Five Best L.A. Places to People Watch

Photo by Milanares/iStock / Getty Images

With my hand in the air—I admit it—I am a nosy guy. Not like I’m going to be looking over your fence or eavesdropping in on your conversation. But I’m definitely a certified people watcher. Slap me down on a park bench for an hour and I’ll whiplash my head back and forth in glorious wonder. 

The fact is, people watching is the best entertainment money can't buy. And with ten million inhabitants living in L.A., you’ll never run out of opportunities. Gas stations, Walmart, Starbucks. You could go anywhere in the city and get your fill of the most eclectic group of individuals to gather in one place. Mind you, you’ll have to get out of your car. You can’t people-watch through windows. Giving the driver in the next lane stink eye does not count. 

I’m talking about the age-old rite of watching the world go by—one person at a time. Here are five places to get you started. Hopefully, you’ll find ten more and then come back and share with us.

Here are Five L.A. Places to People Watch:  

1. Runyon Park

You might head to Runyon Park for the fantastic views, or maybe to eye the fast walkers, trail runners, boot-campers, and yogis. But, the real joy of Runyon Park? It’s watching people use their dogs to hook up. It's better than Netflix binge watching. And for the record, the Maltese is your ultimate matchmaker. Borrow one today, and you’ll be lucky tomorrow. Works for both sexes.   

2. Venice Beach

From street performers to muscle builders to graffiti artists; first dates, families, tourists, and more than your share of marijuana dispensers. What more do you need? 

3. Urth Cafe
8565 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood. 

You want to people watch where the rich and famous congregate, along with wannabes and almost weres. Well, I have your place. Yes, you could go to the IVY on Robertson Blvd, a paparazzi favorite, and you could easily go to Barneys New York in Beverly Hills, where there’s a good chance you might run into the Olsen Twins. But, people watching shouldn’t have to cost you a kidney to partake. It’s a democratic sport, open to all men and women, regardless of the size of their wallet. Enter Urth Caffe. It’s perfect for spotting not only your occasional celebrity but hipsters, fashionistas, and unemployed actors. And they make a mean Spanish Latte. 

4. Koreatown

LA Weekly crowned Koreatown America’s hippest neighborhood back in 2012, and it’s as true today as it was back then. There is so much to see here in Koreatown, from the best karaoke in L.A. (The Shrine) to shops, restaurants, acupuncturists, and even a four-story golf range. And with so much activity comes the perfect place to people watch. Don’t take my word for it, check out what LA Weekly has to say about Koreatown here! They’ll give you 15 places to get started.  

5. Manhattan Beach

I go here for the people watching and to remind myself that I have to lose weight. Go with a healthy ego.