Los Angeles: 15 Ways To Holiday Like A Celeb (On A Normal Person Budget)
Because we aren't all made of money.
If you live your online life through Instagram, then you’ll know that LA is the ultimate destination for anyone wanting a slice of the celeb lifestyle.
While we can’t guarantee that the paps will be out to snap your pic when you touch down at LAX (with your dreams and your cardigan, naturally), we can tell you what to see, where to stay and where to hang out if you secretly fancy yourself as a long lost Kardashian.
Where To Stay
CHEAP AS CHIPS
On a budget? Air Bnb is full of budget apartments and cool lodgings that come in at a fraction of the cost of hotels. There’s also the Walk of Fame Hollywood Hostel, which is located slap bang in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of Hollywood. From about £33 a night pp in a 6 bed dorm.
SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE SPENNY
Want to be more in the heart of things? Check out the Ace Hotel. Not only is it situated in the uber cool Downtown LA district but it’s an indie celeb fave that’s right next door to the iconic Ace Theatre, an amazing art deco music venue who’s recent roster of acts include the likes of James Blake and Echo And The Bunnymen. From $549 for a small double.
If you want to splash all of the cash then booking into the Beverly Wilshire will be well worth it. It’ll cost a small fortune but is right on Rodeo Drive and is often the LA base of a celeb or ten. From $670 for a king room.
Oh and if you’re a Taylor Swift fan then how would you feel if we said you could stay in the ACTUAL airstream that she and BFF Karlie Kloss did that amazing Vogue shoot in? Well you can – it’s right here and yep, pretty expensive (from £290 a night) – but just think of the Instagramming opps during even one night’s stay. Dreamy.
What to see
Palm trees, body builders and white sand between your toes: it doesn’t get more California than Venice. You could also rent a bike and if you give your bestie a backie then you can ride all the way down to the Santa Monica Pier and re-enact that iconic date Ryan and Marissa had that time on The O.C. while you’re at it. Y'know, the one they went on before she went off the rails and starting dating crazy Oliver.
THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN
An obvious one, but if you want your experience to be a little more Taylor Swift than tourist then one of the best things to do is put on your sporty gear and hike the Runyon Canyon trail. It's a great way to see the Hollywood Sign without being overcrowded by the masses, is totally free and you might even see a celeb out there too.
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME
However cheesy the souvenir shops surrounding it may be, no trip to LA is complete without walking the strip and spotting your fave celebs' stars. Don’t miss the Harry Potter and Twilight casts’ handprints in the slabs outside the TCL Chinese Theatre either.
Where to Hang Out
We know what you’re thinking: the only exercise you want to do on your hols is the arm movement necessary to put a pile of pancakes into your face. But do you know who does SoulCycle in LA? Harry Styles and Brooklyn Beckham, that’s who. And how great would a story about your eyes meeting over an exercise bike be at your wedding? Just a thought.
THE ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS BEAUTY SALON
You’re on your hols so why not get a mini facial or have your brows done at the beauty mecca known best for maintaining the dreamy and dramatic dark arches best known to most of us as the world-famous Kardashian-Jenner eyebrows.
Whether you want to eat, drink, see a movie or shop until you drop, there’s nowhere better than The Grove. Packed with a good mix of all-American faves and high-end boutique, you won’t leave without having spent all of your holiday money and then some.
ACE HOTEL DTLA BAR
Whether you're staying here or not, catch a gig at the Ace Hotel Theatre then head up to the hotel roof where an open air bar gives unrivalled views across the city as you listen to the DJ and sip cocktails with your feet dangling in the pool.
What to eat
LA is all about the brunch and if you want that fresh juice and avocado toast Instagram snap then there’s nowhere better than to get it than at the newly refurbished Rose Café down by the beach in Venice. It’s Cali cool at its best and you can’t help feeling like a celeb when you’re sipping an ice latte in the light and airy restaurant.
The Nice Guy might be an exclusive celeb hangout loved by the likes of 5SOS and Kylie Jenner but the pizza-dominated menu is actually pretty affordable and they do take bookings for non-members if you don’t mind turning up at 6pm.
Anyone who’s seen the Kardashians knows Nobu is the ultimate celeb hangout. Grab a cocktail, order some sashimi and celeb spot the night away.
Getting out of the city
Nothing beats getting a taste of the great American road trip and when the sun is shining, there are plenty of places to go that are right on LA’s doorstep. Car rental is easy if you're over 25 (and a little more expensive if you're in the 21-25 bracket) and if you head south out of the city, you’ll hit all the upmarket beach towns including Laguna and Newport Beach, both of which are super fancy and a must if you’re a fan of The Hills or The O.C.
If you go north you’ll find yourself winding through the upmarket beach bungalows of Malibu (just don’t let your homeboy wear combat boots to the beach) before hitting the white sands of Santa Barbara, where you can hit the beach or eat amazing ice cream at McConnells, a traditional parlour that has supplied Hollywood for over 60 years.
Heading inland is also an option and the desert of Palm Springs, The Coachella Valley and Joshua Tree are all not to be missed. All are celeb weekend haunts and are all about the wide-open spaces, endless tarmac and serious heat, so book accomm with access to a pool if you want to make the most of the tanning time (and want to recreate this pic).
If you want to go even further, do an Into The Wild and head down to Slab City, now a protected cultural heritage site that's home to the eerily isolated Salvation Mountain.
How about you - got any top tips of places to go in LA? Let us know with a tweet to @MTVUK already.