being a local LA tourist

College is definitely middle-ground territory in many, many ways, but perhaps, one of my favorite is being part tourist and part resident in LA all at once. Sure, there are plenty of places like the Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood Walk of Fame, the studios of Burbank, and the classic, In-N-Out, but there are also amazing places that I have discovered since being here that are more local-native, so to speak.

Here are some of my favorite spots as a local LA tourist! (*in no particular order and not all specifically in LA, but close enough.)


  • Griffith Observatory & Park

If you saw La La Land, this is a stop you should definitely make! If you haven’t, go here anyway! Sunsets are a perfect time.

  • Getty Villa 

In Malibu, this lovely museum with incredible views makes you feel like a greek god/goddess and the Mamma Mia soundtrack will run through your head the entire time there.

  • Manhattan Beach

Shops, sand, and lovely views everywhere you look!

  • Playa Del Rey beach

For when you just want sand and spontaneous beach moments with sand, ocean, & lovely sunsets.

  • Santa Monica Promenade

The beach and the pier are amazing tourist spots, but I had no idea that there is an entire promenade area too!

  • The Last Bookstore

In Downtown LA (DTLA), this bookstore is absolutely every reader/writer’s dream come true.

  • LACMA Lanterns

Want to shamelessly take all of the photos? Stop by these classic LA lamps.

  • The Grove & The Americana

These outdoor shopping plazas are incredibly fun with all of their stores and events!


*With my orders if they are my go-to’s. Most places, I change it up a bit.

  • K.C.’s CrepesMy order – Iced jasmine green boba tea & apple cinnamon crepe.
  • Crave Cafe
  • Malibu Farm
  • Duke’s Malibu // My order: I split the fish tacos and lobster macaroni & cheese!
  • Alfred Coffee & KitchenMelrose // My order – almond milk iced latte or rose petal tea latte (again, with the almond milk).
  • Lemonade LAMy order – White truffle mac & cheese with blueberry mint lemonade (seasonal).
  • Urth Cafe
  • Paradise Bowls Manhattan Beach // My order – GUACHO (small acai bowl. blend: banana, strawberries, blueberries, acai, apple juice. toppings: granola, honey, strawberries, blueberries, goji berries)

This list could easily be a whole lot longer, so keep checking back for more post like this! if you visit any of these places, definitely let me know in the comment section or tweet it at me @sarahfhamilton.

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