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What to do in Los Angeles, according to travel blogger Li-Chi Pan

Travel blogger Li-Chi Pan shares her favourite places to eat, play and sleep in La La Land

By Li-Chi Pan | Published: 14 Aug 2017

LA travel guide
Photo: Li-Chi Pan

Australia-based travel blogger Li-Chi Pan has an Instagram feed that stirs the wanderlust bug in anyone. Li-Chi recently visited Los Angeles, California – a holiday she thoroughly enjoyed. She shared her top LA travel tips exclusively with ELLE.

WHERE TO EAT

The Cabana Cafe, The Beverly Hills Hotel
There's a relaxing view of the pool, surrounded by towering palm trees and serves some of the fluffiest pancakes I have ever had.

Sprinkles
This ice cream parlour in Beverly Hills has a unique red velvet soft serve cone which is a must-try while you're there.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse
I also had the chance to hit up Mr. Holmes Bakehouse – I've had it on my bucket list for a while – and dig into their fresh doughnuts.

Other notable spots: breakfast at Jean-Georges in Waldorf Astoria; ice cream at Eiswelt Gelato and Dahlicious Creamery.

Clockwise from top left: Sprinkles; breakfast at Waldorf Astoria; Eiswelt Gelato; Mr. Holmes Bakehouse; Dahlicious Creamery (Photo: Li-Chi Pan)

WHERE TO SHOP

The Grove
The Grove is located in the same area as the historical Farmers Market, so I also recommend making a quick stop there before heading to the Grove for some shopping. The overall design of The Grove allows you to feel like you are inside an Italian palace, with a dancing fountain and koi pond providing a grand welcome. A free double-decker tram lets you ride from one end of the mall, which offers a mix of designer labels and high street favourites.

Rodeo Drive
I visit Rodeo Drive every time I'm in LA and love strolling past all the luxury designer boutiques. On my recent trip, I got a closer look at the famous yellow Bugatti Veyron owned by the late menswear designer Bijan Pakzad, which is parked in front of the House of Bijan boutique as a tribute to him. It's a big Rodeo Drive landmark.

Rodeo Drive (Photo: Li-Chi Pan) 

WHERE TO STAY

The Line Hotel
If you're on a moderate budget, I suggest hitting up The Line Hotel in Koreatown. It's a contemporary, minimalist-chic hotel with an incredible rooftop pool. It's also located near Skyspace and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

The Line Hotel (Photo: Li-Chi Pan) 

The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
The new Waldorf Astoria located in the heart of Beverly Hills is another must-stay spot. I love the 360-degree panoramic view of LA from the rooftop, where I had sunset drinks with some of my closest friends. The hotel now also has a new restaurant, Jean George's, and is within walking distance to Rodeo Drive.

WHERE TO VISIT

The Griffith Observatory
For great views of the Hollywood sign, make sure to visit the Griffith Observatory. Entry is free.

Skyspace LA
Skyspace LA is an observation deck, which has an all-glass slide stuck outside the building from the 70th floor to the 69th floor (it's pretty scary, but so breathtaking!).

The all-glass slide at Skyspace (Photo: Li-Chi Pan)

Frank Gehry's home
Some say that Frank Gehry is the greatest living architect while others argue that the Santa Monica home he inventively remodelled in 1978 kills the neighborhood aesthetic. I say, pay a visit and decide for yourself.

Disneyland
You shouldn't skip visiting the 'Happiest Place on Earth' when you're in the area.

Disneyland (Photo: Li-Chi Pan) 

TOP INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS
The Urban Light installation at LACMA, The Apartment by The Line, The Rooftop Bar at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills and the 'Made in LA' and 'Paul Smith Pink' walls.

'Paul Smith Pink' walls (Photo: Li-Chi Pan) 
'Made in LA' wall (Photo: Li-Chi Pan) 

TIPS FOR FIRST-TIMERS

Rent a car
Public transport is difficult to navigate in LA, so I highly recommend renting a car from the airport. It's much more convenient.

LACMA at night
On my recent trip, I visited the Urban Lights installation at LACMA at midnight and it was the most memorable moment of my entire stay! I visited once during the day, but it was packed with people. However, visiting at night when it was much emptier was such an ethereal experience.

Clockwise from top left: The Urban Light installation at LACMA; Griffith Observatory; The Beverly Hills Hotel; Skyspace Los Angeles (Photo: Li-Chi Pan) 

DON'T MISS THIS

Yayoi Kusama exhibition
If you're in LA by 30 September 2017, another hidden gem is the beautiful Infinity Mirrored Room that's part of Yayoi Kusama's exhibition at The Broad. People book tickets months in advance but the trick is to head there an hour before the museum opens! Line up earlier in the morning to get tickets; they'll call you later in the day to give you a quick minute in this room.

For more wanderlust inspiration, follow Li-Chi Pan on her blog and Instagram.

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