Style and Culture in Los Angeles | Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles is a popular tourist destination and one of the largest cities in California. Explore the expansive metropolis and you’ll come to find that each neighborhood has its own distinct personality. Though widely recognized as the center of America’s film and television industry, Los Angeles is also home to incredible museums and cultural attractions. Locals and visitors alike gather at the world-class institutions to experience L.A.’s thriving art scene. Check out our recommendations for a weekend full of art, culture, and style in the City of Angels.

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W Hollywood

The chic W Hollywood is a boutique hotel located under the iconic Hollywood Sign. The property is known for its modern design that captures the glamour of Hollywood. Enjoy upscale restaurants, a rooftop pool and bar, and the luxurious Bliss Spa without ever leaving the hotel. It’s close to several LA landmarks, including the Hollywood Bowl, Universal Studios, and the TCL Chinese Theatre. At the W Hollywood, you’re steps away from the entertainment capital of the world! Live like a celebrity with the Suite Treats Package. It includes a VIP upgrade to a Marvelous Suite, complimentary Wi-Fi, and champagne upon arrival.

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The Getty

The Getty is one of the largest art organizations in the world and comprises two separate venues in Los Angeles, the Getty Center and the Getty Villa. Admission is free for both locations.

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Visit the Getty Center at the top of Los Angeles to see world-class art and architecture. The expansive campus incorporates unique design elements and includes beautiful vistas and peaceful gardens. The Getty Museum contains various European paintings, drawings, sculpture, and photography. The Getty’s collection features famous works such as Van Gogh’s Irises as well as impressionist pictures by Manet and Monet. Don’t miss In Focus: Electric! on display through August 28, 2016. The exhibition showcases historic photographs with a focus on artificial illumination from renowned photographers including Bill Brandt, Alfred Stieglitz, and Andreas Feininger.

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The Getty Villa in Malibu takes you back to ancient Greece and Rome. Opened in 2006, the museum and educational center is dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of Greece, Rome, and Etruria. The Villa currently houses almost 44,000 works of art, including antiquities that date back to 6,500 B.C. Peruse their collection of Roman mosaics recovered from Italy, North Africa, Southern France, Turkey, and Syria. Our favorite area is the Outer Peristyle, the largest garden on the site. Hedge-lined pathways and circular stone benches surround a stunning 220-foot-long pool. Keep an eye out for the numerous bronze sculptures scattered throughout the garden. They are replicas of statues found at the Villa Dei Papiri, a private house in the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum.

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The Standard, Downtown LA

The Standard combines contemporary style with Los Angeles’ distinct personality. It’s an architectural wonder situated right in the center of vibrant Downtown Los Angeles. Originally built as the headquarters of Superior Oil Company, it now houses 207 spacious guest rooms, a rooftop pool and beer garden, a 24-hour diner, and trendy nightlife options. Book the Now Checking In: MOCA Package to immerse yourself in the culture of Los Angeles. The package includes deluxe accommodations, free admission for two and member privileges at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and a special souvenir gift at the MOCA store.

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Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles presents avant-garde art pieces, emphasizing modern expression and the changing definitions of art. They collect, present, and interpret pieces created after 1940, preserving the work for future generations. There are three different locations throughout Los Angeles: MOCA Grand Avenue, The Geffen Contemprary at MOCA, and MOCA Pacific Design Center. Each one features unique exhibitions and educational programs. We recommend Hito Steyerl: Factory of the Sun at MOCA Grand Avenue. The futuristic video installation is an immersive experience set in a motion capture studio. Admission to MOCA Grand Avenue is free every Thursday from 5 – 8 pm.

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Viceroy Santa Monica

Stay at the elegant Viceroy Santa Monica for a beachside getaway. The property embodies classic sophistication with a modern flair. With ocean views, state-of-the-art amenities, dining and nightlife options, it’s perfect for business or pleasure. There are two outdoor pools, an on-site lounge and restaurant, a fully equipped fitness center, and complimentary Wi-Fi in all guest rooms and common areas. Book the perfect weekend getaway with the Plan Your Escape Package. Save up to 20% on deluxe accommodations and receive two complimentary cocktails and $10 off valet parking.

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LACMA

Founded in 1965, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is the largest art museum on the West Coast. It’s located in the heart of Los Angeles, spanning 20 acres across Hancock Park. Their collection includes roughly 130,000 pieces that represent the history of art and the extraordinary diversity of Los Angeles. LACMA boasts an extensive collection of Asian and Latin American art, as well as one of the most prominent collections of Islamic art in the world. Millions of visitors flock to their numerous exhibitions, public programs, and research facilities every year. One of our favorite exhibitions is the Miracle Mile by Robert Irwin. It’s an exploration of light, material and color that consists of 66 fluorescent tubes suspended across a gallery wall. Buy tickets online.7

 

Discover the Beauty of Monterey | Monterey, California

If you’re in need of a revitalizing vacation, escape the bustle of the city and retreat to Monterey, California. Located right on California’s central coast, it’s surrounded by picturesque scenery. There are plenty of parks, trails, and outdoor activities to explore. It’s the perfect setting to de-stress from work and enjoy a peaceful weekend getaway.

