Day 25 was the first full day after Trek America had come to an end. Luckily, there was still a few of us together and ready to explore Los Angeles. As I mentioned in my previous USA travel post, we were staying in the Samesun Venice Beach Hostel. It was in an amazing location, but not the best hostel I’ve been in though. Venice Beach has an incredible vibe and was one of my favourite places in LA, we spent the morning just people watching in a beachside cafe before casually strolling along to Santa Monica.
I can’t tell you how much I wanted to visit Santa Monica Pier, it was one of those must-do items whilst out in America. I’ve got photos of me on the pier as a baby and I’d always wanted to return. Especially, to go on all of the rides at Paradise Park. So I didn’t actually go on all of the rides (that would’ve been expensive) but I did make it on the rollercoaster which was pretty pathetic and the Big Ferris Wheel which had some incredible views of the coastline. Santa Monica Pier is a really touristy area but it’s just a great place to wander around and maybe pick up a few souvenirs. After a couple of hours, we left the pier and went to look around some of the shops on Third Street Promenade.
We didn’t really have much of a plan for the rest of the day. It was nice to just take it easy and relax after being on the road for so long constantly moving about. I also think it was odd not really having a plan anymore and being told where to go by our tour guide. Basically, we were all little-lost lambs.
Eventually, we headed back to Venice Beach to check out Muscle Beach and the skate park before heading further along to the Venice Canals. Has anyone seen the movie Valentines Day? I just remember the Canals being featured in that movie with Ashton Kutcher and it looked ever so pretty. It really was a lovely area and so close to the beach.
Further along is Marina Del Rey which I believe is a harbour but there was a lot of work going on so we didn’t really see a lot aside from the interior of the Cheesecake Factory where we went for dinner. The Cheesecake Factory was another establishment which became a firm favourite of mine, just for the Cheesecake. You cannot beat that cheesecake. Although, the actual main course food there I didn’t find so great. We had a very chilled evening back at the hostel. I was supposedly writing up all about my travels but here we are 3 months later I’m still catching up!
The next morning, I headed over to The Carlyle Inn, Beverly Hills which is where I was staying for the next couple of days. The hotel was absolutely lovely but I’ll be doing a separate post on my stay soon. It was a great base to be closer to Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Paul, Yas and I then spent the day exploring Beverly Hills. Our first stop was Rodeo Drive which is laden with glamorous designer boutiques. Towards the top of Rodeo Drive is the famous Beverly Hills sign which was the perfect photo opportunity.
Believe it or not, we actually found a cute little Italian pizzeria right off Rodeo Drive. It was super cheap and tasty. It seemed a little out of place given the area but we were certainly not complaining. The plan was to try and make it up to The Griffith’s Observatory which overlooks the whole City for the sunset. We took into account, how horrendous Los Angeles traffic could be and give ourselves an extra hour to get up there. That still wasn’t enough and we nearly missed the sunset.
Visiting The Griffith’s Observatory is something I would highly recommend when visiting Los Angeles. Whether it’s for the sunset or not, it’s got an incredible view over the city of angels. It’s a great viewpoint for the Hollywood sign, although I’d have loved to have gotten closer. You can go inside the Observatory which is free to do so and worth popping in if you are there. I’d recommend getting up there early as it was very crowded and I can imagine it’s like that every night.
As it was Yas’ last night in America, we went to The Grove for a spot of shopping and food. The Grove is like an outdoor shopping centre and right next to the Farmers Market. I ended up visiting this place a lot whilst in LA. It was a very nice area to just wander about and grab some food. For Dinner, we went to a place called the Wood Ranch BBQ grill which did an amazing steak!
The next couple of days were spent in some rather exciting theme parks so I’ll save them for separate posts. I’m still not really 100% sure on my thoughts of Los Angeles, some areas really aren’t all they are cracked up like Hollywood. Having said that, I would love to go back at some point and explore the city more.
Have you ever been to Los Angeles? Do you want to visit? What are your thoughts?
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