Get Ready for Your Close-up!

There’s something about the City of Angels that calls to you like a siren song—even before your plane touches down. If you’re flying into LAX during the day, then the first thing you’ll notice might be the sprawling freeways. At night, you’ll see a dazzling cityscape that glows so brightly it almost appears orange. And if you’re flying into Burbank, mind the short runway! In other words, it’s been known to get a bit bumpy for that last part—but no need to fret. Los Angeles revolves around dramatic entrances. You just don’t want to lose track of luggage—or your toiletries. After all, this is a city steeped in the power of the image. Do yourself a favor and tote along all of your best products.

Los Angeles skyline at night


Take Fountain. 

– Bette Davis

A Magical Place on the Coast

Although it was technically founded in the late 1700s, Los Angeles boasts a much longer history than many realize. With its deep settlements of ancient Hokan speakers, as well as its more recent Mexican heritage, this has been a place unlike any other for quite a long time now. And the city’s earliest inhabitants, in fact, weren’t even human. To get a sense of the inherent prehistorical magic that’s native to the city—too wild to be dreamt up by the writers and directors that swarm Tinseltown—head directly to the La Brea Tar Pits. Rejoice in the fact that you weren’t as unlucky as one of these fossils from thousands of years ago. These animals didn’t have a choice about staying in L.A. once they got caught up in the tar! And they never had the opportunity to run around the very haunted Roosevelt Hotel after midnight, searching for Marilyn Monroe’s ghost. You do, so you should make the most of it.

Hotel Roosevelt, Los Angeles

A City Built on First Impressions

Whether you’re pulling up to the Chateau Marmont on Sunset or just cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll want to look good. After all, L.A. is known for being one of the most gleefully superficial places on the planet. And in Los Angeles, running into the celebrity of your dreams is much more bound to happen than in any other city. Packing spectacular sunglasses is essential, as is making sure that you’ve got all of your grooming products in order before you leave. Matador FlatPak toiletry bottles make it easier to fend off those bad hair days.

Matador
FlatPak Toiletry Bottle.

Travel boundlessly with the Matador FlatPak Toiletry Bottle 3-Pack. These travel bottles are waterproof, and TSA approved, so it can be taken any and everywhere. Built with a large fill opening, fill them with pastes, liquids, and gels and easily identify your contents with its snap-loop label. Five times lighter and 3.5 times more compact than other silicone travel bottles, its deceptively small stature goes a long way. 

Even if you see TMZ at the airport, you won’t catch any grief from the TSA with these handy bottles. The waterproof nature of these receptacles makes it easier for you to make a quick escape—even if your favorite actress throws a drink at you in the middle of Bar Marmont. Meanwhile, the snap-loop label makes for easy carrying, while the large fill opening allows you to pour in as much product as you need to look fabulous. It even has a Hollywood name already—can you imagine a better stage name than Matador FlatPak? As they say in showbiz, this bottle is a triple threat.

California State Route 1

Taking Fountain

Rumor has it that silver screen legend Bette Davis was once asked for advice on what an aspiring actor should do to advance their career. In her great wisdom, she replied, “Take Fountain.” Although this is often taken as metaphorical advice, meaning that the actor in question should eschew traditional strategies and approach their career in an unconventional way, we believe that Davis meant what she said literally. Traffic is one of the only downfalls of this eternally summer-like city, so stay off the beaten path and use side streets whenever you can.

While You’re on Fountain…

Meander up to Runyon Canyon for a hike. If you’re trying to spot some celebrities, this place is one of your best bets. Be careful if you’re bringing Fido, though, because rattlesnakes have been known to lurk from time to time. And if you’d rather take a load off and let a horse do all the walking, Sunset Ranch offers some of the best trail rides in the city. You’ll take in some of the most impressive views around, including the “bat caves” from the original Batman TV show. You’ll want to ask your guide about the background of the horse you’re riding; some of the Sunset Ranch equines have been known to model in glamorous photo shoots and movie sets around town. Only in Hollywood…Unlike most models, however, these ones actually eat. Your new horse friends will appreciate it if you show up armed with some organic carrots or apples, so be sure to secure the loot by hitting up a farmer’s market beforehand. Luckily, they’re all over Los Angeles, every day of the week.

Sunrise at Runyon Canyon, Los Angeles

Take a Walk on the Westside

Although there’s a lot to do in the Hollywood area, you’ll be remiss if you don’t visit Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Take a solid, stylish backpack, like the Skull Printed Backpack by John Varvatos, that will put people on notice that you’re the real deal. The black nylon and sexy skull print will let everyone know that you’re a star in your own right. With designer John Varvatos’ street cred literally emblazoned on your person, you’ll be easily identifiable as a fashionista—and you won’t even need to get a tattoo sleeve like your favorite rocker. Meanwhile, the two zipped compartments will allow you to tote around everything you need to show the Venice denizens that you’re as mysterious and fun as they are. Like many people you’ll meet in Los Angeles, you won’t want to judge this bag by its slender exterior. Inside, it’s capable of holding a lot more than you would ever imagine.

John Varvatos
Skull Printed Backpack.

Bring your rebellious side wherever you go with John Varvatos Skull Printed Backpack. Crafted in a versatile black nylon, this pack comes to life with its frontal hand-screen-printed image of a skull. Aside from its eye-popping artwork, the bag provides enough space – it has two zipped compartments – to meet the demands of daily wear as well as the unpredictability of weekend adventures.

