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Top 6 Things to Do in LA on a Sunday

Home to "Sundays Live," the Bing Theater is housed at LACMA on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Home to "Sundays Live," the Bing Theater is housed at LACMA on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Photo by Patricia Steffy

Before jumping back into another busy week, enjoy a Sunday exploring the sights and sounds of Los Angeles. From surveying the city from the top of the Santa Monica Mountains to shopping near the Pacific, locals and tourists alike have a multitude of options for finding both great bargains and even better memories.

Inspiring Performances
A trip to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on a Sunday evening provides a weekly treat to those who love chamber music. "Sundays Live" features music performed by acclaimed national and international artists, as well as emerging talents, and has been broadcast live since 1948—making it the longest-running live music broadcast in Los Angeles. The performances are free. Patrons need only line up outside the Bing Theater prior to the show. Doors open approximately 15 minutes before the 6pm broadcast. Speakers are strategically placed in the courtyard outside the Bing, allowing guests to forgo the theater setting, and relax at the fountain-side tables with a picnic while enjoying the music.

Adventures in Thrifting
Shopping is practically a sport in Los Angeles. From high-end designer stores on Rodeo Drive to the thrift shops of Silver Lake, shopping in LA takes stamina, perseverance and a good plan of attack. This is never more true than when hitting the increasingly popular flea market scene in and around Los Angeles on a Sunday. More than 20,000 people visit the Rose Bowl Flea Market’s 2,500 vendors on the second Sunday of each month. The trip out to Pasadena may seem like a long distance to drive for bargains, but with so many art pieces, jewelry, furniture, antiques, clothing and crafts in one place, it is hard to beat. If something that big seems overwhelming, thrifters may want to try the smaller Pasadena City College Flea Market. With 500 vendors, this first Sunday of every month market still offers a wide selection of antiques, toys and clothing to eager shoppers. For the weekly thrifting fix, try a more local spot: the Melrose Trading Post. Located at the corner of Melrose and Fairfax at Fairfax High School, the Melrose Trading Post offers easy access and low entrance fee along with a selection of artwork, antiques, furniture and clothing. The atmosphere is a calm counterpart to the larger markets, but still offers shoppers some great deals, live entertainment and tantalizing food. In addition, vendor and admission fees help support education through funding college scholarships, teacher programs and library renovations.

Shop the Markets
The freshest local fare is available at farmers’ markets throughout the city on a Sunday. The large-scale Hollywood Farmers’ Market brings in local farmers and ranchers with tantalizing offerings each week. They, along with other vendors, display everything from locally grown fruits and vegetables to fresh cut flowers. Street musicians and free demonstration events bring additional fun to the hunt for you favorite treats. This market covers approximately 4 city blocks between Ivar and Selma Avenues in Hollywood, and while there is a lot of available pay parking all day, coming before 11am means you can usually grab a metered spot. If you prefer to stay on the Westside and go for something a bit more intimate in experience, then the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market is the way to go. Located in Heritage Square, the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market offers not only fresh produce, but delicacies prepared by local Santa Monica restaurants. Free parking is available if you drive to the market, and a bike valet is on hand should you decide to ride over and fill your basket with everything from pesto to cheese to oysters.

Brunch with a Twist
Sunday brunch has become tradition and with so many fine dining establishments in Los Angeles, patrons can have nearly every craving satisfied. The Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard takes the standard brunch and turns it on its head. Every other Sunday at noon, the all-you-can-eat buffet is set to traditional and contemporary Gospel tunes song by local talent and selected by legendary producer and artist, Kirk Franklin. If you prefer your eggs to be accompanied by the sound of waves rather than music, check out the Back on the Beach Café which is part of the Annenberg Community Beach House project in Santa Monica. Not only is delicious food on hand, patrons can enjoy it while digging their toes in the sand. After brunch, take a docent guided tour through the historic Marion Davies guest house – the remaining portion of an estate built by William Randolph Hearst for his long-time companion and actress Marion Davies.

Take a Hike
Los Angeles is gifted with picture-perfect weather throughout most of the year. It is no wonder that so many people, including celebrities, head for the hills, literally, on a sunny Sunday morning. Runyon Canyon boasts a 160-acre park in the heart of Los Angeles. A slow ascent past the Hollywood Sign at the trailhead inspires you to keep heading for the top where you can enjoy spectacular views of the entire city, but you may opt to stop and take one of the free, daily yoga classes to get the mind and body back in sync before another hectic week. Other popular hiking spots in the city include Topanga Canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains, Will Rogers State Historic Park and the more moderate trek through Temescal Gateway Park in Pacific Palisades.

Watching the Boats Sail By
After a hectic weekend and before gearing up for another eventful week, take a moment to enjoy the boats as they sail through the channel in Marina Del Rey. Sailboat watchers gather at points along the North Jetty, or walk down from Washington Boulevard along the sand to get a close look as the boats glide by them. Summer Sundays in particular draw appreciate crowds who come for the boats and stay for the breathtaking sunsets before heading back to Washington Boulevard to enjoy dinner and drinks by the ocean. If you are really lucky, you’ll be able to grab a seat at Hinano Café for some of the best burgers in the city!

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