Always being one of my top favorite destinations, this place magically attracts me with its beachy vibes, great food, and happy people 🙂
I usually start my day with a morning run at the beach. With so many perfect spots to choose from around LA, I mostly enjoy Manhatten Beach with its beautiful pier and boho vibes in town. You can start in Hermosa beach, which is a very cool area too, and run all the way along the waterfront gazing at the epic beach houses that are lined up next to you. If you are lucky like me you might get an invite for a BBQ someday…
For brekkie, I like stopping by my favorite place in Manhatten Beach called ‘Paradise Bowls‘. They make incredibly good Açai bowls and trust me – I have tried them all! Grab your bowl and head out to the beach to watch some surf!
There is also a great spot for lunch or cocktail hour called The Strand House. With its massive glass front overlooking the Manhatten beach pier, it is definitely one of my favorite places to watch the sunset!
If you are too lazy to go running you can also grab a bike in any of the little beach towns and head for an epic ride along the coast all the way to Venice Beach, which is definitely one of my favorite spots in Cali. It is really so much fun watching all the artists, bodybuilders, street sellers and other crazy people on the boardwalk! Here you can get almost anything to satisfy your appetite, from fresh fruit cups over gelato and smoothies all the way to delicious tacos and poke bowls…
Having a car in LA is essential, as there are some of the most amazing road trips and public transport is really not that great. I usually start off in Santa Monica and then drive up the Pacific Coast Highway all the way to Santa Barbara, which is a beautiful drive and offers plenty of scenic stops along the way.
Ok, I admit you might not necessarily need a fancy ride like my Mercedes but any drive is much more enjoyable in a nice car, and in a place like LA it can also open a lot of doors for you…
My absolute favorite place in California is Malibu. With its incredible cliff side views and massive mansions along its beautiful coast, it has a very unique style. It is also less touristy and offers some of the best (and also priciest) food in LA. I usually head all the way to ‘Paradise Cove Beach‘, which has great beach access and a really nice seafood restaurant.
On my way up there I always like to stop at the Malibu Pier, which has a really historic beach town flair and also offers some nice places to eat and shop for a little seaside souvenir.
Malibu also has some great wineries, so if you have a dedicated driver make sure to check out my favorite, the ‘Rosenthal vineyard‘, which offers some of the most amazing sea views and has some cool live bands and food trucks on weekends.
One of my favorite restaurants or places for a drink (or two) is the ‘Moonshadows‘ in Malibu, which offers one of the most epic views over the coast. Make sure you have a reservation, as this place can get really busy in the evening and is well known to be a famous celebrity hang out.
Santa Barbara is another really nice beach town with a historic flair. If you are brave enough and up for an adventure, take your car and drive down the old wooden beach pier…
If you are feeling sleepy after all the driving and are up for some kitsch, head up to the Madonna Inn, which is located near Little Italy in San Luis Obispo. With its unique decor and very pink interior, it makes it perfect for your next Instagram snap.
Another great place to see is the Griffith Observatory, which allows you to peak through the Zeiss telescope. Make sure you get there for sunset in order to enjoy the views and later maybe even do some stargazing. The traffic can get really crazy, so I recommend you put your hiking boots on and take the extra steps! Check out the schedule before you arrive and maybe you get lucky enough to join one of the monthly Star Parties hosted by the Astronomical Society.
Hiking is a really fun thing to do in California! Beat the tourist crowds on the Hollywood Boulevard and get the better view by hiking up to the Hollywood sign in Griffith Park. Also, check out the local concert schedule because I guarantee you that there is always something going on at the Hollywood Bowl!
With all the great Mexican Food in California, it is really hard to decide where to eat sometimes. One of my favorite restaurants is the ‘Ortega 120‘ at Redondo Beach. I really like the arty ‘Mexican goth style’ of the restaurant! They make really good Margaritas and the Guacamole tastes amazing too 😉
For aviation and milkshake lovers like me, I highly recommend a stop at the famous fast-food and planespotting joint “In-N-Out-Burger‘ next to LAX airport. With its location conveniently right next to the runway you can watch the big jumbos coming in for landing right over your head.
As usual, these are only a few of my LA highlights and as you can probably tell by now, I mostly try and stay away from the city itself. I simply enjoy the beach town vibes much more than the big tourist crowds.
Anyway, please feel free and leave your personal tips and recommendations for LA down here in the comment box below! Sharing is caring ❤