Pepperdine may lack the college town atmosphere of ivy-covered East Coast institutions and Universities of California with mom-and-pop diners and karaoke bars galore but one thing we have unlimited access to is the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles.
Spending college years here in Malibu affords an exploration opportunity that few students have.
The City of Angels is close at hand and begging to be explored by native and out-of-town Waves alike; all we have to do is jump in feet-first.Don’t get overwhelmed. Los Angeles proper which spans more than 450 square miles is home to nearly 4 million residents. That makes it the second most populous city in America.
While that means that the city offers nearly a limitless variety of activities it also implicates a certain amount of confusion— the more bus routes and freeways the more chances there are to get lost.
Traffic billboards and huge amounts of people in tiny areas can be distracting and difficult for even the most avid city searcher. As you plunge into L.A. you’re endeavoring to get to know one of the fastest-growing areas in the world.
Remember to breathe deeply and take one step at a time; after all neither Rome nor L.A. were built in a day. You can’t explore them that way either.Pick an angle. Movies. Music. Museums. Markets. Munchies. Los Angeles offers all these and way way more.
Take your time in getting to know all the facets of the city. Make a list of different venues to visit and restaurants to try and work those smaller trips into your weekend plans.
Attacking options one at a time is much easier than tooling around Venice expecting to soak absolutely everything in at once especially if all of Los Angeles is new to you.
If the list technique sounds too contrived just start small: One neighborhood at a time work your way block to block.
This is a good way to take advantage of the extended time you’ll spend living near L.A. in your time at Pepperdine.Walk this way (or take a bus). Transportation in a city as large as Los Angeles is key but driving your own car is not the only way to get around.
In fact ditching the car in favor of walking or public transportation has great benefits. Bus fare is cheap and it’s easy to reach all corners of the city.
Another obvious (and importantly free) side effect of public transportation is the glorious opportunity for people watching. No one is too good for bus ride conversations so get out of your car off that high horse and into a bus.
You’ll see things and meet people walking that would have passed you by in a car— those things are priceless and they’re the whole point of “exploring” Los Angeles.Be an early bird and a night owl. Westwood has a great nightlife and Hollywood rages after dark but it’s easy to forget about places like Griffith Park Observatory in the early morning.
There’s a misconception about L.A. especially among college students that getting out on the town can only happen post-10 p.m. but that’s not the case. See what Zuma looks like at sunrise and then track down a tiny beachfront diner for early morning breakfast.
A trip like that at least equates— if not tops— taking sweaty clubbing photos inside Les Deux as far as “experiencing L.A.” goes. Also daytime hangouts can double as nighttime hotspots.
Check out museums like the Getty Center and the Museum of Modern Art whose exhibit openings and after-parties rival some clubs.Be safe. As incredible as this place is there are definite downsides to the City of Angels. Getting to know the city up close and personal is best done with a traveling partner.
Especially if you’re going to a neighborhood you’ve never been to before make sure to bring a friend and a fully charged cell phone.
Be aware of your surroundings; not only will that keep you safe it will teach you how to respect the city.Look at everything with new eyes. Whether you were born and raised in Beverly Hills or the Black Hills of South Dakota there will always be something new for you to discover about L.A.
Don’t underestimate the span of things to see and do in the area because it’s essentially inexhaustible.
When the glitter of Hollywood and Vine starts to fade the organic beach feel of old Santa Monica will be ready and waiting to keep you busy until you’re ready to move on to Chinatown.
At the same time some of the most wonderful things about Los Angeles are also the most enduring; as you explore you’re likely to find places and people that will still speak to you years from now.