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Defending “The Grove”: 4 Reasons Why It’s Not Just Another Tourist Trap

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

The Grove, located on the corner of South Fairfax Avenue and West Third Street. I love it; it’s my happy place, and I don’t care what anyone else says. I get a lot of raised eyebrows when I tell people that it’s one of my favorite places in LA because many consider it a tourist trap or a place for transplants. Yes, I am a transplant, but I am a Grove defender to my core! And I’m here to prove it’s somewhere everyone can enjoy no matter where they are from!

The Aesthetics

It is an undeniable fact that The Grove is BEAUTIFUL. If you are going to shop, at least have a view while doing it. Where would you rather go? Down the street to The Beverly Center??? Gross. One can argue that Westfield Century City is just as aesthetic, and I’ll give it to Westfield that they have more options, but they look like a mall. You know you are in a mall. With The Grove, you can feel you are transported to a small downtown area, and there are way more picture opportunities. As for the stores, there also is a decent selection, which leads me to my next point.

The Barnes & Noble

Of all The Barnes & Noble I’ve been in, and believe me, I’ve been in a few (just look at my other articles about contemporary romance novels), The Grove’s Barnes & Noble is easily my favorite. It’s three levels for crying out loud, and they are all massive! Plus, they are all well organized and cute too, it’s hard to pull that off in a big space. Even my friends who do not read love The Grove Barnes & Noble, and whenever I meet a Grove hater, the first thing they will concede to is how great the Barnes & Noble is. Last time I checked, the bookstore is not a destination exclusively for tourists and transplants.

The Original Farmer’s Market and Food Choices

The people who call the historic farmer’s market and outdoor food court area a trap are not foodies. Besides the cool history of it being there since 1880 and originally being a 256 acre ranch, the food is actually really good. I’ve tried a variety of vendors from the barbecue to the pizza to the waffles, and I’ve never been disappointed. Each time I go to The Grove, I make sure to go to the Farmer’s Market just for the lemonade stand. It’s delicious and there are so many different flavors to choose from. I get that places that pride themselves on being historic can sometimes be a trap or let down, but The Grove actually walks the walk! People complain that the lines are too long, but that just means it’s good! Did we complain last time we waited in line for an exclusive sale or our Harry Styles concert that we had pit for? No, because the benefit outweighs the cost. 

If you’re not an outdoor market person, there’s tons of restaurants to choose from. Marmalade is amazing for all meals of the day, especially brunch and Du Pars has world famous pancakes they serve all day, and I’m not exaggerating when I say they are some of the best, butterlicious pancakes you will ever have (and I’ve tried a lot of pancakes).

The New “La La Land” Coffee Shop

One thing about The Grove (that shows that she is for everyone) is that she keeps it fresh, she spices things up! One of my favorite additions this year is the coffee shop “La La Land.” Not only is it everything that one would want in an LA coffee shop, with its minimalist but extravagant aesthetic (it’s all white with hints of yellow and chandeliers), but it also has fun flavors. The last time I was there, I had a french toast latte! What makes it all better? It’s all for a good cause. La La Land almost exclusively hires foster kids to give them a job, and a portion of the proceeds go back to a charity for improving the foster care system. How could you not want to support that?

Main conclusion: No one is doing it like The Grove. She’s pretty, she’s got a great selection of stores, you can take a lovely food break and there is always something new to look forward to. She was not designed for just tourists and transplants, she was designed for everyone.

BriannaRose is a UCLA Communications major and Film/TV minor who aspires to break boundaries and stigmas. As an aspiring creative director and editorial writer, she works on student films and photography projects, and has professional experience in entertainment and fashion journalism, fashion public relations and internal communications for cable. In addition to writing, BriannaRose volunteers at local animal shelters, competes in pageants, and is always excited to read a contemporary romance novel.