Home to some of the most eclectic people in Southern Cali, there’s never a dull moment in Abbott Kinney or the Third Street Promenade. While you’re there, why don’t you throw some more variety into the mix and cruise up to Malibu? And while you’re swimming up the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll want to stop for some fish tacos at Duke’s. As you watch the crashing waves, you’ll realize why Angelenos put up with all of the insane traffic; as far as sensational scenery goes, it’s hard to beat Los Angeles. And here’s a pro tip—those who venture up a bit farther in Malibu may discover the brilliant gem that is Malibu Wines. With special events galore, this happy hideaway will put to rest any rumors that all the best California wine is in Napa.

Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles

Shop’ Til You Drop

If you’re looking for new threads—or even a fun memento to remind you of your time in Cali—you’ll be able to tuck some of your finds into this saddle-inspired backpack by Hammitt. Saddlebags are all the rage in L.A. so you’ll fit right in with the glitterati. The Hammitt Bob backpack is made with exquisite European leather—and it’s crafted to hold two phones—after all, you need to have your second line open for studio execs and secret lovers to phone in. With credit card slots for all of your numerous black cards, as well as a zip front pocket, this bag can go straight to a screen test. A detachable strap allows you to customize the bag to your preferences and wear it however you want—like a bespoke bag crafted your exact specifications. The gorgeous gold hardware gives out the bling factor that you need to succeed in L.A.

Hammitt Bob
Leather Backpack.

Cherish the Hammitt Bob Leather backpack as your source of chic carry. Travel from coast to coast with this supple leather backpack and stand out in every city. Crafted from supple European leather, it entails double smart phone pockets, a credit card slot, luggage sleeve, and a zip front pocket. A stylish red twill lining and lustrous hardware are vibrant accents to its bold construct. 

Rodeo Drive

Although Rodeo Drive and the Beverly Center are both iconic, your chances of seeing celebs increase tenfold if you head just a bit east to The Grove, an outdoor shopping mall with a utopian vibe. After getting some gear and maybe noshing at The Grove, you’ll want to take on the boutiques of Melrose. With a dazzling variety of vintage shops lining this street, locate something you love from every era. Keep in mind that Los Angeles is a stylist mecca. Once clothes are worn (usually just once) on film and TV shoots, they’re likely to end up in shops like It’s a Wrap! in Burbank. If your godmother loves her soap operas, then you’d better scoop up a purse from her favorite show while you’re in L.A.

The Grove

A Driving City—Full of Vegans

In case you haven’t noticed yet, Los Angeles is a car town. Rent some wheels when you’re in town—and if you plan on going to some swanky spots, then opt for a sophisticated vehicle. In eco-conscious L.A., lux electric vehicles are all the rage, so taking a spin in a Tesla is always a great idea. Those who love learning about the history of the automobile should stop in at the Petersen Museum. Boasting an extraordinarily exceptional array of vehicles—from the Popemobile to a 1913 Mercer Type 35-J—this is one collection that gearheads can’t get enough of.

Going along with the green theme, you’ll discover that Angelenos are also very passionate about vegan cuisine, which is why you should take a joyride to Gracias Madre or Cafe Gratitude for something delicious. Even those who normally aren’t fans of vegan fare have found something to love about these unique eateries. For adventurous carnivores, the late, great food writer Jonathan Gold catalogued all of the best taco trucks and ethnic eateries in the area. When you’re looking for cheap eats that taste like a million bucks, check out Gold’s extensive list. No matter where you are in the city, you’ll be able to find exceptional cuisine.

Low rider during New Year’s Cruise through Elysian Park, Los Angeles

Canyons, Canyons and More Canyons: Just Watch Out for the Coyotes

There’s nothing more thrilling than exploring L.A.’s most famous—and in some cases, infamous streets. Take that luxury car and whip through Laurel Canyon, all the way up to Mulholland Drive. Beachwood, Topanga and Coldwater Canyons also provide some stunning scenery for those who truly want to soak up the sun and enjoy the area’s natural splendor.

Especially if you’re traveling to Topanga, you may discover just how easy it is to make a day out of cruising through canyons. Bring along the Filson Ballistic Nylon Travel Pack to keep all of your hippie potions and essential oils on your person. The twill base of the bag adds a certain kind of speakeasy panache, while the front pocket and stow pockets make it ideal for carrying around prized possessions. You can even bring it on the beach with you—resistant to abrasions and waterproof, this bag has a tougher shell than a movie investor. The nylon coil zipper, however, will last a lot longer than most producers’ hit streaks.

Filson
Ballistic Nylon Travel Pack.

Consolidate your supplies inside this supple Ballistic Nylon Travel Pack. Featuring a reinforced Rugged Twill base, and a nylon coil zipper, its structure was built to act as a water-repellent shield. Organize your camping or trekking essentials inside its front pocket and internal stow pockets. Grab its webbed nylon handle and embark outdoors with this abrasion-resistant pack.

Although Los Angeles is famous for being 80 degrees pretty much consistently, you’d be surprised how quickly the temperature drops at night. You’ll realize why your favorite movie stars are sometimes pictured wearing multiple layers; whether you’re adding a sweater or a sweet blazer, options are always best. After all, it’s L.A. Adventure is always just around the corner. And maybe it’s about time that you were discovered!

Runyon Canyon, Los Angeles

I Wanna Be in Pictures

As your plane departs the City of Angels, you’ll leave with sun-soaked memories of a sexy city—and hopefully, you’ll be taking the great weather with you to your next destination. And as you recline back in your seat, your mind will meander back to the highlight reel of your vacation. Although it’s known for its aesthetic appeal, Los Angeles is also praised for its friendly locals. A huge melting pot of cultures, this city reminds us that a smile can be universal—and good weather can be pleasing to the soul. In the corners of your mind, you’ll always keep that gorgeous juxtaposition of beaches and mountains filed away for a rainy day. 


Here’s lookin’ at you, kid!

– Casablanca (1942.)
Downtown, Los Angeles

DROP IN AT BACKPACKS.COM

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