Los Angeles isn't just the city of handbag dogs and smoothie bowls complete with avocado and a sprinkling of charcoal. This Californian city is such a diverse place that getting a true sense of 'America' means experiencing the vast web of cultures that make up every arm of this expansive urban landscape. Everything from street food to supreme luxury can be experienced here – it just depends on your taste. True luxury can be found in this sunny Californian city, as can some brilliant aspects of American and international culture.
L.A. Times Festival
For book lovers who are after the hottest new reads this infamous book festival is free to the public and celebrates the written word. It began over two decades ago 1996 and is now the largest of its kind in the United Sates. It is usually held on the penultimate weekend of April, and is hosted by the University of Southern California. It showcases vendors, authors and publishers and holds panels with authors discussing themes, the methods of storytelling. It also showcases the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes if you want to know who's the new who's-who of literature.
This strip of luxury hotels and shops is must go-to for those who love not only designer fashion, but also vintage fashion. Rodeo Drive is the place to go for a shopping spree if you want a healthy mix of both designer brands and unique vintage collectables from boutiques who know where to look. At the base of Rodeo Driver is the Beverly Wilshire hotel, which may recognize from the film 'Pretty Woman.' Founded in 1928, it has hosted many famous personalities including Warren Beatty, John Lennon and Elvis Presley. They also have their own nail bar, wherein you can indeed watch Pretty Woman while you drink champagne and enjoy a manicure. If you want to live the full Julia Roberts fantasy and have a week of pure luxury, arriving by private jet Los Angeles style will both begin and finish your trip with style.
Getty Center's Central Garden
If your kind of culture is taking walks through exotic and elaborate gardens then this incredible place will leave you feeling Zen. The Getty Center first opened in 1997 and the Central Garden has evolved into the stunning masterpiece you see today. Irwin's quote "Always changing, never twice the same" is carved into a stepping stone in the garden, as a reminder of the ever changing nature of both the seasons and the plants that will be added to this impressive landscape.
Taking the walkway that crosses over a stream will take you through a variety of plants before you gradually descend into the plaza. Here you will see specialty gardens that surround the pool, which is fed by a gentle stream. The sculpted hedges create an intricate maze pattern that is almost reminiscent of ancient Greek designs. Over 500 varieties of plant material are used in the landscaping to create these visual spectacles.
Spago of Beverly Hills
This spot was allegedly Nancy Regan's favorite restaurant back when it was the Bistro Garden before the celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck purchased the property. It has also seen the likes of Tom Hanks, Russell Crowe and Cindy Crawford. This is the place to go if you're both a foodie and crave fine dining – why you can even order a smoked salmon pizza. Situated on Canon Drive, Spago is a flagship restaurant which is renowned for its "sleek and simple design of the restaurant [that] enhances the iconic, market-driven menus and exceptional level of service" – not too shabby. There's an a la carte menu and the chef's tasting menu for those who want the full, lavish experience.
Los Angeles is famous for its celebrity culture, so it would be rude not to sample some of it while you're there. However, while there may be rows of people working out to get the perfect Californian aesthetic, there's more to this vast city than the healthy lifestyle. Whether you end up going for a Pretty Woman style manicure or order a smoked salmon pizza, it's always nice to try a little sample of the lives of the rich and famous.