UPDATED: 100 Things To Try in LA Before You Die

100 Things to Try in LA Before You Die Griffith Observatory by Caroline on Crack

Back in 2009 I wrote up my LA bucket list “100 Things To Try in LA Before You Die.” It was a Valentine to the city I’ve called my home for nearly 20 years. It for sure is a personal list made up of activities that I thought would make anyone fall deeper and deeper in love with Los Angeles. Not so much touristy things, like “Put your hands in Marilyn Monroe’s handprints at Grauman’s” but must-dos that are more about the overall experience where you’re left going, “Ah, L.A.” Like eating a Sprinkles Beverly Hills red velvet cupcake (#3) because that’s where the cupcake craze first launched in L.A. Or hitch a ride with the Goodyear blimp (#57) because it’s one of only three blimps in America and happens to make its home in LA. Or biking on the beachside bike path from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach (I extended it from Hermosa).

My bucket list went on to win me my first L.A. Weekly Web Award — “Blog Post of the Year” — and, I think, inspired a lot of Angelenos to come up with their own bucket lists.

But it’s been five years and it’s SO overdue for an update. Especially since the list included a lot of cocktails that are no longer available like Copa d’Oro’s Sour Kraut (sad face) as well as places that are no longer around like Spaceland and Empress Pavilion. So I’ve switched out expired items with 29 new ones (#71-#100), and updated some things like “an Old Fashioned by Eric Alperin at the Varnish” instead of just having the “Remember the Maine.” It HAS to be made by Eric, as he’s the one who not only runs the place but taught Ryan Gosling how to make one for Crazy Stupid Love.

Anyway, get out there and enjoy the city! And please share your own bucket list items in the comments. I’d love to see what I’m missing.

By the way, if you missed my walk-on/blimp ride on ABC 7’s “Eye on LA” with host Tina Malave (now my most favorite person ever), you can check out their LA bucket list here, including some picks from my “100 Things To Try in LA Before You Die” list!

  1. Korean short ribs taco from Kogi BBQ taco truck
  2. Great Los Angeles Walk
  3. Red velvet cupcake from Sprinkles Beverly Hills
  4. Dessert tasting menu at Providence
  5. Classic martini at Musso & Frank Grill
  6. Pedal boat at Echo Park Lake
  7. Bowling at Shatto 39 Lanes
  8. Kobe-style beef at Park’s BBQ
  9. Mulholland Drive from 405 to 101
  10. Father’s Office burger
  11. Red Line Metro barhop
  12. Magic Mojito at Bar Centro at the Bazaar by Jose Andres
  13. Wine tour through San Antonio Winery
  14. Sample everything at Scoops ice cream
  15. Bike from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach and back
  16. Mochi from Mikawaya Little Tokyo
  17. Carne asada burrito from Tacos Tumbras A Tomas at Grand Central Market
  18. Diddy Riese Chocolate Chip Cookies
  19. Ride the mechanical bull at Saddle Ranch and have a premium SR AMF
  20. Greyhound Proper at Hungry Cat
  21. LA Conservancy’s Historic Downtown walking tour
  22. 21+ screenings at the ArcLight
  23. Secret beef feast at Totoraku
  24. Moonlight Rollerway
  25. Manhattan at Comme Ca
  26. Gourmet pizza at Pizzeria Mozza
  27. Ride the Pacific Ferris Wheel at Santa Monica Pier
  28. Late-night Danger dogs
  29. Blood & Sand cocktail at Tiki Ti
  30. Tea and a stroll through Huntington Gardens
  31. Drive Sunset Boulevard from Downtown to PCH in a convertible
  32. Hike from Fern Dell Drive to Mt. Hollywood, stopping at Griffith Observatory
  33. Scorpion cocktail at Hop Louie
  34. Request a song from Irma the piano playing ghost at Magic Castle
  35. Scoe’s No. 2 at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles
  36. LA Conservancy’s Last Remaining Seats
  37. Philippe’s French Dip with hot mustard
  38. Omakase dinner at Urasawa
  39. LA Phil concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall
  40. Pool party at Standard Rooftop Bar
  41. Quarter chicken with side of garlic sauce at Zankou Chicken
  42. Goddess spa treatment at Olympic Spa
  43. Vodbox at Nic’s Martini Lounge
  44. Turkey dinner at Clifton’s Cafeteria, don’t forget the green jello
  45. Los Angeles Marathon
  46. Marty & Elayne at Dresden Room
  47. Coleslaw and sourdough toast at Original Pantry
  48. Real Black Dahlia Tour by Esotouric
  49. Stay in a bungalow at Chateau Marmont
  50. Sunday wine tastings at Silverlake Wine
  51. Power lunch at the Polo Lounge
  52. Cadillac Margarita at El Cholo
  53. Courtside at a Lakers game
  54. Angel City Derby Girls Tournament
  55. Box seats at Hollywood Bowl summer concert
  56. Dodger Dog at Dodger Stadium
  57. Ride the Goodyear blimp
  58. Ringside at Lucha VaVoom
  59. Summer movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
  60. History Walk from Mission San Gabriel to Olvera Street
  61. Taro ice cream at Fosselman’s
  62. Galco’s Soda Pop Shop
  63. Angel City Drive-In
  64. Downtown Art Walk
  65. Bonfire at Dockweiler Beach
  66. Bingo at Hamburger Mary’s
  67. Karaoke at Brass Monkey
  68. Yee-Mee-Lu “blue drink” at Good Luck Bar
  69. Sunset dinner and horseback riding with Sunset Ranch
  70. Hike to the top of Sandstone Peak and sign the register
  71. Stay in Marilyn Monroe’s suite at the Hollywood Roosevelt
  72. Ride Angel’s Flight
  73. Stair climb for Los Angeles
  74. Sip scotch on 10 Pound’s balcony
  75. Club 33 in Disneyland
  76. Old Fashioned from Eric Alperin at the Varnish
  77. Cigars at Buena Vista Cigar Club
  78. Kayaking in Marina Del Rey
  79. Explore an underground tunnel
  80. Mint Julep at Seven Grand
  81. Crying Tiger Pork at Jitlada
  82. Dinner at Trois Mec
  83. Run the indoor track in the Los Angeles Athletic Club
  84. Yamashiro Farmers Market
  85. Pastrami sandwich at Canter’s Deli
  86. 100 stairs walk in Echo Park
  87. Close the night at Jumbo’s Clown Room
  88. Hike the Trans-Catalina Trail
  89. Disco draft and dance at Honeycut
  90. The Godmother from Bay Cities Deli
  91. Canned Negroni at Church Key
  92. Hike to the Hollywood sign
  93. Tour Greenbar Collective
  94. Go on a craft brewery bar hop
  95. Rhode Island Red from Vincenzo at Copa d’Oro
  96. Car hop night at Bob’s Big Boy
  97. Finish a Route 66 road trip in Santa Monica
  98. Surf at Zuma Beach
  99. Ciclavia
  100. Yoga on the beach

