An Introvert’s Guide to Los Angeles

Los Angeles | © tpsdave / Pixabay
Los Angeles | © tpsdave / Pixabay
Photo of Elizabeth Nicholas
26 July 2017

Los Angeles is an incredibly social city—whether at the beach, brunch, or on a hike or at the movies, you’ll likely be surrounded by packs of people. But sometimes, you just need to be alone. And when that moment strikes in L.A., we’ve got you covered with a list of what to do while flying solo, no matter what your preferred activity.

For the art lover

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L.A. is an art lover’s nirvana. With more contemporary art museums than you could possibly visit in one trip, The Broad, a new museum in downtown Los Angeles, is a particularly good art venue to get lost in alone. Opened by the famed art collector Eli Broad in 2015 with pieces from his collection, the museum introduces a new selection from the collection every week. Beat the crowds jostling for a spot in the Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room and grab a much-easier-to-acquire ticket for one, and prepare to savor the awe-inspiring Souls of Millions of Light Years Awayin total peace and solitude.

For the foodie

Restaurant, American, $$$
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Los Angeles is a foodie’s paradise, with new inventive chefs and menus seeming to crop up every week. But if the thought of lining up at East Hollywood’s Sqirl, famous for its hyperlocal inventive American fare, with three hundred of your closest new friends gives you hives, rest assured. Many hot L.A. restaurants offer ample space and seating, especially on a weekday afternoon. Sidle up to the counter at the Rose Cafe and prepare to be amazed by the paella fried rice or the grilled Spanish octopus, all without being crowded by other diners pressing in from every direction.

For the literary introvert

Book Soup may be known for its readings with top authors, but if you don’t think books are meant to be enjoyed in crowds, you may want to explore the many more solitary literary pursuits available in the City of Angels. For one, the sprawling Last Bookstore downtown is an introvert and a book lover’s dream, with multiple levels and hundreds of aisles of books to browse in peace. (No bumping into someone over your Didion or your Steinbeck here!) Take what you buy to the cavernous Central Library nearby, where you can find an easy chair in one of the many soaring old rooms underneath stained-glass ceilings and spend the afternoon reading in peace.

For the architecture junkie

Los Angeles is a hotbed of pristine mid-century modern design. Architecture aficionados might traditionally prefer to take tours, but with a little research, design buffs can see the same sights solo—all the better to truly take them in. Flip through Phaidon’s Mid-Century Modern Architecture Travel Guide: West Coast USA to learn about the many gems Los Angeles has to offer and then set out to see them for yourself, sans guide or group. Start by the coast with a visit to the Eames House by Charles and Ray Eames, move east to the Hills for a visit to the Stahl House, and end in Silver Lake with a trip to the Neutra VDL House.

Stahl House | © Sean Davis/Flickr

For the music lover

Concert Hall
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Walt Disney Concert Hall
Walt Disney Concert Hall | © Guiseppe Milo / Flickr
From the Hollywood Bowl to the Staples Center to the Greek, there is no shortage of venues in Los Angeles for high-octane shows by superstar acts performing to massive crowds. Introverts may prefer to eschew the crowds and the amps for a night of classical music at the ethereal Walt Disney Concert Hall downtown—the L.A. Philharmonic plays in the Frank Gehry-designed building and makes it easy to get transported along with the music with minimal other distractions at hand.

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