LA LA LAND.
Next up on our trip in the USA was Los Angeles– a city that I’ve been dreaming of visiting for as long as I can remember– I’ve always wanted to see Hollywood and Venice Beach and so we made sure that we stayed in the city for at least a few days to try and pack it all in.
I wanted to start by sharing some of the pictures of our Airbnb because it was great spot to spend a few days in the city and although Downtown wasn’t really my favourite area in LA– it didn’t always feel the safest, especially for families or women travelling alone– but the place itself was lovely, industrial loft style in terms of decor & the building had a rooftop pool and great views of the city. If you’re interested in staying in DTLA I’ll leave the link to the Airbnb we stayed in, here.
DAY ONE; DTLA
After a good nights sleep and a bit of a slow morning (we were feeling pretty wiped that first night in LA, we had dinner and went straight to bed!) we went out to explore more of DT and our first stop was one of my most anticipated stops– The Last Bookstore. I’d seen so many beautiful pictures of the tunnel of books and the labyrinth so I was more than excited to get in and explore for myself– it didn’t disappoint, I could have spent all day in there & especially loved their art and rare books room. So many beautiful books to look at!
While exploring more of Downtown we also visited Little Tokyo and stopped at Raggedy Threads vintage and Demitasse for coffee before wandering back towards Grand Central Market for lunch. I’d heard so many amazing things about the food there and it certainly lived up to the hype, we actually ended up visiting a couple of times as it was so close to our Airbnb. The first time I had the chicken and buttermilk waffle with habanero honey from Lucky Bird which was DELICIOUS! After some more wandering and snapping some film pictures we headed back to the loft have a bit more down time.
DAY TWO; VENICE BEACH & SANTA MONICA
Our second day in LA we got up early and headed straight for the coast– we were really looking forward to seeing Pacific Ocean and exploring Venice Beach so we started the day at Abbot Kinney which is a really lovely street to wander down with so many lovely shops, cafes and restaurants– some of our favourites were; Urbanic Paper Boutique (for really nice stationary), Burro (beautiful gifts, home wear, clothes and books) & Intelligentsia Coffee.
After some wandering we made our way to the beach with a brief stop at Animal House Vintage as we passed underneath the Venice sign. Actually getting to the beach and finally seeing the ocean didn’t disappoint, it was beautiful and we sat and watched the surfers and went for a paddle before taking a wander down the beach towards Santa Monica. We visited The Rose for lunch which we absolutely loved– the food was great and we sat outside on the patio– definitely recommend this place if you’re in the area! We also stopped at Angel City Books & Love Adorned (beautiful jewellery and interiors) before carrying on towards Santa Monica Pier where we spent the evening wandering around the pier, grabbing some fries and sitting on the beach again while we watched the sun go down. It was definitely my favourite day we spent in LA & I think if I visited again, I’d be really keen to stay in the Venice Beach/Santa Monica area to explore some more!
DAY 3; SUNSET BLVD & MELROSE AVE
On Friday we decided to explore Sunset Boulevard before making our way to Hollywood and Melrose Avenue to hit up some of the vintage, book and coffee shops that we wanted to visit. We started with a breakfast at Honey Hi which was one my favourite places we ate the whole time we were in LA– the sweet potato hash called out to me from the menu and I can confirm it was delicious & the pancakes also went down a treat!
There are so many lovely, independent shops down Sunset, some of my favourites were; Stories Books and Cafe (a great, independent bookshop), Midland (a beautiful collection of homeware, clothing and accessories), Ragg Mopp Vintage (unique, vintage pieces), Paper Moon (the most beautiful, old Hollywood, nostalgic, vintage store), La Colombe Coffee & Alfred Coffee (both great choices for coffee)
We took a brief little detour into Hollywood before quite quickly making our towards Melrose Ave– Hollywood Boulevard was obviously such a busy place and kind of overwhelming & underwhelming all at once so when we got to Melrose it was a bit of relief! We checked out Jet Rag Vintage which is possibly the biggest vintage store I’ve ever been in, so many rails of beautiful clothes and shoes– Melrose Avenue is a great spot for vintage, we also had a browse in Wasteland while we were there. This was clearly a great day for food because we finished the day at another favourite spot– Spartina where we managed to get a reservation and had amazing pizza sitting out on the patio and taking in all of the LA vibes.
DAY 4; GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY
Our last full day in LA and we decided to take it a bit slower and went to see Griffith Observatory to have a wander around and to take in the amazing views from up there. It was amazing to be able to visit such an iconic and beautiful place– especially as I’d watched Rebel Without a Cause on the flight over to the US– it made it even more poignant. If you don’t fancy driving up there and parking, as it’s always pretty busy, there’s a handy bus service that takes you from Vermont/Sunset right to the front of the Observatory in about 20 minutes and costs about 50 cents so a great budget option too! The whole day was pretty budget friendly actually as it doesn’t cost anything to enter the Observatory and the grounds & as I mentioned the views over LA were amazing & you get a pretty good view of the Hollywood sign too!
We spent most of the day there taking in the views and the exhibitions before heading back to DTLA for a a bit of dinner and because it was so convenient and there is so much choice we made another stop at Grand Central Market– this time I went for a burger and sweet potato fries (yes there’s definitely a pattern here!) from Belcampo Meat Co. After a great dinner we decided to hop on the Angels Flight railway for a ride as it is just across the road from Grand Central Market, which, as a big La La Land fan, made me very excited.
And then it was back to the Airbnb to get packed ready to leave for San Francisco! We had a great time in LA and ticked off even more places on my bucket list, realistically I wouldn’t say it was my favourite city I’d ever visited but there were definitely some beautiful places and I love to get the chance to go back and explore more of the coastline and possibly road trip it next time but for now I can’t wait to share with you what we got up to in San Francisco, coming soon!