Dana Damato

Correspondent

  • Los Angeles, CA, USA

Dana Damato is a correspondent who lives in Orlando and Los Angeles. Damato covers the cities of Dallas and Los Angeles for Forbes Travel Guide. She is a freelance travel writer and host for various publications and the editorial director for the travel blog DrivetheNation.com. She is addicted to adventure and indulges in new cultures. She loves to taste new food, drink different wines, visit new destinations and bring those experiences to life through words.

  • On March 13, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What is public transportation like in Los Angeles?

    Public transportation is not as commonly used by locals in Los Angeles as it is in other large cities such as New York and Washington DC. The most commonly used source for transportation is the Metro that usually goes all around the city. The Metro consists of a subway, light-rail, buses and shuttles.  The Metro system is a safe form of public transportation in Los Angeles that is used by mostly locals. Most times, visitors will use a taxicab more often than locals.

    The most commonly used out of those options is the Metro Bus. The Metro Bus makes several stops along most major roads throughout Los Angeles. Visitors shouldn’t be intimidated by the metro system - there are plenty of help centers and maps to make sure you get to where you’re going.  Feel free to ask a local if you’re a visitor – most people will be happy to guide you in the right direction.
  • On March 13, 2013
    Giuseppe Lama is now following Dana Damato
  • On March 12, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What should I pack for a trip to Los Angeles?

    What you choose to pack on your trip to Los Angeles relies heavily on what you have on your to-do list. While Los Angeles is always sunny, warm and dry – be aware of the temperature once the sun goes down. For the most part, you’ll see most locals of Los Angeles strolling around in work out clothes or trendy attire. The best thing about coming to Los Angeles is that anything goes. You can get away with wearing jeans and flip-flops or a dress and heels. It all depends on your own personal style.

    The most important clothing items to bring are scarves and a jacket (and maybe a few long sleeve shirts and pants). Los Angeles does drop into the low 60’s/high 50’s in the evening - which tends to throw most visitors off guard. Of course, if you’re planning to hit the beach in the daytime, don’t forget a swimsuit!
  • On March 12, 2013
    Shannan Finke is now following Dana Damato
  • On March 12, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best hotels in Los Angeles?

    When you say you want to stay at the best hotel in Los Angeles, you’re not asking for a needle in a haystack. Los Angeles’ hotels have to appeal to a tough crowd, that’s why all of them are top notch. Each has style, sophistication and celebrity-certified service in the heart of Los Angeles.

    You don’t have to travel far to find masterpieces of modern design such as the Mondrian, The London, Andaz and The Standard to classic hidden treasures such as Sunset Tower, Sunset Marquis, and The Charlie. Los Angeles offers several hotels that can enhance your personal style and give that real L.A. feel.

    A number of all-suite hotels tucked away in neighborhoods – such as Le Parc Suites, Le Montrose, Petit Ermitage, Chamberlain and Palihouse Holloway, let you experience the life of an A-list local.
  • On March 10, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are some things to know before visiting Los Angeles?

    Los Angeles isn’t as intimidating as it may seem.  It really has a lot to offer. Between the bustling Sunset Blvd and the chic Melrose Ave, there are only a few things in Los Angeles that may take some getting used to.

    Traffic
    If you plan on driving during your stay in Los Angeles, be well aware that the traffic is crazy. Don’t let your map deceive you either and make sure you plan your schedule accordingly. Even if the restaurant you’re going to is two miles down the street from your hotel, don’t assume it will only take five minutes to get there.

    Filming
    You’re in Los Angeles! That means that you’re within miles of every major motion picture studio.  Be prepared to see camera crews filming on the streets and roads blocked off for music video sets and commercials. Be careful though, most sets have very tight security so don’t try and get too close to sneak a picture of a celebrity.

    Actors/Paparazzi
    You will see actors, actresses, musicians and paparazzi walking the streets any time of the day, any day of the week. Don’t be surprised when you’re at a local breakfast spot and notice an A-list actress sitting right next to you with sweatpants and a hat on. Embrace it. It’s the culture of Los Angeles and it’s certainly something to enjoy while you’re in town.
  • On March 9, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What is the weather like right now in Los Angeles?

