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California, a scenic wonderful state. Being from Florida, it’s always nice to visit the West Coast. I actually had the pleasure of living in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, so I will not only be giving you suggestions from a tourist point of view, but also as a local… best of both worlds! There were nothing but amazing views from people surfing at beaches to people sipping on yummy wine in vineyards & much more!
Leave Your Car
I only express Park ‘N Fly because it honestly has been the best form of service I’ve used when traveling. For those who are not familiar with this, Park ‘N Fly is a service you take when you don’t want to spend too much money & want to leave your car safely parked near the airport while you’re away on your travels. My dad is the one who started using this company many years ago. I’ve stuck by it because throughout the years I’ve never had any issue with this company. It’s simple, you park you car at the lot, the staff members keeps the car safe, and then they provide a bus to take you to your terminal (no more than a 5-7 minute drive). When you come back from your trip, Park ‘N Fly (the small bus) picks you up from the airpot and takes you back to your car safetly.
Rent A Car
Because there are many things to see and do, in my opinion, 3 days in Los Angeles is cutting it too close, If it’s your first time stepping foot in LA then I suggest you stay at least 4-5 days. I want to start off by saying that I recommend to rent a car. Sure, you can take an Uber, lift, or a taxi, but if you do, you will be spending much more money than renting a car, taking the train, or simply walking short distances (when convenient). So pack your bags & get ready to do some sightseeing, hiking, dancing, eating, and drinking!Big Brands. Huge Choice. Massive Savings! RentalCars.com.
Hikes are very popular when finding things to do in Los Angles, to name a few the following are the ones I personally hiked which are, Malibu Creek State Park, Paradise Falls in Wildwood Park, Sandstone Peak, Eagle Rock Hike, and Rivas Canyon Trail. The must do would definitely have to be Runyon Canyon. This is by far the most poplar hike in LA. Sometimes you’ll end up seeing celebrities walking past you super casual; it’s pretty cool, I wont lie. This hike is dog friendly too! Many dogs just running around making us humans look bad only after walking 1 mile! Haha! Make sure to take your water bottle & camera so you can do it for the gram!
There are many spots to see the Hollywood sign. The address I use is Hollywood Lake Park (3160 Canyon Lake Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068). There is a place to take clear pictures of the sign and nearby is a cute dog park. So make sure to say hi to our four legged friends as well.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
This Blvd is where you see the well known celebrity names paved all along down the streets. There are also many things to see and do at this strip. From the wax museum to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre.
If you’re into astronomy and scenic views then I recommend to pay a visit here. There is a free parking lot high up where the observatory is; however, you can also park parallel toward up the hill. This is great for children to learn as well. The Griffith observatory offers exhibits, movie shows in the planetarium, games, shops and a café. I personally took the time to make the line to look at specific star coordinates using their telescope and it was very cool!
“LACMA” Urban Light
This is a sculpture located outside of Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Because this landmark is popular most people visit and take pictures during the day and early evening. If you want to see it with less people around then I suggest you go in the evening during the weekday. And don’t forget to visit the Museum of Art during the day as well, you won’t regret it.
Malibu Wine Safaris
Vineyards are well known in California. One that I personally enjoyed was Malibu Wine Safaris. Not only do they have wine tasting & vineyard tours, but they also offer safari tours where you get to meet wildlife animals and feed the giraffe. This place does not sell food (except for the specialty safari tours), but you are allowed to bring your own food. Did someone say picnic? Yes, please!
The Grove & Third Street Promenade
The two plazas are both located in Santa Monica, and fairly close to one another. The amount of things to do here are endless. You come across many restaurants, bars, theaters, shopping stores, fresh markets, activities for children and adults. During Christmas time, these places are decorated with numerous breathtaking lights, especially at the Grove they have fake snow and Santa for meet & greets. Such a great time for family and friends.
My favorite places to go to by far! There are too many beaches to name in one post, so for now I’ll jot down the ones I frequently went to when I lived in LA. But enough about me… back to sea we go! Fair warning, depending on the season the water can get a bit cold. Most of these locations are great for surfing, laying out in the sun, or building sand castles. Don’t forget to take a towel, sunscreen, bottle of water (love these! keeps me on top of my water intake) & be one with the ocean!
It’s a two and a half mile walk with outdoor gyms, funky stores, henna tattoos, street performers, delicious food, skate park, art, hotels, bars, boardwalk, live music, canals, and last but certainly not least, the water waves at the beach. You can not go wrong here. Stay all day & night. Parking lot/meters available.
Nicholas Canyon Beach
Located in Malibu and closes at 8pm, also there is a fee for parking. This beach is not that crowded with people, that’s why I loved it so much. There are picnic tables and showers/bathrooms available. Many people surfing and fishing… yes, you read correctly, fishing is allowed at this beach! You are also able to dive, swim, and windsurf.
