There's an empty desk across the room from me today because OnMilwaukee.com managing editor Bobby Tanzilo is in San Diego. And, thanks to all your great suggestions, he's bound to have a blast and return home with much to write about.
After all, that is why we're going on these quick trips. We're sent to investigate select cities as part of our Free Recession Buster Getaways blog contest with AirTran giving away two tickets and a netbook.
That being said, I'm up next. I'm heading out to Los Angeles on Monday and although I've had help constructing an action-packed two-day itinerary that includes, but is not limited to, the mega L.A. LIVE Entertainment District, the Los Angeles Country Art Museum (with a stop at the La Brea Tar Pits), Venice Beach and the Walk of Fame, I'm definitely open to more suggestions.
L.A. is a beast of a metropolis, so there's no way to cover all that ground in a mere 48 hours. I think I've got enough of the big, obvious tourist things covered (I'm still working on getting into Universal Studios to try The Simpsons ride), but I'd love to hear more about the under-the-radar gems this place has hidden in its many urban folds.
LA is different from most major cities in that most of the interesting things to do are NOT downtown.
Better yet, skip LA altogether and go to Catalina.
Olvera Street is the birthplace of the City of Los Angeles, Also known as El Pueblo Historic Monument. The colorful village features 27 historic buildings with a traditional Mexican style plaza area. Wander around the marketplace and shop for souvenirs including handcrafted Mexican wares typical of old Mexico. There are also free docent tours by Las Angelitas.
Stroll through this beautiful street and stop for the popular taquitos or tacos at the outdoor cafes. Olvera Street also offers a variety of traditional authentic Mexican cuisine, with delicious enchiladas, mole and other native dishes.
On weekends you can enjoy outdoor entertainment by strolling bollero musicians, Mariachis music and performances by Aztec Indians and folkloric dancing.
If you MUST do the Chinese theater/Walk of Fame/Hollywood thing (by the way, it's a let down) and you get hungry, go to 25 Degrees and get the best burger in LA. 25 Degrees is located in the Roosevelt Hotel directly across from the Chinese theater. For nightlife, I'd say Jumbo's Clown Room. Or check out Marty and Elayne at The Dresden in Los Feliz http://www.thedresden.com/lounge.html
Shop at 6th and Broadway downtown. Then you could hit Olvera Street for margaritas and tacos and then on to Chinatown.
Oh, and you have to find a bacon wrapped hot dog vendor. You will find them outside of bars at night. Make sure you get a nice crispy one, though. Don't leave LA without getting one. Best place to see a band is Spaceland, which is free on Monday nights. Classical music at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday. If you're actually going to Universal, check out the Creature from the Black Lagoon musical. You actually could take the Metro from Universal to Hollywood to downtown and avoid driving in the traffic.
Everything depends on whether you want to be a tourist or not.
Loteria Grill. It may sound touristy because it's on Hollywood Blvd. It's down the blvd a little and it is amazing. Try the chicharron de queso.
Roscoe's Chicken 'n' Waffles. I recommend the chicken.
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