I love nothing more than a nice trip to California. We frequented the Golden State many times the past two years on college visits, and I would like to share some of the restaurants and sites we went to with you.
Jerry’s Famous Deli
There are many Jerry’s Famous Deli locations in the LA area, and they are all wonderful. Should I tell you again how much I love dinner for breakfast???? They have many other wonderful options, as well! We have never had a bad meal here.
Rodeo Drive, anyone? Even if you can’t afford the designer clothing, it’s always fun to look! Also, the famous Sprinkles Cupcakes shop is very close to Rodeo Drive, as is a Kitson store. There’s lots of great people watching and shops to look at in this area!
I suggest driving to 3202 canyon lake drive for the best view, but this website lists other places with excellent views.
As I mentioned in the previous post about San Francisco, Amoeba Music is the coolest music store I’ve ever been to. With three locations in Berkeley, the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, and Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, Amoeba Music is a must-see.
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier is one of my all-time favorite places. In the world. This is the typical California beach you see all the time in movies and TV shows, but also so much more than that. It has plenty of places to eat (like Bubba Gumps Shrimp) and lots of games, even some rides! The beach also has plenty of little food stands.
To the right of the ferris wheel (down a ways) is Pacific Coast Highway. Take this down to Malibu for an absolutely beautiful view of the ocean and beaches.
To the left of the ferris wheel (down a ways!) is Venice Beach. Very Haight-Ashbury-esque in nature. Lots of skateboarding, surf vans, and street vendors.
There is also an area called Muscle Beach. So named, I believe, because many people like to work out with the structures on this area of the beach. There’s even a little area where people do yoga!
Universal Studios’ CityWalk
CityWalk is a free area of Universal Studios in LA. There’s lots of shops and restaurants, but I think most people go just for the atmosphere. It’s definitely a cool place to check out if you have the time. In the above picture, the structure of Marilyn Monroe is made completely of Jelly Bellys and can be found in the candy shop at CityWalk. I suggest Panda Inn for dinner – their fortune cookies are covered in white chocolate!
The most touristy area of all time, perhaps, but necessary to visit at least once. Actually, once should be enough. This isn’t my favorite area, but it is definitely a cool place to see. Home to the Kodak Theatre (where they have the Academy Awards), Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (with the handprints and footprints of famous celebrities in front of it), Disney’s El Capitan Theatre, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Also home to many people dressed up as characters ranging from Spiderman to Big Bird, who will pose with you for a picture….for a price. My mom and I once encountered a grown woman dressed in a tutu and fairy wings, twirling around and waving a wand as she hummed to herself.
I think Hollywood Boulevard is the most fun at night, with all the lights.
One last word of LA advice…..GO TO PINKBERRY! =)
There are a lot of other places/restaurants/attractions I would recommend, so leave me a comment if you have any questions!