Gilded Hollywood and Galleries: a Cultural Break in LA

Make time for a stop at LACMA, LA’s beloved modern-art museum
Make time for a stop at LACMA, LA’s beloved modern-art museum | © LHB Photo / Alamy Stock Photo
Lucy Thackray

Uncover the arts scene in Los Angeles on this insider-led journey, via museums, movie theaters and a modern hotel that’s become a creative community hub in the most populous city in California.

Famous for its big-screen connections, Los Angeles actually has a contemporary arts culture that goes far beyond film and TV. Today, the vibrant visual-arts scene has a youthful slant, with lashings of street art and mixed-media pieces to be spied on warehouse walls and in white-cube galleries across town – and there’s a rich heritage of photography and architecture to discover, too.

“Historically, Southern California played a major part in the Arts and Crafts movement,” says Matt Schodorf, founder of hip LA roastery and community-gathering coffee house Cafe de Leche. “I live in an old Craftsman home myself, but nearby Palm Springs is like a living museum to mid-century modern architecture – and must-see cultural trails await when exploring Hollywood, hip-hop or surf culture.”

This in-the-know guide provides insider context to the city’s diverse neighborhoods, street-art quarters and grand old institutions. Here, we set you on a cultural course to explore LA’s must-see museums, slip behind the scenes of studios and set you up at an art-lined hotel – all bookable on Culture Trip.

The Getty Museum is one of the city’s top architectural landmarks
Dont miss the Hollywood sign
Snap LAs memorable street-art murals

Where to Stay: the Hotel

1. Farmer's Daughter


Farmers Daughter
Courtesy of Farmer's Daughter /

Home to concept stores and art galleries, LA’s District La Brea is a cool, contemporary place to stay in the center of town, giving you easy access to the city’s most creative neighborhoods. The Farmer’s Daughter hotel matches its ’hood, with a relaxed, millennial esthetic and plenty of eye-catching art: enter its courtyard of brightly painted buildings, past zingy-colored rental bikes out front, to find quirky, comfy rooms and a sun-drenched pool terrace. It’s rare to head anywhere in LA on foot, but here, you can. So, make time to take the easy stroll to nearby LACMA, LA’s beloved modern-art museum with its dragon’s-back serrated rooftop and broad art collection. Artistic creations of a different kind – from lattes to painted ceramics – await in the Grove, where the hotel is situated.

What to Do: the Experiences

2. Instagram Walls of LA with Film Studio Artist


Everyone seems to be involved in the creative arts in LA, and your guide on this tour is no exception: a Warner Bros artist with an eye for the city’s most striking and Instagrammable walls. Follow them to photo opps in the most vividly painted corners of town, from street-art murals to rainbow-streaked buildings and candy-pink backdrops. Channel your inner silver-screen starlet and dress up for the occasion.

3. Los Angeles City and Getty Museum Tour


“Los Angeles certainly has an arts district, mostly east of downtown,” explains Matt Schodorf. “Chinatown has also been taken over by a bunch of new gallery openings.” So, where to start? This city-wide tour begins with a look at the Getty Museum, one of the city’s architectural landmarks, with a striking sculpture garden of public art set photogenically against the sculptural white building.You’ll tick off a raft of top-line LA sights, too, including Griffith Park, the Hollywood sign and Rodeo Drive.

4. Hollywood Behind-the-Scenes Tour


LA’s old moviemaking center, Hollywood, can seem a little faded at first glance – but the tales told by its star-spangled walk of fame, kitsch shops and old Tinseltown hangouts are unparalleled. Get the real scoop on this charismatic tour of the neighborhood, where your guide will give context to popular stops such as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Walk of Fame with humor and pizzazz.

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