INDULGE: TRAVEL

INDULGE: TRAVEL

From sandy beaches and canyon hikes to culinary and cultural pursuits, Los Angeles offers the best of all worlds — albeit in a vast area. Famously described by writer Dorothy Parker as “72 suburbs in search of a city,” L.A. stretches on for some 470 square miles and is best explored one neighborhood at a time (read: fewer hours spent in rush-hour traffic).

Soak up the sun in Malibu; stroll Venice’s trendy, boutique-lined Abbot Kinney Boulevard; pop into brand-new SoFi Stadium — home of two NFL teams: the Los Angeles Chargers and the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Los Angeles Rams — for a fantastic tour and field access; and finish in downtown’s Arts District, where several of the city’s top restaurants are located, including Bavel, Bestia and newly arrived Girl & the Goat.

While there’s so much to see and do within L.A.’s city limits, its proximity to the desert and the mountains also makes it an ideal launching pad for further California adventures. If time permits, tack on a few days in Palm Springs or venture farther north to Yosemite’s majestic alpine meadows.

Malibu-Beach-Inn
Malibu Beach Inn

Day 1

Start your L.A. tour in Malibu and check into the oceanfront Malibu Beach Inn, which sits on its own private strip of beach known as “Billionaire’s Beach.” All 47 rooms and suites, swathed in shades of blue and gray, feature private balconies, white oak furnishings and art prints by Robert Indiana and Jasper Johns. Hit the water with one of the property’s Fliteboard electric foiling surfboards — which uses an electric propeller and gives the impression of flying over the water — or visit the on-site spa for a deep-tissue massage. The hotel’s restaurant, the Carbon Beach Club, sources ingredients from local One Gun Ranch for its produce- and seafood-driven menu.

Carbon Beach Club

Point Dume Nature Preserve
Point Dume Nature Preserve

Day 2

Grab a coffee and croissant from the hotel restaurant and head north toward spectacular Point Dume, a dramatic bluff that juts out into the Pacific. Walk the mile-long trail around the Point Dume Nature Preserve headland to two overlooks with sweeping views of Malibu and the Santa Monica Bay. Down below, spot dozens of sea lions sunning themselves on rocky outcroppings.

Malibu Farm

Come lunchtime, head to airy and white-washed Malibu Farm along the Malibu Pier. Dig into fresh and flavorful fare such as purple brussels sprouts salad; broccoli lavash; vegan coconut ceviche; and bahn mi-inspired tacos. Afterward, stroll along the historic pier and watch for dolphins in the distance.

Spend the afternoon among Greek, Roman and Etruscan works of art at the Getty Villa. An example of a Roman country home built in the 1970s, the Getty Villa was modeled after the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy. Join the 45-minute collection tour to see a few highlights from the 44,000-object collection and finish with a walk in the gardens anchored by a reflecting pool. (The Villa is a sister museum to the Richard Meier-designed Getty Center, which sits atop a hill in L.A.’s Brentwood neighborhood.)

Getty Villa

For dinner, snag an outdoor table at Nobu Malibu for an evening of sushi, sashimi and cocktails as the sun goes down and turns the sky a riot of candy colors. Try the Daruma, made with shochu, black sugar, plum and ginger bitters, or the Nobu Sidebar, made with whiskey, orange liqueur and yuzu.

Nobu Malibu

Abbot Kinney in Venice. Photograph by Marisa Vitale

Day 3

From secluded Malibu, head south toward hip Venice. Lined with restaurants, bars and trendy boutiques hawking everything from minimalist housewares and women’s wear to sunglasses and face oils, mile-long Abbot Kinney in Venice is the epitome of cool. Some shops worth nothing are Huset for Scandinavian home goods; Zadig & Voltaire for edgy women’s and men’s wear; and Gorjana for easy-to-layer necklaces and rings. Stop by Blue Star Donuts for coffee and blueberry basil donuts as you window shop this morning.

Chulita Restaurant

Along Venice’s Rose Ave., Chulita feels like a Tulum import with its rattan chairs and zellige-tiled bar counter. The consistently delectable fare here includes sweet potato-stuffed taquitos, mushroom carnitas tacos and prickly pear cheesecake. Wash it all down with a few hibiscus margaritas.

City Club L.A.

Next, run through the players’ tunnel onto the field at the brand-new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, home to the Chargers and the Rams. Considered the largest NFL stadium, SoFi’s 60-minute behind-the-scenes tour gives visitors a chance to see some of the most impressive seats and suites, the locker room and the state-of-the-art video board. Visitors can also show off their skills kicking field goals and throwing at targets.

In the afternoon, make the drive to downtown L.A. Take advantage of your Invited Club network benefits while you take in the stunning downtown views from City Club Los Angeles, situated atop City National Tower. Grab a cocktail and some small bites in the Aperture Anytime Lounge, helmed by globe-trotting chef Drew Andrade. Try the wagyu corn dog, roasted carrots with whipped feta and gremolata or the Brussels sprouts with jalapeño caramel while you sip a craft cocktail.

the 268-room Hotel Figueroa In downtown L.A.

Then check into the 268-room Hotel Figueroa, which dates back to 1926 and first opened as a safe haven for solo female travelers. The womencentric ethos extends to the rotating artwork on display by female artists such as Sophie Kipner, Shizu Saldamando and Amber Vittoria. The hotel’s Bar Magnolia is the perfect setting for a nightcap. Order the Eden made with gin, chamomile infused-sherry, guava and cucumber. Before you leave the hotel, take a dip in the coffin-shaped pool.

Still hungry? Try Girl & the GoatChef Stephanie Izard brought her Chicago restaurant to downtown’s Arts District last year. The bright, 200-seat restaurant boasts high ceilings and plenty of plants in the bones of a brick warehouse building. Start with shareable plates such as the naan and carrot hummus, crispy greens salad, sautéed green beans and chickpea fritters with cilantro chutney and pomegranate. An entirely separate vegan menu will make plant-forward eaters happy too.

Girl & the Goat

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