Stopovers can often be a day of hanging around airports or airport hotels, propping up an airport bar or spending too much on Duty Free.
So here’s how to get an extra mini-break the next time you fly through LAX: head to West Hollywood (WeHo).
9:00am - Get energised with a Soul Cycle Class
Soulcycle is the latest fitness trend to hit the US starting with on small studio in New York, you can now find Soul Cycle all over the country, including WeHo.
Co-founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice met on "the best blind date ever" and immediately clicked on their shared vision: To create an alternative to the fitness routines that felt like work.
So, what is it? It’s Spin Class with rockstar instructors who’ll guide you through “an inspirational, meditative fitness experience that’s designed to benefit the body, mind and soul.”
Set in a dark candlelit room to high-energy music, you’ll cycle to the beat and follow the choreography of our instructors.
“The experience is tribal. It's primal. It's fun.”
11:00am – grab a green smoothie and settle in for lunch at Gracias Madre
Gracias Madres promise a “Meatless Mexican Fare”, all vegan, all organic Mexican-inspired food and a long list of Tequila cocktails.
Their Tropical Green Smoothie includes mango, spinach, coconut milk, lime, pineapple, ginger and agave – and it’s delish.
As a first-timer here, it’s a good idea to go with the Chefs Tasting Plate, a selection of the most popular items on the menu, with three course for only $20 USD.
Everything here is grown locally and organically, with a seasonal selection of fresh veggies.
I recommend the Coliflor Frito – flash-fried cauliflower with cashew nacho cheese sauce, and a selection of tacos with cauliflower, grilled squash with salse verde and mushrooms with mole.
3pm – Go window shopping along Melrose Avenue
The hottest place to shop in WeHo is still where all of Hollywood’s finest come to spend their dollars.
At The Avenues, where Melrose meets Beverly and Robertson Avenues, you’ll find the flagship outlets for Balenciaga and Alberta Ferretti.
Further along, with outlets including Armani and Dolce & Gabana, North Robertson has been nicknamed the new Rodeo Drive.
For something distinctly WeHo, check out Julia Gerard’s high-end rock-and-roll couture (the accessories are reasonably priced if the clothes are out of price range) and pick up something cute from Kitson.
7:00pm – Dinner at Eveleigh
Located on Sunset Boulevard, this rustic restored old residence, which once stood surrounded by orchards, embraces its original identity with cuisine inspired by farm-to-table and local farmers market produce, and one of LA’s best outdoor patio gardens.
The country comfort cuisine is inspired by dishes from Southern Europe with a dash of California, so expect to see some Tapas dishes like grilled squid and patats bravas as well as charcuterie plates, quinoa salad and urchin ceviche.
10:00pm – party on at The Abbey
Founded by owner David Cooley over 25 years ago, The Abbey is known as the Best Gay Bar in the World. It’s party-central every night, and it’s also a great place to hang out in the late afternoon and sample a cocktail or two.
As well as being the most famous gay bar, they have a few other world records; including the most diverse alcoholic beverage account, with more liquor labels than any other venue, and the world’s biggest Bacardi account.
Definitely try their world-famous Apple Martini.
In case you get the munchies, they have a really wide range of shared plates to nibble on, everything from Firecracker Shrimp and Popcorn Chicken to Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Mac & Cheese.
Where to Stay
The Ramada Plaza West Hollywood is centrally located on Santa Monica Boulevard, and while nobody really walks here, it is within walking distance to all of these attractions.
The rooms are reasonably priced and you’ll find plenty of Aussies staying here.