Let me just start with saying that travelling from the surfer’s paradise of San Diego to L.A was a whirlwind. I had the best intentions of strolling across LA and seeing everything by foot but that’s 100% not possible (you’re not in Europe now honey).
You can pretty much visit all the main sites in 2 days with the help of Uber, and, as always, I’ll pop a suggested itinerary at the bottom of this blog.
Did you overpack?
Because I did. Decided not to lug my suitcase all the way through the city so checked it into luggage storage in San Diego. Let’s be so for real, it was basically an unused DHL storage facility, they bunged the bags in, and I paid £30 for the privilege. But it meant I didn’t have to drag a very overweight suitcase across America so a win’s a win, right?
Travel tip: Store your luggage here if you’re an over packer like moi.
2 nights in LA: Transport from San Diego to LA
In an ideal world I’ve have driven a Cadillac with the top down, wind blowing in my hair like a modern-day Thelma or Louise but I can’t drive and have no ambition to kill anyone, so I took the train. Which wasn’t actually the worst – high praise for someone that despises public transport. In total the journey takes 3 hours from San Diego (Santa Fe Depot) to Los Angeles (Union station) and there’s plenty of scenery to take in en route.
Travel tip: If you book business class seating you get seats on the top deck of the train, snacks, drinks, and a comfier seat for £86 return. Well worth it in my opinion. Book your train here.
Palihouse West Hollywood
Let me talk to you about the hotel because, oh my, she was a stunner. The rooms at Palihouse West Hollywood offer a quirky take on Californian décor with a touch of European grandeur. If you like your hotels with a side of old school glamour and a delicious inhouse menu, then you’re in for a treat.
The pool looks bigger on the website, but it suits the boutique vibe, anything larger would feel out of keeping with the rest of the hotel. I don’t know whether breakfast was included because I was asleep at breakfast time – there is however a gorgeous French style bakery nearby which I can recommend.
Travel tip: Eat at the hotel restaurant. You will je ne regrette rien. I had the chicken club sandwich – probably the best one I’ve ever had complete with tarragon mayo *chefs kiss*. Is this partly because I’d hiked for 2 hours in midday sunshine on nothing but a strawberry milkshake, a hope, and a prayer… potentially. This leads me on nicely to the Hollywood Hills…
Hollywood Hills Hike
Kinda has to be done right? There’s a whole bunch of routes you can take based on your fitness levels, and I’ll be honest I can’t even tell you which one I did. I basically got to the viewpoint had an oblig picture with the Hollywood sign then just started following a bunch of people. It took roughly two hours there and back; it wasn’t particularly steep, and the views are incredible.
After a few margaritas the night before I’d considered getting up at 6am to run up to the Hollywood Hills but anyone that knows me I’m a terrible decision maker particularly when I’ve spent an evening sipping on a salted rim. Behave.
Highlights included a man training for (world domination?!) repeatedly sprinting up to the Hollywood sign and back down, while I was chugging water in mid-day heat like my life depended on it. Oh and shout out to the dude hiking the hills carrying his cat in a bag. Only in LA.
Travel tip: I found this blog quite handy to work out where to start the hike before doing a Jason Derulo and ridin’ solo up the nearest track.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Not quite as glam as you’d imagine. You’re looking at a 2km walk if you want to see every single star, I got distracted by strawberry milkshake roughly 1km in and let me tell you this is one busy street. It’s effectively the biggest tourist trap (Londoners it’s the equivalent of Oxford Circus levels of busy) but again it’s one of those things you have to see for yourself.
You can purchase your very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for $75,000 if you’re that way inclined. If you’re considering this, may I suggest a red flag to accompany your star?
Beverly Hills Hotel
It would be rude to visit LA without a trip to Beverly Hills, where I fully lived out my real housewives of Beverly Hills fantasy. The Bev Hills Hotel is a real-life Barbie dreamhouse so naturally my outfit channelled my inner Margot Robbie.
No visit to the Beverly Hills Hotel is complete without breaking into the ballroom, a quick rendition of three blind mice on the piano and seeing how many famous people you can spy by the pool. Not sure any these things are strictly allowed so if anyone that works at the Bev Hills reads this, no you didn’t.
Travel tip: Head to the inhouse BarNineteen12 for cocktails. I can personally vouch for the “Pacific Palisades” – champagne, elderflower, blossom tea and all-round good vibes.
2 nights in LA: Rodeo drive
Mentioned in Ice Spice and Nicky M’s recent collab… will I ever stop referencing that damn Barbie movie is anyone’s guess at this stage. Known as being one the most expensive streets in the world. Famous for its designer and haute couture selection and featured in Pretty Woman, it’s a must visit.
Comments I can give: it was beautiful at sunset with sushi. I went from cocktail bar with a charcoal cocktail (don’t ask) to rowdy dive bar with a beer real quick so there’s something to suit every mood.
Fun fact: Because every day is a school day here kids – Rodeo Drive is home to the worlds most expensive store “Bijan” where you can pick up a cute little leather jacket for a cool $15,000, safe to say I snapped the Bugatti outside and walked on by…
I’d heard a lot of mixed reviews and wasn’t sure La La land was going to be my cup of tea but I honestly really enjoyed it and could have spent a lot longer than 2 nights in LA. I think this was down to doing it at my own pace, no tours, nothing too organised but I would say make sure you research the things you want to see before you get there because it’s bloody huge x
2 nights in LA suggested itinerary:
- Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Hollywood Hills Hike
- Rodeo Drive
- Beverly Hills
- Beverly Hills Hotel
- Venice Beach
- Venice boardwalk
- Muscle beach
- Santa Monica Pier
- Venice beach
- The Mall
For more travel inspo: