Inspiring Places in Los Angeles

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From time to time, creative fatigue can wreak havoc on your workflow, no matter what industry you’re in.  The solution could be as simple as change of scenery, but if a 5-10-minute walk isn’t enough of a reset, getting eyes on inspiring art or spending time in nature can definitely do the trick! Here are five inspiring places in Los Angeles to give you the boost you need to get your creative energy flowing: 

Griffith Observatory

I highly recommend getting a dose of nature to nurture your creativity.  If it’s the great outdoors that’s calling to you, the Griffith Observatory is one of the best places around to spend some time.  The stars have been a source of inspiration to artists and thinkers for all of human history, and there’s nothing like exploring the skies for some creative perspective. View the stars through one of the observatory’s many high-powered telescopes, or check out one of their mind-blowing Planetarium shows (Centered in the Universe is a favorite).  Entry into the observatory is free, and tickets can be purchased to Planetarium shows upon arrival.  Hours are Monday to Friday from 12PM-10PM and Saturday and Sunday from 10AM-10PM.  

Bonus: There are several hiking trails in Griffith Park that lead to the observatory; if you have the time, it’s definitely worthwhile to make the trek up – but make sure you check a map!  Some of the trails are very long.     

Malibu Creek State Park

If you’re craving a more serene environment (aka less tourists), take a drive just a few miles up the PCH and head to Malibu Creek State ParkThere are several gorgeous hiking trails of varying difficulty, replete with natural creeks, waterfalls, flora, fauna, etc.  This is definitely more of a day trip scenario, so I recommend going when you have plenty of time to take it all in.    

The Broad

If the art scene is more your speed, The Broad is one of LA’s premier destinations for contemporary art, with a rotating collection spanning from the early 60’s to present day.  Entry into the museum is free, and while a reservation isn’t required, it is helpful to make one beforehand (unless you don’t mind waiting in line).  Additionally, the museum has special exhibitions that cost around $25 for entry (worth it).  This is an especially great place to visit on a day where you have time to wander through the museum at your leisure.  And with their rotating collection, each time you visit, your experience will be a little different.  Hours at the museum are Tuesday and Wednesday from 11AM-5PM, Thursday and Friday from 11AM-8PM, Saturday from 10AM-8PM, and Sunday from 10AM-6PM. 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

For those of us with more interest in classical art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the best place to get our creative minds moving.  From special exhibitions to a collection of works spanning from the 1st Century to the modern era, this is an easy place to get lost in time while gaining insight into your own creative endeavors.  Regular admission to the museum is $20, but if you’re an LA County resident with a valid ID, entry is free after 3pm.  

Bonus: The grounds of the LACMA are home to the La Brea Tar Pits, one of the many natural wonders of Los Angeles.  A relic of prehistoric times, the tar pits are one of the world’s most well-known Ice Age fossil excavation sites.  Talk about perspective! 

The Last Bookstore

If it’s your intellect that’s craving a creative boost, The Last Bookstore is a Downtown LA gem filled with classical and contemporary literature, non-fiction works, poetry, plays, etc., etc. (in a word, everything).  Whether it’s a specific work you have in mind, or you’re just looking to wax poetic over the smell of old books, there’s nothing like wandering the aisles of this hardcover haven (but don’t worry, they have paperback, too!).  Also, don’t forget to go upstairs – covering the entire second floor is the used section of the store, and they have some random and rare works that you never knew you needed to read – and a really cool archway made entirely of books! 

If you’re not in LA, be sure to check out our features on where to find creative inspiration in NYC and San Francisco. And, if you have a place that inspires you that isn’t on our radar, let us know! We’d be happy to feature it in our next roundup of the top spots to get creative.

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