Los Angeles | January 4, 2022 2:16 pm

36 Extremely LA Things We Can’t Wait to Do IRL in 2022

Assuming it is safe and healthy to do so, we went ahead and made you some plans for the year ahead

Downtown LA at sunset
Downtown LA at sunset
Sterling Davis/Unsplash

The last 20 months have been a mess — for many people, a cataclysm of grief, anxiety, and upheaval. 

When we first started talking about how we’d like to end the year, editorially speaking, we decided we wanted to look forward — to happier, easier days (and later, livelier nights). Most of all, to spending our days out and about in the city we love, seeing what the world has to offer, without worry. 

We will maintain that optimism, whatever is trending on Twitter. There’s no going back to February 2020 — but some day soon, the spell binding many of us into stasis will break. Here’s what we’ll be doing. 

1. Spend a rainy day inside exploring The Academy Museum’s inaugural exhibit on Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, followed by an Old Hollywood dinner at Fanny’s, complete with tableside côte de boeuf, sliced to order.

2. Catch a show at Boyle Heights’ nearly century-old historic music venue, The Paramount. Get a real umami treat after with sister restaurant Brooklyn Ave Pizza Co.’s signature Flaming Hot Cheetos-encrusted wings.

3. Drive down to Malibu and hang out at the hidden gem that is Westward Beach. After sunning and surfing, pick up a couple of Lily’s breakfast burritos for the trip home.

4. Splurge on field-side access at SoFi Stadium at the Bootsy Bellows Lounge. 

5. Smack dab in the middle of Hollywood, Horses on Sunset is the ideal place to take a third date. Head over to the bar to booze and schmooze or grab a booth and spend way too much money on gnocchi, brilliant appetizers, and are-you-the-one drinks.

6. Pull up to the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica for a session of day-drinking at their outdoor bar and day club, The Bungalow: a cocktail experience that comes complete with ocean views. 

Updated rooms at the renovated Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel
Updated rooms at the renovated Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel
Fairmont Hotels

7. Keep an eye out for a rising indie rock band booking an outdoor show at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and spend the night dancing your ass off with friends while the ghosts of classic rock icons look on approvingly.

8. Sweat your way through a hip-hop soundtrack at Y7’s newly reopened hot yoga studio in Silver Lake. Drake never sounded as good as he does during your peak pose and final vinyasa.

9. Make your way through the winding, hilly roads that lead up to the Hollywood Reservoir and get in a nice, flat, three-mile hike — not to mention a great photo opp with the Hollywood sign.

10. Staycation at the historic Hotel Figueroa in downtown Los Angeles before catching a game at the newly-christened Crypto.com Arena. (Staples Center will live on in our hearts; 2022 is a bold new era.) 

11. Take someone on the ultimate trip through weird and wonderful with a visit to the Museum of Jurassic Technology. For those who love to wander off the beaten path, this strangely prescient collection of exhibits will both shock and delight.

12. Explore the next great food mecca of West LA by wandering up and down Sawtelle Blvd, before settling on some spicy margaritas at Bar Hermanito. Though unexpected, their Japanese whiskey is great, too.

13. Spend the night gazing at the LA skyline at downtown’s new rooftop hot spot Cara Cara, where the drinks are perfectly-balanced and the food is from powerhouse duo Caroline Styne and Suzanne Goin.

14. Take a short road trip up to Santa Barbara and do some wine tasting at The Hilt Estate’s beautiful tasting room, The Barn. One brief visit will make you understand why Santa Barbara County was just named Wine Enthusiast’s wine region of the year.

15. Hollywood Roosevelt’s historic lobby is now a welcome extension of Nancy Silverton’s epic reinvention at The Barish. Cozy up in velvet chairs near the roaring fireplace and sip on some craft classic cocktails before venturing out into the night.

16. Wake up early and walk the Venice boardwalk before it gets too hectic. Finish with boozy brunch at The Waterfront.

17. Pre-order tickets for the incredible double billing of Haim and Waxahatchee headlining the Hollywood Bowl and stock up on affordable, funky bottles at Silver Lake Wine for a delightful BYOB moment in the picnic area before the show.

The Hollywood Bowl's summer season plans to be back in 2022
The Hollywood Bowl’s summer season plans to be back in 2022
Barry King / Getty

18. Follow along with Sofar Sounds’ pop-up show schedule for local music in unusual locations, like a weekend concert on the patio of completely overhauled Santa Monica Hilton. 

19. Impress your friends with a personalized mezcal tasting at Madre West Hollywood (or Culver City). Both locations offer the largest selection of artisanal mezcal in Los Angeles, and possibly the world.

20 . Save yourself the trip all the way to Montecito and a gorgeous steak dinner at the airy new outpost of Lucky’s at the Malibu Country Mart. Shrimp cocktails, wedge salads, steak and martinis — it’s a way of life if you want it to be.

21. Spend a whole evening exploring the three different concepts inside Grandmaster Recorders, a former recording studio complete with an indoor speakeasy, a massive, high-end Italian restaurant, and a rooftop bar that’s for ideal socializing and scoping potential dates.

22. Attempt to stave off the imminent doom that is Taix’s closure and leveling for condos. Step into the back room for an evening of French food and — what else? icy martinis — in their cozy ‘70s-era lounge.

23. Rescue your lunch hour from more wilted salads by dipping into Sogo Roll Bar for a set of life-changing sushi handrolls. $24 for a four-roll series is a steal, available either at the bar or for pick up and delivery.

24. Take your favorite vegan friend to Jewel in Virgil Village and watch them try the mind-blowing Buffalo “Chicken” Sandwich, an elegantly constructed patty made of yuba (tofu skins), dredged in Korean spices, and doused in housemade hot sauce. It hits like the real thing without harming any fowl in the process.

25. Hike up to Barnsdall Park and catch the sunset — blanket, makeout session, and picnic are all optional.

26. Swing by Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen in Inglewood for a caffeine fix in an uplifting setting.

27. Make a dinner reservation at the Cara Hotel in Los Feliz and people-watch during the poolside dining for a celebrity cameo — they come through like clockwork. 

28. Take an out-of-town friend to the Griffith Observatory and actually walk through the historical exhibits like you’re a brand new Angeleno once more. It’s free and fun and comes with views.

29. If you prefer the outdoorsy tack, park at the Observatory and head out on one of the many hiking trails that Griffith’s expansive wilderness offers all day long.

30. If it’s Tuesday, hit up Bar Lis on the top of the new Thompson Hotel in Hollywood for a jazz night to remember. If it’s any other night, go a block down to Mama Shelter and patiently wait to make it up to the roof for their own take on the live music scene.

caravan swim club hotel june pool
The Caravan Swim Club at the Hotel June
Proper Hotels

31. Trek out to Huntington Library and spend the whole day getting zen in the botanical gardens.

32. Go to the movies. Yes, you can do it. 

33. Walk around the Century City mall and mingle with the wealthy. Make a couple splurge purchases. Finish with a goblet of gin and tonic on Eataly’s rooftop patio, Terra.

34. It’s a classic for a reason: Visit the Melrose Trading Post for a chance at a truly great vintage accent — a rug, perhaps? — that will really tie your room together.

35. Still in third date mode or happily coupled up? Stroll around Echo Park Lake and end the evening with a lit-up ride on one of the lake’s romantic swan boats. Once you’re in the middle of the lake, it’s just as good as being alone together.

36. Reserve a cabana at the Caravan Swim Club in Playa del Rey for a day of sunny poolside relaxation, colorful drinks, and oysters. Keep an eye on the Swim Club’s adjoining Hotel June for chef dinners and happy hour meet ups.