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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at LUC chapter.

Growing up, my family traveled to Los Angeles often to visit my dad’s old college buddies and this caused for me an obsessive love for the popular city. At a young age, I fell in love with the Hollywood aspect of it all and as I’ve grown up, I can see it through a different lens but I still adore the City of Angels. Having been there so many times, I’ve done it all – tourist attractions or not, and these are just a few of the things I love to do. 

Malibu Sunset

Starting off with a semi touristy one, the sunset is beautiful at any beach or location you can find in Los Angeles but you must visit Malibu, blare “Malibu” by Miley Cyrus and watch the sunset at least once in your life. Just trust me. There are a few pull-over spots and parking lots you can choose from (be sure to read the signs carefully because California takes the spikes that damage your tires if you go the wrong way very seriously). Personally, I enjoy Will Rogers State Beach because the parking lot is big and you can easily get to the beach and watch from a lifeguard station! 

4100 Bar

I discovered this place more recently on TikTok and loved it when I visited in person over spring break. Found right outside of “Little Armenia”, this dive bar is the perfect spot to feel like a local who just got off work and is getting drinks with friends. Along with the good deals at happy hour, this bar offers a cool experience that is hard to find at other bars. In the back corner of the bar, near the restrooms, you’ll find a vintage photo booth and for $5, you can get a strip of black and white photo taken! The atmosphere of this bar is unmatched and although I would say be weary at night time as the neighborhood isn’t the best in LA (but also not the worst) this bar is still a must-see if you are of age and in the City of Angels. 

The Original Farmers Market 

While the Grove is usually at the bottom of a tourist to-do list, this chic mall is the perfect place to find more affordable shopping compared to Rodeo Drive. You will also find a farmers market full of cultural cuisines and cute shops in the back of the outside shopping mall. “The Original Farmers Market” started out as a dairy farm in 1880 and transitioned into an oil field before turning into the shopping and dining destination it is known as now. 

When you’re visiting this market, be sure to take your time and walk around. You can find so many amazing shops and food but to recommend only two, I highly suggest “The Sticker Planet” and “China Depot”. Sticker Planet is found in the back of the market and is a small shop full of every sticker known to man, ranging prices from 50 cents to 16 dollars depending if you get a pack of them or just a sleeve. It’s a fun experience to just look at and is a great way to keep kids satisfied. 

China Depot is found right by the main entrance to the market and is serving up delicious sweet and sour chicken with fried rice, veggies and wontons. I got a specific meal five years ago and when I got the chance to go to LA again, I got the exact same meal and it was even more delicious than before. 


This is a well-known bar within the Los Angeles community for its turtle racing on the first and third Thursday of the month. Starting at around 8:30 pm, the bar sets out a ring and five turtles inside of it. The first turtle outside of the circle wins! It’s a great way to get some drinks, place some bets and have some fun. Both of my parents lived in Los Angeles for some time and they went to this bar specifically for the turtle racing and now that I’m finally of age to go in, I went on my most recent trip. Sadly it wasn’t the first or third Thursday so I had to settle for karaoke night but the bar does a good job at having an event every night whether it be trivia or karaoke. On top of all this, like 4100 Bar, this bar has a photo booth (but not in black and white). 

Burbank, California

The city of Burbank is a great place to escape the LA feel and find more residential vibes. I can recommend two more places in this cute city. Found on Magnolia Blvd, “It’s A Wrap Productions” is a second hand store full of clothes from canceled shows or old movies. With Hollywood at its disposal, this store collects the props, accessories, clothes and much more from sets once a show or movie is finished and sells it at a reasonable price. The store provides you with a code sheet so you can read the code on the tags of clothes and find out what show, movie or set it;s from. Even if you don’t buy anything, it is an experience in itself. 

Just down the street, The New Deal is waiting for you to enjoy a delicious meal. The interior decor is delicate and quaint and the service is phenomenal. Based on Franklin D. Roosevelt, this restaurant offers a variety of American food and serves it with a  smile.  I can confidently say that this place produced the best Grilled Cheese and Spinach Artichoke Dip I’ve ever had. After you’ve eaten, be sure to make a trip to the bathroom because it is decorated exceptionally. When your whole experience is done, the server will give you the check in a vintage book to tie the experience up.

Even if these two places aren’t peaking your interest, Magnolia Blvd is full of other cute shops full of local art and thrift stores full of LA fashion. On top of this, less than 15 minutes away is the Warner Bros set where you can get a set tour. 

A sixth suggestion/bonus: you MUST eat at In-and-Out Burger when you are in Los Angeles. There are quite a few locations as it’s the “McDonald’s” of the west coast but one of the more famous locations is right outside of the LAX airport because you can watch the planes land right in front of you. (Insider tip: there is a secret menu you can find online so be sure to try some new meals out!) No matter what you do in Los Angeles, you’ll have a good time and can never run out of things to do.

Sarah is from Dayton, Ohio and is currently studying MultiMedia Journalism at Loyola University Chicago. She enjoys thrifting, traveling, fashion, film photography and lifestyle. She is a creative person and finds comfort in writing, exploring the great city of Chicago, and listening to music. Her dream job is to travel and see the world as she writes about different cultures and activities to do in those different countries. Instagram: @sarahgsommers