Melina’s Top Five LA Picks

Little Tokyo

I love Little Tokyo so much! It is also very accessible through the Metrolink, as it is only a ten-minute walk from Union Station. From there, you can visit:

  • Japanese American National Museum
  • The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA 
  • James Irvine Japanese Garden at JACCC
  • Sanrio Store Japanese Village

Along with an array of incredible choices for food and boba! My personal favorite restaurant in the area is Rice and Nori.

The Broad

The Broad, a contemporary art museum in LA, is also flanked by several must-sees that are within walking distance of one another: 

  • The Broad
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • Angel’s Flight Railway
  • Grand Central Market
  • Bradbury Building

From Union Station, take a seven-minute subway to Civic Center/Grand Park Metro Station to find these spots! Grand Central Market is full of vendors that sell any type of food and drink you can think of- grab a meal before enjoying some art. 


I consider Pasadena to be kind of underrated when it comes to the well-known touristy LA spots. I find the town- only a 40-minute drive from Claremont- charming and enjoyable to explore. It is also home to my favorite bookstore, among other things:

  • Vroman’s Bookstore
  • Arlington Garden in Pasadena
  • Old Pasadena
  • Neon Retro Arcade
  • Memorial Arcade

If you’re really hungry, definitely check out Aikan Sushi and Ramen for an all-you-can-eat extravaganza! Also, ten minutes south of the heart of Pasadena is The Huntington Library and Gardens- this is a must-see for everyone. I am so serious. It is a gorgeous haven.

Pershing Square

Pershing Square, a small park in the heart of LA, is only a seven-minute subway ride once you’re at Union Station. Some of my favorite places in this area (aside from the park itself) are as follows:

  • The Last Bookstore
  • Yuko Kitchen DTLA
  • Kazunori
  • St. Vincent Court
  • Historic Downtown Farmer’s Market (every Sunday)

Fun fact: the annual Los Angeles Women’s March starts in Pershing Square!

Echo Park

A northern LA spot known for hosting the fan favorite (and 2020 World Series Champion) Los Angeles Dodgers, there are a variety of things to check out here even if you’re not a baseball fan:

  • Swan Boat Rental
  • Clinton Street Stairway
  • Angel’s Point
  • Elysian Park Trail
  • Echo Park Time Travel Mart
  • Silverlake Flea Market (Saturdays and Sundays)
  • Stories (Bookstore and Cafe)

I have personally never done the swan boat rental, but I have always wanted to…