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A Perfect Day: Los Angeles

A Perfect Day: Los Angeles

A Perfect Day: Los Angeles

From hikes to outdoor movies, this guide is everything-LA.

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Technically it would be impossible to do all this in one day, but hey, it’s supposed to be a "perfect day.” So, space-time will need to accommodate. After all, no one wants to read about a "realistic day” of staring at a computer and intermittent bathroom breaks. In other words...get ready, Los Angeles!

Runyon Canyon
If I could recommend only one thing to a first-time visitor it would be Runyon Canyon, a sprawling, hilly park straddling the West Hollywood/Hollywood border. For locals, Runyon offers a natural setting for a mid-city cardio workout ranging from leisurely to sadistic. What makes this great for visitors, however, is the ample people watching, regular celeb sightings, and some of the most stunning views of the city you’ll find anywhere. (2000 N Fuller Ave., LAParks.com)

Farmers Market
Of course there are plenty of fruits and vegetables to be had, but beyond that there’s also a whole host of other goodies to stock your pantry (fresh honey, homemade jam, farm fresh cheese), stuff your gullet (piping hot pupusas, buttery Mexican corn, sweet pastries), and share with friends (handcrafted soaps, artisan jewelry, vintage T-shirts). My favorites are the Silver Lake Certified Farmers Market (Saturdays 8am to 1pm) and the Hollywood Certified Farmers Market (Sundays 8am to 1pm). (Silver Lake Farmers Market: 3700 Sunset Blvd.; Hollywood Farmers Market: Hollywood Blvd. and Ivar St.)

Suck It!
My inner twelve year old feels so much glee whenever I say, “Who wants to go to Suck It!?” But these pops are also full of kick ass-deliciousness and come in flavors ranging from pomegranate and strawberry lemonade to pumpkin cheesecake and Mexican hot chocolate. (4361 Tujunga Ave., SuckItSweets.com)

Hollywood Bowl
There is something undeniably magical about seeing a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. The cool night air, the stars above, lights shining from the concert shell and splashing against the energized audience—a sea of people that stretches far up into the Hollywood Hills. In fact, I’m convinced even a fourth grade kazoo quartet would sound majestic from its stage. Fortunately though, the lineup more often runs the gamut from annual events like the Playboy Jazz Festival and Sound of Music Sing-a-Long to this year’s headliners Ed Sheeran, Basement Jaxx, Heart and Grace Jones. Be forewarned: You can bring your own picnic, but what you pack will be judged hard by fellow picnickers. (2301 Highland Ave., HollywoodBowl.com)

Cinespia
Admittedly, I first thought watching movies on the lawn of the Hollywood Forever Cemetary was a bit morbid, but it's also creepy-awesome. You're mere yards from the final resting places of old Hollywood legends like Cecil B. DeMile, Rudolph Valentino, and Jayne Mansfield, while you listen to DJs, picnic, and watch films like Dazed and Confused or Showgirls alongside scores of LA cinephiles. (6000 Santa Monica Blvd., cinespia.org)

About Bryan van Gorder  

Bryan van Gorder has come a long way since writing his first piece in nail polish on his mother's coffee table. (The piece was reviled, incidentally.) Since then, he has been writing freelance pieces for The Advocate, Out Traveler, Palm Springs Desert Outlook, and L-Mag - mostly on travel, but sometimes on other things like HIV studies or Christina Applegate. He is currently a contributor for Out Traveler and lives in West Hollywood. Follow him on Twitter: @bvangorder)

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