These micro-itineraries bring together two or three neighboring destinations to make a single adventure. Others stand alone, like those odd, irresistible Joshua Trees out in the desert. Try a few, and maybe you'll see L.A. anew.
Carpeted with sawdust and illuminated by a jumble of neon signs, the Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles dates to 1917. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Skiing. Hiking. Quiet contemplation. The vaulting, pine-dotted altitudes of Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead and Idyllwild can pump adrenaline or shut the tap.
Palm Springs and environs are the most famous cities, with their tony shopping and midcentury splendor. Nearby are such timeless charms as date shakes and camel races.
The grapes aren't the only ones soaking up this atmosphere. Oak-dotted hills. Rugged coastline. A kitschy Danish town going chichi. A raucous stagecoach stop.
Yes, the beaches are gorgeous, but head inland and you can go on safari, tour a plastic kingdom, eye topiary musicians or kick back at a hacienda.
The region, known for its red tiles and retreats, isn't just for the elite anymore. From stops in Ojai and Simi Valley to strolling State Street and luxuriating on the beach, here are 11 micro-itineraries.
The city to the south is both kid- and adult-friendly, with cultural offerings, outdoor attractions, revitalized neighborhoods and great restaurants and bars.
Joshua Tree and environs offer camping, hiking, unusual sites (the famed Integratron), hotels, restaurants, watering holes and spas, where you can take a well-deserved soak.
There's much more than stars to check out in Hollywood, where nuns, horse trails, the Magic Castle and Cirque du Soleil await.
The area has its traditions, including Craftsman homes, Old Pasadena and the Rose Bowl, its greenery including Huntington Library, its Asian flare with Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants, and its fun and funky side at Eagle Rock hangouts.
Highlights include the Sunset Strip, Chateau Marmont, Farmers Market, Canter's, Pink's, Fairfax, Melrose, La Brea Tar Pits, LACMA, Koreatown and the Wiltern.