The Best Area to Stay in LA for Tourists and First Time Visitors

From Long Beach to Malibu, Santa Monica and Silver Lake, some of the best places to stay in LA for a tourist or first time visitor can be confusing - fear not, we've got you covered

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Los Angeles is a city whose reputation precedes it. Everyone knows of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, they know that there are beaches and a lot of huge houses.

In some cases that’s true: Mulholland Drive is a star-studded drive made for life-altering experiences and Griffith Park Observatory will inspire you, but there’s still more to it.

So we thought we’d put our heads together for the Plum Team’s favourite Los Angeles neighbourhoods.

BURBANK

Hollywood’s neighbor Burbank is the star-studded retro-locale of some of Los Angeles’s biggest studios.

To enter Burbank is, in a way, to take a walk back through time into the Golden Age of Hollywood. Today, Burbank maintains all of its smalltown studio-era vibes, and if you want glitz, it’s only a few miles from Hollywood.

PLUM RECOMMENDS…

We Love…

The Ugly Mug Coffee House @ 3112 W Burbank Blvd

  • Tour old school studios of your own accord: fake like you’re a movie star, or just absorb the tours as you walk through them. Remember who stood in those places before you. Hepburn? Grant? Bette Davis?
  • Because of its locale, it’s simple to get to Griffith Park and the exciting pathways around Los Angeles that will give you brand new views of the city the whole way along.

Time to break out that vintage The Cure t-shirt you’ve had in your drawer a couple of decades, you’re in Silver Lake now.

Silver Lake is a trendy mecca for Angelenos (and hipsters) of all ages. It can’t help its legacy as being one of the coolest areas in the city, and it can thank more than the iconic Sunset Boulevard which runs through it, for that.

Locals joke that it’s the spot aging hipsters go to retire to and have a family, and you'll find a lot of cooler young Hollywood types live around here. Silver Lake also boasts a large LGBTQ community.

PLUM RECOMMENDS…

We Love…

Alfred Coffee @ 3337 Sunset Blvd

  • Sunset Junction - where Sunset Boulevard meets Santa Monica Boulevard - is a fab place to explore. Hip indie stores meet high end fashion boutiques and in Silver Lake, it’s the indie stores that win out.
  • If you’re an audiophile, the independent Amoeba Music store can be found on Sunset. Amoeba has an unrivaled collection of records, old and new. One of its stand-out features is that - like that of Rough Trade in London - it hosts live performances.
  • Rent a bicycle and cycle around the neighbourhood. You know what they say - “when adjacent to Echo Park!”

WOODLAND HILLS

Woodland Hills is an opulent neighbourhood in the San Fernando Valley. Bordered by Topanga and close to Malibu, its homes are some of the most sought after properties in Los Angeles.

Full of greenery and the heat that tanned a thousand stars, Woodland Hills is an ideal place to vacay for a family who likes hiking and the outdoors. Woodland Hills is not without its commercial offerings, either. Ventura Boulevard has lively bars and gastro pubs serving up everything LA has to offer.

PLUM RECOMMENDS…

We Love…

Leo & Lily @ 22420 Ventura Blvd

  • David Lynch once said of Mulholland Drive that one can feel the history of Hollywood when on it.
  • The Mulholland Drive sign is found in Woodland Hills with the neighbourhood being on its Western edge, and the drive in itself is 35 km of inescapably beautiful views of the valley, mountains, and canyons.

Venice is everything you have pictured it to be: skaters, surfers, street performers, counter-culture and beach. Venice is a seedy-chic beach town with a personality of its own.

Laid back, fun-loving and a little offbeat, Venice and the Boardwalk are where Angelenos are free to go to to let loose.

PLUM RECOMMENDS…

We Love…

Intelligentsia @ 1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd

  • If you don’t fancy trying your hand at surfing or you’re antsy from staying on the beach for too long, you can take a walk around Venice’s thriving streets. You can go thrifting.
  • Venice is one of the best spots to thrift in the world, and you never know what you’re going to end up with when you decide on going. After, you’ll be able to get drinks at the Hotel Erwin’s High Rooftop Lounge. (Or just stay there all day…)
  • Since it was based on Venice in Italy, the neighbourhood has plenty of canals you can take in and the surrounding residences have their own special vibe.

Like the Village in New York, Soho in London, and the Marais in Paris, Los Angeles’s gay district, West Hollywood might as well be the rainbow capital of the world.

In its 1.9-square-miles, West Hollywood (WeHo) has seven entirely different residential neighbourhoods. Norma Triangle is the best known of the WeHo seven. Legend has it silent movie star Norma Talmadge had a film studio there.

WeHo’s other diverse neighbourhoods include Tri-West, WeHo Heights, WeHo North, WeHo West, Center City, and Eastside. You can read a brief on each of them here.

PLUM RECOMMENDS…

We Love…

Verve Coffee Roasters @ 8925 Melrose Ave

  • West Hollywood is the best place for nightlife in Los Angeles. If New York is the city that never sleeps, WeHo is the city that sleeps in naps throughout the day to party more every night.
  • The illustrious Chateau Marmont is on the Sunset Strip, as well as Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Los Angeles’s quintessential Cali beachtown, Santa Monica is a spot with white sand, blue sea, bright sun, and beautiful, easy-going people.

Santa Monica Pier has been on more postcards and in more movies than the Statue of Liberty. It's a blissful coastal idyll, and perfect if you're a beach bunny who'd like to be out of the downtown smog.

PLUM RECOMMENDS…

We Love…

Philz Coffee @ 525 Santa Monica Blvd

  • Spend the day and the evening around Santa Monica. Whether by yourself and travelling alone, with a family, or with your other half, you’ll find dozens of things in dozens of places to entertain you - Cali style.
  • Venture onto the Promenade and to Pacific Park amusement park. With its carousel, legions of coasters, and the world’s oldest solar-powered Ferris Wheel, make sure you take time to indulge in the delicious food on offer.

Neighbour to the equally hip Silver Lake, Los Feliz is the curated Bohemian mecca on the outskirts of Griffith Park.

Definitely a spot for the cool kids, the average age here runs a little younger, and has a independent hipster vibe to the area.

PLUM RECOMMENDS…

We Love…

Bru Coffeebar @ 1866 N Vermont Ave

  • If it had a soundtrack, Los Feliz would have one like Garden State; its small, concept boutiques and kitschy-chic book shops make it difficult to go home empty handed.
  • When night comes around, dress up handsomely and take in one of the many cocktail bars that line the streets, then go to bed and sleep it all off. Griffith Park and its sunshine will be waiting for you the next day to spend time in the sunshine.

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