(credit: Huntington Gardens)

The City of Angeles offers an endless array of things to do with friends and family. Below are some of our favorite spots when friends come to town.

Pacific Palisades / Malibu

(credit: getty.edu)

The Getty Villa

17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, California 90272
(310) 440-7300
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The Getty Villa, dedicated to Greek and Roman antiquities, is modeled after a first-century Roman country house, the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy. The original house was buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, The Getty Villa, however, welcomes visitors with an open architectural environment and beautiful courtyard gardens and fountains. The grounds of the museum are an architectural feat, demonstrating how modern design and technology can successfully mix with ancient architecture to create an impressive abode. The works housed within the museum are also a wonder to behold, visitors can view ancient Etrurian, Roman and Greek sculpture and art up close. For lovers of Greek literature, the Getty puts on a few classic performances each year in its ampitheatre. This breathtaking site is not to be missed!

(credit: paradisecovemalibu.com)

Paradise Cove Beach Cafe and Mobile Park

28128 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, California 90265
(310) 457-2503
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High parking fees aside, this is the perfect place to spend a day at the beach. Nestled into a cove in Malibu not far from Zuma Beach, this restaurant offers so many options. You can spread out on the beach with your own gear or take over several of their Adirondack chairs and umbrellas (they have an abundance of them). The outdoor cafe features typical beach fare (hotdog and hamburgers) or you can grab a cold salad from their refrigerated cafe. Or if you want to take a break from the sand, come inside for their full menu with plenty of seafood dishes. They are also open for breakfast! Before you leave the beach stop in their outdoor bath and changing area, complete with showers.

(credit: thesunsetrestaurant.com)

The Sunset Restaurant and Zuma Beach

6800 Westward Beach Road
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 589-1007

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Spend the day at Zuma Beach and then watch the sun set over the water from the hip yet cozy Sunset Restaurant. The food is beachy and fun, a little more upscale than your usual beach place. The bar scene makes me feel like I am on vacation in some hip little island, with the low white bench seating and rattan tables. Its a perfect place for a cocktail or a meal with friends. You might even glimpse a dolphin in the water.

Beverly Hills / West Hollywood Eateries

Looking for some authentic local culture and perhaps a celebrity sighting? These intown restaurants fit the bill!


8897 Beverly Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
(310) 859-0242

One of the best Italian eateries in town, Madeo is a hot spot for LA regulars and celebrities. Start your meal off with the margerita pizza. It is by far the best flatbread pizza in town. Be sure to try the Penne Madeo, with an unsual creamy marinara that you are not soon to forget.

(credit: cantersdeli.com)

Canter’s Deli

419 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90036
(323) 651-2030
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An LA landmark since 1961, this old school Jewish deli with an endless menu of traditional items such as corned beef and matzoh ball soup, is a favorite of Angelenos. Many movies and tv shows have been shot in this location including Entourage and The Larry David Show. Don’t want to stay for lunch? Stop in the doorway at the take-out deli counter or the bakery. You won’t believe the feast for the eyes of endless rows of cookies, cakes and pastries. I personally love their cheese cake. They bake it in large sheets and serve it in rectangular slices. Its heavy and creamy and not too sweet.

(credit: toastbakerycafe.net)


8221 West Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 655-5018
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Breakfast, salads and sandwiches are served to hipsters and aspiring actors who congregate both inside and on the patio at this super hip locale. This is a also a regular spot for established entertainment folks. Next time you flip through a trendy tabloid you might recognize the place where the picture of that your starlett was taken, right on the patio at Toast.

(credit: joansonthird.com)

Joan’s on Third

8350 West Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 655.2285
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Gourmet take-out has never been better. This delightful spot offers a variety of delicious salads, sandwiches, soups and more. you just order at the counter and find a seat, if you can. Joan’s is very popular. They also feature a bakery, a small grocery shop and catering services.

(credit: griffithobservatory.org)

Griffith Park

Griffith Observatory
2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800
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If you want to see LA, really see LA, visit the Griffith Observatory. The view of LA from here is impressive and vast. Especially at night. The observatory features a state-of-the-art planetarium, the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theatre, public telescopes, an exhibit program and the Gottlieb Transit Corridor a monumental 150-foot-long, 10-foot-wide glass-walled passageway, immerses visitors in the motions of the Sun, Moon, and stars across the sky and demonstrates how these motions are linked with time and the calendar. Just be minful that they are closed Monday and Tuesday and open at noon durin the week. A little movie trivia, countless movies have been filmed on the grounds here, including Rebel Without a Cause, a bust of James Dean graces the west side of the grounds.


(credit: huntington.org)

The Huntington Library and Gardens

1151 Oxford Road San Marino, CA 91108-1218
(626) 405-2100
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If you love walking through gardens, experiencing nature and discovering landscapes the Huntington Gardens are the place for you. While the Japanese Garden and Rose Garden were lovely, we were awed by the expansive succulent garden and the inventive Jungle Garden. The Children’s Garden, however, takes the cake with whimsical fountains, a vine covered playhouse and sand sculptures that keep the kids very entertained. Bring their swimsuits and a change of clothes, there is a lot of water to play in. Be sure to tour the art collections and library as well. There is a lot to see and experience. You can make a full day of it!

Laura Gerson loves to discover things about Los Angeles and share them with your family. She blogs about kids activities and resources for Moms at Mom Angeles.