Santa Monica is a city in Great L.A. We have been here for twice on the trip. There are many nice shops close by the pier and we only returned here for shopping on our last day. Sunset at the beach was so beautiful. Wearing a denim dress from Banana Republic (very similar one I found here) and lace-up sandals from Tony Bianco.
Griffith Observatory –
Although it took us half an hour(one way) to hike up here, it’s definitely worth it. Overlooking from top of the observatory is breathtaking! Wearing white tee, Oak+Fort slip dresses (similar) and Superstar sneakers.
Beverly Hills, Hollywood Walk of Frame are must-visits (well, at least for first time in town)
Make sure to purchase your tickets online beforehand. You will definitely save time lining up at the gate and also save money. I was reluctant to buy the Front of Line pass because it’s more than 2 times of the regular fare but I was so glad I did when I arrived to the park. I couldn’t imagine myself exposuring to the sun while waiting for at least 30 minutes for every game. Also, without the pass, I am pretty sure you won’t be able to finish all the games in a day. So if you are not planning to spend too many days here, get the Front Line pass! Wearing Boy London tee, destructed denim shorts (got from Garage outlet for $10 and similar is here) and Sam Edelman slip-ons.
Would this be the happiest place on earth! Every child’s wonderland! Even thought I am no longer a kid, I was so thrilled to visit the Disneyland for my first time. Wearing freyed hem tee (similar) from Aritzia, denim shorts and same slip-ons.
I have always been wanting to go Los Angeles and finally we made it! I knew that L.A has so much to do and various attractions, but until we arrived, I did not notice there are even much more than I expected. I totally fall in love with the city.
Rent a car –
You will most likely need to rent a car when visiting L.A. This is such a huge city and everything not within walking distance. Public transit will be time consuming unless you are planning to rely on Uber (this should be the best option if you don’t have a valid driver’s licence or don’t feel like driving). I rent our car from Thrifty via Expedia. Just a tip that you can cancel the booking up to 6 hours before pick-up. I paid $280 for my initial booking but found a cheaper rate 2 weeks before my departure. I then cancelled it and rebooked which saved me $50 in total.
At time of pickup, we did not rent a GPS which costs $14/day. Since I always travel to the States with Roam Mobility, I could use google map on my smartphone as navigation. In case you didn’t know, Roam provides unlimited data and US/CANADA calls (base on the plan you select) which is cost effective and keeps you stay connected during the trip. I highly recommand it to my Canadian friends out there.
Where we stayed –
We stayed at Aventura Hotel which located in Ktown for the first 3 nights. I originally booked Chamberlain West Hollywood but since we rent a car and Chamberlain charges $40/day parking, I changed my mind until later on I found Aventura offers free parking which saved me over $100 (as in a way, I feel it doesn’t really make sense to pay that much just to park the car). The room price itself is pretty much the same at cost of $200 ish per night (Chamberlain tends to be more expensive than that but seemed they had a sale when I booked). Aventura is less than 2-year old so it’s pretty new. Room is clean and newly renovated with free wifi and free parking. However it’s in a residential neighbourhood with no restaurant or super market around. Also, no view from the room when you can only see some old houses across.
The last 2 nights, we moved to Anaheim Marriott just to get closer to Disneyland when we spent our day there so that we can save time on traffic. No complaints for just a short stay, other than chargeable wifi but it didn’t bother me since we didn’t need it whilist I travelled with Roam as mentioned. 5 minutes drive to Disneyland and with restaurants close by.
Where we ate –
Honestly I planned a bunch of places to dine before our trip but ended up I was only to have 2 of them check-listed because either we are running late to schedule or the restaurant is fully booked. I am still so sad to have missed Alfred’s Coffee and the must-have burger place In-N-out! But follows are a shortlist of where we’ve been to.
My favourite restaurant I’ve been to this time was literally Ledlow. I noticed it from other bloggers’ checkin and I knew I have to visit because not only does the food look delicious but also this place is photogenic. Thankfully, it did not disappoint me! I had the best ever avocado toast and sandwich croissant in my life. I definitely will be coming back whenever I am in L.A and ordering everything on the menu! I couldn’t stop taking photos there as their interior is so photo perfect too.
On my last day, we went to Zinc Cafe & Market in DTLA. As previous, I got to know this place from Instagram. Somehow, I think this is just average and it did not really impress me. I was going to order the waffle which only serves in breakfast time but by the time we arrived, it’s on lunch menu so I didn’t have a chance to try. It was in an afternoon so we just ordered light plates – truffle fries and pizza. I don’t know why this is so popular – most likely, I didn’t order their signature dishes but I am not planning to come back or I will come back only when they serve Belgium waffles. I am a huge fan of Belgium waffles!
My first time having a lobster roll is at Albright. Locating at Santa Monica pier, I surely know it’s the right place to eat seafood. Their lobster roll is so good that you can never miss! Other people are also highly recommanding The Lobster which is one block ahead.
A bonus visit was Salt & Straw on Abbot Kinney in Venice area. It was introducted to me by my insta-friend. This place offers various fancy flavoured ice-cream and OMG, their scoops are HUGE! I still ate the whole one myself because it’s so good! They have seasonal flavours so you may try different things every time you visit.
After I am home, I am still drooling over the fries I had at Potato Corner. It is seriously DAMN GOOD! I am a high carb person and I love fries so much. I will never get tired of their bbq seasoning + fries combo. So I am going to look for this goodies whenever I am in US. P.S even it’s a franchise brand, I have never tried this place when most of you may have tried a million times. You can skip this if you knew it already!
This is my first ever travel diary and sorry if you find too much characters to read. Also it’s not a typical travel guide as I am just trying to share some moments and thoughts with you on my blog. The next post will be filled with more photos (less characters hopefully) as I will be rounding up with places that we’ve been to in L.A.