Wilshire Boulevard

Stretching nearly 16 miles from Downtown Los Angeles to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, Wilshire Boulevard is a kaleidoscope of California culture. You’ll find several chef-driven dining hot spots near mom-and-pop bakeries and generations-old Mexican eateries. A smattering of vintage and designer consignment stores make the whole strip a favorite for deal hunters. Join some locals at Douglas Park for a lawn bowling session and then head to scenic Palisades Park for a bluff-top view of a classic Santa Monica Beach sunset.

Eat

Forget cereal and get your Chocolate Waffle Party on instead at Bru's Wiffle. This convivial café that reinvents the breakfast classic with unique toppings. With flavors like red velvet and churro—plus eight variations on chicken and waffles — you really can’t go wrong.

Mélisse is the place to propose, celebrate, or simply indulge in a night of classic refinement. Overseen by fine-dining powerhouse Josiah Citrin, the Michelin-starred restaurant is renowned for its French-influenced multi-course prix-fixe dinners and flawless service.

Join the latest L.A. lunch craze and build your own poke bowl at one of the chains that started it all. At Spinfish Poke House, the Hawaiian specialty can be customized with a variety of marinated fish, house sauces, and bases ranging from brown rice to mixed greens. Not into DIY? Order one of the signature bowls.

Step outside your burrito comfort zone and try Taco Teca, an upscale Mexican restaurant that wows locals with innovative, artisanal tacos featuring seasonal ingredients. The centerpiece of the modern, wood-accented dining room is a beautiful bar featuring a killer mescal and tequila selection.

Shop

Fill your picnic basket and head to the beach for an alfresco feast. Belcampo Meat Co. is the one of the best spots for sliced meats and gourmet treats from the on-site butcher shop.

Would you forget Fido while you’re on vacation? We didn’t think so. Healthy Spot pet store is stocked with unique treats, hard-to-find accessories, and eco-friendly toys for both dogs and cats. Now go fetch that BPA-free organic chew toy!

Johnnie-O Love Shack, a men’s boutique, is making waves for its preppy-meets-beachwear collection of colorful polo shirts and oxfords. Surfboards and vintage beach photos contribute to the laid-back vibes. Founded by John O’Donnell, actor Chris O’Donnell’s brother, the label counts Ashton Kutcher and Bradley Cooper among its fans.

Get sweet new kicks for a run on the beach at this huge New Balance store, offering hundreds of styles under one roof in the historic Home Savings building. Check out the gorgeous mid-century sculpture and mosaic outside.

Play

This shady oasis offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of Wilshire Boulevard with a small brook and a pond that attracts ducks and turtles. Aside from the lawn bowling and tennis courts, Douglas Park has a fully fenced-in playground and a lawn dotted with trees. It’s a perfect place to set down a blanket and enjoy a sunny afternoon.

If you’re feeling ready to party, this lively nightspot can oblige. Loosen up with a festive libation or two and you just might summon the courage to hit The GasLite’s famed karaoke stage. Don’t have the pipes (or the guts) to wield the mic? There’s always dancing!

Celebrity hairstylist Matthew Preece ran the Fred Segal Salon, where he worked his magic on in-the-know Angelenos for years (Duran Duran was a client back in the day). Now he has his own flagship studio, Matthew Preece Salon, offering impeccable hair coloring,  fabulous cuts, blowouts, makeup application, and more in a high-ceilinged and beautifully outfitted space.

Crafting connoisseurs converge at this popular stationery store, Paper Source, but many don’t know about its enticing workshops. Choose from a variety of basic card-making classes or learn pro techniques like heat embossing and hand-marbling.

Local’s Tip

Watch a stunning California sunset from one of the many vantage points along Palisades Park, which sits on Wilshire Blvd's beachfront edge.

 

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