I made it to Australia! But first I stopped in LA for 48 hours and it was kind of great. I rented a car so I got to experience LA traffic and visit a few different parts of the city. I definitely think I needed more time but if you’re looking for an itinerary for a quick trip to LA I was able to check off quite a few great things so I’ll be nice and share those with you.
I left Sudbury at 6am and landed at LAX at 12:30pm. From there I picked up my rental car and went on an adventure. I rented my car through WestJet and got a really good deal so Travel Tip #1: Look at your rental options. I am NOT a great driver so driving on the freeway in California was terrifying and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who is a nervous driver. I am surprised I survived. From LAX I headed straight to Venice Beach. Found free parking on a side street and walked down to the water. There are so many cute restaurants and cafes, Venice Beach is a perfect place to spend a day. I grabbed a juice at The Cow’s End and walked for a few hours.
I obviously had to find the Venice sign and it was kind of impossible to get a good photo with all of the cars but I made a solid attempt.
After Venice Beach I headed to the Pacific Coast Highway and drove up to Malibu while the sun was setting. This was the most beautiful drive and I would definitely recommend it. I stopped for dinner at Moonshadows which is right on the highway and has a beautiful view. You can sit outside on their patio right over the ocean, so amazing.
From there my day got a little bit more interesting. Now that the sun had set I had to hop back in the car and head to Van Nuys where my Airbnb was. As I mentioned, I am NOT a good driver so this was already a challenge but then my phone died and I was on a winding road in the pitch black with no directions and nowhere to stop. Eventually after an hour of this I finally found a gas station, bought a car charger and made my way to my Airbnb. But it was a pretty stressful hour. Travel Tip #2: Always have a charger if your phone is your only source of direction.
The time change had me confused so I was up and ready by 7am which was perfect, I had the entire day to explore. I started off with a stop for coffee at SteamPunk Coffee Bar & Kitchen in Valley Village and then started my drive to Griffith Observatory. I didn’t originally plan to do the hike so I wore converse and jeans but once I got there I thought I should probably try it out. For someone who is really out of shape, it was hard but so worth it. The views at the top are amazing. You get to see the Hollywood sign and all of LA. At the bottom there is a cute cafe called The Trails Cafe where I stopped for a delicious Avocado sandwich. Travel Tip #3: Bring a lot of water and make sure you’re in comfortable shoes.
From Griffith Observatory I headed to Melrose so I could walk on this iconic street. Really I was searching for the infamous pink wall which honestly, I was less than impressed with. There are cars parked in front so it’s really impossible to even get a good photo. Travel Tip #4: Go to the Pink wall but look behind you at the coffee shop for an even prettier mural.
Friday night I was able to check out a show at the Comedy Store and THIS IS A MUST DO. It was $10 and we got to see some really hilarious comedians. David Spade was there and if you’re a fan of Glow, Marc Maron dropped by! If you aren’t familiar with the Comedy Store, it’s a famous venue and the greatest comedy club in the world. You can see some really big names on any night of the year.
I had most of the day to explore so I started with a drive to LACMA. Travel Tip: If you’re trying to save money, you can park for free for 30 minutes across the street at the Peterson Museum. That gives you plenty of time to walk around the grounds. I set a timer so I would make it back in time. Yep, I’m THAT cheap. From there I headed to Santa Monica to check out the pier and the 3rd street promenade. I had a really uncomfortable experience in Santa Monica. I was taking a photo and someone came up and grabbed my phone and pushed me into a photo with two guys dressed as Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un and before I could get my phone back I had to give them $20! FOR A PHOTO I DID NOT WANT. It was unpleasant but whatever, no point crying over $20. Travel Tip: Learn to say no.
There is so much more I wanted to do in LA but with the traffic I really didn’t have enough time. It takes FOREVER to get anywhere there so trying to cram everything into 48 hours was really difficult but I enjoyed it. I’ll definitely have to go back. Preferably with someone who can drive the car for me…