Skip the drive, See the skies: It's tough to avoid renting a car if you want to cover a lot of ground in L.A. But since freeways can get real old, real fast, why not fly, instead? L.A. is home to several flight schools, including Encore Flight Academy at Van Nuys Airport, just off the 405 Freeway. In a 90-minute session, you get instruction from FAA-certified instructors, time in a high-tech flight simulator and, best of all, time in the sky. Fly at sunrise or sunset and get sweeping views of the Hollywood sign, Malibu coastline and Downtown L.A.
Skip the bar, See the winery: Thirsty for fine wine? L.A.'s many new wine bars will satisfy. But you could take a day trip and see the real thing. An hour south of L.A. is Temecula wine country, home to vast vineyards and elegant tasting rooms. And 90 minutes north is the Urban Wine Trail in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, where more than 20 tasting rooms and several working wineries welcome thirsty visitors daily. At either location, myriad transportation options between tasting rooms, from limos to pedicabs, are a smart way to go.
Skip the "stars," See the stars: Celeb spotting is a favorite L.A. pastime. But don't forget about the stars above. Griffith Park is open until 10 p.m., making it ideal for a night of hiking and sky watching, and the onsite Griffith Observatory offers celestial glimpses up-close.