Monday, July 25, 2016

Los Angeles in a Weekend


My most recent trip to LA was definitely one for the books! We had the best time taking in the sights and while we were only there for a weekend, we still did so much in the city and I'll show you some of the highlights and what is not to be missed!

Have In-N-Out Burgers

It's no secret my first stop after landing in Cali whether it be Disneyland (Anaheim), San Diego, or hopping off the plane at LAX (no cardigan though, too hot), my first stop is always In-N-Out. These famously trendy and delicious burgers are only found on the West Coast and are as popular with Hollywood celebs as they are with us normal civilians. They are fresh, decently healthy hamburgers (I rarely eat meat so this is always a treat) and French fries, which offer almost a popped texture rather than greasy. You can get your burgers done a variety of ways including the wildly popular "Animal Style" as well as low carb (lettuce instead of bread buns) and even vegan options, that grilled cheese though. There is even a Not So Secret Menu in addition to what you see on the regular options!


 Be A Tourist in Hollywood

This is almost like the LA equivalent of a Times Square in NYC. Touristy, historical and come on who doesn't like trying to fit their hands in the handprints outside the famed Chinese Theater. They have tons of film premieres and events that are held weekly inside the theater and we just missed the all new Ghostbusters premiere by a few nights! Luckily the Marshmallow Man was still inflated so not all hope was lost. Try and find your favorite celebrity star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame take cheesy photos and be a total tourist for the day!

Have a Drink at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Located right across the street from the Adobe Theater, you can't miss the old Hollywood haunt, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. A fun place to stay but one you have to visit and have a drink at the bar just to visit where many Hollywood elites stayed and socialized. Marilyn Monroe loved this hotel and bar, in fact some say they have even seen her ghost, she even has a suite named after her!

Visit a Fun Movie Themed Museum

If you are a movie buff like me, LA and Hollywood are the places for you! There are tons of kitschy yet informative museums housing memorabilia from some of your favorite movies. These are especially good bets if you have kids, groups of all ages and anyone who is complaining about it being hot outside. I suggest The Hollywood Museum (the world's largest movie memorabilia museum)  , Madame Tussauds  (for real the wax figures look legit!), and just for fun Ripley's Believe It or Not.

Have a Milkshake or Early Breakfast at Mel's

I love the film, American Graffiti  so naturally we have to make a stop at the namesake restaurant of the movie. There is a Mel's located right by The Hollywood Museum and it's a good spot for early morning breakfast or late night food plus the prices are great which is always a good thing!

Take a Tour of LA by Double Decker Bus

If you are trying to pack everything in then I highly recommend a double decker bus tour such as Starline Tours which allows you to hop on/ hop off at various locations and even takes you to areas all over LA including Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Downtown LA, Beverly Hills and more. Make sure you look over the map and remember which color bus line you need to take and which one will get you back home. This is a lifesaver for those who don't want to drive, take an Uber everywhere or get stuck in LA traffic. The price for an unlimited one day pass is about $47 and worth every penny!

Get all the pricing, locations and more for tours here!

Walk Sunset Blvd for Shops During the Day and Live Music at Night

Sunset Boulevard is one of my favorite locations with it's quirky stores (Wildfox Couture!) celeb filled restaurants (keep your eyes peeled around here, endless boutiques and live music joints such as the famed Viper Room and The Roxy this is a can't miss for a day walk or night out during your stay!

Search for Hidden Gems in the City

I love finding fun little spots while traveling and we came across some of the cutest spots such as this ultra fun-ultra tiny shop, Pygmy Hippo Shoppe. It also has some really cool wall art on the back of the store, which I'm always on the hunt for! LA has tons of unique spots and you can go to a Nordstrom anytime, look for those really cool boutiques and shops that aren't found everywhere. If you see a place you want to visit while touring take a quick photo or jot down the address in your phone so you can remember!

Wander a Weekend Morning at The Grove

You can spend plenty of time at The Grove but on weekend mornings they have a farmer's market along with live music including a concert series at night on select nights mostly in the summer. There are also plenty of shops, dining, trolley rides, movie theater and yes, Sprinkles cupcakes!

Spend Time in Santa Monica

Whether it's to spend some time in the sun or just dip your toes into the Atlantic Ocean, Santa Monica looks right out of a movie. The Santa Monica Pier is home to carnival rides and a boardwalk type atmosphere. There are also finer dining, I recommend The Lobster (you might recognize it from Ocean's 11) as well as boutiques and shops around town as well.  Be sure to have an ice cream float on the pier at Soda Jerks. To reach your hippie haven, don't forget to visit Venice Beach about a 15-20 minute drive away!

Find Decorative Wall Art Throughout the City

Self-explanatory but I love finding walls like the one pictured below, great art, quotes and pictures!

Laugh and Sing Along to an Unauthorized Musical at the Rockwell
Check out the Rockwell for dinner and a show. Try the yummy drinks and delicious food as you wait and then watch a fantastic performance! Right now there are unauthorized musicals of cult hits Troop Beverly Hills and The Big Lebowski. More recently they had shows on Clueless and Cruel Intentions (yes, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair attended a show together!). The shows are well written with songs you are sure to recognize. Great for adults but may not be suitable for kids.
Get ticket info here!

Brunch at Bottega Louie
Get there early to not only get your hands on their classic Macarons but this downtown LA bakery and restaurant serves up a delicious brunch! We took a quick trip here before we boarded our plane home and yes, the Macarons were just as delicious a few hours later. Tables fill up fast and they don't accept reservations so get there early to avoid a wait! You can just walk into the bakery section and purchase Macarons if you don't have time for a sit down meal or just on the go. Enjoy!

The weather is great year round and with so much to do, Los Angeles is the perfect vacation spot for all ages! Even if you are just there for the weekend, prepare for a whirlwind and get ready for a taste of glamour and sunny skies!

Happy Travels!



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