Ultimate L.A. Guide

Our fashionable guide to the who, the what, and the where of the city right now

Westward Leaning

For evidence that die center of cultural gravity is shifting west, look no further than this fall’s ambitious, Getty-led “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA” roster of exhibitions spread across more than 70 regional museums and galleries.

Using Latino and Latin American art as a lens, die comprehensive program—which includes “Found in Translation,” a dialogue between 20th-century Mexican and SoCal design at die Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and “Radical Women,” at the Hammer Museum— explores what it means to be a modern Angeleno.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Indigo Seas

As soon as you lay eyes on the off-the-wall decor of the Ivy, you’ll spend the rest of your life wondering how you can take a little piece of it home.

The answer: This antiques and home-goods emporium next door, which Ivy’s Lynn von Kersting also owns and which even stocks the restaurant’s distinctive floral napkins.

One-Pop Shop

By now, Maxfield’s pop-ups are the stuff of local legend. It wasn’t enough to be the one store in West Hollywood that sells Lisa Eisner’s jewelry; in 2015, they actually sweet-talked her into creating an entire installation. Valentino and Gucci are up next.

L.A. Maxfield shop

Think Pink

Run, don’t walk, to the South Coast Plaza outpost of the Webster, the dreamy, Miami-based destination boutique that was pushing millennial pink before it was a thing. The shop has a new exclusive with Repetto, and, yes, they come in its signature hue.

Bunny Hop

In L.A., most infants are better dressed than you. You may not be able to beat them, but at least your offspring can join them.

The new Beverly Hills children’s store English Rabbit features West Coast boutique labels like Flora and Henri and Little Giraffe and designer European brands to make sure they dress the part.

English Rabbit shop in Los Angeles

Inner Peace

Be warned: After a few nights at Nobu Ryokan, a 16-room beachfront inn in traditional Japanese style owned by chef Nobu Matsuhisa, you may never want to return to the famous L.A. hustle.

High Times

Come for the stunning rooftop views of the Hollywood Hills at Beverly Hills’ new Waldorf Astoria and stay for Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s sublime spin on California produce like mole-dressed mushroom tacos and spring-pea guacamole.

The rooftop lounge at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills Waldorf Astoria

Spots and Dots

The only ticket hotter than Hamilton at the Pantages is “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” at the Broad (the 50,000 available for its 10-week run sold out in less than an hour).

If you score a same- day ticket, plan a selfie strategy wisely: You’ll have just 30 seconds to pose in each of its six trippy mirrored rooms.


A multidisciplinary experience awaits at designer Rachel Comey’s Fall 2017 venue. While your locally sourced meal won’t come with a fashion show, the restaurant’s unique location, at Hauser & Wirth’s gallery (and its coop of rare-breed chickens), will give you food for thought.

Yayoi Kusama – Infinity Mirrors

Petit Trois

Believe it or not, some of the best restaurants in L.A. can be found in strip malls all over the city—including the finest French bistro outside of Paris. Try the omelet, a perfectly fluffy mound made with Boursin pepper cheese and chives.


Melrose Place’s oft-’grammed Alfred Coffee & Kitchen has a colorful trick up its #butfirstcoffee sleeve: Alfred Tea Room. It serves turbinado-sugar-sweetened, unicorn-hued boba beverages healthy enough for an Angeleno palate.

Bad Romance

Every rose has its thorn, sometimes literally. Inspired by Patrick Süskind’s novel Perfume: A Story of a Murderer, photographer Sascha von Bismarck’s debut exhibition—featuring Georgia May Jagger, Alice Dellal, and other It Brits-at the Eric Buterbaugh Gallery hints at a seamy dark side to the sumptuous arrangements and fragrances that made the eponymous gallerist and floral designer’s name.

The Eden Roc Miami Beach – An Oceanfront Treasure

With an oceanfront location in the heart of Miami’s Mid-Beach and just minutes from Lincoln Road, Ocean Drive, and the Wynwood Arts District, Eden Roc Miami Beach offers travelers a beachfront retreat synonymous with contemporary Miami luxury.

This oceanside treasure boasts 418 spacious guestrooms and suites. 3 stunning pools. 22,000 square foot spa and fitness facility, a signature Nobu restaurant, and the farm-to-table restaurant. Malibu Farm (open late 2017).

