Having lived in Los Angeles for two years, I have gotten to know the city pretty well! It took me a while to feel comfortable in L.A. because it is very different from any city that I have visited before. But L.A. has so much to offer from quirky thrift shops, to picturesque beaches, and my favourite place to visit was Malibu.
Malibu is a beach-lovers dream, and is the perfect place to get out of the city without having to go too far. My favourite beach in Malibu is El Matador, which is about a 5 minute drive out of the town centre but is totally worth it! There are also lots of surf shops along the coast where you can rent paddle boards or surf boards, and you can even have a class if you are a beginner.
Once you have spent the day at the beach and are looking for a bite to eat, I would recommend the Malibu Farm Cafe. This cafe is on the Malibu pier and has a variety of food options that are local and fresh, and what better way to enjoy your dinner than with a view of the sea.
If you love art museums then LACMA is the best place for you to visit whilst in Los Angeles. LACMA is home to a variety of different artworks from all over the world, and is representative of Los Angeles’ diverse population.
It is also home to the urban lights which is a sculpture of two hundred and two restored cast iron antique street lamps, ranging in height and designed by Chris Burden. This is one thing you cannot miss if you come to Los Angeles, and it is best to visit in the evening when the lights are on.
Santa Monica is a renowned beach city and has so many attractions to other. One attraction is the Santa Monica pier which offers restaurants, shops and a carnival. It is the perfect place to go in the evening when the sun is setting. The beach is also another highlight of Santa Monica, and can be easily accessed from the city by a series of bridges.
If you are looking for something to eat or need some retail therapy, then Third Street Promenade is the perfect place! It is a couple of blocks away from the beach and is the heart of Santa Monica city. On weekends they also have the farmers market which is the best in L.A., and offers a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers, cheeses, and lots more.
Santa Monica is now easily accessible from Downtown L.A. via the metro. So if you are staying in the Downtown area I would recommend taking the metro as it will save you money compared to an Uber. It is also very convenient as the metro train stops a couple of blocks before Santa Monica pier, so you don’t have too far to walk before you are at the main attractions!
I would also recommend that you do a bike ride along the Santa Monica beach. There are bike shops along the beach and you can hire a bike for an hour, or even longer if you want to cycle the coastline for the day. I would defiantly recommend this, and cycling down to Venice Beach (roughly a 15 minute bike ride from the pier), where you can experience the unique and quirky side of L.A.
You can’t visit L.A. without hiking!! There are lots of different places to go hiking in L.A. but some of my favourites are Runyon Canyon, and the Hollywood Sign. I have done a blog post on my hike to the Hollywood Sign, so go and check that out if you are thinking of doing that hike.
Runyon Canyon is more strenuous than the Hollywood Sign, but is totally worth it for the breathtaking views of L.A.
Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
Rodeo Drive is one of the most famous streets in L.A. and is one place you have to visit even if you can’t afford the price tag. This is a nice street to walk down and enjoy the scenery and do some window shopping!
There are lots of cafes and restaurants in the streets surrounding this area. One cafe I would recommend visiting is the French luxury bakery and cafe Ladurée. This is a haven for all cake and pastry lovers! But another place to visit has to be the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM! I know, an ATM for cupcakes!! As bizarre as it sounds, you have to visit and order yourself a cupcake!! They also have a Sprinkles cupcake and ice cream store next to it, if you would prefer to have ice cream with your cupcake too!