Travel to Los Angeles, California – part 2 – Episode 266

categories: USA Travel


The Amateur Traveler talks to Eric Schwartzman (author, educator, and podcaster) about his hometown of Los Angeles.

In this second part of a two-part series of episodes, Eric will give us the last two days of his sample itineraries for 4 days in the Los Angeles area. In this insider’s look at LA Eric points out the cafes, coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, and movie locations that he thinks you should know about.

Day 3: Hollywood – Sunset Strip, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Roosevelt, L.A.’s best chili dog, Academy Awards theater, Sunset Grill, Hollywood Cemetary, and more.

Day 4: Downtown – Chinatown for dim sum, Olvera St. for Molé, Union Station for breathtaking Mission Architecture, Santee Alley, and Los Angeles St. for discount children’s formal wear, Disney Hall for magnificent modern architecture and Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church.

Travel to Los Angeles, California – part 1 – Episode 265

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right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)

Show Notes

Things to do in Los Angeles – with the 4 Google maps Eric mentioned
About Eric Schwartzman
Social Marketing to the Business Customer
View Things to do in Los Angeles: Hollywood in a larger map

Sunset Strip, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Roosevelt, L.A.’s best chili dog, Academy Awards theater, Sunset Grill, Hollywood Cemetary, and more.

Sunset Strip
The Roxy Theatre
Whisky A Go Go
The Viper Room
Book Soup
Chin Chin
Poquito Mas
The Sunset Marquis
The Whiskey Bar
The Mondrian Hotel
The Comedy Store
Carney’s Restaurant
The Standard Hotel
The Chateau Marmont
Somewhere (film)
Guitar Center
Sunset Grill
Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood and Highland Center
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre at Wikipedia
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Kodak Theatre (now the Dolby Theatre)
El Capitan Theatre
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Paramount Studio Tour
Hollywood Forever
Hollywood Sign
Rebel Without A Cause
Griffith Observatory
Hollywood Sign at Google Maps
View Things to do in Los Angeles: Downtown L.A. in a larger map

Chinatown for dim sum, Olvera St. for Mole, Union Station for breathtaking Mission Architecture, Santee Alley and Los Angeles St. for discount children’s formal wear, Disney Hall for magnificent modern architecture and Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church.

Downtown Los Angeles
The Soloist (film)
Downtown LA
Empress Pavilion (closed as restaurant)
Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels
Music Center
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Museum of Contemporary Art
Los Angeles Library
Los Angeles Boulevard
Staples Center
Hygge Bakery
Santee Alley
Los Angeles Flower Market
Catch 21
Valentine’s Day (film)
Olvera Street
La Golondrina
Union Station (Los Angeles)
Amateur Traveler, Episode 174 – Oaxaca, Mexico
La Brea Tar Pits
Original Farmers Market
Farmers Market – Santa Monica
Watts Tower


Beware the dangerous pizza menus
Immigration Officer Puts Wife on the No-Fly List


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

9 Responses to “Travel to Los Angeles, California – part 2 – Episode 266”

Darrell Hickman


Hey Chris I really enjoyed the 2 part LA interview. Very detailed. I totally agree with the Tar Pits. Unless you are a educator or something, He mentioned the library. I really like some of the sculptures in the building and surprised that the main library is a skyscraper. Unless it is really smoggy one great place to see the Hollywood sign is the mall behind Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Since you will probably be in that area might as well get a good view of the sign. I am surprised that he dismissed the Watts Tower. I thought that this was a very unique structure to view and the neighborhood is not that bad at least not during the day.



I personally loved the Tar Pits. Now it has to be said that I am a nerd and love to learn in general, but I thought the mammoths and sabre-tooth tigers were awesome.

Lisa Spears


Hi Chris,
I really enjoy the show, it is my weekly highlight at work as I pretend to be traveling somewhere else than sitting and looking at my computer screen. I love to hear about places I haven’t been to and places that I have traveled too.
I am a 20-something resident of Los Angeles and I have to comment on the recent episode about Los Angeles. One of the things I like about Amateur Traveler is how the interviewees often put there spin and personalities into the places they are talking about. However, I could not help but be annoyed and disappointed at Eric’s portrayal of Los Angeles. I felt he was shallow, showy and made LA seem all about beautiful people.
I agree that much of the allure towards LA is it prominent role in entertainment and that is a fun part of living here. However, Eric aimed much of his itinerary towards the be-and-be-seen socialite bar hoping crowd. LA as much to offer to families (other than Disneyland!), people who don’t wear designer labels, outdoor types, elderly and people on a budget. To focus only on the seemingly glamorous life style of the rich, beautiful and famous is to miss much of LA.
Sorry to even make a negative comment about your show, but I felt I had to stick up for the rest of LA.

Yvonne Prinz


Where’s Amoeba Music?

Steven Wong


While Eric did a good job giving an overview of places to visit in Los Angeles, I have to protest about his description of the people. Believe it or not, we are not the shallow, egotistical, name-dropping, image obsessed, botox filled beauty kings and queens, he makes us out to be. Unless I get arrested or win the Nobel Prize, I don’t anticipate seeing my face on the cover of a magazine. I was especially disappointed in Eric’s continuous stereotyping of the people in Los Angeles throughout the podcast because he is a southern California native. And, no, it’s not about who you know in LA, it’s about the quality of your friends and family with whom you spend time with (just like everywhere else in the world).

Since it is always sunny and warm here, I highly recommend looking into the numerous outdoor activities in Southern California from surfing to hiking in the mountains. One of the great things about LA is it’s music scene. Rock, pop, folk, classical, punk, disco, bebop, rap, whatever music you like, you can find always great show. The LA Weekly ( is a great resource for things to do, and their website has a huge variety of tasty restaurant listings from white table cloth to hole-in-the-walls. (Much better than the chain restaurants recommended on the podcast.)



I really loved this episode! Even though I visit LA at least once a year I don’t think I’ve ever done a single thing suggested by Schwartzman. I’m particularly interested in the art walk, which is on the 2nd Thursday of every month (I think it was erroneously mentioned as being every 3rd episode).

Thanks for such consistently good shows, Chris!

Matthew Lynch


I have to agree with some of the comments here. I emailed Chris but didn’t realize that this comment section was here.

The thing that was so frustrating is that he really does know a ton of great stuff about LA, but he’s an obviously out of touch Westsider who snidely dismisses many things (Hollywood, The Tar Pits, Downtown) while extolling the virtues of others that are quite frankly, lame. The Sky Bar as the best representation of where the “beautiful people” are? He mentions the Sunset Grill and not the Hollywod Bowl? Yikes.

He does travelers a great service by telling them to avoid the typical tourists traps, but as others have mentioned, he does LA locals a disservice – as an LA native he’s somehow got a whiney Woody Allen view of how shallow people are here – his four words to sum up LA are “it’s who you know”. Really? Nonsense.



LA is full of life. I enjoy watching the colorful city lights at night. I was amazed to see the LAX lights, it’s very welcoming.

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