Arriving in Los Angeles has been one of the craziest moments of my entire life. After travelling down the West Coast I decided to spend a few days in LA. Having heard a lot about the city I had mixed feelings about my visit, but I wanted to give it a go and get the full LA experience. And I certainly did, right from the beginning - we got stuck in traffic and it took a solid 90 minutes drive to go from Venice Beach to Hollywood, where I was staying. Nothing could have prepared me for my first evening in LA, though. When I got dropped off near the hostel, I just couldn't believe what was happening. The road was blocked, there were plenty of girls screaming and even better, there was absolutely no way to access the entrance of the hostel. So I ended up walking all the way around the roadblock pulling a huge suit-case behind me and feeling slightly stressed while trying to make my way through the crowds. I was feeling so weirded out that I didn't notice that I was walking on the Walk of Fame. Well, it rather felt like the Walk of Stress to me. After 15 minutes I finally managed to get to the hostel and I dragged my oversized suit-case up the stairs (worse than a 20 minutes workout, I'm telling you). The woman at the reception gave me a sympathetic smile and asked me if I was a One Direction fan - a bit of a strange first question, right? It took me another minute to comprehend that a) There was going to be a One Direction concert and b) I had booked a hostel with a view over this One Direction concert. And that's how a crazy arrival turned into something amazing, into me standing there with my In'n'Out Shake (I walked outside and joined the craziness) listening to 'Drag me down'. I just thought I would share this piece of my life with you, I actually had to pinch myself haha.
But let's talk about Los Angeles. There are plenty of things to do and even though I didn't like the city in the beginning there were some highlights that made me change my mind. I thought I would share these with you and tell you what I would do in LA if I only had a day there. I tried to focus on budget friendly activities and didn't include things like Disneyland or Warner Bros Studios (which I highly recommend visiting if you're a PLL fan!). Also please keep in mind that this post is from a tourist's point of view, I am no expert when it comes to LA, but these are the things I enjoyed most. So without further ado (sorry for the ramble), let's get right into it.
The first thing I would do is visiting Beverly Hills. If you aren't into fancy clothes, you'd better skip this step, but I really enjoyed seeing Rodeo Drive. I don't think I have ever seen a street this fancy and well-decorated. I obviously visited in the end of November so the street was looking very festive and there was Christmas music playing from the palm trees (how weird is that haha). If you walk a bit further you will find some affordable clothes as well and some tiny cafés. I wasn't feeling adventurous so I ended up at Starbucks - Peppermint Hot Chocolates are just too good. Anyway, this was definitely one of the best Starbucks for people watching.
The next thing I would do is visiting the LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which was actually my favourite part of my LA trip. The museum is as stunning from the outside as it is from the inside. There were paintings, modern art, a mind-blowing photo gallery and then there was a jungle of yellow tubes that were moving slowly. It brought out the inner child of most people and maybe that was at least part of the point of it, who knows. The thing I loved most about the LACMA though was that it didn't feel like a museum, it felt like an artsy village where people could enjoy themselves. There was a bookstore, a café and a jazz concert was taking place in the outside area. If you ever go to LA, please visit this museum, it is a mind-blowing experience!
After visiting the LACMA, I would head to the Grove, a place that isn't too far from the museum and that came 2nd on the list of things I liked most about the city. The Grove is by far the prettiest place for shopping I have ever seen, there is a pond with a bridge, plenty of trees and when I visited it looked like a Winter Wonderland. There are all kinds of shops, including a huge Topshop and an amazing Barnes & Nobles (if you love books, this is your place). If you need a break from shopping you can go to the nearby Farmer's Market where you can find everything from fish & chips to pizza and donuts.
Another thing I would include in my trip is visiting Hollywood. If I visited LA again I would skip that but I still think that it's worth seeing, especially the Chinese Theatre which is really impressive. I would recommend going for a walk along the Walk of Fame and then visiting the Chinese Theatre and the mall that's nearby - there is a bridge from which you've got a good view over the Hollywood Sign. After that you could grab dinner in the area, there are some restaurants down the street. And an In'n'Out, if you want the full Californian experience.
Last but not least, I would take the bus to the Observatory. This was definitely my highlight of the trip, together with the LACMA of course. When I arrived at the top of the hill I could see dozens of people who had brought their own telescope to watch the stars and some others were just lying in the grass enjoying the stunning view. I first visited the Observatory itself - which was amazing, I learnt so many interesting facts! - and then went back outside to the balcony from where you had an incredible view over the city. I still had some time left before the bus came so I sat in the grass watching the starts and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere, the break from the city. The place felt magical to me.
So this is my 24 hours LA plan. Of course there are plenty of other things that are worth visiting, especially the Getty Center (you would need at least half a day to see it properly though) and the beaches. All in all I really enjoy my trip to LA, even though it is a bit of crazy place - but that's part of the charm I'd say.
Have you ever visited the city? What were your highlights? x
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