Cuban-style cafes, wow-factor boutiques and a historic tavern that played a part in the LGBTQ movement line up in LA’s hipster ‘hood.
Snaking some 22mi (35km) through the Greater Los Angeles Area, Sunset Boulevard is a heavyweight stretch of Los Angeles. While some sections are easily skippable, others are downright iconic, with the Sunset Strip claiming the twinkliest slice of Tinseltown real estate. Further east, from Sunset Junction to Echo Park, it segues into hipville as it runs through Silver Lake, dubbed the Brooklyn of Los Angeles. It’s here you’ll find some of the best in stylish second-hand threads, landmark coffee shops and pretty cool places to stay, bookable on Culture Trip.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The Silver Lake Pool & Inn is a low-rise, upscale hotel that sits on a corner just south of Sunset Junction, within strolling distance of all the area’s highlights. There’s something of the desert Palm Springs motel about it, albeit with understated styling and first-rate features. On its upper level, the swimming terrace is a prime spot to soak up some Cali sunshine while perusing the pool menu. Bright, restful rooms come with luxe linens, Nespresso machines and smart TVs; better rooms add views of the Hollywood Sign.
Set right on the junction where Sunset meets Santa Monica Boulevard, this trendy clothes-and-more designer store is a great place to start your trip along the boulevard. Together with an expert eye for men’s and women’s fashions from dozens of designers, this elegantly laid-out boutique has a supremely browsable collection of fragrances, beauty products and quality, sometimes quirky, homeware.
It was protests here at the Black Cat Tavern in 1967 that helped launch the LGBTQ civil rights movement in the city, and it has since been declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. Photos of the demonstrations are displayed on the walls, above handsome leather booths and below elegant brass chandeliers. The menu is mostly old-school American – burgers, house-made pastas, fried chicken – and cocktails mix up classic with cutting-edge twists.
This Taiwanese restaurant describes itself as fast-casual, which equates to first-come, first-serve seating and simple small-plate dining, quickly whipped up from fresh ingredients. The menu is mostly comprised of Taiwanese staples like noodle soups, shrimp wonton and – the always popular – pan-fried pork buns. There are solid vegetarian and vegan options, too, plus loose-leaf teas sourced from Taiwan and a rotating list of craft beers, wines and sake. The result? A honeypot for local hipsters.
American restaurants don’t come much more classic than Millie’s – a Silver Lake mainstay since 1926. Pick a counter-front swivel chair or curbside table and choose from a long breakfast- and brunch-oriented menu – there’s a dozen iterations of eggs benedict alone. They’re committed to cooking the old-fashioned way, too, with real butter, nothing processed, and everything made from scratch. It’s unpretentious, morning-after comfort food at its best, and there are plenty of vegan options, too.
It wasn’t long after their 2017 opening on Melrose that Golden Age was soon counting a long list of LA celebs among its regular customers (Lily-Rose Depp is a big fan). This, their second store, boasts a similarly impressive range of expertly curated vintage pieces, mostly from the 1920-50s golden age of Hollywood (hence the name). They also offer a collection from their own fashion brand, with their chic-yet-comfortable footwear lines garnering particular attention.
Some stores just have that wow factor, and Candid Home is one. Owner Ashley has a background in residential interior design, and it shows in her wonderfully eclectic yet cohesive collection of colorful homeware. Browse loads of one-of-a-kind retro objets, from ’60s lighting to ’80s ottomans, together with an abundance of decorative contemporary pieces, fashion accessories and handmade candles and other pleasant-smelling items. You’ll go for a gift and come out with a little something for yourself, too.
Another fab restaurant with a few miles on the odometer, Café Tropical has been serving Silver Lake since 1975. This distinctly Havana-tinged coffee shop specializes in freshly baked traditional Cuban-style pastries, cakes and pies. Their breakfast sandwiches are the stuff of legend around these parts, while their coffee is single origin, organic and custom-roasted to the café’s specification (read: strong).
If you’re looking to stay within striking distance of Sunset Boulevard, but keen to keep costs down, consider a stay at the Steady. Just west of Silver Lake, it’s a hip and breezy hostel brimming with upbeat West Coast vibes. Choose from sunny mixed and female-only dorms, or treat yourself to a private room – all bathrooms are shared. Wake up to a free breakfast before setting out to explore the neighborhood. Return to a cozy lounge to mingle with other guests, before whipping up dinner in the shared kitchen.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.