    The one thing you’ll probably never have to worry about when you’re in Los Angeles is bad weather. Southern California is known for it’s natural beauty and near perfect weather year round. If you go to California in December or June, you’re likely to have almost the same type of weather. The summer time is always the best to visit California, but the other seasons are equally agreeable.

    As for now, you can be sure to find weather that is cool in the mornings and evenings and warmer in the day (75 high, 60 low). The skies are clear blue and the air is humidity free. All you’ll want to do is outdoor activities. Be aware though – going towards the ocean is always about 10 degrees cooler than in Los Angeles. Most visitors aren’t aware of the significant temperature change and don’t know to dress a little warmer by the water.
  • On February 28, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What is the hottest nightclub in Los Angeles?

    If you ask yourself which “one” nightclub is the hottest in Los Angeles, you’re in the wrong city. There isn’t “one” of the best. The Los Angeles nightlife is so densely concentrated that anyone can easily navigate through the scene. Any night of the week, a thriving crowd is toasting the night away at rooftop pools, iconic haunts of Between The Sunset Strip, comedy clubs, high-end lounges, dive bars and exclusive hideouts. It’s no surprise that Los Angele’s population nearly doubles on the weekend.
    Here’s a quick overview of the best nightlife in Los Angeles.

    The Sunset Strip
    Viper Room, Whiskey a Go Go, The Roxy, Rainbow Bar & Grill, Key Club and much more!

    Elegant Hotel Bars
    Tower Bar at Sunset Tower, SkyBar at Mondrian and Bar 1200 at the Sunset Marquis to name a few.

    Santa Monica Blvd
    The Den, The Hudson, Surly Goat, Bar Lubitsch, and Kitchen 24.
  • On February 28, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best sushi restaurants in Los Angeles?

    It’s very well known that Los Angeles has celebrity owned and high-end restaurants that serve some of the best food in the country. It’s a given that no matter where you go, you’re going to get something great. When you’re looking for a place to get the best sushi, leave it to Los Angeles to offer you the best.

    Yamashiro isn’t just known for it’s amazing view (since it sits atop a mountain), it’s known for it’s exquisite and gourmet sushi rolls. Their rolls aren’t just any kind that you can order anywhere, these are “designer” sushi rolls – you can’t get them anywhere else! Not only are they unique but they are also made with the best quality fish and made to order.

    Another great and famous spot is the popular Katsuya, you maybe spending a ton of money on a small 6-roll order, but you’ll leave satisfied and wanting more.
  • On February 28, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best day trips near Los Angeles?

    With all of the things you can do in Los Angeles, how do you ever decide what to do for the day? It’s actually pretty simple to plan. Here is an idea of what you could do for a day trip.

    Start the morning off with a light breakfast and a morning hike at Runyon Canyon.  The hike will take you about 1.5-2 hours, so make sure you get enough fuel to last you the entire time.  After your hike, grab a bite at Aroma Bakery Café on Sunset Blvd. You’ll find a variety of healthy and delicious meals made fresh to order. Once you head back to your hotel/house and freshen up, get ready to go shopping through The Avenues, West Hollywood’s art, fashion and design district (don’t forget to make a pit stop at Urth Caffe for a latte or a mid day treat).  Shopping will take a few hours so when you do get back to your hotel room, take some time to rest up for an eventful night ahead.
  • On February 28, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best clothing boutiques in Los Angeles?

    Los Angeles is one of the biggest fashion cities in the country - if not the world. Many worldwide trends come straight from the streets of Hollywood and several fashionistas come to L.A. to pick up some of those hot trends that can’t be found anywhere else. There are endless amounts of shopping locations in the Los Angeles area, but a few of the best will have everything you need to leave with the latest trends.

