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15 Things to Do in L.A. If You're Having a Bad Day

Los Angeles from Mulholland Drive
Los Angeles from Mulholland Drive
Photo by Raymond Shobe via Flickr

Los Angeles may be the city of perpetual sun and cheery attitudes, yet it is certainly possible to have a bad day here. And bad days in L.A. really stink, given that it's usually gorgeous outside.

Luckily, there are a ton of things to do here, and many of them are, oddly, appropriate for a rainy day mood. So, next time you find yourself battling the blues, turn to one of these locales for a little 'tude adjustment.

The Last Bookstore
The Last Bookstore
Voice Places

15. Wander a labyrinth of books

The Last Bookstore is more than a store, it is a labyrinth. You don't walk in here with a purpose — you walk in here to linger for hours, wander every inch of its book-and-mortar arches and corridors, gather a stack of discoveries along the way and then sink into one of its many plush couches. It's almost a guarantee that you'll leave having found something to make you more inspired by the human experience. 453 S. Spring St., Downtown. (213)488-0599, lastbookstorela.com

10 Weirdest Stores in L.A.

14. Absorb one of L.A.'s best museums, for free

On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, entry to LACMA is free after 3 p.m. for L.A. County residents. Just flash your ID at the ticket booth, and then spend the next several hours enjoying its impressive collection of art spanning from ancient times to the present. Next, stroll the tar pits, being careful not to step in any of the black gunk that bubbles up from the ground, walk under the big rock (it's cool, we swear), and make sure to swing through the sculpture garden just off Wilshire. Your soul will feel well taken care of after a few hours. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org

See also: 5 Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week

13. Take a hike (not Runyon)

We know, everyone in L.A. talks about hiking all the time, as if the fact that they hike in L.A. makes them really outdoorsy and environmentally connected or something. But the thing is, hiking here really is a pleasant thing to do. If you're having a bad day, though, stay away from Runyon, where you'll likely have to encounter other people. Instead, try Bronson Canyon. It'll take you all the way up to the Beachwood Canyon Hollywood Sign hike, or over to the Observatory, and if you bypass the turn off to the "bat caves," you might see hardly anyone else. 3200 Canyon Dr., Hollywood.

See also: 50 Reasons Los Angeles Is the Best City in America

12. Drive Mulholland

For stunning vistas of mountains, cityscape, and beaches, wind your way through the fifty five-mile Mulholland Scenic Parkway and Corridor. Constructed in 1924, it was envisioned by William D. Mulholland as a scenic road that would transport city dwellers to the mountains and beaches. And scenic it is. Stop off at the Barbara A. Fine Overlook at the Summit to walk a little trail up to a concrete pad that offers views of Cahuenga Pass and all of Los Angeles. You'll feel more spiritually inclined, after taking in views like that. 11801 Mulholland Drive, Studio City.

11. Bar crawl through Hollywood

If, in your bad mood, you need to be around people, head to central Hollywood and do a tour of happy hours. Kitchen 24, Stout and The Blue Boar on Cahuenga all have great happy hour specials, as do Delphine, and Pig N' Whistle on Hollywood Boulevard. And even thought they don't have a happy hour, you have to go to Musso & Frank Grill. You just have to.

See also: The Best Bars in Los Angeles

 

Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory
Voice Places

10. The Observatory

Nothing can shake a bad mood as well as the views from the Griffith Observatory. That's just a fact. On a clear day, you can see to Long Beach. From up there, you'll realize how relatively small and insignificant you and your problems are. And if you need more help with that, you can also go see a show inside the planetarium. 2800 E. Observatory Road, Los Feliz. (213) 473-0800, www.griffithobs.org/

See also: 30 Free Things to Do in L.A. Any Time

9. Visit a historic library

Downtown LA's Central Library is a jewel among libraries. Constructed in 1926, it is the third largest public library in the United States in terms of inventory, and it's grand and beautiful. It also presents a wide range of art and literature exhibitions in its three separate galleries, so there's plenty to do and see there besides books. It's a lovely place to spend an afternoon, no matter your mood, but if your mood is bad, it will likely soon be lifted. And if it isn't, head down the street to the Library Bar afterward. Maybe one of their author-themed martinis will sooth your mood better than any book will. 630 W. Fifth St., Downtown. (213) 228-7000, www.lapl.org/branches/central-library.

