Even though I live in LA, I’ve never really taken the time to explore that much of it. I guess I just got a bit use to the routine of going to familiar places. It’s easy to take the beauty of the city for granted when you live there and think you’ll always have “someday” to explore.

After I watched this movie (which I’m kind of obsessed with….can’t stop listening to the soundtrack) I felt inspired to become more of a tourist in my own city.

 I’m an introvert and I’m the type of person who truly enjoys staying at home and curling up with a good book on a Friday night, but doing this really made me appreciate LA more. It was an adventure.

To get a glimpse of all the La La Land locations we visited, watch the video below!

As for my top 3 favorite places we visited (1 being my absolute favorite). They are:

1. The Smokehouse
2. The Lighthouse
3. Grand Central Market

(I’m including more about those 3 places, as well as all the LA LA Land Locations below)


So personally, I’m a total foodie and really love live music. This had a huge influence on why these three locations are my favorites. If you also have a soft spot for those things, then I am 100% positive you will really will enjoy these 3 places! 

1. The Smokehouse

The smokehouse is such a gem. First of all, the entire restaurant is filled with photos showcasing “old hollywood.” If you have an affinity for photography or film, you’ll really appreciate this. Also, they have live music there (I’m not sure if it’s every night…I went on a weekend) and the food is SO good. I’ll definitely be going here again.

2. The Lighthouse

The interior of this restaurant where Sebastian moodily plays Christmas tunes and first sees Mia. The Lighthouse is great for both a date or a night out with friends. They always have live music there and well priced drinks. The ambiance of the place is also pretty great as the walls are covered with jazz related memorabilia. Also, it’s right next to the Hermosa Beach Pier, perfect to take a stroll on and enjoy the sea breeze. If you’re feeling wistful, you can even sing the symphonious “city of stars, are you shining just for me??” tune along the way. 😉  

3. Grand Central Market

Grand central market is a foodie’s paradise. Opened in 1917, this market houses a multicultural collection of classic and modern food vendors. We dined at the same joint Mia and Sebastian went to in the film, Sarita’s Pupuseria. Those pupusas were no joke. My sister who takes healthy eating pretty seriously kept trying to ditch her salad to munch on my pupusa instead….ok that sounds REALLY odd….haha.  ANYWAYS, this place is also hipstertown. So, if you’re into good food or want to scope out the hipster culture in LA, check this place out. 

BONUS:

If you have extra time to space, I highly recommend going to the Griffith Observatory. First of all, the view of Los Angeles from outside the observatory is absolutely breathtaking. Secondly, they have all sorts of educational displays there having to do with astronomy. Thirdly, they have the planetarium there (where Mia and Sebastian dance in the night sky). There is no flash photography or filming allowed in the planetarium so a set had to be created to replicate the planetarium, but hey, if you can see the real thing yourself…then why not? It’s pretty amazing and super educational. If astronomy if your thing, you’ll be fascinated with this place.

Alas, here is the list of places shown in LA LA LAND that we went to.

(in the order shown in the video above)

ANGELS FLIGHT
351 Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

From 1901 to 1969, Angels Flight, a short railway, took passengers up and down Bunker Hill, which at the time was one of LA’s most chic neighborhoods. However, it is currently no longer running due to safety reasons.
**this is right next to grand central market, so you can visit both the same day

WATTS TOWERS
1765 E 107th St, Los Angeles, CA 90002

As they continue to explore LA, Mia and Sebastian visit this famous folk art monument made from scrap metal and concrete and bedecked with tile and glass. The artist responsible for this artwork is Simon Rodia. Born in Italy in 1879, Simon immigrated to the U.S. in 1895 where he worked in Coal Mines. This catapulted his journey of being a construction worker by day and an artist by night.

GRAND CENTRAL MARKET
317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

(see description above in my top 3 favorites!)

RETRO DAIRY MART
4420 W Magnolia, Burbank

Gosling grabs breakfast at this working 1962 drive-through, where to this day attendants deliver groceries to customers in their cars. They have coffee, burritos, sandwiches, and much more.  

THE SMOKEHOUSE
4420 Lakeside Drive, Burbank

(see description above in my top 3 favorites!)

WARNER BROS STUDIOS
4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank

Mia’s coffeeshop job on the Warner Bros lot is fictional. However, you can still take a tour of Warner Bros Studios as there is A LOT to see for any movie/tv show lover, my personal favorite being the F.R.I.E.N.D.S set!

**The Dairy Mart, The Smokehouse, and Warner Bros Studios are all super close to one another. 

HERMOSA PIER
30 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach

This is where Gosling sings “City of Stars.” It’s a beautiful pier and right next to tons of restaurants/bars. 

LIGHTHOUSE CAFÉ
30 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach

(see description above in my top 3 favorites!)

**The hermosa pier and lighthouse cafe are directly next to one another.

HARBOR FREEWAY OVERPASS
The off-camera Harbor Freeway Metro station offers your closest vantage point of the film’s 105-110 freeway overpass. This is where the opening number, “Another Day of Sun,” took place.

“CATHY’S CORNER” – GRIFFITH PARK
You know that scene where Mia and Sebastian tapdance to the song, “A Lovely Night”? This is where that was shot. It is in a location overlooking the valley and locals call it “Cathy’s Corner.” It looks significantly different in person as producers brought in the street lamps and park bench, but the stunning view is still the same and that’s what counts! This is on Mt. Hollywood Drive and is close to the Griffith Observatory. 

GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY
2800 E. Observatory Rd, Griffith Park

(see description above in my top 3 favorites!)

ROSE TOWER APARTMENTS
1725-1729 E 3rd St, Long Beach.

This is where Mia’s apartment is located. It’s a 20-unit complex built in 1928. And yes, it entirely pink!

BLIND DONKEY BAR
149 Linden Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802

This is a lowkey bar in Downtown Long Beach that served as the interior of Seb’s. It specializes in whiskey, is dimly lit/cozy, and even allows you to bring your own food inside. They also have happy hour every day! 

RIALTO THEATER
1023 Fair Oaks Ave, South Pasadena

This theater is where Sebastian and Mia have their first date and watch Rebel Without a Cause. It was built in 1925 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Unfortunately, it’s been closed since 2007…but according to rumors, it’s likely to open again as a joint theater/bar.

COLORADO STREET BRIDGE
532 West Colorado, Pasadena

Their summer romance brings Mia and Sebastian to this beautiful bridge. Built in 1913, it made its first movie appearance eight years later in the silent hit The Kid. This bridge is great for a beautiful walk. About a 5 minute drive away, you have downtown Pasadena, which is home to a multitude of restaurants, shops, bars, etc. 

Places we didn’t get to see, but are still worth mentioning!

YOU ARE THE STAR MURAL

This Hollywood Walk of Fame mural, depicting famous actors sitting in a theater, serves as the exterior of the fictional restaurant from which Sebastian is fired.

JAR RESTAURANT

This is the restaurant where Mia left her boyfriend to meet with Sebastian at the Rialto theater. This restaurant has been in many other films, including I Love You Man.

GRIFFITH PARK FERN DELL

Fern Dell, in the lower part of Griffith Park’s western entrance, is one of the city’s better kept secrets. It’s lush and green, a small alcove of tranquility so to speak. This is where Mia and Sebastian take a walk.

EL REY THEATER

A John Legend performance was filmed inside the Art Deco music venue on the Miracle Mile.

So that’s it! I think I’ve covered it all…if I left anything out, please feel free to share. Also, if you had to choose just one of these places to go to, which one would it be? I’m curious to know! Leave a comment with your answer below! 

Until next time,

Ely