LOS ANGELES, CA 2016
“Travel is not just about expensive plane tickets, a 30 day journey, or marveling at great works of art. Travel is about having a curious mind and a desire to explore. It’s a way of life.”-Red
Living in California most of my life, I have long been exposed to all the cool things So Cal has to offer. I love living here and I think there is so much beauty and activity. I just don’t usually marvel at something unless it’s the beach. It wasn’t until my friend, C, from London came to visit where I really explored my home state with fresh eyes.
She stayed with me for almost 2 weeks and we really hit the ground running. We went to the beach, went shopping, took a road trip across LA to party in San Diego, and explored everything we could. On our very last day together, we wanted to do LA and we wanted to hit it BIG. I compiled a list of major sites we should hit and we took off in my sports car. So LA right?
A DAY IN LA
We’ll start the day at a LEMONADE STAND, hit the streets of LA for CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD, take Instagram photos at beautiful sights, and end the day with a CALIFORNIA STAPLE.
LA DOES A LEMONADE STAND
If you’re looking for a TYPICAL LA lunch hot spot, this is it. There are Lemonade locations all over, but we went to the one off of Flower St. in downtown LA. It was in an underground food court- how cool is that?! The line for lemonade looked like a who’s who in Hollywood. It kind of felt like the lunch line in elementary school, where you pick up a tray and tell the chef what you want. The only difference is that it’s all gourmet food and everyone is dressed to impress! Everything smelled delicious and the lemonade choices at the end of the line were AMAZING! I got the coconut lemonade flavor and it was so worth it. You can’t go wrong with any flavor, to be honest. (I should know, I sipped all of my friends’ to try them all out!)
We hopped in my car after a filling lunch and drove to Hollywood & Highland (those are streets.) We found street parking off the main Blvd. for free and walked a block back to the strip.
WALKING THE WALK OF FAME
WOW. The first thing you see is bright lights, stars under your feet, and hundreds of fashionable people. They don’t have the phrase HOLLYWEIRD for no reason- you’ll see hundreds of people dressed as Hollywood’s famous superheroes, classic starlets, and newest action figures. We saw Darth Vader, Marilyn Monroe, captain jack sparrow, and even optimus prime from transformers. People were dancing in the streets. Musicians were selling their CDs. There were classic cars parked all along the blvd. People are fantastically and passionately their true selves here with their clothes, hair, makeup, and accessories.
The streets are lined with Starbucks, souvenir shops, classic theaters, big malls, and the stars of fame of course! We passed the TCL theater (formerly known as Graumans Chinese Theater) where we saw the hand and footprints of ALL the biggest stars in the world. Everyone from Harry Potter to Harrison Ford to Shirley Temple! Even animated characters have stars!
THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN
You could hike the Hollywood sign and get an amazing experience along with a view. We had planned to do this early in the morning but, being young, we went to sleep late and slept through our alarm in the AM.
We found the second best view of the Hollywood Sign- the 3rd level of the mall on Hollywood Blvd! Go take your Instagram pics! #classichollywood
As soon as it got dark and we had bought souvenirs for C’s family, we hopped in the car and jetted off to our next destination: the LACMA lights.
GETTING ‘LIT AF’ @ LACMA LIGHT EXHIBIT
Okay. You are probably wondering why I’m telling you to see a light exhibit? It is just honestly so cool! Once it starts getting dark- GO! Dress up in your best LA outfit. Think: Bold lipstick, cool hats, sunglasses at night, a bunch of friends, and a camera. Bonus points if you and your friends coordinate outfits! Park off the main street for free and walk back to the exhibit. This is THE PLACE for Instagram pictures! You’ll see people getting proposed to here, having their prom photos taken, adults competing for the craziest stunt pictures, and just a bunch of kids laughing and interacting with art.
Once we got our fill of lights and selfies, we hopped back in the car and prepared for the grandest view of all time.
STAR GAZING @ GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY
Griffith Observatory is an iconic place to visit in LA. If you’re into astronomy or if you’re just into beautiful views, the 15 minute drive is worth it! The drive up the hill actually isn’t as bad as you think it might be. I was a little cautious to drive my friends up a hill so high, but you aren’t driving up scary cliffs. Its’ a nice, quick drive. If it’s thurs-sunday, I’d say park as soon as you see a spot, even if it’s not all the way up at the top. You may have to walk but it gets really busy. Any other night, the parking lot at the top of the hill is pretty big. FREE to park by the way.
You can go into the Griffith observatory to learn about stargazing and astronomy. There are amazing photos of space lining the walls of the observatory and there are educational shows you can watch, if you’re into a more 3-D kind of thing.
Mostly people come here for the BREATHTAKING VIEWS. Go through the building to the outside portion or just hike the stairs outside either side of the observatory. Enjoy the view and marvel and how big the universe and LA actually is.
Last but most certainly NOT least
After a busy day shopping, taking selfies, and watching for celebrities, you’re going to want a Classic California Dinner. We did! In-N-Out! Try a Neapolitan shake, the Animal Style Fries, and any burger you want!
I got a classic burger and fries 🙂
Have you been to any of these popular LA Spots? LA is my home but there are always new places to visit. What other places do you think should be included on this list? I’d love to know!
Spot you soon,
EVERYONE HATES PARKING IN L.A
I’ll be honest. The one downfall California has is the CAR situation. Parking sucks everywhere. Either leave really early in the morning to find a spot or park and hope that you won’t get a ticket. There is so much traffic- every single day, all day long.
Just be sure to leave earlier than you expect, bring a hefty bag full of quarters for parking meters, bring at least $25 dollars cash in case you find a parking lot, or make sure you read all the street signs when you do find a spot.
In fact- read them twice.
Is living in or visiting LA really worth it all? You bet your ass it is! 🙂