Even though we only had about 5 days in total spent in LA, we loved it that much that (more so Aaron) we want to call it our new home. Ok, not for a while but geez LA just oozed all sorts of cool and there's just something about California that draws us in.
I'll speak for myself and say it's the abundance of palm trees and constant sunshine (ahem, Melbourne. Lift your game).
Here's some of our highlights and little tips and tricks we picked up along the way. A little mention as well, our trip by no means was a Nobu hang and strolling down Rodeo Drive buying all the Gucci in the world, whilst hoping back into our Range Rover.
We had a bit of a budget going on and most of our meals were groceries bought at Whole Foods and little restaurants recommended to us by some locals we befriended.
Santa Monica Pier is a great place to start if you're new to LA and want to see things along that side of town. Head down towards the beach and hire a bike for the day and cruise along the beach down to Venice. I lost count the amount of times I stopped for palm tree pics.
Once you hit Venice you immediately have to head to The Butcher's Daughter. A groovy, Melbourne feel cafe that is an absolute haven for vegetarians/vegans. I say immediately because we headed there on the day we flew out and I'm kicking myself that we only went there once.
Whilst you're there, take a stroll down Abbott Kinney Road. It used to be the tourist hub for Venice before it all migrated along the beach but I quite liked it's laid back, non-touristy feel. The whole street is filled with healthy cafes, cool coffee spots and a heap of stores I could of easily dropped some serious coin at. The great thing about it was the street didn't have your H&M and all the classic big retailers, instead was full of cool boutiques, showcasing some of my favourite Aussie brands.
Heading inland, we spent most of our time around West Hollywood. Our AirBnB was a 5 minute drive to Melrose Ave which is the mecca for vintage shopping. If you're into Hype stock (brands like Supreme, Yeezy, Nike, etc) then Round Two Hollywood is the place to be. They have 3 stores along this strip with a Hype store, Vintage Store and "The Gallery" where their most expensive items are.
Wasteland is another great vintage store we checked out, but be prepared and have some time up your sleeve. The store is massive and you'll need to get your hands dirty to find some gems.
Fingers crossed you're in town on a Sunday because you NEED to visit the Melrose Trading Post market at Fairfax High School. The community market is vintage clothing heaven with some cool jewellery, artwork and plants thrown in too. You won't leave empty handed.
With my first time at Whole Foods, I was bamboozled by the amount of amazing, healthy food you could get, and literally anything you could think of. They had it. I cannot believe we don't have a market like this in Australia! The little cafe inside served up some great smoothies and juices, perfect for our post Coachella detox. And nothing screams LA like heading to Runyon Canyon after for a walk. Parking is a nightmare around there but the stress is eased by the amazing houses and palm treed lined streets. Hard, I know. There are a few different loops you can take, that all have a different level of difficulty, but it doesn't matter. As long as you snap a pic of yourself at the top it makes it all legit, right?
Head down to Melrose Place for your bigger retailers and a great coffee spot, Alfred Place. The iced coffee was a perfect addition to taking a stroll down the strip. This is where you'll spot THAT pink wall and the Made in LA mural. Along Melrose lies one of my favourite brands in the world, Reformation. They have two stores, a vintage store and their concept store. Perfect "I'm on Holidays" attire.
Jump in your car (which you 100000% need to get around anywhere in LA, as everything is so spread out) cruise on down to Malibu for the afternoon and ooh and ahh at all the amazing mansions and surf. We made friends with a lovely couple who told us to stop by the Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market for a feed and my god I wish I could kiss them. Honestly, the best fish I've ever had in my life and I'm not a huge fish eater. Dining along the coast with views of the ocean, eating fish caught that day; So. Damn. Good.
LA, we will be back.
Now to plan the next trip...
29th of April, 2018