for: Afternoon date
Located in Long Beach’s evolving East Village Arts District, MOLAA has more than 1,300 works, including paintings, sculpture and photography, and has grown to become one of the country’s most important collections of contemporary Latin American art.
Two things: The Long Gallery features works from one artist from every country in Latin America. Don’t miss the museum shop, where tote bags, art objects and coffee table books abound.
If you’re tired of the Grove, check out: Brentwood Country Mart
Good for: Shopping
The Brentwood Country Mart is one of the most low-key shopping experiences you can have in L.A. Lively but not overwhelmingly crowded, this high-end plaza boasts a collection of luxury brand shops and top-notch restaurants.
Two things: Sweet Rose Creamery is the spot for mid-shopping relaxation and chilly indulgence. Diesel is an independent bookstore with a great selection of local L.A. titles.
If you’ve already been to the downtown art walk, check out:
NELA Art Gallery Night
Location: Highland Park
Good for: Casual date
Every second Saturday of every month, Highland Park’s bustling York Boulevard and Figueroa Street are filled with art and art lovers. The neighborhood’s galleries and shops all get in on the act, and there’s usually live music, too.
Two things: Download a self-guided tour map at www.nelaart.org. Check out art walk food specials from local eateries, like Town Pizza.
If you’re over the Arclight, check out: The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater
Location: Fairfax District
Good for: Casual night out
The Cinefamily is a nonprofit movie theater that screens 14 shows per week, and the programming is beyond eclectic. Old French films, retro horror movies and month-long retrospectives can all be expected.
Two things: Check the online calendar at www.cinefamily.org for program schedules. Get there early to nab a couch seat at the front of the house.
If you’ve already been to the L.A. Zoo, check out: Wildlife Learning Center
Good for: Family outing
About: Open to the public, the Wildlife Learning Center rescues and rehabilitates wild animals while also educating the public. The small center features foxes, turtles, birds, porcupines and more — and you can even pet some of them.
Two things: Lola the sloth is a must-see. Children’s birthday parties can be hosted here.
If you’ve already been to Little Tokyo, check out: Sawtelle Japan Town
Location: West Los Angeles
Good for: Casual afternoon, groups
Recently given the official moniker of Sawtelle Japan Town, this West L.A. neighborhood is a fun place to eat, shop for rare finds and maybe even sing a little karaoke. Come hungry — and with an open mind.
Two things: Giant Robot sells hard-to-find graphic novels, T-shirts and toys. Ramenya is one of the best Japanese noodle houses in town.
If you’ve already been to the Comedy Store, check out: Largo at the Coronet
Location: Beverly Grove
Good for: Nighttime show, groups, dates
This cool little theater hosts a wide range of performances. Famous comedians including Sarah Silverman host regular shows here. Well-known musicians make the stage their own and productions that defy explanation are commonplace.
Two things: Check the calendar at www.largo-la.com for show schedules and ticket prices. Everything at Largo is cash only, so leave your cards at home.
If you’ve already been to the Gamble House, check out: Eames House
Location: Pacific Palisades
Good for: Casual afternoon outing
This modern Mondrian-style house constructed and lived in by Charles and Ray Eames is one of L.A.’s most enduringly popular architectural attractions. Self-guided tours are available only for the exterior. But without even seeing the inside, you’re bound to wish it were your own.
Two things: Reservations must be made at least 48 hours prior to visiting. Free parking is available on Corona del Mar.
If you’re annoyed by crowds at Hollywood farmers market, check out:
Atwater Farmers Market
Location: Atwater Village
Good for: Groceries
Though small, this Sunday market is a great spot to grab organic produce, bread, cheese and meat, plus browse a wide selection of prepared foods, from tamales and fish tacos to cold-pressed juices and aguas frescas.
Two things: Take home a jar of pickled Dilly Beans from Jam I Am. Pupusas “con todo” from Delmy’s Pupusas are perfection.
—Valentina Silva, Tribune Content Solutions