Traveling to Los Angeles was very exciting. It was my first time near the West coast since visiting Denver and Colorado Springs. I planned my trip around seeing the things that were most advertised. When I landed in LAX, the airport was one of the largest that I’ve ever been in. However, it wasn’t confusing to find where I needed to go. That’s where we will begin this review... leaving the airport.
1. To rent a car or not to rent a car?
To this day I wonder, if I didn’t plan on visiting Las Vegas during my trip to Los Angeles, would I really have needed to rent a car. In my opinion, if you are not planning on driving to other major cities nearby, you do not need a car… just Uber instead. I ended up taking an Uber everywhere in Los Angeles because I didn’t want to risk the car I rented getting damaged and having to worry about dealing with the insurance companies. If you are in a group, you will end up saving money in the long run. For those who are not familiar with Uber, it’s basically similar to calling a cab, but there’s no meter to worry about. =)
2. Be mindful of your location
Now the Airbnb that we stayed in was very clean and it was really nice on the inside, but the outside did not look as great. So, when you are booking your Airbnb make sure that you see a picture of the front of the building so that you can make sure the place doesn’t look sketchy. Thankfully the Airbnb wasn’t in a horrible area, and it was very quiet and even near downtown. Also, make sure that you choose a location that is close to the places you are interested in visiting. The Uber in Los Angeles can be costly depending how far you want to drive, however, I’m positive you will spend much less than renting a car.
3. Hollywood Walk of Fame
I’m not going to lie, it was fun trying to find the names of celebrities that I was familiar with. I have some pictures of some of the ones that I found. The thing is, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is long, so beware of your surroundings. There will be people whizzing by around you, but overall, it was a cool experience.
4. The Grammy museum
I loved the Grammy museum because I got to see some of the outfits that famous musical artists wore. Seeing those outfits, you can get a sense of the creative genius some artists have.
I saw Michael Jackson’s outfit that he wore at his Grammy performance and also some other stars that we all know. It was interesting to see some of the iconic wardrobes we all know and love.
5. The Celebrity wax museum
I thought this was a really cool and unique idea until there was one made in Orlando that has more detailed wax statues than the ones I saw in Los Angeles. However, if you do not live in Florida or a city that has wax figures of celebrities, then this will still be a cool experience. The wax art is the actual size of the celebrities. This is where I learned that Kevin Hart is very short…Just had to get that in. lol
6. Venice Beach
Venice beach was a lot of fun. There were various shops and a few food stands around also. Near the end of the beach strip there are some courts where you can play tennis. It's not your typical tennis racket though. In my opinion, they were oversized ping pong rackets. Nevertheless, it was really fun.
7. The Weather-
California has THE BEST weather in the United States of America. There I said it! It’s around 72 degrees all day. There were times when we were out walking
and I was surprised to see that I barely even sweat. I live in Florida and we get great weather in the fall and experience cold temperatures in the 20’s if we get a good cold front sometimes, but one thing that every Floridian will tell you, when summer is here there’s no question, the humidity will smack you across the face like batman smacks robin.
8. Window Shopping is a No Go…
In Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica DO NOT window shop in the high-end stores. They do not like that in Los Angeles. They prefer to work with clients who are going to be spending money and find it frustrating when someone comes in the store just to look around. In certain high-end/luxury brand stores in Beverly hills you have to make an appointment just to get in the store. I’m assuming that’s because some celebrities will only shop if they get special treatment. At least that’s what I was told. Also, in the areas of Santa Monica, and Pasadena I noticed the store associates will look at you a certain way because of what I call the “Social Class construct”. If you are dressed like you have money, there isn’t a problem, but if you are not dressed to look the part, you will get some nasty looks. Just letting you know so you can ignore them and not let them make you feel uncomfortable.
9. If I had one regret about Los Angeles, it would be not going to a Lakers or Dodgers game.
If you visit Los Angeles, you have to see the Lakers play. It’s only right! If you are interested in finding great seats, check out stub hub and ticketmaster.com. Los Angeles is not the same when there are no sporting events and colleges are on break. So, make sure when you travel, you plan around those times. However, if you do not want to be around a lot of people then choose a time when the city is not in it’s peak visitation season.