Eden Roc’s ocean-facing suites offer savvy travelers, relaxation seekers, beach lovers, and culinary enthusiasts the chance to indulge in a truly immersive setting and enjoy curated experiences throughout their stay. Eden Roc provides a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

Find Luxury in South Walton – Florida

Located in Northwest Florida South Walton is continually recognized as a premier destination that boasts 26 miles of sugar-white sand, turquoise water and 16 acclaimed beachside neighborhoods, each with its own personality and style.

In South Walton, luxury accommodations, challenging golf, eclectic shops, unique art galleries, and award winning dining are part of the area’s distinctive character and relaxing atmosphere.

Both on the beach and off, outdoor activities are naturally abundant in South Walton.

Beyond traditional sunning and swimming, adventurous travelers will enjoy stand-up paddleboarding or fishing on the stunning water of the Gulf of Mexico or one of the area’s 15 rare coastal dune lakes.

With more than 200 miles of trails, nature lovers are invited to observe rare birds while hiking through state parks and forests.

The 19-mile Timpoochee Trail beckons runners and bicyclists past New Urbanist neighborhoods and coastal dune lakes. Challenge yourself to a game of tennis or golf on one of several acclaimed courts and courses.

Is shopping your passion? Indulge in some retail therapy at one of the nation’s largest designer outlets, and then browse an eclectic mix of chic and sophisticated boutiques and galleries.

Foodies will relish the fusion of flavors created by award winning chefs using fresh-from-the-Gulf and locally sourced ingredients. As the sun makes its spectacular evening splash into the sea, enjoy live music and dancing at one of the local hot spots

An upscale, yet casual area to unwind. South Walton is the place to rejuvenate, build lasting memories, and find your perfect beach.

The Palm Beaches – America’s First Resort Destination

Indulge in the finer things in life as you explore a destination recognized for its sophisticated elegance and lavish offerings.

In The Palm Beaches, you can immerse yourself in luxurious accommodations, fine dining, high-end shopping, and upscale spas-all within a glamorous setting of the Atlantic Ocean and South Florida’s picturesque Intracoastal Waterway.

Those who desire exceptional service and hospitality will find what they are looking for in one of the many luxury boutique hotels, inns, and resorts that grace The Palm Beaches.

As one of these oases as your base, you can wander out and lounge on a piece 47-mile, sun-soaked beachfront, explore the lush green landscape by bike or foot on one of numerous trails, or navigate one of the fascinating waterways to experience the essence of The Palm Beaches.

But the destination is more than just beaches. You can taste the fresh flavors of the farmland and the fresh-caught seafood from the Atlantic coast, indulge in shopping at traditional malls or along historically charming avenues, enjoy one or more of over 200 cultural and family-friendly attractions, and catch a match at any of the many sporting events-ranging from golf and polo to baseball and croquet.

Conveniently positioned one hour north of Miami and two hours southeast of Orlando, the destination is accessible via three International Airports (Palm Beach International Airport, Miami International Airport, and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport).

As the “Best Way to Experience Florida”, The Palm Beaches offers visitors everything from classic luxury to natural wonder, and the options are limitless and often surprising.

Hilton Head Island in South Carolina

Hugging the South Carolina Coast, Hilton Head Island is the essence of the Lowcountry. As soon as you drive across the bridge, you feel it.

It’s the sounds of waves breaking on the beach, the scent of the salt breeze through the palmettos, it’s the glimpse of moonlight trickling through the Spanish moss.

Here, an insider’s look at what makes this 12 miles of beachfront the ultimate retreat that will fuel your wanderlust.

Travel Light, Stay Luxe

Traveling to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina has never been easier with a plethora of non-stop flight options and luxurious oceanfront accommodations from which to choose. It is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate.

Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport: Getting to Hilton Head Island is a breeze with the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. Choose from seven different airlines offering nonstop service to a variety of major cities.

From the rocking chairs scattered throughout waiting areas to the welcoming staff, you will be surrounded with Southern hospitality at every turn.

Hilton Head International Airport

Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort: This tropical beachfront resort is a destination like no other. Each of its 323 suites offers beautiful views of the ocean or its landscape of verdant, native tropical foliage.

With two family pools, an adult pool, and private cabanas, this casual resort s amenities and unparalleled service will make you never want to leave.

Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort

Taste of the Lowcountry
“Eat like a local”—a truer statement has never been made about the culinary scene on Hilton Head Island. From upscale to traditional Southern cuisine, there are so many options to choose from that you will want to make sure you leave room to enjoy as many as possible.

Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks: When searching for an authentic Lowcountry dining experience, look no farther than Hudson’s. With one of only two remaining fishing fleets on the island, it brings fresh catches from the dock to table daily.

