I think we can all agree that 2020 was not what we expected. As I sit here writing this blog in isolation, I'm focusing on what I can control and doing my best to let go of the things I can't. While the travel bans are in place, I have been spending a lot of time reminiscing on my past adventures.
Instead of being disappointed about not being on the road, I'm using this time to share my past adventures with you and plan new ones too! Although many of us are staying put right now, there is a lot of downtime we would normally be spending out doing other things that we can use productively. For me, that's writing this blog, and for you, that can be using this blog to plan your next trip to LA!
Los Angeles is such a fun city to explore because there is something for everyone to do (under normal circumstances of course). Every time I visit I see something new and I always have a great time. Whether you're looking for entertainment or want to explore, La La Land has infinite possibilities. Once it is safe to travel again, here are some cool places to check out around LA.
There are some really cool landmarks around the area to see. If you fly into LAX, you may catch the Theme Building (in the picture above) as you're driving by the terminals. Once you start heading further into town, you'll see the Wilshire Grand Center, U.S. Bank Tower Building, the Bonaventure, and many more towering over the horizon.
As you explore Los Angeles, you may also see the famous "Hollywood" letters scrolled across the mountain. To get some stellar views of the city, take a cruise down Mulholland Drive, which is one of many famous streets in the area.
This incredible road starts in the Hollywood Hills and winds its way through incredible mansions and the Santa Monica mountains, providing stellar views of the city below. This road is over 70 miles long, so you can either spend the day roadtripping down it or just check out some of the viewpoints.
As you head back into the City of Angels, you may spot the crazy architecture of the Disney Concert Hall, something you really can't miss as you pass by. It's one of the coolest buildings ever! Speaking of cool buildings, be sure to head to Inglewood and grab a donut from Randy's Donuts!
This famous donut shop has been featured in countless movies and TV shows like Iron Man 2, Arrested Development, Californication, The Simpsons, and even the video game Grand Theft Auto! Randy's Donuts is the most recognized donut shop in the world and is one of the biggest photo-ops around the LA area. Not to mention, the donuts here are absolutely fantastic.
Now for more of the typical tourist spots. If you're a fan of Hollywood culture, check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame. More than 10 million people come to see the stars of famous actors, musicians and more displayed across the 3.5 miles of the Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street sidewalks.
Located along the Walk of Fame is the infamous TCL Chinese Theatre. This iconic landmark opened in 1927 and is where you can find handprints, footprints and signatures from some of the biggest names in motion picture history cemented into the sidewalk.
This area is really cool to see but beware! You are going to be hassled left and right by performers and people dressed in costumes so don't expect to browse the Walk of Fame without paparazzi! If you're looking for more celebrity fun, check out Madam Tussauds in Hollywood and pose with your favorite wax figures.
If you're into the behind the scenes magic of the movie industry, go on a movie studio tour where you can see props from your favorite movies and get the inside scoop of how they pulled off those crazy stunts!
There are a TON of film locations to check out all across the Los Angeles area. Pick a movie or show and you can probably fine a scene filmed around here, even if it didn't take place in Cali. You can also take a cruise down some of the famous streets like Rodeo Drive, Sunset Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, and more!
Go out to the ball game! Los Angeles fans are a fun crowd. Head to see the Lakers play at the Staples Center downtown or drive to the Dodger Stadium for some baseball action. If sports aren't your thing, you can always check out the Los Angeles zoo, a museum, or find a local event to attend.
Next up on my list of things to do is visit the theme parks. You're never too old for a rollercoaster ride in my opinion, and Disneyland and Universal have some of the coolest rides to offer. If you have kids, make at least one of these parks a priority, you won't regret it. If you're looking for a cool place to spend Halloween, check out Knott's Berry Farm, known in the fall as the Scary Farm.
Wanna go where the celebrities hang out? Head to Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. There are a ton of clubs, stores, and restaurants in this area. Rodeo Drive is another place to go if you're feeling fancy. You can even pop by the Fresh Prince of Bel Air house from the show starring Will Smith.
I highly recommend checking out a comedy show in West Hollywood. The Comedy Store and the Laugh Factory are both known for some of the best stand up around. There are some great comedians who pop in and you're guaranteed to have a great time. I got to see a great line up when I went including Joe Rogan, Whitney Cummings, Joey Diaz and so many more talented comedians.
If you're looking to head to the beach, be sure to check out Venice, Malibu, Santa Monica, Huntington Beach, or Long Beach. Venice Beach is a cool, artsy area featuring a skate park, Muscle Beach and gorgeous canals. Take the kids to Santa Monica to play on the beach, boardwalk and pier. Santa Monica has a whole amusement park located right on the pier! Another chill beach is Malibu, which is also home to many celebrities as well.
I also loved visiting Huntington Beach last year during the Vans Open Surf Competition. HB is a really cool place to hang out and everyone is super friendly. My other favorite beach in the LA area to grab a bite to eat and hang out is Long Beach. The Queen Mary is also located here and is so cool to see in real life. They even shoot fireworks off of it for certain holidays. I spent my New Years Eve watching the fireworks off this magnificent boat and it was one for the books!
Literally the options are endless in LA. I have a ongoing list of places that I want to check out next time I visit. Whether you choose some "mainstream" exploring or go find something special to you, the Los Angeles area has something to offer to everyone. Thanks for checking out my blog. I hope you enjoyed my suggestions!