Best Shopping, Biking and Hangouts in LA - away from the ordinary (mall)
Did you ever visit Europe where each city is different than the other? Did you enjoy travelling to different cities in Europe and loved the fact that each city has many unique stores, restaurants and cafes, that look and feel completely different than the ones you saw before? Did you fall in love with the fact that each city is special, unique and interesting? Did you bring unique local gifts from each city?
Did you and your friends notice that cities in the US from the East coast to the West coast have different architecture, different climate and different vegetation but… if you go to the mall, they all look the same?
From New York to Los Angeles you find the SAME shops and stores in every mall. You don’t even have to travel to get that special gift, since all malls and shopping centers are pretty much the same. Pretty boring, right? Needless to say they are also traffic clustered and parking might be a drag.
But there are exceptions!
There are many, many beautiful – some historic - areas in every US city with unique local shops, restaurants and cafes. Streets with beautiful old historic buildings, streets lined with trees. Streets were you can stroll and have a cup of coffee in the local coffee shop, meet your friends on your bicycle and go shopping with them. Streets where you don’t need to bring your car, since there are bike lanes and bicycle parking everywhere. LA county alone has several of those great community streets, where walking and biking is fun and exciting.
Main Street Santa Monica – historic Main Street in Santa Monica is just half a mile from downtown and from the Santa Monica mall. It runs parallel to the beach, just one block east from the strand and between Pico Blvd to the north and Rose Ave. to the south. Main Street has many beautiful historic buildings, great shops, restaurants and cafes and the popular Sunday Farmers’ market. It is famous for it’s trendy celeb hangouts and various places to chill. You can spend the entire day eating, drinking, shopping.
And best of all - it is close to the beach, has plenty of parking and a separate bike lane.
Los Feliz - a great area to go shopping, dining and hanging out is the area of Vermont Avenue, between Franklin and Hollywood, or the Hillhurst corridor between Los Feliz Boulevard and Prospect Avenue. A walk-able and bike-able trendy hood where you can eat, drink and shop till you drop and also meet your friends and hang out all day long.
Silver Lake and Echo Park - trendy and hype area on Sunset Blvd (and side streets) stretching from Vermont till Quintero St. Lots of great coffee shops, eateries and hipster hang outs. Walk-able and (for some areas) bike-able as well.