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InterContinental The Clement Monterey

Relax beside the waters of Monterey Bay at InterContinental The Clement Monterey. The luxurious resort is centrally located on Cannery Row, just steps away from various restaurants, shops, and attractions. Take a stroll down the pier or unwind in the outdoor Pacific Courtyard. The property features modern amenities including a heated outdoor pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Rejuvenate your mind and body with the Spa Vacation Package. It includes deluxe accommodations, overnight valet parking, breakfast for two, and two 30-minute Coastal Express Massages.

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 Fort Ord Dunes State Park

Start your day with a morning hike at the recently opened Fort Ord Dunes State Park, a 130-acre site right off the Pacific coast. The panoramic views of Monterey Bay are truly breathtaking. Follow the scenic foot trail to appreciate the beauty of the landscape, then make your way through sand dunes down to a secluded beach. There are eight educational panels throughout the park that display information about Fort Ord. You can go on a self-guided cell phone tour to learn more about the natural and cultural history of the area. Download the brochure to learn more.

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Pebble Beach Golf Links

GolfDigest has named Pebble Beach Golf Links the Greatest Public Golf Course in America every year since 2003. Once you visit the 18-hole course, it’s easy to understand why. The site is nestled right along the coast, providing open vistas and scenic fairways. Casual players, spectators, and golf legends have frequented the course since its opening in 1919. Many prestigious tournaments have taken place at Pebble Beach Golf Links, including five U.S. Open Championships. The U.S. open will return for the sixth time in 2019. Visit their website for reservation information or take a virtual course tour.

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The Bench Restaurant

After a round of golf, enjoy a satisfying lunch or a glass of wine at The Bench Restaurant. They’ve received Wine Spectator’s Best Of Award of Excellence since 2013. The comfortable yet sophisticated dining room overlooks the 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links. The Bench Restaurant features a full bar, a glass-enclosed patio, and outdoor seating with fire pits. The eclectic menu showcases wood roasting and open-flame cooking techniques elevated with international flavors. We recommend the Grilled Swordfish served over Forbidden Rice with soy, cilantro, and ginger-sesame aioli.

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Bixby Bridge

Drive south on scenic Highway 1 through Big Sur to find Bixby Bridge, an iconic landmark built over a vast canyon along the coast. Completed in 1932, the bridge hovers 260 feet over Bixby Creek and provides incredible views of the ocean and surrounding cliffs. Pull over at one of the many turnouts along the south end to watch the sunset.

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Cannery Row Brewing Company

End your day with a hearty meal and a cold beer at the Cannery Row Brewing Company. Located in the heart of the historic Cannery Row, it’s frequented by locals and visitors alike. Neon lights, vintage décor, and communal outdoor fire pits create a casual and sociable atmosphere. The family-friendly eatery boasts the second largest number of beers on tap in Northern California. Enjoy a cold one with their signature CRBC Burger, wood-grilled and served on a house-made poppy seed bun. Customize it with tasty topping choices like applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, or a fried egg. They also host trivia nights and live music performances. Browse the full event calendar online.

 

Island of Romance | Catalina, California

Visit Catalina, a charming island destination off the coast of Southern California. Known as the Island of Romance, Catalina is also a playground for zip line adventures, boat tours, and golf. Stroll through the main town of Avalon and take in the Mediterranean-inspired ambience, breathtaking sunsets, and sparkling beaches. The consistently sunny weather means you can plan a visit any time of year. From outdoor adventures to fine dining restaurants, there are countless activities to enjoy.

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Pavilion Hotel

The beautifully appointed Pavilion Hotel is elegantly landscaped and just a few steps away from the beach! Spend time together in the semi-private courtyard and the outdoor lounge overlooking the ocean. The hotel provides a complimentary European breakfast every morning and a wine and cheese reception in the afternoon. Book the Romance Package for an intimate getaway. It includes overnight accommodations, round-trip boat transportation, a helicopter tour of the island, and a picnic basket lunch for two.

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Catalina Coffee & Cookie Co.

Start your day with a quick breakfast and fresh brewed coffee at the Catalina Coffee & Cookie Co., a local favorite since 1980. The Catalina Coffee & Cookie Co. is a two-time winner of “Best Dessert” at the annual Taste of Avalon competition. Each of their 12 cookie flavors is an original family recipe. We recommend the Eclipse Cookie, a fudge chocolate chip cookie dipped in white chocolate. View the menu online.

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Parasailing Adventure

Soar over the ocean at an elevation of 800 feet on a parasailing excursion! Experience the crisp sea breeze along with panoramic views of Catalina and the surrounding waters. California Parasail is Catalina Island’s premier parasail operator, dedicated to providing a safe and exciting adventure. Flights accommodate two or more, so it’s the perfect activity to enjoy with a loved one. Use the discount code “Online” to save $10 per person on an 800’ flight. Browse available times and reserve your spot online.

