5 cool things to do in Los Angeles
By Jonathan Owen
Published 28th December 2021
Last modified 7th June 2022
Last modified 7th June 2022
We’re celebrating the launch of our exciting travel insurance products with a series of articles about various amazing locations, here’s 5 cool things to do in Los Angeles.
The Viper Room is one of Los Angeles most notorious venues with an amazing history, frequently visited by the rockstar elite. Originally founded by actors Johnny Depp and Sal Jenco in 1993 it’s been a haven for overindulgence and debauchery since the doors opened. Bands and performers to date include Johnny Cash, Lenny Kravitz, Pearl Jam, The Strokes, Weezer, Maroon 5, Iggy Pop, Oasis, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Run DMC to name a few!
Before it was the Viper Room at 8852 Sunset Boulevard it was called “The Melody Room” and served as an illicit gambling den for gangster Mickey Cohen. Before that it burned down in 1950 as the “Rue Angel” and was shut down in 1951 for lewd performances (now known as drag shows).
Doors open between 8pm and 10pm most days, and things really get going at midnight. There is a strict over 21’s policy so make sure you bring your ID. So, for a true slice of LA history, and possibly the coolest spot on the planet to hang out, make sure you check out the legendary Viper Room.
Rodeo drive in one of the most exclusive shopping destinations on the planet, so exclusive in fact it borders on tacky. This make is an unmissable stop for travellers with a love of exclusive designer luxuries and over the top opulence. Boutiques include Versace, Tiffany, Fendi, Chanel and Dior. For over half a century Rodeo Drive has offered an unparalleled shopping experience and includes fine dining, art, and culture. Often frequented by the Hollywood elite (or at least their personal assistants) you’re guaranteed the biggest price tags in this people watching haven, as well as the odd snooty shop assistant helping to relieve you of the majority of your recently exchanged currency whilst they flash you their heavily invested Hollywood smiles. On the strip itself you’ll see more supercars on HP than Southend seafront on a Saturday night. So, what are you waiting for? Lace up your Balenciagas, fire up Instagram, polish up your credit cards and shop ‘til you drop.
You’ve partied with rockstars in the Viper Room, rubbed shoulders with celebrities (assistants) on Rodeo Drive, maybe now it’s time for something more down to earth… what better than a balloon ride over California with complimentary champagne? After some research we’ve picked out two of the best balloon flight companies in Cali for you to fly away with, Compass Balloons and Skyline Balloons. Both offer amazing trips with breath-taking views, pick from group flights, private flights, sunset trips, even trips than include wine tasting and sky diving!
Being the home of Hollywood, Los Angeles has its fair share of drive-in cinemas. We’ve found a few of the best for you to check out.
According to reviews The Rooftop Cinema Club seem to have got it right (thankfully not on a rooftop on this particular occasion) and bring you the Drive-in at Santa Monica Airport, here you can choose between sitting in your vehicle, laying back in the tailgate of your truck, or using one of the deckchair seating areas if you’d prefer to stretch your legs. There’s a range of snacks from local food trucks parked on site. The audio and visual aspect is top notch, and staff and site are well organised and of a high standard, including some deluxe portaloos for your convenience!
Second on the list is another gem straight out of Hollywood, The Paramount Drive In Theatre. This offers two 75 foot screens, with state of the art audio and visual as well as a recently expanded food menu, over 2000 people rate this an average of 4.4 stars on Google so you don’t have to just take our word for it.
Third up is LA’s longest running pop up drive-in, Electric Dusk. The screen and sound are both excellent, and the cinema itself is well organised and the staff are friendly. Lots of snacks on offer too at reasonable prices.
While we’re talking drive in’s we have one more suggestion, rent a classic car that’s perfect for the occasion to add to that cool factor! Here’s a few from Turo we think hit the mark…
When it comes to memories nothing does it better than a tattoo! Los Angeles has a long tradition of ink, but there’s one man in town that stands out from the crowd as a long-term innovator and institution of LA, Mark Mahoney at the Shamrock Social Club. His work has adorned the bodies of thousands of beautiful LA-ites including famous faces such as Fearne Cotton, Russell Brand, David Beckham, Harry Styles, Adele, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Ellie Goulding, Cheryl Cole, Lily Allen, Kelly Osbourne, Ariana Grande, and Lindsay Lohan. His tattoo shop has always been run under the banner “Where the Elite and the Underworld Meet.” and we can only take his word for that! At the Shamrock Social Club, they have a reputation for precision, design, and detail, and having browsed a fair bit of their work on Instagram we can only agree.