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travel diary + city guide: la, usa

By January 22, 2014 city guides, travel, travel diary, usa

LA LA Land | Cream. - 21Having come from the California Coast, we roll into the ‘City of Angels’, Los Angeles.

LA is a sprawling mega-city which is so spread out you’ll barely scratch the surface in a week.

We first arrive to Hollywood Boulevard for a photo stop & a spot (or more for some) of shopping…

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Then up to the Hollywood hills to check out the view…LA LA Land | Cream. - 06LA LA Land | Cream. - 05LA LA Land | Cream. - 04

I seriously love these Saba basic tees. Best travelling staples.

After a day of exploring, we decided to treat ourselves to a nice dinner at Hatfields RestaurantLA LA Land | Cream. - 22

I’m rocking (sorry for the graining iPhone pic):

Jeans: Levis Black Legging Jeans (no they aint jeggings)

Top: Similar to Electric Blue Lace Top

Jacket: Vintage, but here’s one similar: Royal Blue Cropped Blazer

Shoes: Tony Bianco Nude Pumps

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The next day we were beach bound… after a coffee stop. Yes it’s Starbucks. And yes I am ashamed. Especially given the grin on my face! LA LA Land | Cream. - 08

First stop was Venice Beach… a cultural hub for eccentricities. It’s basically a promenade that runs parallel to the beach including Muscle Beach. A beachside open air gym where all the buff’s work out & show off to the ladies. Sadly it was empty when we walked past.

Additional to this there are handball courts, the paddle tennis courts, Skate Dancing plaza, the numerous beach volleyball courts, the bike trail and the businesses on Ocean Front Walk. The basketball courts in Venice are renowned across the country for their high level of streetball; numerous professional basketball players developed their games or have been recruited on these courts. So if you have some mad ball skills, get down there…LA LA Land | Cream. - 11

Like my jumpsuit? Me too. It’s super old, so here’s a few similarish that I love.

Asos floral jumpsuit

Asos swing jumpsuit in floral

This isn’t similar and it’s long. But how cute is it? Chucking that on my summer lust list. If it ever gets warm again 😉

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Then Santa Monica. There is loads to do here, but we were mainly here for Third St. Promenade, an outdoor pedestrian shopping extravaganza, and the historic Santa Monica Pier – where the historic Route 66 officially ends.LA LA Land | Cream. - 16LA LA Land | Cream. - 15LA LA Land | Cream. - 19LA LA Land | Cream. - 18LA LA Land | Cream. - 17LA LA Land | Cream. - 20

I needed a break from all this hard work…LA LA Land | Cream. - 21

Things to do:

There’s loads to do in LA that I didn’t do, so here are the best picks! Not in order of coolness.

1. Universal Studios

It’s awesome. And when you go, take the WB Studio Tour.

2. Hollywood Sign

Go on, you know you want to get out and take a photo with it.

3. TLC Chinese Theatre

The historic theatre on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard.

4. Disneyland

Where dreams are made. Or something like that.

5. Venice Beach

See my experience above. Personally I think it’s lame. But you may not.

6.  Santa Monica

Beaches, shopping, food, drink. Yeah, just go. Trust me.

7. Runyon Canyon Park

130 acre park two blocks from Hollywood Boulevard. Here you can hike/run but either way you’ll sure get a work out just by panting at the hot “struggling/wannabe” actors.

8. Robertson Boulevard

I know, Melrose Avenue is way more trendy with over priced and so fashionable they’re not fashionable clothes, and Rodeo Drive has all the uber high fashion stores, but really let’s face it, you don’t go to LA without wanting to see a famous person, am I right?

Robertson Boulevard, come on down. For some weird reason, celebs tend to frequent this area.

Once you’ve spied someone famous (you may have to settle for Grade B or even C), have lunch at the Newsroom Cafe. Just do it.

If by chance, you’re unlucky and don’t see a celeb, get out your credit card and try to get a table at  Ivy.

9. The Sunset Strip

Yeah, “The Strip”. It’s the most famous portion of Sunset Boulevard, bursting with stores, restaurants, and rock clubs. Oh and loads of advertising. This is the USA, yo.

10. Hollywood Boulevard

Where the Hollywood Walk of Fame is. You know, those stars with names of stars.

Food:

Now I started to compile this list myself, but found that Timeout have done such a good job. Don’t worry I did double check their reviews with Trip Advisor (yes it’s my bible!) and they all seem to be on par.

Best Fine Dining Restaurants in LA

Best Steak Houses in LA

Best Vegan Restaurants in LA

Best Mexican Restaurants in LA

Best Brunch Restaurants in LA

In addition to these, try The Cheesecake Factory for some fun. There’s over 20 in LA.

Drink:

Timeout have done it again, here are their best bar lists.

Best Cocktail Bars in LA

Best Dive Bars in LA

Best Beer Bars in LA

Best Wine Bars in LA

I have 2 to add to these lists:

Dresden Room

Remember the scene in Swingers where that old couple sings standards to a bunch of hipsters? Well Marty and Elayne (that couple), to this day still sing Cole Porter songs to hipsters every night bar Sunday. If you like that sort of thing, head down to this uber cool bar to re-live your glory days.

Chateau Marmont 

Are you a young celebrities, fashionista, photographer, screenwriter or rockstars? No? Well go to Chateau Marmont if you want to see one. It’s meant to be the hub of celebrity lifestyle in LA.

I actually did go here, but we waited 30+ minutes and we still hadn’t been served (there were no other customers at the bar) and we were forced to stand as all the vacant seats were obviously reserved for the more privileged famous people. So we left. Around the corner was a cute bar with a great vibe – sorry I didn’t catch the name. Just follow the loud laughs and questionable music.

Shopping:

LA is famous for it’s shopping. Here is a list of some of the best shopping districts:

West Hollywood Design District: An impeccable collective of the world’s finest in fashion, art and design

Downtown Santa Monica: An outdoor pedestrian shopping centre.

Sunset Plaza on The Sunset Strip:  An upscale shopping institution of pure glamour spanning back to the 1920s.

Beverly Centre Shopping Mall: A shopping mall featuring anchor stores Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, along with 160 specialty stores, restaurants and a large theatre.

Hollywood & Highland: Occupying nearly two whole blocks, it is comprised of 75 shops and restaurants, a movie theater, a nightclub, 65,000 square feet of gathering spaces, the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, TV broadcast studios and last but not least, the Kodak Theatre.

2 Rodeo Shopping: European-style shopping center, complete with Old World cobblestones and street lamps.

Transport:

Now LA is a MASS.IVE sprawling metropolis.

They do have public transport but we were warned off it. So we took cabs. I suggest looking at what you want to do and stay near where you will likely be most of the time. Traffic is insane and can really put a damper on your time there.

Read this for a comprehensive summary of getting around in LA.

The adventure continues:

More on the US adventure here.

Anisa – The Macadames xx

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