Ah, Los Angeles. City of angels, sizzling sunshine and that oh so famous Hollywood glitz ‘n’ glamour. What’s not to love? My lifelong dream to explore and experience what I consider the greatest city in the world was finally realised when I got the opportunity to travel there for two glorious weeks with my best friend in the summer of ’13.
Don’t just take my word for it though, let’s take a look at what makes LA one of the greatest cities in the world…
12 Ways to live it up LA style
A visit to LA just isn’t complete without checking out its world famous beachfront district of Venice. Whether you’re into street art, live music or simply soaking up the sun on the beach – Venice has it all, not to mention the odd quirky character or two (yes, you’ve been warned!)
Just some of the quirky characters I met around Venice.
2. Mexican Cuisine
Burrito for your thoughts? Los Angeles is hands down the go-to place for all things Mexican (apart from maybe Mexico – but even then we’re not sure). Put down the low fat protein shake and head over to downtown LA for some of the best Texmex restaurants delivering an authenic Mexican extravaganza.
3. Get out
Every city, no matter how stuffed full of attractions, can become overwhelming sometimes. Escape the smog to Angeles National Forest which is beautiful in both summer and winter, or head up the coast to the Santa Monica mountains for some great hiking trails.
4. Hollywood Walk of Fame
Not only is the street a popular tourist attraction in itself and an LA must see, you could even come across the odd ceremony or two whilst you’re walking by (J-Lo was getting hers when I was there!). Did you know that celebrities actually have to pay to get their very own star? #factoftheday
Attempting to fill Will Smith's shoes outside the Chinese Theatre!
5. Universal Studios
This one’s for all you film lovers out there. Universal Studios LA is the best place to visit when you want to bring together the thrill of a theme park and movie studio magic. Along with the army of excited film fans that surrounded us we got an amazing behind the scenes look on how the industry’s finest work on animating some of our best loved characters. Plus King Kong jumping out at us from a 360°screen in 3D was terrifying.
6. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
Now I’ll admit, I was put to shame when I told my friends that I had never heard of Rodeo Drive. Complete with boutiques and the very hotel that Julia Roberts filmed Pretty Woman in, Rodeo Drive is the centre of all things luxury when it comes to high fashion. Handbags at the ready…
7. The Hollywood Sign
You can spot it a mile off and it’s as clichéd as a Rom Com with a happy ending – but lets face it, nothing beats getting up close for the perfect holiday snap and an incredible view of the city.
Okay, so technically iHop (International house of pancakes) can be found just about everywhere in the USA, but it’s totally worth a mention if you haven’t already heard of this nationwide chain of breakfast restaurants. My personal recommendation? The strawberry banana pancakes. Winner.
9. Starline Tours
Ever wanted to know what Katy Perry’s house mansion looks like? How about Bruno Mars? Cruising around on a Starline tour with a professional guide was the perfect way of getting to see and learn about the latest celebrity hotspots and top LA sights. One of my favourite spots included the legendary Viper Room which used to be co-owned by captain Jack Sparrow himself.
10. Griffith Observatory
The spectacular view of LA from Griffith Observatory is one you can’t miss, and whilst you’re there make sure to check out the planetarium – geeky but brilliant.
View of LA's skyline from Griffith Observatory
11. Disneyland and Disney California Adventure
This one’s pretty self explanatory, right? It’s Disney!
12. Yoghurt Land
Yes. There really is a land of frozen yoghurt. Yoghurt Land has almost any tasty topping you can think of for its wide range of frozen yoghurt flavours. None of your vanilla and sprinkles here, we’re talking red velvet cake, Mojito sorbet and maple cookie!