Discover L.A. In A Day

From serene temples to under-the-radar shops to crafty cocktail lessons, there’s simply too much in our February cover story (mapped here) to discover it all at once. To help you get going, we’ve designed four day-long itineraries organized by area. Let the adventures begin.


First Stop:

Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden

At the right moment—like, say, after a chocolate chip cookie from nearby Diddy Riese—the embrace of UCLA’s Mathias is like no other. It packs a lot into seven acres. You can shade yourself under enormous gum trees, gawk at the Hawaiian greenery, plant yourself in a stamp-size meadow, and walk from the desert into a fern-filled jungle in minutes. All the more soothing for being under-utilized, the thrumming refuge clings to the campus edge like an orchid on a mangrove. » 777 Tiverton Dr., Westwood, 310-825-1260.

Time to Eat:


Wolfgang Puck changed much of his Beverly Hills institution, Spago, this year, but no amount of redecorating could silence the clamor for his signature smoked salmon pizza, spicy tuna cones, and wienerschnitzel—the kitchen will still make ’em if you ask.

Happy Hour is Here:

Cocktail Crafting at The Greystone

In the belly of the 1928 Greystone Mansion, you and a dozen others file into a small room just off the bowling alley that was featured in There Will Be Blood. Then the retracting wood-paneled wall is given the heave-ho to reveal drink master Aaron Stepka of L.A.’s 1933 Group at the original speakeasy wet bar. The Institute of Domestic Technology’s two-hour “Cocktail Crafting” class is nothing but fun, and the $95 fee offers a peek at other parts of the home that belonged to Edward Doheny’s son. » Various venues.

NEXT: Malibu/West Valley