This beach is know to be one of the biggest and popular beaches for surfing with great waves and clean sand. Parking is not free, unless you get there very early and find parking on the street. It is my personal favorite with the green hills overlooking the breathtaking blue waters hitting against the rocky rocks.
El Matador State Beach
Best known to go during the summer. Parking is free at the Pacific Coast Highway which is a 5-8 minute “hike” to get down to the stairs which leads to the beach itself. Might sound like a lot, but it’s not at all. The scenery here is unreal, you will not be disappointed. Shores with rocky cliffs, trust me, it’s worth going.
Santa Monica Pier
This is a must see landmark in Los Angeles, not only because of the waves and sandy beach, but also because of the pier itself. The pier is free to the public and the beach is open 24 hours a day. There are many restaurants, stores, live music, bars, and tours. This place is also popular for families with children because the pier has rides for anyone to enjoy, arcades, and an aquarium. Adult or child, it’s perfect for all.
The Local Peasant
Known for their creative dishes and cocktails located in Sherman Oaks. Their authentic atmosphere and great service was greatly acknowledged. I went for brunch and dinner and it was delicious! It gets busy quickly especially during the weekend, but no need to worry! Just order any of their specialty cocktails at the bar and wait till your table is called.
This is American Cuisine located in West Hollywood. There are big trees going through the restaurant with vines and plants surrounding the building, needless to say, I love the way the restaurant is decorated. And not to mention, the dinner menu does not disappoint. I recommend going on Wednesday nights for Wine Wednesday because the bottles are half priced. Don’t forget to take photos with friends or family at the photo-booth before you leave!
Fast food chain restaurant that you simply must try at least once… or twice… or a thousand times. It’s located in many areas and open till late. Order the animal style for basically everything on the burger, or protein style replacing lettuce instead of buns. Oh! add fries & a drink to it, of course.
Korean BBQ cuisine located in Wilshire Blvd. It has all the beef, pork, steak you can dream of! Know for grilling your own meats. The also play Kpop music and sporting events. I suggest you make reservations ahead of time.
BBQ cuisine located in multiple areas, though I went to the one in Sherman Oaks. Same concept from the restaurant listed above, except it’s Japanese. Side dishes (rice, noodles, deserts) are already cooked for; however, you order the poultry, or fish and cook it on your own personal grill to your liking. Such a fun and delicious experience.
Grand Central Market
Located in Downtown Los Angeles. This is a huge market with endless and endless of different cuisines. A must try! And the market decorated beautifully corresponding to its season.
This is Mexican cuisine located in multiple areas. It’s also for meat, vegan & vegetarian lovers.
Downtown Taco Co
Mexican food truck?! Ummmmmm… this is a must! It’s located at Art District. It’s very close to Angel City Brewery (where you can also play games like jenga, and walking distance from other chill bars), so it does not get better than that!
Looking for day time drinking spot? This is your go to. Think of a house in Santa Monica with a gorgeous patio open to the public with delicious cocktails. My personal favorite was the red sangria. I found myself ordering at least one sangria when I went to the Bungalow.
The Penthouse is a rooftop at the hotel in Santa Monica. I’ve never had the food there, but I have stayed at their bar late at night and it’s a lot of fun. There is also a small space for dancing & a photo booth!
This is a speakeasy bar. Gorgeous with lights! It’s right across of the Hudson listed above. Laurel Hardware is also a restaurant.
This is also a speakeasy. I would reveal their secrets, you’d have to go see it yourself! All I’ll say is that they have different rooms and area to dance around as well!
My favorite speakeasy dancing bar. It’s a Cuban themed spot you have to go to! I won’t reveal the secret as to how you get in, so you’ll have to trust me on this one and go to their main entrance & go from there. They have a burlesque-style salsa mini show every half hour, play different type of music especially latin music, and have a cigar lounge as well.
This library looking bar is located in Downtown Los Angeles. Very chill and fun. Perfect for a pregame spot. The line to get inside tends to get long, so make sure you plan accordingly.
The rooftop bar located in Downtown LA has great views of the city. To get to the rooftop you have to go through two elevators, staff members will help assist. It’s also a French restaurant with it’s signature cocktails.
A club with many rooms located in Downtown LA. Enjoy their signature food and drinks, while watching show performances and dancing the night away.
This nightclub located in Downtown LA has skyline views, an outside and indoor area, huge dancing platform, and VIP areas. Depending on the night Elevate has a variety of music playing with multiple bars inside.
There are so many things to do in Los Angeles. Try to experience the most you can, you won’t be disappointed.