The city of angels, Los Angeles, was one of the cities that I was most looking forward to visit. All the movies that I saw about Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and finally I was about to see them!
Coming from Sequoia National Park, the first “treat” to greet us was the famous traffic of Los Angeles. Let me tell you that this is by far the city that has the craziest traffic. I don’t even know from where are all these cars! But once you get past that, you can see what LA is all about. The city itself is beautiful, each area having it’s own unique charm. And there are so many things to do here! We spend almost 4 days here and saw a lot of things!
For our stay here, we booked an AirBnb in Long Beach. We reached there in the afternoon, so it was the perfect time to check up the beach. We left our bags, freshen up a little, and off to the beach! After a long walk on the beach and a dip in the ocean, it was time for dinner and a good sleep for the long day that was in front of us.
The first thing that was on our list, was to go on Hollywood Boulevard. Here you will the famous Walk of Fame, Dolby Theatre, TCL Chinese Theatre and Madame Tussauds Hollywood. Hollywood Boulevard is crowded with so many tourists, costumed characters and street performers, but that only adds to the energy of the place, being fun and upbeat. From here you get a good view of the Hollywood Sign. But this view is only making you want to go as near as possible to the sign.
Seeing it from far is nothing compares with a close up of the sign. So I went online and started to read the best way to get close to the sign. After reading soooo many different articles about how it is impossible to get to the sign without being arrested, fined etc. I found an youtube video explaining how to get that close and unobstructed view of the sign.
First thing that you need to do is head towards Lake Hollywood Park. Here is a safe place to park your car and start your walk or just hang around here and enjoy the unobstructed view of the sign. The views can get better, but I warn you, it’s a hike! It starts with a walk on Mulholland Dr., then down Durand Dr., up Ledgewood Dr., then Rockcliff Dr., and finally, Deronda Dr. Once you reach the intersection of Mulholland Dr. and Deronda Dr. you will find a white wall that hides the entrance to the official hiking trail on Mt. Lee. It looks like you cannot go further, but all you have to do is find the archway that will let you go past it. And here you get this gorgeous view or even better, keep walking on Mt Lee trail to get right behind the sign!
From the sign, our next stop was Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. Here we spent a few hours seeing how wealthy people live, shop and eat! 😂 At the very southern end of Rodeo is the Beverly Wilshire, made famous by the movie Pretty Woman. It’s a gorgeous hotel, and worth a stop to admire the glitz.
No visit to Los Angeles is complete without checking out the LAs fantastic beaches. First on the list was Laguna Beach! A little far from the others, this is a must see! Unfortunately the sun didn’t show up when we were there, but we still had a great time! There were plenty of people hanging out by the beach and enjoying the gorgeous views. We stayed around the beach area first and then walked around an area where we were able to get a great view of the beach. There is also plenty of nearby cafes, restaurants, and shops all along Pacific Coast Hwy. These are perfect for bad weather, to spend your time indoors.
Next on the list is Venice Beach, one of the city’s most popular beach. This is something else! Venice Beach has such a good vibe, and is such a fun place to be. This is some of the best people-watching in Los Angeles! You cannot miss the skate park,the street performances, as well as Muscle Beach, a Venice classic where people work those bodies right on the sand (you will not regret it). We loved it so much here that we came the next day for sunset.
From Venice Beach, head towards Santa Monica Beach. Here, no visit is complete without a walk out on Santa Monica Pier, and a ride on the ferris wheel. Here you will find so many amusement attractions, quite a few restaurants and the end of Route 66. Be mindful about parking in the area, as it gets quite busy and finding a parking spot can be challenging.
Now that we’ve covered some of Santa Monica’s highlights, it’s time to head further up the coast to check out Malibu. Malibu is best-known for its beautiful beaches. Since it was almost time for sunset, we chose to see it at El Matador beach. I was a little disappointed when we got there, since I read so many good things about this beach. But it was quite dirty and crowded so we didn’t spend so much time there. On our way back to the city we stopped for dinner at this amazing family restaurant. From outside, Reel Inn doesn’t look very fancy, but the food is always fresh and so delicious!
Our time in Los Angeles came to an end, so we packed our bags and headed towards Las Vegas. We still had one stop to make, the most important for me: shopping outlets! We stopped at 2 different outlets, and let me tell you I was the happiest girl alive! The shopping outlets here are so cheap and you can find so many beautiful pieces. So, this was the perfect ending for our stay in Los Angeles.
I still missed so many things to see in LA, so please leave your suggestions in the comments below! I would love to read them and add more things to do to my list for my next trip to Los Angeles.
Read my “guide” about Las Vegas here!