From the crazy party scenes of Coachella and Las Vegas to the serene and majestic nature of the Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree, it’s a bit of an understatement to say that this has been a roadtrip of extremes. Los Angeles seems like an appropriate ending of this eclectic journey, as it really offers the best of both worlds.
We very much enjoyed exploring the many beautiful shops on Abbot Kinney Blvd, that seems to have this typical summery laid back LA vibe all year long. In fact, the whole Venice area is really cosy, and I would definitely recommend strolling down the legendary Santa Monica pier at sunset, or enjoying a simple picnic on the adjacent beach. If you really want to take in LA’s skyline and watch the Hollywood sign irl (you know you want to :)), driving or walking up to the Griffith Observatory is definitely the way to go; it can get a bit crowded here, but that honestly won’t bother you as you’re admiring one of the most spectacular views of this iconic city. I would again suggest going during the golden hour (can you tell it’s my fave time of the day?), but it’s actually worth checking out not matter when.
Perhaps a bit less well known, but an equally gorgeous testimony of LA’s natural beauty are the Huntington Botanical Gardens. It’s a bit of a drive from the city and traffic can get crazy, so make sure you leave on time so your entrance fee is not wasted. In any case, the blooming Japanese and Chinese gardens will make your wintery heart flutter with excitement, and all the pink and white beauty ensure there’s no mistake about it: Spring is really here!!
Of course we also did some shopping; apart from the cute Abbot Kinney shops, there were some others that drew our attention. The Detox Market, not too far from the famous LA shopping district The Grove, is specialized in luxurious organic beauty products. This small shop has a delightful range of fair skincare and make up that are as good for you as they are for our planet, and the tips and tricks offered by the staff are a major bonus (their online shop is really great too!). Another favorite is The Juicy Leaf, which gives an entirely new meaning to gardening and other green related things (we definitely wishlisted their diamond skulls). Doing some vintage shopping is obligatory when visiting LA, and Slow is a really great option, with lots of quirky findings and unique stuff that makes it impossible to leave empty handed.
As for nice places to stay, we definitely loved our stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel, because seriously, with an all pink everything policy, how could we not? We also really liked the food here, especially their breakfast formula with the most amazing eggs, pancakes, and Belgian waffles (always a thumbs up when these are on the menu :)), as well as their parmezan fries for an afternoon snack.
Contrasting nicely with the Beverly Hills’ buzzying vibes was our next venue, the Bel Air Hotel, which was really calm and quiet, and with its sweet little swan lake, the perfect place to escape from the city.
And the best for the last: FOOD! Gjelina has become a classic by now, and with good reason. We had an arugula and smoked mozzarella pizza, followed by their butterscotch pot de crème with sea salt, and both were incredibly delicious. For Mexican food with a twist in a cosy decor, we’d certainly recommend Bar Amā; their scampis and guacamole are to die for. And of course, no LA walks without ice cream, and every single flavor from Salt & Straw looked amazing.
LA, thanks so much for sending us back to Europe with a heart that is sooooo ready for Summer!! XO Sofie