Try the crab-stuffed mushroom caps while sipping a Southern Berry and enjoying views of Port Royal Sound.

Old Oyster Factory: Multicolor sunsets and. of course, oysters are what draw patrons to this waterside dinner-only seafood restaurant. It’s special sunset dinner menu (offered from 4:45-5:30, give or take) is a delicious offering of fresh-caught fare and beer-infused dishes.

Broad Street Seafood Gumbo. Smoked Craft Brew Chicken. Almond-crusted Mahi Mahi…you really can’t go wrong.

Signature Experiences

A visit to Hilton Head Island is not complete unless you explore some if its iconic landmarks. Whether it’s the island’s famous lighthouse or exploring its lush and abundant natural beauty, there’s no shortage of must-see spots to discover.

Harbour Town Lighthouse: Perhaps one of the best views on all of Hilton Head Island is just 114 steps atop this iconic red-and- white striped lighthouse.

View the breathtaking scenery as you look out over one of the most famous holes in golf, the 18th green of Harbour Town Golf Links, as well as the sleek yachts and fashionable shops at Harbour Town Yacht Basin, harbourtownlighthouse.com

Harbour Town Lighthouse

Outdoors & Recreation: On Hilton Head Island, the attention is given to the environment. Absorb the island’s appreciation for the environment—enjoy bird watching, take a zipline canopy tour, discover the beautiful wildlife and foliage of the Lowcountry at the Audubon-Newhall Preserve and Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge or explore miles of trails and paved paths for some of the best biking and hiking in South Carolina.

A world of natural wonders awaits you on Hilton Head Island.

Chart Your Course

With 12 miles of pristine beaches, it is no wonder most things revolve around the water on Hilton Head Island. From navigating the many lagoons to discovering hundreds of bird species along the shore, head to the water to indulge your sense of adventure.

Kayaking. Fishing. And More: With six marinas, there is any number of water activities from which to choose on Hilton Head Island—from kayaking to standup paddle boarding to fishing. Charter a boat to try your hand a catching fall specialties, such as Red Fish and Sea Trout.

Dolphin Watching: Broad Creek is one of the many ways to get the chance to come face to face with one of Hilton Head Island’s friendliest neighbors, the Bottlenose Dolphin. These salt water marshes are also home to an interesting cast of characters, including river otters, oyster beds, and blue crabs.

Cultural Experiences

While Hilton Head Island is commonly beloved for its beaches and all the activities that go along with it, it is also home to a thriving arts scene and some of the best jazz north of New Orleans.

Art Galleries: For the traveler who likes to experience the local arts and culture scene, browsing local galleries is one of the ways to do so.

The Lowcountry s abundant marsh views come alive through the eyes of local artists—from Gullah sweetgrass baskets that tell the tale of the Sea Island history to sweeping Southern landscapes. Don’t miss the chance to stroll the island’s unique shops and galleries

The Jazz Corner: Although it has a low-lit, laidback atmosphere. The Jazz Corner’s music is anything but Noted as one of the finest jazz dubs in the country, lively and exciting tunes will transport you to the roots of jazz—a classic American art form that hits all the right notes on Hilton Head Island.


Top US Destination – Charleston – South Carolina

From high above, the Charleston area resembles a beautiful tapestry woven with shades of indigo, marshgrass and oyster shell.

Etched with barrier islands and bodies of water, the landscape has a poetic shape.

With the perfect combination of beautiful beaches, world-class cuisine, antebellum architecture, and an endless supply of engaging things to see and do. It’s no wonder the Charleston area is consistently named a top U.S. destination.

In Charleston, daily life is accompanied by a gentle harmony of church bells, rustling palmetto fronds, and lyrical sea island accents.

Church steeples-not skyscrapers-dot the skyline, and a tangible connection to the past permeates the community.

Copper gas-lit lanterns and hitching posts hint at a bygone era and heirloom varieties of grits and rice are mainstays on the menus of local James Beard Foundation award-winning chefs.

Discover the people, places, and traditions found only in Charleston. South Carolina. Come, let this special destination enliven your senses.

Fall in Love with Savannah – Georgia

Draped in Spanish moss and bursting with natural beauty, Savannah is fantastic in the fall.

A charming southern escape, it is the oldest city in Georgia-offering art, architecture, and coastal cuisine.

Rent a bike and discover the city on wheels or simply stroll around and visit historic sites, architectural landmarks, and pre-Civil War-era mansions.

