Los Angeles has been one of those places I’ve been begging to go to. The whole California lifestyle seems right up my alley: laid-back, filled with sunshine, and hidden gems found around every corner. All of my expectations of L.A. – albeit mostly from shows like The Hills and Real Housewives – are true. People truly are so happy there and everything just feels like a breath of fresh air. If I had to pick one city that makes me feel the most me, it’s 100% L.A..
Living in DC can definitely become overbearing. People tend to shove past each other on the sidewalks, you’re constantly sweating from the metro then freezing from the walk to work, and everyone seems to be one-upping one another. L.A. couldn’t be more opposite. It was filled with the most easy going, effortlessly chic, and friendly people.
Myself and Faith had the city to ourselves for three days (with a fourth day of flying back, begrudgingly). We had stayed with one of my good friends from college which allowed us to get around the city quite easily. You definitely need a car in L.A. so if you’re flying in then it’s best to rent one. Go for the convertible, you won’t regret it. There also truly isn’t a ‘boring’ area of the city so do some research and pick the area that appeals most to you! For example, Santa Monica is perfect for the beach bum while West Hollywood has some of the best bars and boutiques.
With us flying in on one of the three days we were there, we also made sure to book flights uber early. This way – and with the time difference – we had the entire day to explore. It also allowed us to adjust to the time difference much more easily as we were exhausted by day end.
If you’re looking to travel to L.A., or if you already live there and are open to exploring, then read on! We’re already planning our next trip back and can’t wait to land back on West Coast soil.
The rumors are true: California weather is amazing! Everyday we were there was filled with sunny skies, no humidity, and temperature in the 70s. Californians are so diverse so you truly can’t go wrong with your outfits. However, everyone looked straight out of a Tumblr post: effortlessly cool. If you’re still stuck then go with the tricks below and stick to basics:
- Bring a good pair of comfortable shoes. Although a lot of exploring in L.A. is done via car, it’s also super easy to walk around the different neighborhoods. For the day I would recommend a great pair of sneakers (the Adidas Superstars are a popular pick) and for night a pair of black heeled Chelsea boots.
- A good leather jacket is a true staple of the city. Without any humidity the air can get chilly at night. Be sure to carry around a chic jacket that you can throw on for drinks al fresco.
- Top off your look with a great bag and fun sunnies. Californias love their handbags! Most people were seen toting gorgeous Chanel and Celine bags around the city. As these cost a pretty penny, stick with something that is easy to throw over your shoulder and hold all of your items. A structured tote is always a good option. You can also carry a fun pair of sunglasses in your bag to block out those sunny skies. I love a good mirrored pair – they just scream beach vibes.
This section alone could be an entire blog post. I was so surprised to see how many great areas in L.A. are within 20 minutes of one another. You could be shopping at designer stores one moment, and then walking through the sands by the Pacific the next. One of my favorite parts of the city was the fact that places pop out of no where. We would be driving around and all of a sudden a famous restaurant or shop would appear.
- For the night owl: Grab a cocktail at The Nice Guy (and keep your eye out for celebs!) to start off your evening. After, catch a show at the Staples Center or any other venue in the area. There are always big-names performing and sometimes it’s in the smallest places.
- For the beach bum: Be sure to check out Venice beach and the Santa Monica pier. The beaches are straight out of a movie and are perfect for people watching.
- For the blogger: Can anyone say the infamous pink wall? We literally screamed for delight when we found it. Be sure to also grab breakfast at Joans on Third – it’s a walking Instagram gold mine. Beauty lovers can revel in the fact that there are makeup stores everywhere. We randomly stumbled upon the Anastasia store and snagged some goodies at the Charlotte Tilbury counter at The Grove’s Nordstrom. Santa Monica also has some hard-to-find stores, such as Nasty Gal and Brandy Melville.
- For the shopper: Two words: Rodeo Drive. All of the stores are truly gorgeous and filled with designer goodies. Even if you can’t make the splurge it’s great to stroll along and gaze in awe at the beautiful exteriors. Faith’s favorite was the all white and marble Saint Laurent while I loved the gold encrusted Gucci.
- For the health nut: You’re in luck as California thrives on all things healthy. We snagged delicious fresh-pressed juice at Kreation Juice – which was covered in ivy with wood paneling. Make plans to also hike Runyon Canyon and go biking on the Venice boardwalk.
- For the true tourist: Nothing screams cinema more than the Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame. Find your favorite star and take a photo with it – mine was Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. Walk through the Dolby Theatre and admire all of the movie plaques. Also picture your favorite actor or actress walking up the grand staircases, as the theatre hosts the annual Academy Awards.
Los Angeles is filled with restaurants of all types. Most of the food is super fresh and light – which is great for when you want to indulge but not feel weighed down after. They also love the idea of using local ingredients so you know you’re getting great quality. One thing we didn’t get is tacos, but that’s on our list for the next trip.
- Try out Laurel Hardware and ask for a drink with a buzz ball. The edible flower adds a tingling sensation to your mouth and makes for a great conversation starter.
- Verve Coffee Roasters is another beautiful option to grab a green juice – and it’s simple design is just too gorgeous.
- If you’re a Vanderpump Rules or RHOBH lover like me, then you need to check out PUMP or SUR. They’re located quite close to one another so you don’t have to worry about stumbling around after a few PUMPtinis.
- The Sea Salt and Caramel ice cream at Salt and Straw is absurdly good! They also have some funky flavors like Pear & Blue Cheese and Honey Lavender for the more daring. The Erin McKenna’s bakery is next door and looks straight out of a storybook with it’s pastel walls.
- Grab brunch at Toast Bakery Cafe. I ordered The Favorite and it was so delicious! Their iced coffee is also amazing and comes with free refills.
Have you tried any of these places? If not, what are some spots you love in L.A.? We’re already looking for new spots to add to our list for next time! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and add me on Bloglovin’ as i’ll be sharing some more photos over the next few weeks. I’ll also be creating guides of where I purchased all of my favorite outfits for the trip.