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17 Responses to UPDATED: 100 Things To Try in LA Before You Die
  1. Michael / South Bay Foodies
    May 29, 2014 | 8:32 pm

    You’re riding the Goodyear Blimp!? 😀

    • Caroline on Crack
      May 30, 2014 | 6:45 am

      Yes! So much fun! Was the hardest thing to cross off. Now I gotta try to get into Club 33 somehow.

  2. Roque Foxx
    May 31, 2014 | 9:12 pm

    That’s great and all about your 100 TOP PICKS, however, there’s no mention about the demographic of culture in the City of Angels. That’s what truely makes L.A., Fabulous!

  3. David Kouchnerkavich
    June 1, 2014 | 5:46 am

    101. Visit Space Shuttle Endeavor at The California Science Center.
    102. Picnic lunch at, and exploration of, UCLA’s Murphy Sculpture Garden.
    103. During May, go on a jacaranda tour about greater LA (Del Mar Blvd in Pasadena, Harvard Street in Santa Monica, Hillhurst Ave in Los Feliz, Workman Street in Lincoln Heights)
    104. During Oscar season, catch a screening with director/writer/actor Q&A at the Egyptian Theatre.
    105. During the summer, catch a show at the Greek Theatre (and picnic outside beforehand).

    • Caroline on Crack
      June 1, 2014 | 8:08 am

      Nice ones! Are people allowed in the Shuttle? That would be something.

  4. David Kouchnerkavich
    June 1, 2014 | 5:51 am

    106. Live music at The Troubadour.

    (And Spaceland isn’t entirely gone, just renamed as The Satellite, though significant things have changed about the venue since 2009.)

  5. David Kouchnerkavich
    June 1, 2014 | 6:07 am

    107. Complete the Hawkins Special at Hawkins House of Burgers.
    108. Hike to the ruins/remnants of Echo Mountain resort and Mt. Lowe Railway.

    • Caroline on Crack
      June 1, 2014 | 8:09 am

      LIKE! I didn’t know about any of these. Guess I’ll have to make this a list of 200!

  6. Onyx
    June 2, 2014 | 2:19 am

    I’m a member at the Huntington if you want to make the tea and stroll thing happen sometime 🙂

    • Caroline on Crack
      June 4, 2014 | 6:55 am

      Thanks, I am LONG overdue for a visit! Used to love visiting Shakespeare’s Folio.

      • Onyx
        June 4, 2014 | 2:12 pm

        My schedule is pretty flexible, but my weekends in June are all spoken for. I am always down for a week-day visit. (Less crowded during the week anyway.)

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  10. […] of ground in my 8 years in Los Angeles. I’ve checked off a good portion of Caroline On Crack’s 100 Things To Try in LA Before You Die and my liver is proof of that. I’ll post a list of things I’ve done in LA that […]

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