Venice Beach Suites
1305 Ocean Front Walk
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 396-4559

Like the vibe on Ocean Front Walk, a.k.a The Venice Beach Boardwalk? Why not stay there? Take the elevator or stairs down from your room at the Venice Beach Suites, pop out the front door, and there you are, right tin the middle of one of the world’s great scenes. A suite accommodation in the front of the hotel guarantees a bird’s-eye view of the action below, and an expansive view of Venice Beach and the Pacific Ocean beyond. The owners of the hotel are constantly improving what needs to be improved, while keeping alive the older touches that make the building burst with character, like the old-school “cage”-style elevator. Make sure you shut the gate completely behind you as a courtesy to other guests.


Santa Anita Park
285 Huntington Dr.
Arcadia, CA 91007
(626) 574-7223

Remember when you used to go to Las Vegas and feel like a comfortable stranger in town, and you could become a different mysterious gambler just by walking across the street to another casino? That’s sort of the feeling you can still get at Santa Anita Park. On a first visit, patrons can quickly assume the role of the bleacher rat who’s skipped out of work just to catch the five-race card on a Friday afternoon. The classic facility screams art deco, having opened on Christmas Day 1934, and has hosted eight Breeder’s Cups. The joint underwent a $15 million renovation in 2013, but it’s generally-unmolested appearance has been used in many a Hollywood film, including, appropriately, “Seabiscuit” in 2002.


Locations throughout the Los Angeles area

Yes, it’s a chain. But it’s our  chain. Former used car salesman Norm Roybark opened his first restaurant in 1949 near Sunset and Vine, and there are now 17 locations in the greater Los Angeles area serving comfort foods, grilled favorites, fountain items, desserts, and breakfast. The decor is intentionally mid-century greasy spoon (there are booths, tables, and counters), the portions are, for lack of a better term, “Texas-sized,” and the quality of the product is consistent from location to location. Of course, Norm’s knows life happens 24 hours a day in the Los Angeles area, so every location operates ‘round the clock, seven days a week. There’s a location near you in Southern California, and the website will help you find it.


Hollywood Bowl
2301 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90068
(323) 850-2000

There are very few concert venues in the country that can match the magic, the history, the intimacy, and indeed the acoustics of the Hollywood Bowl. Since it officially opened in the summer of 1922, the Bowl has even captured the imagination of even the most-jaded Angelino; the Bowl is to the Southern California musician what Madison Square Garden is to a New York boxer or basketball player. Like the Garden, the Bowl has hosted a great cross-section of artists, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Tony Bennett, Nat “King” Cole, Deep Purple, The Doors, Donovan, Bob Dylan, Duane Eddy, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix, Peggy Lee, Zubin Mehta, The Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Sonny & Cher, Igor Stravinsky, and Stevie Wonder. This year’s spring shows include performances by LCD Soundsystem and Yeah Yeah Yeahs (May 4-5), Luis Miguel (May 6), Paul Simon (May 22-23), and James Taylor with Bonnie Raitt (May 31-June 1). Arrive early to check out the adjacent Hollywood Bowl Museum.

Matt McKay

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