8. Sweat it out in a Korean spa

Absolutely the best way to relax and flush out them blues. Take a dip in multiple pools of varying temperatures (good for circulation), recline in a jade room or a salt room or a charcoal room (good for whatever ails you), and get a body scrub (good for polishing away any modesty). Our personal favorite is Wilshire Spa, but there are several good ones. http://wilshirespa.com/

See also: Top 10 Gyms in L.A.

7. Go shopping, duh.

Okay, so Los Angeles doesn't have a great shopping area that isn't either totally pre-fab like the Grove, or uber expensive like Rodeo Drive. Therefore, if you like to shop your blues away, we suggest going to the 3rd Street Promenade. Yes, it is essentially an outdoor mall, but it offers lots of great bars for escaping from the crowds (Copa d'Oro and Ye Olde King's Head are just two options). Plus, the ocean and the Santa Monica Pier are right there. 1351 Third St. Promenade, Santa Monica. (310) 393-8355.

See also: 10 Best Vintage and Second-Hand Boutiques in L.A.

6. Visit the stars

If being among living people isn't good for your mood, try hanging with the deceased. Westwood Village Memorial Park is a little pocket chock full of Hollywood A-listers of days past, like Marilyn Monroe, Roy Orbison, Jack Lemmon, and Farrah Fawcett. You'll either feel inspired by Hollywood's Golden Era, or you'll realize that no matter how much we achieve, we all end up dead anyway, so why fret? 1218 Glendon Ave., Wstwd. (310) 474-1579.

 

5. Have a beer in a bar that looks like the house you really want

The interior of Sunset Beer Company feels like the living room you'd design for yourself if you were rich, and had a beautiful mountain house. Boasting an extensive collection of beers, both local and imported, in the connected shop, plus a choice selection on tap, you can grab a bottle from the refrigerators and enjoy it on a plush chair next to the fireplace, or order a draft from the bar. It's the perfect place for being alone in public. 1498 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park. sunsetbeerco.com/.

The Getty Center
The Getty Center
Photo by Ayleen Gaspar via Flickr

4. Go to the Getty

If you need to feel inspired, a little time at the Getty will do the trick. Art isn't the only thing it offers — the architecture, the gardens and the vistas are all remarkable, too. Plus, it's free. (Okay, you have to pay to park, but if you don't mind a little walking, park in the neighborhood across the street.) 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood. (310) 440-7300, www.getty.edu.

See also: 10 Best L.A. Art Galleries For Partying

3. Lounge at a fancy hotel pool

Soak in L.A.'s everlasting sun poolside at the Beverly Hills Hotel (where Charlie Chaplin once lived) or the Beverly Hilton (home of the Golden Globes). If you order some food or drink and stay low-key, the staff won't boot you out for not being a hotel guest. You'll feel very fancy, and you might leave feeling relaxed, too.

2. Do yoga outdoors

Yoga is the very best antidote for feeling down. And yoga outside, that's even better. Yoga classes are held every day at Runyon Canyon Park. Check out the Facebook Page for the full schedule. Class price is by donation, so it won't cost you much. 2000 N. Fuller Ave, Hollywood. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Runyon-Canyon-YOGA/128176273877039.

1. Run or bike along the beach

Start in Venice, and run or ride up to Santa Monica and back. Gliding past the ocean, the iconic piers and the freaks and beauties on the strand, you'll remember why you moved to L.A. in the first place. If you're feeling ambitious (and are on a bike, or are a marathon runner), start at Manhattan Beach and go all the way up to the Palisades. You won't be able to help falling in love with this city all over again. www.labikepaths.com/bike-paths/santa-monica-venice.

See also: 50 Things That Make Us Thankful to Live in L.A.


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