LA is place that can seem really hard to crack into, it’s really through locals that you get the inside scoop. As a local of LA, born and raised, and as a musician I have been on the inside circle for quite some time. My experience and time in LA will help get you started in finding the coolest things to do in the City of Angels.

1. Apotheke 

This is one of LA’s newest venues, it’s a brand that has gone strong for 10 years in NY and have expanded to Downtown LA. The vibe feels like you’re in a luxurious tent, and the cocktails are pure works of art. They program music during the weekdays and have DJ’s on the weekend. Off the beaten path, but worth the trip.

2. Magic Castle

55 years running The Magic Castle is an exclusive, private club. To gain access you must go with a member or be invited. Magicians of all kinds wow their audiences in a luxurious mansion environment. Some performances are on stage and some are up close. The mansion is full of surprises, the dining experience is superb and the shows are no less than remarkable. Reservations are required and so are a coat and tie.

3. Griffith Park Observatory

A legendary location, where many films have been shot dating back over 70 years, the Observatory is LA’s gateway to the cosmos. You can enjoy the vastness of the night sky through telescopes, as well as enjoy the facility during the day in the museum and planetarium. It’s family friendly, and access to the grounds is always free. Hiking is a big attraction in that area as well.

4. Petit Ermitage

When you discover this boutique hotel you will feel like you’ve been transported to a different time. A member driven location, you’ll need to either stay there or go with a member to gain access. With weekly shows every Friday and Sunday, other nights there consist of movie nights on a fire deck, poker nights and dinners. Nestled away in the heart of West Hollywood, this place is bohemian masterpiece.

5. Black Rabbit Rose

This newer Hollywood bar fuses together live music, burlesque and magic shows as part of their programming. The venue boasts a terrific sound system and multiple areas to either enjoy the performances, the magic shows or just to come have a drink and socialize. It’s part of a building that connects to the bar Dirty Laundry and a new spot that is just about to open called Miss Siam. Never a cover to get in, they pour some strong drinks, also the magic shows do charge so be aware of that.

6. Varnish  

Downtown LA’s most intimate and sexy bar. This tiny venue is hidden at the back of Cole’s French Dip Restaurant. Varnish was used as a speakeasy during the time of prohibition. They’ve kept the vibe, decor and atmosphere in tact and serve some of the most exquisite cocktails around. They have live Jazz a few nights a week, and jazz playing in the sound system all the rest of the time. They don’t do reservations, and due to the size get filled up quick.

7. Hotel Cafe 

The home for singer songwriters in LA. Any night of the week you’ll find incredible artists singing original material to an audience of music lovers. Some notable acts have been discovered through the scene at Hotel Cafe, and some bigger acts do roll through to play some secret shows, or intimate vibes. There are two stages, with a middle area that greats for socializing. A beautiful spot located in the heart of Los Angeles, if you’re a lover of songs this is your place.

8. Blue Whale

One the most coveted Jazz clubs in Southern California, this venue brings some of the world’s greatest musicians to an accessible stage. A cultivator of community, this club really supports the arts and the artists. Some nights will showcase Los Angeles’ finest musicians, while other nights bring musicians from all over the world. If you are a Jazz lover and a lover of adventurous music this is your spot.

9. Corazon Performance Arts

Topanga Canyon is a haven for hippie living, and this location celebrates that type of lifestyle. Some of the most adventurous world music in all of LA, Corazon is a heavily artist driven venue. Music from every part of the world at the highest level you can find anywhere, this place is off the beaten path, but when you find it you will be in heaven. Gio runs it, and open her heart up to art, music and musicians.

10. Sayer’s Club

No list of LA hotspots would be complete without a hot Hollywood venue. The Sayer’s Club boosts a dance and party atmosphere, but also showcases some incredible live music acts on a weekly basis. Thursday nights are dominated by the Sayer’s Club house band, as they bring some of LA’s finest singers on stage to perform interesting and exciting covers. With a beautiful environment that feels more like a plush living room, this place is a must see in Hollywood.

With so much to do and see in LA, this list will give you a head start. Music drives this city and in these places you will find some of the best music in the world. Have fun. Stay Novo.

Novo Boutique Living is now in LA, learn more here