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Steven & Yushi’s Local Guide

Los Angeles is famously diverse and dispersed: over 500 neighborhoods spread across nearly 500 square miles from beaches to mountains. Where to start?

    EPIC2024 Local Committee members Steven Garcia and Yushi Wang have created an incredible guide to their LA favorites – what to see and do, where to get great food and drink, and neighborhoods to explore.


      What to Pack

      It’s always a beautiful time to visit Los Angeles, but August is particularly pleasant. Temperatures typically range from 65–84° F, and there is no shortage of activities (surfing, whale watching, biking, museums, and so much more!). Bring a layer for the evening, which sometimes cools off.

      If you’re thinking, “I’m definitely packing my hiking boots, binoculars, sketchbook, and beach gear,” you’re probably also thinking, “what should I wear to the conference, and how am I going to stuff it in my suitcase?” EPIC people come from different countries, cultures, and work environments, so we are eclectic dressers. It’s fair to say we’re not an overly formal crowd; you might think “business casual,” but that doesn’t have to mean business boring! We encourage you to dress comfortably (and be kind to your feet). The conference venue includes indoor and outdoor spaces, so sunscreen for outdoors and, if air conditioning makes you cool, a light layer for indoors, is a good idea.

        How to Travel

        There are five airports in the Los Angeles area. The largest and most convenient to Santa Monica, where our conference venue is located, is the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

        Useful public transportation resources:

        If you will be traveling from outside the United States and require a visa, we encourage you to apply for one as soon as possible. EPIC can provide visa letters upon request; please email

          Where to Stay

          There are a lot of lodging options in Santa Monica convenient to the conference venue by foot, public transportation, or ride share. The local committee recommends booking early and using $300/night as a point of reference. Airbnb is also a good option around Santa Monica, but keep in mind that there are cleaning fees in addition to the price you’re browsing.

          To coordinate shared lodging and activities with other EPIC2024 attendees, check out the EPIC2024 Group chat on our Member Community platform. To find the group: log in to your EPIC Member Account and click the button ‘Go to the EPIC Community’.

          Here are some hotels recommended by local EPIC Member Yushi Wang:

          Within Walking Distance of Conference Venue

          • The Shore Hotel (nonrefundable rate $220/night on the hotel website, no code necessary; regular $440+/night) is rated the top Santa Monica hotel on TripAdvisor and is 1 mile from our venue. It is across the street from the beach and the Santa Monica Pier, our conference dinner venue. Accessible rooms are available, and there is paid parking onsite. Yushi highly recommends this hotel; the earlier you book this hotel, the better.
          • The Courtyard by Marriott Santa Monica ($345/night) is just steps away from the Santa Monica Place Mall. Yushi’s personal favorite for business travel, this hotel is 0.7 mile from our venue, with accessible rooms available and paid parking onsite.
          • Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica ($377/night) features a pool and a game room. It is 1.4 miles from our venue.
          • The HI Los Angeles Santa Monica Hostel ($60–$170/night, shared and private rooms available) is just a block away from the beach. There is a fully equipped guest kitchen, free breakfast, and a guest laundry.

          Convenient by Public Transportation to Conference Venue

          20–30 minutes by Metro E Line

          20–40 minutes by bus