Sunshine, palm trees, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica or even Venice… a lot of things come to mind when thinking about Los Angeles, and I always associated it with a certain freedom and progress, a glamourous vibe, and the world of endless possibilities stemming from the association of the “American dream” and Hollywood.
I went there for a week at the end of October with my boyfriend, my sister and her boyfriend, and I was extremely excited to finally go to the US and to discover this amazing city. I feel like we did a lot of amazing things, so here’s a little recap of this fantastic week to inspire a future visit or just to travel a bit through words and pictures!
Day 1: a day of shopping
Me and my boyfriend arrived from Montreal a day before my sister and her boyfriend, so instead of starting to check things off from our common LA to-do list, we just thought we would take our time for a nice brunch and then go on to explore the Santa Monica area and do some shopping. For me, it was also the perfect occasion to check out some stores that I don’t find here in Belgium/France, and to go to some thrift shops, as they are much better in the US than in Europe!
After a nice day of strolling along the beach and by some cute shops, we had an amazing Cuban dinner at a place called El Cochinito. I had never tried Cuban before but I really loved it, and the atmosphere in the place was really great and the food delicious!
Day 2: Hollywood and Beverly Hills
This time with my sister and her boyfriend, we, again, started our day with a perfect brunch at Millie’s, then walked to the Hollywood boulevard to discover the very famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, trying to see which names we recognised on the stars and hopping in some shops here and there.
In the afternoon, we took the car around Beverly then ended up in the very posh and European-like Rodeo Drive and, to finish off this glamourous day, we took some burgers to go at In-n-Out. I don’t know what they put in them, but they are fantastic!
Day 3: Warner Bros studios and walking around
Our third day stated off with yet another brunch at Sqirl, where we also bought some homemade jam, followed by a nice walk in Melrose, a popular shopping street with lots of nice and unusual shops. Then, it was time to go on our Warner Bros Studios tour, where we could visit the studio sets and learn a lot about the movie industry in general. I absolutely loved it and already want to go back!
It was still early when we left the Warner Bros Studios, so we spent some time at The Grove, a huge open-air mall that almost feels like a theme park, with a four-story Barnes and Nobles bookshop. For dinner, we went to a guide-recommended Thai restaurant called Night + Market Song which was amazing, served delicious food in great portions and had such a fun and lively vibe.
Day 4: along the coast
To take a break from all the walking of the previous days, our fourth day was dedicated to the ocean. After a delicious (maybe the best of the whole trip?) take-away coffee and fresh matcha scones at Lab & Coffee Roasters, we headed out North to Malibu, to check out the stunning Californian coast. We stopped at the beautiful el Matador beach then around Point Dume, where we walked on the sand, collected seashells, saw dolphins and maybe a sea lion, and where I also got in my swimsuit and swam in the ocean!
Then, we headed back South towards LA and stopped at Venice to check out all the beautiful canals and Venice beach. Our walk lead us to Santa Monica, where we walked around the rides of the pier, and the night ended with a very chill dinner consisting of take-away tacos and leftovers from the day before!
Day 5: LACMA and Observatory
On the fifth day, we started with a fantastic brunch and colourful lattes at The Butcher, the Baker and the Cappuccino Maker, then we went to the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), only to realise it was closed on that day. We still had a walk around and also went to see the nearby Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, designed by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano.
Then, as the sun was starting to set, we headed to the Griffith, stopping by the peaceful Bronson Caves, where we were completely alone. We reached the Observatory at sunset and it was absolutely glorious. The view over LA was simply breath-taking, but what I liked the most was that we were also able to see Saturn through the big telescope, as well as Jupiter! With galaxies and stars in our heads, we ended this beautiful day with a mouth-watering burger at Cassell’s – again, absolutely fantastic!
Day 6: Downtown and Venice
On the morning, we dropped my sister off at a conference and set out to explore Downtown LA, passed by Chinatown to grab some bubble tea, then went to explore The Last Bookstore, an amazing bookstore with book sculptures and mazes.
In the afternoon, my boyfriend and I went back to Venice to do some roller skating as it had been a bucket-list dream of mine since as long as I can remember, while my sister’s boyfriend visited the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. After enjoying a bit of the Californian lifestyle that I had always imagined, we went back towards downtown and had a fantastic dinner in Little Tokyo.
Day 7: Little Tokyo and Observatory show
Our final day in Los Angeles started by going crazy over the cute shops in Little Tokyo, which reminded me so much of Japan! We also had a great lunch there, then took the car and went back to the Observatory to watch a show called “Signs of Life” in the Samuel Oschin planetarium. It explored the origins of life, looking at our planet but also beyond, going well outside our own galaxy. The images were beautiful and it was well worth going back to the Observatory!
Los Angeles is a huuuuge city, with tons of things to see and do, and while we obviously couldn’t do everything, I’m really happy with everything that we managed to do, as we struck a good balance between chill moments, long walks and also a bit of nature. I also feel so excited that I could check off my all-time bucket-list item that had been there since the beginning!
I’ll also take this opportunity to give a shout-out to Rebecca’s blog, where I found loads of great ideas of things to check out in LA!
Have you ever been to Los Angeles? Do you want to go?