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Latest Best of LA

Guide To A Long Weekend In Los Angeles

June 21, 2014 5:00 AM

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(credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

(credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

(credit: Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

(credit: Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

School’s out for the summer as visitors make their way to the City of Angeles to spend time with friends and family while getting to know our fair city. With that in mind, deciding where to stay and what to do can be helped along by some stellar suggestions. Consider the following five options that will definitely make for a memorable foray when guests arrive in Los Angeles for a long weekend.
(credit: Shutters On The Beach)

(credit: Shutters On The Beach)

Shutters on the Beach
1 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 458-0030

Uninitiated friends and family who visit Los Angeles often think our entire city sits on the sand. That’s totally not true but a select number of top Santa Monica hotels do reign only a frisbee’s throw from the Pacific. With a slogan that says, “There’s nothing between you and the sand,” Shutters on the Beach is a solid choice. In fact, this laid-back hotel operates like an oversized beach house, the perfect place to perch while sussing out what else is to be unearthed in the urban sprawl many call the City of Angels. While on the property at Shutters, be sure to experience the in-house spa (try any of the signature treatments) and enjoy a meal or drink at any of the trio of superb in-house outlets, including One Pico, Coast and The Living Room.

(credit: Amanda I./Yelp)

(credit: Amanda I./Yelp)

Ace Hotel
929 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 623-3233

As gentrification becomes more and more prominent every year, downtown LA is emerging as a groovy place to stay. So, if the beach is not the place you want to serve as home base for incoming visitors, consider choosing the brand new Ace Hotel, a spiffy property that opened at the beginning of 2014 in the heart of the city. Located inside what was originally the United Artists building, this ornate ode to the arts rocks the night away on its rooftop bar while brunch is a must (don’t miss the avocado toast) at this snappy retreat. As for choosing a room, why not replicate the way many Angelenos live in this part of town and opt to book a loft accommodation? These expansive digs come with all kinds of homey items like kitchenettes, Revo radios and even acoustic Martin guitars to strum softly into the night when you’re not quite ready to go to sleep.

(credit: Water Grill)

(credit: Water Grill)

Water Grill
544 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 891-0900

Opting to get together for one celebratory dinner over a long weekend when guests are in town? Steer the group toward Water Grill, a rarified outpost located downtown that marries seafood cuisine with traditional American fare. Great options on the vast menu include the black cod from Morro Bay, a variety of raw oysters and the grilled octopus. Want wine? The sommelier who works here is not at all snobby. Quite the opposite actually as this restaurant professional is happy to help if you’re not sure of what to pair with the dish you chose as your main course. Water Grill also operates an equally excellent sister outpost in Santa Monica.

Related: Best Luxury Hotels in Los Angeles

(credit: Brian H./Yelp)

(credit: Brian H./Yelp)

Pink Taco
8225 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 380-7474

Out late while showing everyone around when your whole gang suddenly gets the munchies? Take the tribe over to Pink Taco for this hot spot’s world famous Baja fish taco specials and other modern Mexican fare that’s particularly seductive after dark. Happily, this West Hollywood outpost is open late for Los Angeles (until midnight on weekdays and until 2am on weekends), ready to feed your ravenous crew while providing a fun-loving ambience that will put everyone in a great mood just before it’s time to hit the sack and head to dreamland, something Tinseltown locals knows all about.

(credit: Bar Marmont)

(credit: Bar Marmont)

Bar Marmont
8221 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 650-0575

When the adults in your party are looking for a nightcap as well as a place that potentially will serve a celebrity sighting or two, head to this venerable hangout on the Sunset Strip, located down the boulevard from the previously mentioned Pink Taco. Just before last call at 2am, the drinks seem extra tasty (like the so-called Westside which is vodka based and includes a bit of mint, some club soda and fresh lemon). High profile personalities (like Robert Pattinson, Johnny Depp and Fergie) show up just in time for that final libation, which typically means these celebs temporarily may be living in the Chateau Marmont’s infamous bungalows on the same grounds on which this clubby bar thrives.

Related: Best Hotel Restaurants in Los Angeles

TEST Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on Examiner.com.

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