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
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.
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.
WHERE TO SHOP
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.
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.
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 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 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!).
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.
You shouldn't skip visiting the 'Happiest Place on Earth' when you're in the area.
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.
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.