palms-of-santa-monica

Armchair Travel: LA in a Day


Editor’s note: During the pandemic, with travel restrictions and lockdowns still in place in many areas, here’s some delightful armchair travel to Los Angeles. 

If you only have a day to see LA, and you have a car, “I’ve got a plan for that.” Alas, this tour does not go past any celebrity houses. You need to buy a map or App called “Star Maps” for that. This is more like a drive-by tour with a few options to get out and see the sights. My sister and cousin (both in their 70s) were newbies to LA, so I gave them the “LA in a Day Tour”.

My tour starts on Wilshire right off the 110.  Carry on to the intersection of Wilshire and S. Alvarado Street. There on your left you will pass through McArthur Park. (Feel free to leave a cake out if it’s raining, if you “can take it” and you’ve hit “save” for the recipe: See Richard Harris). Next spot is La Brea Tar Pits. This will be on your right just past S. Curson Ave. It looks like a small park with a pond of black water. That is actually tar. There are several life size dinosaur sculptures around to denote their tragic demise.

Just after the Pits turn right onto S. Fairfax Ave. On your right will be the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Onward-ho to West 3rd Street and get in the righthand lane to turn into the Original Farmers Market. This is also the location of The Grove a new outdoor walking mall with a fountain that spouts to musical numbers, much like the Bellagio in Vegas.  But the real excitement is the food court in the Original Farmers Market.

You might just want to graze a little at each stall. But this time we only stopped by a few wonderful places. We had our beginning course at the French Crepe Co., stall #318. You can watch them make the crepes, waffles and paninis in the open kitchen. Next stop was stall #366 and #334 Borekas Village Fire and Moishes. With the best Armenian food this side of Yerevan. They have an actual arched wood fire hearth and paddle (like the Viking Cruise Line commercial).

MOISHE'S LA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then onto Du-Pars French bakery, stall #210, where “o’dorable” Odette happily helped me select the biggest almond-paste filled croissant this side of the Moulin Rouge.
LA Odette

Foraging for sharp cheese I found a wee snack of all California sourced cheeses at “It’s Cheese” stall # 328. Then as a final course I swung by Littlejohn’s English Toffee at stall #432 where fabulous Fabio gave moi a taste of the best dang buttery-chocolate-almond toffee this side of Piccadilly Circus.

We waddled out of the market and traveled north on Fairfax (right out of the parking lot). From there take a Roscoe (right) onto Sunset Blvd. Then hang a Louey (left) onto N. Highland Ave. and a left onto Hollywood Blvd. On your right between N. Highland and N. Orange is the Old Grauman’s Chinese Theater with all the Star handprints. You can see the sidewalk from the car if you slow down.

Continue down Hollywood Blvd. From there take a left back onto N. Fairfax Ave. turn right onto Sunset Blvd. Eventually you will come to Rodeo Drive, turn left. The high-end shopping triangle that was in “Pretty Woman” is between S. Santa Monica Blvd. and Wilshire Blvd. There are several lights so you can drive slowly. Turn right at Wilshire Blvd. (You will be just in front of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, also in the movie).

Beverly Wilshire Hotel

When you come to S. Santa Monica Blvd. take a left and drive to the ocean. There is a park all along Ocean Ave, it is metered parking so bring some quarters. It overlooks the Pacific cliffs. Over on 3rd Street (four blocks away) is a walking mall with great dinner restaurants, boutiques and clothing shops. That should empty your pocketbook and fill your tummy.

LA ocean

Enjoy your “LA in a Day Tour”.

Featured image: The Palms of Santa Monica

Sally Franz and her third husband live on the Olympic Peninsula. She has two daughters, a stepson, and three grandchildren. Sally is the author of several humor books including Scrambled Leggs: A Snarky Tale of Hospital Hooey and The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Menopause

 

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