A common sentiment amongst many a Los Angeles travel guide is that several of the best things to do in LA are in fact not in LA, but instead are an hour or more drive outside the city. The latest example can be found in VICE's City Guide to Los Angeles, which on the whole has received a heap of backlash from Los Angeles blogs over the past several days. We along with many Angelenos have mixed feelings on this. We're not as critical of VICE's list as some are (hey, at least it's eastside-focused!), but we understand the frustration. It's disheartening to see locales that are dozens if not hundreds of miles away touted as must-see spots ahead of places of interest in the city itself. Telling people they have to drive for hours to see the best LA has to offer only further fuels false stereotypes about Los Angeles.
On the other hand, Los Angeles is a city uniquely inspired by and connected to its surrounding natural environs. And relatively easy access (car-assuming) to some of the most incredible natural landscapes in the world is a big part of what makes LA so great. While the city itself deserves more prioritizing than it often gets, getting out of town can be amongst the best ways to "get" Downtown. We particularly recommend a trip out of the city these next few days to catch the unusual planetary alignment in the early morning sky. •