Head to the Historic District for an eclectic shopping mix of local makers and national brands or test your bravery on a haunted ghost tour.

Foodies will feel at home with Savannah’s cuisine offerings. Local hot spots focus on fresh, locally sourced, coastal dishes with a Southern spin that will keep you craving more.

Your getaway wouldn’t be complete without experiencing one of its fall events- the Savannah Food & Wine Festival, the Savannah Film Festival, and the Savannah Boat Parade of Lights.

Warm temperatures welcome visitors who come to enjoy art, architecture, coastal cuisine, local shopping and endless festivals and events.

The Seagate Hotel & Spa – Coastal Charm – Delray Beach

The Seagate Hotel & Spa in Delray Beach, Florida, combines all the charm of a beach resort with the chic sophistication of a boutique hotel.

The tropical location on award-winning Atlantic Avenue, coupled with the hotel’s lush amenities, make this a preferred destination for winter getaways, holiday parties, and unforgettable destination weddings.

Whatever the occasion, there will be no shortage of things to do. The hotel is home to critically acclaimed restaurants, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and an 8.000-square-foot spa and fitness center.

The Atlantic Grille serves up bold flavors, inspired culinary techniques, and fresh ingredients in a surprising decor, featuring eclectic touches like a 2.500-gallon shark tank.

The Seagate Spa pampers guests with luxury treatments and soothing rituals from premier brands like Elemis and ESPA.

A stay at The Seagate Hotel also grants you exclusive membership privileges at other distinguished Seagate properties.

Enjoy one of the finest 18-hole golf courses in all of Palm Beach County at The Seagate Country Club.

The Seagate Country Golf Club.

Guests can work on their game with the help of an impressive staff of professionals, including PGA great Craig Harmon.

For beachgoers, The Seagate Beach Club provides private access to world-class oceanfront restaurants and Delray’s award-winning beach.

And, for younger family members, the hotel offers three pools, water sports rentals, a Kids’ Club, and movie nights on the beach.

Indeed, there’s something for everyone at this intimate, seaside luxury resort.

new orleans

The City That Never Sleeps – New Orleans, USA

Before You Arrive

Blending French brandy with American rye whiskey, a dash of absinthe (or more often local Herbsaint) and a lump of sugar and lemon peel —from the moment you taste your first sip of New Orleans’ signature sazerac cocktail, you know you’ve arrived somewhere special.

The city fuses elements of the old and new world to create an atmosphere as intoxicating as the drink it’s famous for.

But its past is just as rich, from the Native Americans who once lived off the Mississippi River to the European explorers who saw the area’s value as a trading port and settled here. Convicts, prostitutes and African slaves arrived to work the streets and fields, and out of all this rose a proud Creole community — originally a term to describe white settlers born here of French descent, only to be later applied to those of black ancestry, too.

bourbon street new orleans

Bourbon Street – New Orleans

Today, New Orleans is as shaken and stirred as the drinks that flow freely in Bourbon Street. Stroll down Frenchmen Street any day, anytime to try a cuisine alive with Creole spices, be greeted like an old friend by locals and hear waves of jazz, blues and ragtime oozing from doorways.

Come Mardi Gras, the whole city ups its party vibe a few decibels, with floats and festivals filling the streets. And with new direct flights from the UK, your ticket to the celebrations just got a little easier.

At the Airport

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is 16km west of the city centre. Starting from 27 March, British Airways (ba.com) will be launching the first direct flights from the UK, flying four times a week from London Heathrow with a flight time of under ten hours; from £545 return.

British citizens do not require visas for stays of up to 90 days, but you will need to hold a valid ESTA.  At the airport you’ll find an info booth, currency exchange and ATMs.

Getting into Town

All the usual car rental companies can be found at the airport. Taxis costa flat fare of $36 (£28) for the 20-minute trip to the Central Business District (CBD)/French Quarter — credit cards accepted.

You can opt for an Airport Shuttle, which stops at hotels downtown for £19. The Airport-Downtown Express (E2) bus from outside the airport’s upper level costs $2 and takes around 40 minutes.

Other Ways to Arrive

Greyhound buses (greyhound.com) drop off and pick up from the airport and the Downtown Bus Station (1001 Loyola Avenue). From there, you can head north to Baton Rouge and Lafayette, and onwards via the rest of the cross-country network.

At Union Station (also 1001 Loyola Avenue), you can take the Amtrak train (amtrak.com) heading north to Chicago via Memphis and beyond.

