To the east of Hollywood, the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz trades the glitz and glamour for an easygoing community with a dynamic art scene. Bordering Griffith Park, it offers swift access to attractions such as the Griffith Observatory and the LA Zoo, with laid-back cafes and a dose of quirky 20th-century theaters and shops, too.
Los Angeles has long been a hot destination for live music, and the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park offers the perfect outdoor concert destination. Since the 5,900-seat amphitheater opened to audiences in 1930, it has hosted legendary performers, including Frank Sinatra, Sir Elton John, Lorde and Alabama Shakes. With the scenic hills as its backdrop and plenty of food and drinks, it’s an atmospheric place to watch a spring or summer concert as the sun sets.
The Spillman Engineering Company built the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round in 1926, complete with 68 handcrafted horses, and they’ve been swirling around this spot since they arrived here in 1937. You’ll likely never hear it play the same song twice, as the Stinson 165 Military Band Organ – said to be the largest carousel band organ in the West – plays more than 1,500 nostalgic songs. This area also features a playground and entrances to Griffith Park’s hiking trails.
With a cafe, bakery, wine bar and some of the best pizza in LA, this pared-back dining room on Hillhurst Avenue pulls off the low-key restaurant trend to a T. Join the hipsters for a morning protein hit of comfort foods, such as cheesy eggs on toast, burritos or the Breakfast of All Time, which includes fried eggs, black beans, plantain and avocado. You may well get to try it all, as the relaxed neighborhood vibe will keep you coming back.
In the heart of Los Feliz’s quaint shopping district, Skylight Books has been a neighborhood favorite since it opened in the 1990s. This indie store sells an exceptional selection of works, while its Arts Annex nearby focuses on music, art, film and theater books, along with a healthy selection of graphic novels. It also hosts book groups and attracts authors for regular events. With a ton of cafes close by, you can pick up coffee and a bite to eat before heading inside to find your next great read.