I come from a rural part of Northern California – one of the big reasons I chose USC is its location at the heart of Los Angeles. Here are some of my favorite places and experiences:
1. The view from Griffith Observatory
My first day in a new city always goes like this: grab local cuisine, and find the best view of the city. It took me awhile to make my way to Griffith, but the view is extraordinary and the interior is like a temple to astronomy. You have to go.
2. Venice Beach
One of the quirkier spots in LA, Venice Beach is a vibrant beach community known for its vagabonds and market promenade along the water front. This is a great place to spend an afternoon – don’t forget to buy a poncho!
3. The Godmother Sandwich at Bay Cities Deli in Santa Monica
This sandwich is a legend in LA. If you consider yourself a fan of deli sandwiches, go to Bay Cities. One of the greatest boons of living in a city are all of the incredible food offerings. Dig in.
4. The Grove
The Grove is an oasis in the city – a beautifully landscaped and designed mall near Hollywood. If you need a new set of threads, let this be your one stop shop. If I ever need to make a run to the Apple store for iPhone/computer maintenance, I make sure to go out of my way and go to the Grove.
5. Manhattan Beach
This is hands down my favorite beach community in Los Angeles. The town is built on a slope, so it feels like everywhere you go you have a view of the Pacific. There are heaps of great restaurants and little shops. This is where I go when I feel like I need to escape the city for a day; when I need to get in touch with my more rural roots.