(Re) Discover Los Angeles

I’ve been fascinated by the Los Angeles, California, since I was little. There was something magical about the California palm trees, mountains and beaches that were shown in movies and TV shows and I longed for the day I could finally see them in person. It didn’t happen as a child, but I finally got a chance to see the City of Angels in person after being married for several years and becoming a mom.

I’ve now been back a few times and am still amazed at how much I still haven’t seen. I always feel like I’m discovering something new about this city. Have you ever been? If you haven’t been in a while, it may just be time to go back again and see what’s new. And, if you’ve never been, make plans now to see what you’ve been missing. Read on to discover some of our family’s favorite things about Los Angeles.

One place that we head each time we go to Southern California is In-N-Out. Let me clarify something: I don’t mean that we put it on our agenda and hope to get around to it while we’re there. I mean we don’t even check in at our hotel until we’ve gone through one of those unmistakable red and white drive-thrus to order the delicious, never-frozen food. That’s how serious our cravings for In-N-Out are. My hubby and girls order cheeseburgers, while I always ask for the grilled cheese from the “not-so-secret menu.” We also get their delicious fries. There are a couple dozen locations in the Los Angeles area, so finding one should be easy for your family.

We also like to eat at Truxton’s American Bistro, which is located at 8611 Truxton Avenue in Los Angeles’ Westchester area. This popular, kid-friendly place serves up delicious sandwiches (see the below photo), pizza, pasta (e.g., macaroni & cheese and spaghetti), burgers and assorted sides. It’s eclectic menu also features small plates, salads entrees, vegetarian entrees, and desserts. And, since we’ve typically eaten there on the weekend, we’ve also ordered from the Weekend Brunch menu and enjoyed such items as waffles, french toast (which was REALLY good!) and breakfast sandwiches. There are also additional items on the Children’s Menu.

Believe it or not, we do more than eat while we’re in California. We’re actually intentional about fitting in sightseeing and time for exploration whenever we’re out there. Among the places we’ve visited are the following:

California Science Center (https://californiasciencecenter.org) — Home to interactive, educational exhibits that cover such subjects as air and space, ecosystems, human biology and genetics. Visitors can also watch science films in the IMAX theatre. And, if your family is fascinated by space exploration, you must set aside time to explore the Samuel Oschin Pavilion, which wasn’t open the last time we were there. Inside the Pavilion, visitors will find the Endeavor Space Shuttle, a real astronaut workshop, and more exciting features.

Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens (https://www.lazoo.org) — Unlike the zoos I visited when I was younger–which were situated on flat, midwest terrain–the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens has some sloped or hilly areas that make exploring the zoo even more fun than the average visitor would expect. Just imagine this: While walking around to meet the mammals, birds, and other residents, you may just find that the path you’re on is heading uphill. At one point during our visit, it actually felt like we had gone on a little hike as we went from one exhibit area to the next one. Fortunately, if visitors find it difficult to navigate the property, for an additional fee, they could board the Safari Shuttle and ride around to five different locations in the popular Zoo.

Hollywood — As you probably already know, Hollywood is an entire area within the city of Los Angeles that is filled with countless tourist attractions that make it worthy of being adding to any family’s trip itinerary. Among our favorites are Madame Tussauds Hollywood wax museum (https://www.madametussauds.com/hollywood) and the popular and often-crowded Hollywood Walk of Fame. It begins at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland and extends for several blocks. (If you’d prefer to enter an exact address into your GPS, you can use 6801 Hollywood Boulevard.) If you want to see if your favorite entertainer has a star, check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame website http://www.walkoffame.com before going there. We found the star of one of my favorite singers during the visit that we made to the area the summer that he passed away. Scroll down to the last photo to see who I’m talking about.

For more suggestions on what to see and visit when you’re in town (cultural institutions, ethnic museums, family-friendly restaurants, concert venues, art galleries, etc.), visit https://www.lacity.org.

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In-N-Out near Los Angeles International Airport
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Barbacoa Sandwich and Sauteed veggies at Truxton’s American Bistro in Los Angeles
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Los Angeles Zoo
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The iconic Hollywood sign

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