    Melrose Avenue has one of the most eclectic varieties of high-end designer stores and individually owned boutiques. On Melrose Ave you can choose from designer stores such as Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs among many others. Melrose offers niche stores that are unique and can’t be found anywhere else. Just about every Hollywood celebrity finds their styles in a Melrose boutique since the clothes and so unique, chic and hard to find anywhere else.
  • On February 28, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best stores for designer clothes in Los Angeles?

    Aside from being known as the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles is also on the map for being one of the biggest fashion cities in the country - if not the world. Believe it or not, many worldwide trends come straight from the streets of Hollywood and several fashionistas come to L.A. to pick up some of those hot trends that can’t be found anywhere else. There are endless amounts of shopping locations in the Los Angeles area, but a few of the best will have everything you need to leave with the latest trends.

    Melrose Avenue has one of the most eclectic variety of high-end designer stores and individually owned boutiques. On Melrose Ave you can choose from designer stores such as Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs among many others. Melrose offers niche stores that are unique and can’t be found anywhere else. If you’re looking for a more “Hollywood” shopping experience, head over to the world-famous Rodeo Drive. Rodeo Drive in known across the globe for being one of the more luxurious, famous and fashionable shopping strips in the world. Over on the strip you can find designer stores from Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel. If a mall scene is more your pace, make your way over to the Beverly Center. The Beverly Center has department stores such as Bloomingdales and Macy’s; high-end stores such as Burberry, Prada and Yves Saint Laurent.
  • On February 28, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best waterfront restaurants in Los Angeles?

    Los Angeles is about 15 minutes East of the beach, so if you’re looking to dine while gazing off into the ocean, you’ll want to head out to the Santa Monica area. You’ll have no trouble finding a high-end and remarkable waterfront restaurant near 3rd Street Promenade. There are so many to choose from, but when it comes to finding the best, there is always one that comes to mind.

    The one restaurant I always recommend to visitors of this wonderful city is Catch Restaurant. Catch Restaurant is located inside the Hotel Casa del Mar in Southern California’s most popular and thriving beach town, Santa Monica. Catch Restaurant offers unique “market fresh” cuisine with picturesque views of the Pacific Coast sunset in a comfortably elegant environment. The menu offers a large variety of seafood dishes, a daily raw bar, small plates and much more and you can dine in style while looking out to the ocean with your company (or yourself – if you prefer).
  • On February 28, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best beachside hotels in Los Angeles?

    Los Angeles is about 15 minutes East of the beach, so if you’re looking to stay at a fabulous beachside hotel, you’ll want to head out to the Santa Monica area. You’ll have no trouble finding a high-end and remarkable beachfront hotel near 3rd Street Promenade.

    When you go to Santa Monica (the closest beach to Los Angeles) stay at the Hotel Casa del Mar. Hotel Casa del Mar is located right on the sand in the heart of the Southern California seaside community of Santa Monica. The hotel is across from the famous Santa Monica Pier, the bustling Third Street Promenade, Main Street, the elegant shopping and dining areas of Montana Avenue, as well as the gardens, walkways and expansive ocean panoramas of cliff-top Palisades Park. Between the warm sun, the beach and the endless amount of activities, the time to be at the beach in Santa Monica is during the summer months. You can expect to leave with a great tan and a relaxed mind and body.
  • On February 28, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best hotels in Los Angeles?

    When you say you want to stay at the best hotel in Los Angeles, you’re not asking for a needle in a haystack. Los Angeles’ hotels have to appeal to a tough crowd, that’s why all of them are top notch. Each has style, sophistication and celebrity-certified service in the heart of Los Angeles.

    You don’t have to travel far to find masterpieces of modern design such as the Mondrian, The London, Andaz and The Standard to classic hidden treasures such as Sunset Tower, Sunset Marquis, and The Charlie. Los Angeles offers several hotels that can enhance your personal style and give that real L.A. feel.

    A number of all-suite hotels tucked away in neighborhoods – such as Le Parc Suites, Le Montrose, Petit Ermitage, Chamberlain and Palihouse Holloway, let you experience the life of an A-list local. Los Angeles also offers several options for the budget-conscious traveler such as Ramada Plaza West Hollywood, Grafton and Best Western Sunset Plaza.