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This Sober City Guide of Los Angeles was guest-written by Esther Dee.
It was hard to narrow the list down just 10 places to include in this Sober City Guide of Los Angeles, California, so I went with some of my favorites! LA has so many places to explore as a sober person that I could have written a list of 100 places to visit.
I was sure to include some classic tourist destinations as well as some lesser-known experiences. No matter what brings you to the city of dreamers, there is always something to experience and enjoy without alcohol.
For the Lover of Japanese Culture: Little Tokyo
Located in downtown LA, Little Tokyo has so much to explore and take in with your senses. Grab an ice cream from Bae or Somisomi during a hot SoCal day or ramen from Daikokuya on a cooler winter day.
Don’t forget to stop by Popkiller for tons of vintage finds and unique gifts. I got a sushi cat keychain for each of my friends there.
For the Foodie: Grand Central Market
Located in downtown LA, Grand Central Market is always busy so be prepared to spend a little time in a crowd. However, it’s crowded for a good reason: there are so many places to choose from to eat! Anything from oysters to tacos. Eggslut is a go-to classic with their breakfast sandwiches. Perfect with a side of fresh OJ!
For the One Who Likes Quirky Things: The Museum of Jurassic Technology
The Museum of Jurassic Technology is located in Culver City. This location is probably one of my favorites on this list. It’s such a unique place to visit. And some would even call it…strange?
When you first walk in, there is a short film that plays describing the museum as “dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and the public appreciation of lower Jurassic.” Be sure to look up their hours of operation on their website before checking this one out.
For the Home Architecture Admirer: Venice Canals
I like to visit the canals early in the morning or right before sunset for the best views. Walking the Venice Canals is a totally different experience than walking the Venice Boardwalk. It’s more relaxed and serene. On your walk, you will see unique houses, gorgeous plants, and you may even catch a paddle boarder on the water.
For the Art Enthusiast: The Getty Center
The Getty Center is a massive art museum with pieces from medieval times to the present. Not only does the museum has incredible and historic art, but it’s located at the top of a hill which means it’s the home of some incredible LA views. I think you could spend two full days, or even longer, exploring everything the Getty Center has to offer.
Added bonus: public parking is at the bottom of the hill and you take a tram to the top of the hill where the center is located. Be sure to check out the gardens outside of the center before you leave.
For the Lover of Mexican Culture: Olvera Street
Located in downtown Los Angeles, Olvera Street transports you back to classic LA culture. Olvera Street is a historic district in Los Angeles founded in 1781, the same year Los Angeles itself was officially established.
The street is lined with amazing restaurants and booths selling pottery, handcrafted items from Mexico, and souvenirs. You can even catch a mariachi band or folk dancers on this street. Need to practice your Spanish? Make sure to bargain with the street vendors!
For the Science and Nature Buff: Natural History Museum
The LA natural history museum is huge and has so much to offer. You can learn about everything from bugs, birds, fossils, and gems. The dinosaur hall has full skeletons of dinosaurs such as the T. rex and their size puts into perspective how massive these giants were. There’s also a permanent exhibit, ‘Becoming L.A.’ that breaks down the history of LA and even has a mini model of each neighborhood of LA.
For the Plant Parent: The Huntington Library
Okay, I said this is for the plant parent but there’s more than just the gardens at the Huntington Library. There’s a library, a museum, and the botanical gardens. Although in my opinion, the botanical gardens steal the show at the Huntington. There are multiple types of gardens to see and it’s easy to forget they all exist within the landscape of Southern California. I can’t even settle on a favorite garden because of they all ‘wow’ in a different way. The lily ponds may be my favorite, but ask me in a few months and I may have a different answer!
For the Outdoor Adventurer: Ranchos Palos Verdes
Ranchos Palos Verdes is a city in LA County and not within the city itself, so it’s a little off the beaten path. But this city has views you shouldn’t miss. You can either take a drive around and find lookout areas to take in the view and snap some photos. You can also hike the nature preserve and some of the trails in the area. If you’re hungry after your outdoor adventures, check out the tacos at Chori-Man.
For the Bookworm: The Last Bookstore
The Last Bookstore is unlike any other bookstore I’ve been to. The shelves are filled to the brim with books from every genre you can imagine. Plus an amazing selection of records for sale at the store. There is so much to see in this bookstore: an unlikely tunnel, art made of books, and the pillars that are reminiscent of an old bank or, dare I say an old library. If you find a good book (which I’m sure you will), you’ll be sure to find some cozy corners to read it in.
Ready to Visit LA armed with this Sober City Guide of Los Angeles?
The city of Angels provides so many sober options for visitors. Plenty of restaurants and pop-ups cater specifically to the non-drinker because of the sober curious movement!
As I mentioned before, it was difficult to narrow down this Sober City Guide of Los Angeles to just 10 places! You can check out websites like DoLA and Time Out LA to explore more upcoming events. Visiting LA as a non-drinker can be super fun and gives every visitor the opportunity to experience the city to the fullest. Happy Travels!
The post was written by Esther Dee aka @sober_otter on Instagram. She wrote this sober city guide of Los Angeles for anyone looking to explore more of LA!
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- Sober Solo Travel: The 5 Hardest Challenges
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