L.A. is an exciting place to visit-- between the beaches, Hollywood, and celebrity hot spots, there's an endless array of activities to do and sites to see. Which also means that we're constantly over-run with tourists, who manage to drive you away from perfectly decent areas, causing endless traffic and massive headaches. These are the places that all Angelenos KNOW to avoid:
1. Hollywood and Highland: This one may be the WORST.
Why do people even go to Hollywood and Highland? Is it for those so-called "museums" that you can actually find in almost every major city, like Madame Tussaud's and Ripley's Believe It or Not? Is it for that really special opportunity to glimpse a celebrity's name on coveted (aka paid for) stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame? Or, is it for that unique and totally creepy experience of posing with some random guy in a Spiderman costume? As native Angelenos, I guess we'll never know. But what's always a given is that driving through this intersection may as well be driving through The Gates of Hell-- and honestly, its probably just as, hot, smelly, and crowded. Throngs of people, weirdos in costumes, and every major retail chain are just some of the charming elements that you'll come across in your travel's through L.A.s Worst Intersection. Well...at least there's a metro there now, so I guess that's kind of cool?
2. The Sunset Strip
What was once home to some of the best venues in Los Angeles is still home to those same venues...but now, they're no longer the go-to destinations for the hottest bands of the moment. What can we say? I guess going to places like The Roxy and The Whiskey since we were tweens to see the "coolest" bands in middle school leaves us a little jaded. Unfortunately, most of these venues lack their former prestige, and the rest of the strip is chalk full of touristy bars and the most expensive sex shop you can find (ahem, The Hustler Store, we're looking at you). Though some great acts undoubtedly still play on the strip, it seems to pander more to tourists who still harbor a romance towards the strips heyday.
3. Rodeo Drive
It's incredible how a street that shares the name with a competitive sport based on cattle herding is so incredibly upscale. Of course, when tourists think of Rodeo, they picture Cher from Clueless stomping down the street, carrying huge shopping bags and an even bigger attitude. In reality, its a bunch of too-expensive shops surrounded by a lot of tourists and their multitude of cameras (with which they are constantly photographing every fancy car parked on the street). Just try walking down the street without getting bombarded by giant Chanel and Louis Vuitton shopping bags...seriously, we dare you.
4. The Santa Monica Pier
As the Coney Island of Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Pier always brings to mind an interesting mix of bright-eyed tourists and local vagabonds who, for some reason, picture the L.A. experience as carnival rides on a beach. But if you're still curious about that mysterious ferris wheel that you've spotted from a distance, you can see it up close at the Pier's free Twilight Concert Series in the summer-- arguably the best event the Pier has to offer.
5. The Hollywood Sign Hike
L.A. has some incredibly beautiful hikes-- Runyon, Will Rogers, Topanga, etc. They provide us with calm and scenic getaways from the hectic pace of city life. But if tranquility is what you're seeking, then we suggest skipping the "Heart of Hollywood" hike. Crammed with tourists, this hike is one of the most hyped attractions in the city. "See the Hollywood sign from up close!" and "Hike with all of your favorite celebrities!" are just a few of the myths that attract out-of-towners to this particular spot. But the truth is, there's none of that sitting-on-the-Hollywood-sign that Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis got to do in Friends With Benefits, and celebrities know better than seek their solitude at this locale. We suggest hitting up one of the many other beautiful hikes that this city has to offer, which are equally as scenic and far quieter.