Going Out

Going out is an integral part of the Los Angeles lifestyle. And if you have patience, curiosity, and a full tank of petrol, there are endless hidden gems to discover.

The second largest city in the USA, Los Angeles is vast – spanning more than 1,200 square kilometres – so the social and cultural scene you’ll encounter will greatly depend upon the region. In general, the Eastside (Silver Lake, Echo Park and Los Feliz) caters to a younger crowd of up-and-coming artists and musicians, while the Westside (Beverly Hills, West LA and Santa Monica) tends to feature more upscale establishments geared towards industry professionals. Obviously this is an oversimplified generalisation, but a helpful one nonetheless. As you explore the city firsthand, you’ll get a feel for the subtle nuances of each neighbourhood and gradually find your personal areas of preference.

Wedged between the Eastside and the Westside is Hollywood, an eclectic mix of tourists, misfits and locals. While this historic area is primarily known for its tourist attractions, locals flock here at the weekend for the many concert and performance venues, clubs and special events.

Nightlife in Los Angeles is as varied as the residents themselves and is primarily fuelled by drinking. Meeting friends at a bar or club is common practice, but not quite the all-night affair that is customary in other international cities. In LA the bars close at 02:00.

As you would imagine, the city’s arts and entertainment scene is extensive and varied, with concert halls, theatres, museums and art galleries peppered throughout every region of the city. A fantastic resource for what’s on where is LA Weekly, a free weekly newspaper found on street corners across the city (www.laweekly.com).

When it comes to eating out, you can find just about anything your heart desires. The distinct cultural influences on the local cuisine within each neighborhood make for a richly diverse dining experience.
Most cafes are open all day, but when dining at night it’s better to get an early start; restaurants generally don’t tend to stay open past 22:00 on weeknights, midnight at weekends. Reservations are always recommended for fine dining establishments.

The public transportation system is limited and not easily navigated, so you’ll most likely be driving yourself to any given destination. That means you should be prepared for the infamous LA traffic. Keep in mind that it can take anywhere from 25 minutes to over an hour to get from one side of town to the other. Consult the California Department of Transportation’s website to assess traffic conditions (www.dot.ca.gov).

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