President’s Day is just around the corner and with it comes a three-day weekend to enjoy. We’ve done our history homework and come up with a list of fun-filled spots around town touched by our former presidents. Strike up “Hail to the Chief” and scroll down to find the perfect presidential outing.
photo: donielle via flickr
Grab a Slice
While a student at Occidental College, Barry (as he was known back then) Obama dined on pineapple-topped Hawaiian pizza from east side Italian eatery Casa Bianca. You can’t get more classic than this family-run restaurant; a step through its doors will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time—and for good reason—not much has changed since the grand opening in 1955. Leather booths and red checkered tablecloths make for a fun throwback dinner out.
The menu appeals to even the pickiest of eaters; you can create your own pizza with toppings ranging from eggplant (highly recommended) to salami; there are sandwich options, pastas (including Spaghetti al Burro with just butter and cheese), salads, appetizers (breaded mushrooms, minestrone soup) and more. Bonus: They serve beer and wine too.
After more than 50 years in Eagle Rock, word has gotten out, so expect to wait for a table (reservations are accepted for parties of six or more) or order a pie to go.
Insider Tip: They do not accept credit, debit cards or checks but if you are short on cash there is an ATM within the restaurant.
1650 Colorado Blvd.
photo: Rach via flickr
Experience Movie Magic
Ronald’s Reagan’s resume includes dozens of movie roles and a seven-year contract with Warner Brothers. Visit the Gipper’s old stomping grounds (all 110 acres of it) on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour.
Every tour is unique but consists of outdoor sets and soundstages used in the filming of productions like La La Land and Gilmore Girls. You can check the website to see what’s currently filming. Pay close attention, as you may spot a celebrity or two. You’ll also get to visit the prop department which houses more than 450,000 registered artifacts. Your mini superhero will go gaga over “DC Universe: The Exhibit” which features a newly added Wonder Woman exhibit and the Picture Car Vault, which is filled with Batmobiles. “Stage 48: Script to Screen” breaks down the different stages of the film and television production process and includes the Central Perk Café from Friends (where you can actually purchase a coffee). Finally, Harry Potter and The Fantastic Beasts allows you to get sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses by the magical Sorting Hat (fingers crossed for Griffindor).
Insider Tip: Children 8 and under are not permitted on the tour, and for good reason—at three hours, it’s a lengthy one.
3400 W. Riverside Dr.
photo: via Alfred Coffee
Get Your Caffeine Fix
The kids are always up early when there’s no school, right? Channel their morning energy with a latte from Alfred Coffee, the same place Bill Clinton made a pit stop during Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Brewing Stumptown Coffee Roasters and offering assorted pastries, this Melrose Place gem just celebrated its fifth anniversary is an Instagram favorite. You’ll definitely want to take a family selfie in this memorable space while you wait for your brew.
Insider Tip: Go on a Sunday morning and then take the fam to the weekly Melrose Place Farmer’s Market that’s nearby.
8428 Melrose Pl.
photo: via Annenberg Community Beach House
Stroll the Sand
When visiting Los Angeles, JFK frequented the fancy beachfront Santa Monica home of his sister and brother-in-law, Pat and Peter Lawford and once famously took an ocean dip to the surprise of many nearby beachgoers. While February weather may make for a chilly swim, you can pay a visit to the Annenberg Community Beach House, just a short walk down the beach.
Their picturesque pool is closed for the season (it reopens in May; or sign up on their website to be notified of their Pop Up Pool Days), but there’s still plenty to do at this scenic spot. The whole family can partake in a game of beach tennis or soccer (rackets and balls can be checked out with valid ID), and little ones can enjoy the children’s play area. Back on the Beach Café is also on the property and offers a take-out window that comes in handy if the mood for an impromptu beach picnic strikes. For a deep dose of nostalgia –and glamour—tour the Marion Davies Guest House while you’re there.
415 Pacific Coast Hwy.
photo: via Original Farmers Market
Make Your Own Smorgasbord
A sombrero-topped George Bush Sr. visited The Original Farmers Market while campaigning for president in 1988. Dwight Eisenhower also visited this quintessential mid-city spot, where he stopped in at Magee’s Nuts and saw their peanut butter machine. A robust mix of grocers, restaurants, and shops, this well-loved institution truly has something for everyone whether you’re hungry for tacos or in need of a haircut.
The Original Farmers Market makes group dining easy – each family member can order from a different stall yet eat together at a communal table. Standouts include Cajun cooking from The Gumbo Pot, smoked meats from Bryan’s Pit Barbeque and crepes from The French Crepe Company. If you prefer wait service, try Mr. Marcel Pain Vin Et Fromage for French fare or DuPar’s for pancakes anytime.
Looking to make a day of it? On Sat. Feb. 11 and Sun. Feb. 12, The Original Farmers Market will hold its 29th Annual Mardi Gras Celebration.
Insider Tip: Make your first stop Sticker Planet for surprise sticker grab bags to keep your kids busy while you eat.
6333 W 3rd St.
photo: via Mission Inn
In 1940, Richard and Pat Nixon were married at Riverside’s Mission Inn. Not only is there a presidential lounge commemorating the spot of the nuptials (which features specialty drinks like the JFK Cosmopolitan), but the AAA Four Diamond property has also been visited by Presidents Roosevelt, Taft, Hoover, Reagan and Bush Jr. The hotel even offers a “History at the Inn” package, honoring its rich history of visits from these notables.
Described as “the most unique hotel in America” by none other than Will Rogers, the Mission Inn encompasses an entire city block and has plenty to keep your brood busy. For starters, the hotel doubles as a living museum boasting priceless treasures and artifacts like hundreds of bells (including the oldest bell in Christendom), an eight-foot Amitabha Buddha, beautiful oil paintings and more. Daily tours are available.
Then there’s the Famous Fliers Wall next to the hotel’s St. Francis of Assisi Chapel. Since 1934, Famous Fliers visiting the Inn have been honored with copper wings with their autograph etched into it. There are over 140 copper wings currently on the wall including those for Amelia Earhart and Buzz Aldrin.
By President’s Day weekend, The Mission Inn’s “Festa Dell’ Amore” month-long Valentine’s Day celebration will be in full swing, and visitors can see the Inn done up for the holiday with 500,000 pink, red and white lights as well as elaborate decorations.
3649 Mission Ave.
What do you love to do on President’s Weekend? Let us know in the comments below!