Here’s the Plan…

Essential Info
Population: 378,715

Languages: English

Timezone: GMT-6 (Mar-Nov GMT-5)

International dialling code: +1

Visas: Not required by UK nationals.

Highest viewpoint: The best view of the city skyline has to be from the water. Old-style paddleships the Creole Queen and Steamboat Natchez offer two-hour sightseeing cruises along the Mississippi River as well as dinners and jazz. Perfect for getting a skyline photo.

Steamboat Natchez

Steamboat Natchez

Health issues: Tap water is fine to drink. Be careful of walking alone after dark, especially in the French Quarter and out to Frenchmen Street. It’s better to take a cab/Uber to go to the jazz bars.

Recommended guidebook: New Orleans (Lonely Planet, 2015); DK Eyewitness Travel Guide New Orleans (Dorling Kindersley, 2015).

Web resources: NOLA’s official site is neworleansinfo.com; louisianatravel.com; VisitTheUSA.com is a great trip-planning resource for travel beyond the city.

Climate: The city gets hot and humid during summer, hitting the high 30s (°C). June to November is officially hurricane season; spring (Feb-Apr) and autumn (Sep-Oct) are more pleasant and still warm (around 20°C). Winter (Dec-Jan) is low season, when bargains are rife. If you go for Mardi Gras (late Feb), book ahead as places fill up fast.

First Day’s Tour

Grab a sugary beignet (a New Orleans speciality) and coffee at Café du Monde, near Jackson Square, then start your exploration of the French Quarter with a cemetery tour for a grounding in famous past residents, Creole culture and vodou tales.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans

You need a certified guide to enter St Louis Cemetery – where you’ll learn how the bodies are ‘cooked’ in their crypts, and see ‘voodoo queen’ Marie Laveau’s tomb (and actor Nicolas Cage’s figure resting place, if you’re interested…).

After the walking tour, grab a Louisiana staple: a po’boy (sandwich) from Killer PoBoys at the back of the Erin Rose Bar on Conti Street.

Work it off by picking up a bike (and a guide, if you prefer) at the American Bicycle Company to cover more ground.

Whizz along the bohemian Marigny and Bywater neighbourhoods, before heading north to check out City Park, complete with (allegedly) the largest grove of oak trees on Earth and the Morning Call café to pick up some refreshments and recharge a little.

Later, take the St Charles Streetcar to the Garden District. Follow dinner and a drink (try the sazerac) at the Commander’s Palace with a cab to Frenchmen Street and the Spotted Cat Music Club to end the day listening to jazz with locals.

Where to Stay

Soniat House - New Orleans

Soniat House – New Orleans

Top end: Soniat House is located in the heart of the French Quarter. It has just 31 rooms each unique in its size, shape and decor. There are also wrought-iron balconies, perfect for people-watching when night falls.

Mid range: Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery started out life as a warehouse for the Port of New Orleans back in 1854. Now it offers a wealth of boutique luxury (think exposed brick and hardwood floors) just minutes from the French Quarter.

It even features a rotating exhibition from a local art school.

Budget: The newly opened Hotel Modern offers basic rooms on the edge of the Garden District – perfect for those who want to escape the buzz of Bourbon Street. It also has easy access to the St Charles Streetcar, which will take you straight into downtown.

Stay or Go?

Stay for a few days, but don’t forget that New Orleans can make a great base to explore the bayous and plantations beyond.

In the city, do try to sample a vodou experience if you can. Priestess Sallie Ann Glassman holds events on various saint’s days at the International House hotel where visitors can either get involved or simply watch.

Outside the city limits, you’ll want to get up close and personal with the alligators and birdlife along the bayous. Cajun Encounters offers half-day excursions on powered boats with knowledgeable guides.

For something less noisy and more intimate, Canoe and Trail offers wildlife-watching trips by kayak and canoe. For a deeper look into Louisiana’s past, you have to head to the plantations. Whitney and Oak Alley are highly recommended.

portland oregon hipster

Hipster Hotspot – Portland, Oregon

The high high temple of American hipsterism has long been the most appealing US city without a direct flight from the UK. That changes in May, when Delta launches a direct route to Portland from Heathrow.

It’s a city that has encouraged small-scale enterprise to flourish, leading to a scene where virtually everyone seems to run a food truck, roast their own coffee, brew craft beer or dabble in small-batch distilling. As a result, it’s a far better city for grazing than sightseeing — although it’s the gateway to Oregon, perhaps the most underrated state in the Union.