Welcome to the Golden State of fun, sun and endless photos ops. This entry is dedicated to all the potential Instagram posts and must-see views if you ever travel to Los Angeles. Of course, you must visit all of the notable views and monuments... but this blog will shine a little light on places you wouldn’t think to try or see. I myself truly wanted to become a full fledged tourist thus seeing the essentials i.e the Hollywood Sign, Hollywood BLVD and the Beverly Hills Sign. Down below you will see myself as the basic tourist...and I loved it!
Let's get started on my 5 hot spots in Los Angeles!
Venice Beach One of my favourite stops on our trip! Anything with an ocean breeze and the ability to submerge my toes in the warm sand has my mood shooting straight towards the sun. I could have spent 3 full days just lying on the beach soaking in the rays and the sea-salt mist while counting how many palm trees I could point out. Venice Beach is perfect for lounging and for walking along the boardwalk.
Fun Fact: You may even run into a few celebrities on the beach. We ran into Omar Gooding from Smart Guy and I actually ran into Snookie when I landed in Las Vegas, she was here with a few girlfriends. Later that evening, my curiosity inclined me to search up her page via Instagram (perhaps I was mistaken and it was just someone who looked like the petite beauty). On her page, she posted a photo (from Las Vegas) expressing all the fun at her friend's bachelorette. I did not want to disturb her on her travels, I am sure she gets bombarded all the time, so I simply smiled in her direction.
Venice Beach 1515 Pacific Ave, Venice, CA
Santa Monica Pier Although very renown, many people tend to miss out on this beautiful wonder. If...sorry, WHEN I go back to Los Angeles, I would love to dedicate more time at the pier. With a boardwalk, relish in all its carnival and movie-esque vibes. With fair rides, candies, and beautiful smiles painted on every face you see, the Santa Monica Pier it is one of those havens meant to be experienced. Click on the link to see all the fun attractions that truly change during the time of stay. One thing is for sure, the fair fun is one worth experiencing.
Santa Monica Pier 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA
Ladurée For THE blogger who enjoys macaroons, tea or even a glass of refreshing champagne, this upscale take on elegant desserts is just the place bloggers only dream of. Ladurée, is home to the first macaroons in Paris. With that fun fact in mind, I knew I must try out Ladurée in Los Angeles. Of course, I will be most excited to try these in their home born city. The atmosphere of this shop reminded me of home and my adventures gallivanting the streets of Toronto in search of Ladurée's cafe replicas. My caffeine and dessert pursuit finds had followed me to the U.S and I am not ashamed one bit. You must try their Salted Caramel Macaroons, alongside The Chocolate Éclair sprinkled with flakes of gold, your dessert experience will be as rich as their flavours. To be honest, I have tried many macaroons over a short period of time. I remember going out with Caleb explaining to him I wanted my first experience with macaroons to be in Paris, which soon after was not the case. He laughed at my attempt and at my refusal in trying them during one of our dates (which I later went back on on at an outing with my girls). In every attempt at these goodies, my favourite always lands on the salted caramel variety. Every other flavour falls in comparison. It is safe to say salted caramel macaroons are my only go to choice when buying a set.
311 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA
Rodeo Drive While on Rodeo, I was thissss close in splurging on a new Chanel purse, alas, I decided to be smarter with my money. I highly recommend visiting this high-end strip. I adore fashion in all its forms, including the high-fashion with brands that are usually out of my price range, especially at this stage in my life when my goals have reformed and shifted into other luxuries. Nonetheless, Rodeo Drive is perfect to walk around and see its famous street sign, the one home to various movie scenes. You won't want to spend too much of your time here, especially if you enjoy Louis Vuitton, Prada and other luxuries that you should be avoiding. But indeed, worthy of a visit for the air of fashion and to see some beautiful items.
Rodeo Drive Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA, USA
Dinner Dates As per usual, I yet again break my guidelines as stated in this entries' title. I want to share with you all not one, but TWO of my delicious foodie finds on this trip. On both nights of our stay, we tasted some of the most mouth-watering foods to date. Centanni Trattoria was my favourite Italian place I think I have ever been to...even beating Terroni which is saying something. The pasta melted in your mouth with explosive flavours that could easily make it to every dinner date you have on your trip. The Gnocchi and Tagliatelle Al Ragu were fantastic, needless to say, our left overs made an appearance to our breakfast meal. With its dim, romantic lighting this palace of Italian comfort food is perfect to share with your loved ones.
Centanni Tratoria 700 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA
Next, you MUST try Superba Food + Bread. I was very hesitant to try this restaurant because of a little story as follows. Most of our trip we were go, go, go which meant we wouldn't realize where the time had gone and hear the gnawing screams of our stomachs at 10:00 at night. Meaning, for 12 hours, we wouldn't have a chance to eat. Come dinner time, we were ravenous. On our last night we rushed on over to Centanni to leave LA with our favourite pasta. When we arrived, the kitchen had closed...GASP. The owners suggested a few minute walk down the street towards Superba. Thankfully, hey were open and the vibe started to loosen up my hesitation. With its warm lighting and unique aesthetics, I knew the menu would match its interior style. Steph and I ordered the Grass Fed Beef "Dagwood" Burger which fell apart in my mouth. The tomato jam sauce was a delicious twist on ketchup. Also, the fries were salty, just how I like them. Even Olivia enjoyed her Angel Hair Pasta. Some items seemed a little too eclectic for my simple standards...seeing as all I really need is carbs and dairy to make me happy. Nonetheless, this recommendation satisfied our food craving and we left Los Angeles with the most amazing food experience. The ladies and I walked away from that night expressing our love for all the food we had consumed over the trip, explaining it truly did out beat some restaurants in Canada (ahh, do not hate me).
Superba Food + Bread 1900 S Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA
I found so many wonderful blogger finds via Pinterest (as seen here). I highly recommend searching up your city, state or any place of travel in your Pinterest search bar. You will notice pins popping up that refer to "most instagramable places" or "must site see spots in __". Regardless, I find Pinterest to be the ultimate tool search for bloggers and travelers alike. Of course, Instagram will help you find hidden gems just as well. To be honest, it is THE tool for Toronto and ALL my finds, but my affinity for Instagram has not been downplayed and I think everyone who has caught up with any of my blog posts understand my obsession with this vital tool. I truly believe I mention both Pinterest and Instagram as my tool in almost all my posts. Sorry y'all!
Our LA stay consisted of two nights and three days, if given more time, we most definitely would have taken advantage of the various places Pinterest suggested. Follow my advice and ensure your LA retreat is at least 5-6 days. Seeing as we spent our first night of travelling on an overnight bus we were too exhausted to enjoy our first day there. More so, if you saw my Snapchat you will be well aware of my hospital visit because of a wretched eye infection (just my luck). I did try and make the best of the 'no contact or makeup rule' with fashionable lenses.
I do hope that these 5 places, or even just a few, are kept in the back of your mind whenever you get the chance to travel to Los Angeles.
Know that if you are a new reader, an old friend or a close friend...no matter who you are, I am always available to chat. If you have any questions, comments or are in need of guidance of any kind, please reach out. Watching 13 Reasons Why should adjust our realities to our behaviour and the effect we have on other people. This show displays a very raw and real take on bullying, actions and suicide. Although heart-breaking, I am so glad I watched the series...twice. I highly recommend viewing the show and/or reading the book.
That being said, I love to be there for anyone. No matter where I am, what I am doing, I believe in making others a priority in my life to shower with love, patience, guidance, wisdom, companionship and always open arms. Just as I depend on others, I would like to be a person you can depend on. My arms, ears and heart are open to anyone who needs it.