At this point, I have been to LA so many times and have quite a network of friends out there that I'd like to consider it one of my third homes! So, that being said, I wanted to share with you guys three locations that are a total must for LA first timers.
1) Hollywood Hills
What's a trip to LA without going to the famous Hollywood Hills? This is definitely more on the touristy side, but is totally worth it because of the experience and the city views. Additionally, this is one of the closest points to the Hollywood sign and can make for a great city scape adventure.
The official name of the spot we went to is Griffith Observatory. This is the home base for this touristic destination, and the observatory also offers a planetarium.
Tip: pack your water bottle, a good pair of hiking shoes, and have your transportation ready to go (parking gets crowded quickly and service levels are very low).
2) The Grove
Nestled in between West Hollywood and Central LA, The Grove is an outdoor shopping center and farmer's market offering a variety of stores and activities. My family and I always visit The Grove when we are in LA because of the fun atmosphere and wide variety of dining/shopping options.
Some spots to checkout when at The Grove are:
-Dining: Sprinkles Cupcakes, Laudree, Dominique Ansel, Cheesecake Factory, Umami Burger
-Shopping: Brandy Melville, Alo Yoga
-Extra: Barnes & Noble, Pacific Theatres, The Original Farmer's Market
3) El Matador State Beach
This beach is located in Malibu and is best to visit at sunrise. When I went with Malak, we woke up before dawn and arrived by sunrise hour. The view was truly magnificent and the atmosphere was so peaceful as there were only two other people at the beach!
When you arrive you will be dropped off in the parking and picnic table area. To access the beach, you will need to head down the cliff by accessing several staircases.
Due to the fact that it was still pretty cold when we went during springtime, I would not recommend swimming. However, this is a great place for a picnic, stroll along the seaside, and just a general place to hang out.
My favorite part of this beach were the gorgeous rock formations that outlaid the coastline. We were able to access one and we ended up taking some really nice pictures using it as our background.
If you do end up visiting El Matador to see the sun rise, then you will have the rest of the day to explore Malibu before heading back to LA.
You'll def make some nice memories if you hit up at least one of these locations. Happy travels!
Love always and forever,