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Descanso Beach Club

Spend your afternoon at the waterfront Descanso Beach Club. It’s a secluded beach with soft white sand. Make sure to reserve a private cabana for two, which includes complimentary bottled water, smoothies, Wi-Fi, and beach towels. Walk over to the bar and sip a cocktail as you enjoy the gorgeous ocean views. For those seeking adventure, the beach club features snorkeling, kayaking, and 32-foot rock climbing wall. If you’re in search of rest and rejuvenation, indulge in a Massage by the Sea. The trained massage therapists will pamper both your mind and body.

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Dinner and a Movie

Dress up for a romantic evening at the Avalon Grille, centrally located in the heart of downtown Avalon. The restaurant serves new American cuisine in a relaxed upscale setting overlooking the Avalon Bay. Reserve a table on the outdoor patio to take advantage of the warm California climate. The menu features regional favorites made with seasonal ingredients, as well as an extensive selection of wine, craft beer, and specialty cocktails. Be sure to try the famous Wrigley Martini, created by Major League Baseball player Philip K. Wrigley in the 1950s. It’s made with Hendrix Gin and a dash of vermouth. Dine at the Avalon Grille between 5 – 6 pm and receive a movie pass for the Avalon Theatre with the purchase of any entrée. Ask your server for details.

The Avalon Theatre is located on the lower level of the Catalina Island Casino. It’s a spacious auditorium that measures 43 feet high and seats up to 1,184 people. Renowned painter John Gabriel Beckman adorned the walls with intricate art deco-style murals. The brilliant artwork and crisp acoustics create a unique movie-going experience. Feature films are shown nightly at 7:30 pm. View the screening schedule online.

 

Seaside Adventures | Laguna Beach, California

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Seven miles of coastline, 30 beaches and parks, 70 art galleries, and 400 working artists and studios make Laguna Beach one of the most vibrant places to visit in Southern California. It’s perfect for a springtime getaway, whether you’re looking for a romantic trip, family vacation, or girls’ weekend. Stay in a stylish hotel, have an adventure out on the water, and experience the best music, art, food, and outdoor activities that this popular seaside town has to offer.

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Laguna Beach House

Stay at the Laguna Beach House, a recently renovated hotel overlooking the sea. The property was designed to feel like a beach cottage and is styled with vintage furniture and coastal decorations. The Laguna Beach House offers a truly indulgent hotel experience, pampering you throughout the day with coffee in the morning, a sunset wine hour, and milk and cookies before bed. The hotel is conveniently located within walking distance from beautiful beaches, the boutiques and restaurants in downtown Laguna Beach, and the cliffs and tide pools of Heisler Park. Stay for one night and have a paddle board adventure for two with the Stand Up Paddle Package. You’ll receive two paddle board rentals, take a half-hour lesson on land, and then set off on an hour-long guided tour on the water. See dolphins, fish, sea lions, and plenty of beautiful scenery as you paddle from Fisherman’s Cove to Sea Lion Rock.

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Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Head up to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park for impressive views of Laguna Beach’s gorgeous coastline. The park spans 7,000 acres of coastal canyon, oak and sycamore woodlands, and rocky cliffs overlooking the sea. Choose from forty miles of trails that are perfect for hiking, biking, running, and horseback riding. Pack a lunch and take the Boat Road trail, a moderate 1.3-mile route that ends in a scenic vista. You’ll enjoy a picnic with 180-degree views of Laguna Beach and the Pacific Ocean.

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Blues Wednesdays at Mozambique

Mozambique Restaurant and Coastal Lounge brings South African cuisine to Laguna Beach. This sophisticated venue hosts concerts almost every day of the week and is a great place to see some of Laguna Beach’s best bands perform. Their Blues Wednesdays feature live performances by blues bands every Wednesday from 7:30pm to close. While you’re enjoying the music, be sure to try one of their specialty Mozambique Cocktails like the “African Mojito,” a unique twist on the classic mojito made with citrus vodka, muddled red grapes, lemon, and Chambord.

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First Thursdays Art Walk

Laguna Beach has been an artist’s colony for over a hundred years. First Thursdays Art Walk is a free monthly event that allows the public to experience local art and museums. Every first Thursday of the month from 6-9pm, nearly 40 galleries and museums up and down the coast open their doors to visitors. You can take a self-guided tour by downloading an Art Walk Gallery Guide and taking the free trolley service. Make sure to stop at the Laguna Art Museum to see the current exhibition “City Life, Los Angeles: 1930s to 1950s,” which features pieces depicting the development of urban Los Angeles.

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Nick’s Laguna Beach

Nick’s Laguna Beach is a restaurant praised by locals and visitors alike for excellent service and delicious California and Mexican cuisine. Enjoy a relaxing weekend brunch at an outside table overlooking the water. We recommend ordering a Bloody Mary (Nick’s are garnished with fried blue cheese olives) and the Oatmeal Brulee, which is made with old-fashioned oats, caramelized berries, vanilla, and cinnamon. After brunch, you can walk right down to the beach!