A very special place. The city that you either love or hate. Not something in between. It gets exciting when you first get here as everything has its own rhythm, but the longer you stay, the more you see that you cant stay indifferent with the city. I have to admit, I hated it at the beginning.
Everything is very spread out, so if you are a walker like me, you have to get ready to switch back to the car. You are not gonna get anywhere far by feet. Driving is a must, which is not that bed by itself. Only the traffic can get quite hectic.
The fact that we all have errands in different places makes it quite hard to make many arrangement a day with friends that are not your first door neighbor. Which makes it hard to make friends if you are new in the city. This was my biggest issue. When moving to the city two years ago, I didn’t knew anyone except my ex boyfriend. You can not imagine how hard it was to build strong friendships and find real, honest people. Even for me, and I see myself as extremely social person. That was the main reason why I hated it at the first place. It is not nice to feel lonely.. Anyway, of course with time I got some really close friends and feel in love with the city! It can be so incredible when you can do all the activities and use the good weather with friends. Constant house barbacues, hikes and different sports, going to the beach, having pool parties.. All year around.
Why am I explaining about living in LA!?! I should explain how I see it from touristic perspective. As this time its my first time seeing the city with different view, as a tourist. And I have to admit it is amazing! If you are visiting for the first time, make sure to reserve a few days for the beach.
Must visit Malibu which is incredible and I highly recommend having lunch or dinner on the way in Nobu, which is the nicest one I know, directly on the beach, with spectacular view. In Malibu there is also a small shopping area with mic boutiques and great Greek restaurant Taverna Tonys. The best plan would be to spend the day on the beach and head on to a hike in the evening. There is many beautiful hikes around Malibu, makes it a winning combination!
In the next days you should check Santa Monica and Venice beach, as well Manhattan Beach. Each of them so unique and nice in their own way. Hard to describe it with words, so you should just check it by yourself. And if you know how to surf, this is heaven for the surfers!
Another must do thing in La..!?! Of course..checking out the famous Hollywood sign. The best way to do this is hiking. Which will also keep you in shape and help you stay fit and healthy! 🙂
Walk around Hollywood Boulevard and see all the stars on the floor is kind of a cliche, but you should definitely do it at least once. It is not the cleanest and safest area, so be ready for it and keep your belongings close.
The opposite from this experience should be a walk on Rodeo drive. Takes you back in the 90ies and the movie scenes from Pretty Woman. Maybe even get a coffee or lunch in the Wilshire hotel at the end of the street.
And at same time you can do some of the most incredible shopping! 🙂 Especially if you get lucky and visit the city in the time of the sales. They are absolutely the best in LA and NY. You can continue walking around Beverly Hills and maybe check Sacks, Nieman Marcus and Barneys, which are department stores with normally very good sales. And my favorite store around called Intermix – including all the best high street brands. If you want to find something more funky and cool, there is plenty of nice unique boutiques on Melrose street. And you should stop by the Groove, where is also a nice walk around the fountain and a fresh Farmers Market. One of my favorite places 🙂 As well you can look at plenty of stores in Beverly Center that is the biggest shopping mall, were you can find everything from the most luxurious shops to the cheapest ones.
While in LA is very easy to stay healthy so don’t be scared to try some healthy juices and vegan restaurants. I promise you will not be disappointed! And there is so many good places to workout. For yoga check YogaWorks, and for gym and different classes the best bet would be Equinox. There is also Barrys Bootcamp in LA, which is my London obsession.
For the end we obviously shouldn’t forget about the culture. LACMA is a contemporary museum of arts that also offers some exhibitions for free, so you don’t have any excuse not to check it out.
Enjoy your visit, and just to help you out while there, here are my favorite spots.. There is a lot about eating as there is tons of great restaurants and bars, so don’t get surprised why the list is so long 🙂
– MEDEO (italian)
– The Ivy (incredible outdoor setup)
– Giorgio Baldi (my fav restaurant-italian)
– Nobu Malibu
– Mr C – Cipriani
– Sushimama (try the Trust Me menu)
– Cafe Mauro at Fred Segal (next to a store Fred Segal, great for shopping:)
– Fig and Olive
– Polo Lounge at Bev Hills Hotel
– Crossroads (vegan)
– Cafe Gratitude
– Cafe Med
– Wa Sushi
– Il Pastaio
– Urth Cafe (salads and breakfast)
– Soho house
– Gracias Madre (mexican vegan)
HOTELS and HANGOUT PLACES
– BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL
– CHATEAU MARMONT
– MR C
– THE STANDARD
– Earth Bar
– Urth Cafe
– Cafe Primo
– all the vegan restaurants
More pics follow..