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EDITOR: Andrea Kirk
PLACES TO GO WHEN YOU CAN'T DECIDE WHAT TO DO
By Eye Spy LA Editor
TELL YOUR FRIENDS
Where is your favorite place to walk around and people watch? We asked Eye Spy LA visitors to vote for their favorites and here are the results.. Venice Beach and Santa Monica tied for top votes at 30% each. Pasadena was a distant 3rd at 13%, followed by Hollywood at 11%, Downtown at 9% and 3rd & Fairfax (The Grove/Farmers Market) with 6%.|
These are all great places to go when you aren't sure what you want to do. Each of these destinations offer multiple options for recreation, dining and entertainment.
Bike, skate, walk or just lay around on the grass or sand. There are so many possibilities for things to do in Venice. You'll find everyone there: tourists, body builders, chess players and hawkers of all kinds of stuff from art to junk. Head nearby to rapidly changing Abbot Kinney while you still can for the artier scene where you'll likely find a second hand bicycle parked along side a Lamborghini or Maserati. For sheer variety alone this may be THE spot to people watch. Head to Venice Beach for daytime loitering.
The beach, the pier, 3rd Street and Main Street all offer sensory overload day and night in Santa Monica. Haute cuisine and art on Main. Shopping, casual dining and street entertainment on 3rd. The pier is a cacophony of color and sound, amusements and free fishing. Unfortunately, 3rd street is becoming a victim of its own success, the "organic" feel of a true pedestrian area and the unique shops that initially drew us there are all disappearing as the mall moves outdoors. Sometimes it is unbearably crowded. The neighborhood Farmer's Markets here on Wednesday (this is it - go if you can) and Saturday are the best of them.
Old Town Pasadena is a very restaurant friendly town, with good parking and all way cross walks that help sooth the natural clashes between heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The area is also accessible via the Metro Gold Line. Old Town Pasadena is best in the evening as a dining destination.
Hollywood is another area that is rapidly changing. Developers tout new hipster hi-rises as "THE L.A. address" blah, blah, blah. Hollywood and Highland is where the tourists come and hob knob with Spiderman and other street characters, snap shots of the Hollywood sign and inspect the hand and foot prints of Hollywood stars. The area near Hollywood and Vine is a mecca for nightlife where local hipsters and wanna be's go for entertainment. Major plus - Hollywood is easily accessible via the Metro Red Line.
Downtown L.A. - the historic core, the Grand Avenue, or the thoughly modern milieu that is L.A. Live? There is a lot to see and do here and this is a great place to take out of town visitors. It is easily accessible via the Metro Red Line, then get around using DASH. The Downtown Art Walk, the second Thursday each month, has become the scene to be seen. Head to the Music Center, Disney Hall, REDCAT for entertainment on a grand scale. A bunch of new clubs and restaurants around Gallery Row in the Historic core provide for interesting nightlife. High tech high rollers can head to LA Live! where they'll find Staples Center, Nokia Plaza, the Convention Center and numerous entertainment venues, dining establishments and other places to spend serious cash. Find out what's going on in Downtown L.A. now or nearby Chinatown.
3rd & Fairfax - the Original Farmers Market and the Grove. This was not a popular destination in our poll, but it is a wildly popular destination packed day and night by both tourists and locals living in the surrounding high density residential area. I love the Farmers Market for prime people watching. Oddly enough this was perhaps the first of the fabricated and themed shopping destinations in town and has long been a tourist favorite, now the Farmers Market seems so organic and so L.A.
BUT WHAT ABOUT..... ?
There are so many other places to go that were not included in the poll. Like Long Beach and San Pedro, very underrated yet terrific destinations, and other South Bay beach towns, numerous "old towns" and even City Walk at Universal.
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