Driving on Mulholland at sunset - I generally avoid driving in LA, but I have to admit that there is something enchanting about driving along the winding hillsides and looking out over the city. There are lots of places to stop and take in the view (or go hiking!).
Decadent breakfasts - This city sleeps in and then goes wild for breakfast. If you can make it out the door by 9 am, you can have french toast and french press coffee at The Griddle, or organic eggs and bacon at Swingers, or honey nut pancakes at Snug Harbor, without any wait at all. If you're late, be prepared to wait for at least an hour for a table anywhere.
Santa Monica Farmer's Market - An institution in the city, the SM Farmer's Market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. You can buy your veggies from the same farms that supply the best restaurants in the city, and you can eat some delicious croissants while you shop.
Outdoor shopping - Malls make me feel claustrophobic and itchy, but luckily we have lots of outdoor shopping here. My favorite place to stroll and shop is the Santa Monica Promenade, because if I get retail overload I can just walk two blocks down and be on the beach, but there is also Century City, or even the crazy Disneyland atmosphere of The Grove (but beware of the crowds - I never come here if I can avoid it).
Fabulous dinners - LA is a foodie town, packed with delicious places to eat. The amazing diversity of Southern California means we have just about everything you could possibly want. There are star studded restaurants and little hole in the wall places, and the thrill of discovering a new place is something most Angelenos share. I can't even begin to share a list of the best places, but I will point you toward Jonathan Gold, who is the last word in the Los Angeles food scene.
Concerts at the Hollywood Bowl - The Hollywood Bowl is a summer tradition here. If you check the summer schedule, you'll find there is truly something for everyone. Don't miss the chance to see one of the annual concerts where the Philharmonic plays with a band. It is always the best concert of the summer, hands down. Imagine Zero 7 or the Decemberists with a full orchestra in the background. Amazing.
A huge thank you to Rachel (Heart of Light) for guest blogging while I continue to settle into my new home called LA.
(Photography by Rachel)