10. Hiking to the Hollywood sign
This is not for everyone. There are some people in L.A. that offer to take you on a hike to the Hollywood sign for a price. However, there is an open trail, so you can just follow the trail up to the sign yourself. Or, if you would like to support the person leading the hike for a price, you can do that as well. I’m a fan of supporting others!
11. What’s the food like?
The food in Los Angeles was so good! There are a lot of options to choose from and I will say that it’s not as pricey as I expected. One thing that I love about Los Angeles is that they have a lot of vegan options. Some cities haven’t really expanded in that direction yet. I am not vegan, however, I love that if I have friends that are, we can all enjoy the food together. There are some international cuisines in Los Angeles as well. Some examples include Greek, Mexican, Korean, Peruvian, Italian, Chinese, Ethiopian and the list goes on. My favorite dish when visiting L.A. was Korean fried rice and chicken!
12. The Night Life
The Nightlife in L.A. was relaxing. We didn’t go out to any big clubs when I visited but we did go to a jazz spot near downtown called ETA. It was nice to sit down, eat, have some Merlot, and listen to live jazz performances. The seafood was so good! I highly recommend this spot for a relaxed evening in L.A. The clubs were probably jumping while we were there but the club life gets old after a while. ETA was a lot better and easier on the pockets. Also, there was a puppet show in the theater downtown. It was really cool to see a puppet show. I’m a huge fan of art and creativity. The puppet show has moved to Highland Parks, but if you have kids, they will enjoy this a lot. One last thing to do is check for some magic shows and some performances by musical artists.
13. Art District in LA-
The Art district in Los Angeles was nice but I’m sure that it’s a lot better now. The lakers recently won a championship and also there’s a mural of Kobe Bryant and Gigi, and Nipsey Hustle that I would like to see when I visit again. The Art district in L.A. is growing and the artwork is getting better and better. If you plan on visiting, it’s definitely worth checking out.
14. Some streets are not meant to walk on
Like most major cities, some areas have a little bit of a trash issue. Although, there are cities that are far worse than what I’ve seen in Los Angeles. Also, be very careful when travelling at night and when you are looking for shortcuts. There are some people in L.A. that have a loose screw upstairs, so do your best to keep moving and don’t let them rattle you.
I have been to several cities and have seen/met some people who were homeless. The homelessness in L.A. really opened my eyes. When I saw adults my age and younger who were homeless it made me feel fortunate and sad at the same time. You may drive by certain areas and see hundreds of homeless people. Local areas near downtown do offer food to the homeless but seeing adults my age that were homeless was a reminder that we are very fortunate to be where we are.
16. So, about that car rental…
If you are flying to L.A. on an early flight, you probably won’t have access to your Airbnb until 3 or 4pm. So please be mindful of that when you travel. you don’t want to get to your destination city early, and have to wait hours before you check in without having transportation to help you kill time. I used one of my days in LA to visit some areas around the city that were nearby, including a stop in Las Vegas. Look out for my blog post on my experience in Las Vegas. So please stay tuned. If you are interested in visiting other areas and you didn’t rent a car, Los Angeles has a train that can take you to different cities nearby as well. For more info, visit www.metrolinktrains.com.
If I were to give L.A. a score from 1-10, I would give it a 6.5/10. Now granted, there’s a lot of things I didn’t do for example, I didn’t go to Walt Disney World. I live in Florida…. so been there done that. While I was there, I wanted to experience as much of the city as I could. I WILL be going back to Los Angeles and WILL be giving an update on my experience in a new post once I’ve finished my visit. If you are interested in going to Los Angeles, what are some things that you are planning to do when you are there? Have you been to Los Angeles before? Please let me know in the comment below. If this post can help someone who is interested in traveling to Los Angeles please feel free to share. If you are new to Millennial Oaks, please subscribe 😊.