My boyfriend and I have started a tradition of adventuring on Tuesdays — mainly because neither of us have class and I can make the trek up to LA… but more so because it’s Tuesday and what better time is there to explore with my love?
Since he spends more time in LA than me, he’s my go-to tour guide and is chock-full of fun facts about the buildings, history and development of the city. We started our day early and were able to pack in so many cool sites and places, while spending very little (making it the PERFECT adventure for college students). So if you’re wanting to explore LA on a dime or trying to figure out how to adventure without spending a fortune, look no further!
Our morning began at The Original Pantry in Downtown Los Angeles, which opened in 1924 (and moved to this location in 1950). The delicious smell of pancakes, coffee and bacon flooded the restaurant and the atmosphere had the charm of a neighborhood diner in NYC.
Image courtesy of Mr. Breakfast
Breakfast: About $18 (for 2)
La Brea Tar Pits were next on the agenda, we got there before the actual museum opened (9:30am) and *accidentally* evaded having to pay for parking (not complaining, at all!) Charlie also has a family pass so we were able to get in for FREE. The tar pits are absolutely fascinating and it’s incredible to know that the current site where LACMA stands, as well as many other apartment buildings, used to be the home to many species of animals that were claimed by the tar pits.
The Hammer Museum operated by UCLA currently has an exhibition “Tea and Morphine, Women in Paris, 1880 to 1914” and I had been dying to go. I’m a self-proclaimed francophile, as well as a lover of Impressionism and that general time in history. The exhibit did not disappoint, filled with many works by Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, Manet and others. The walls were lined with related quotes, like:
“She wanted to die, but she also wanted to live in Paris.”
-Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
Parking: $3 with validation
Total so far: $21
Following the Hammer Museum, we headed to the Greystone Mansion, also known as the Doheny Mansion, located in Beverly Hills. The Tudor-style mansion was completed in 1928 and was gifted from the oil tycoon, Edward Doheny to his son, Ned. Four months after Ned, his wife, their five children, and many servants moved into the mansion, he died in his bedroom in a “murder-suicide” with his secretary, Hugh Plunket. There are many speculations as to what the truth is, but as story goes, Ned was a closeted gay and having an extramarital affair with his secretary, Hugh. Whatever the case, the mansion is now on the register of National Historic Places and the grounds are open to the public (although getting into the actual mansion is very rare). The mansion has been used for MANY film productions including: The Big Lebowski, Entourage (they were filming near here today), Ghostbusters II, Gilmore Girls, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Revenge, The Social Network, Spiderman, The Vampire Diaries and many more!
The Grand Central Market makes an excellent stop for lunch! Located next to Bunker Hill, the market opened in 1917 to a flourishing entertainment and commercial district situated in between Victorian mansions. The market has a variety of different cuisines, produce, spices and flavor, ideal for even the pickiest of eaters!
Los Angeles City Hall was next on the agenda, so we walked a couple blocks, went through security, got our visitor passes and headed up 27 levels to the Observation Deck. The deck offers breathtaking views of Los Angeles, in every single direction, 360 degrees. The interior of the building is also very pretty, particularly the 3rd floor.
Ice Cream Churro: $6
Total so far: $46.50
The Union Station was right across the street and I hadn’t been before, so we decided to check it out. It’s a bustling place, known as the “Last of the Great Railway Stations.” This is most likely because its opening pre-dates WWII by just a few months, in May of 1939.
Total Cost of the day: $51.50
Why not turn a regular Tuesday into the most excellent adventure? Getting away doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive and there are fun facts around every corner!
Bonne soirée. CLEO