As I am writing we are in Covid times which all seems scary. I am so appreciative of all those that are on the front line from healthcare workers, policemen, postmen, shop workers who are doing their best to look after us all. I am doing my bit as best as I can by staying at home.
In the mean time, I am using this opportunity to write up about trips I have done in the past to lighten the mood, reminisce and maybe even inspire you for your next trip when appropriate to travel again. I appreciate we are not all in the financial situation to think about travelling. This trip was taken in November 2019 where we did a week long road trip in California! Our first leg was LA where we only stayed for 24 hours. It was short but sweet, although I wish we were there longer we managed to do a lot and I wanted to share this with you!
We drove 1000 miles and stayed in a new city pretty much every night. Wow I had the best time! It would be too much to cover in one post, so I will dedicate a new post to each place we visited 😊
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Where to stay
I spent countless of hours researching different places to stay and came to the conclusion that by the beach was just what I was looking for.
I decided to stay at Redondo Beach but along this strip includes Manhattan beach, Venice beach and Santa Monica. There is so much variety around here and each place has its own character. My favourite is definitely Manhattan beach as it has a local feel that Cali residents live here which I loved. Plus beautiful houses to look at!
There are countless of places to stay that meet all budgets – we went for mid range but I also heard these places are great!
Mid range: Redondo Beach and Marina Hotel
I love how quiet Redondo beach is and perfect getaway! As you arrive the lobby has been beautifully decorated with a chic but causal beach vibe and the rooms felt the same. In the evening they also had a live performer playing which was the perfect way to wind down after a busy day of exploring. Speaking of exploring there are bikes you can borrow and use them to cycle along the beaches to get around which was a lot of fun.
My only snag with this hotel is the resort fee they charge per room to pay for amenities such as the bikes, gym, parking etc. Although we did use these facilities so it was worth it! Just wanted to share the costs so it doesn’t come as a surprise if you decide to stay there.
High end: Palihouse Santa Monica
We stayed at the Pali hotel in San Francisco, it was a splurge but such a gorgeous hotel – I will post more about it on my SF post 😊
Budget: Redondo Inn and Suites
What we did
Cycling along the beach
As I mentioned earlier we got our bikes and cycled from Redondo beach where we stayed all the way to Venice.
Let me tell you google maps made it look deceptively short! When I asked the concierge in the hotel about this route they said “oh that’s very far” but I thought it’s can’t be that far when looking on the map. So then we set off which 3 hours later turned out to be a 20km ride haha! Although we were so exhausted it turned out to be so much fun and got to see lots of the coastline.
When in LA you’ve got to see the Hollywood sign and this view is like no other! You get to see the Hollywood sign but also the LA skyline.
It was packed when we went so avoid going on the weekend if you can! We had to park quite a bit away which was fine but was tired after a 20 min incline to the observatory. Well worth the views though!
Abbott Kinney Boulevard
I had heard plenty things about Venice beach and muscle beach, but this street was hands down the cutest place! I would go back if I could right now! This Boulevard is the perfect Sunday stroll kind of spot with coffee shops, cafes and boutique shops! I could have easily spent days on this street alone. We visited a coffee shop where I had the most delicious matcha latte. Afterwards we strolled along Venice beach and watched all the street activities! A must visit!
Where we ate
I had this place recommended to me my friends brother who lives in LA, quoting their Moscow mules being the best in LA! This vegetarian Mexican joint is the perfect place to spend a long lunch. They have indoor and outdoor dining options. The decor is cute and quintessentially Californian and the food was divine. It is also located on Melrose Avenue which is also worth having a stroll and checking out.
We stopped by here after our epic bike ride and boy was it good! I must say from the outside it looks a bit random but as you step inside it is super cozy with lots of wine to choose from, pizzas, pies and other nibbles! You can check out their menu here. One of our favourite dishes of the whole holiday was here – Brussels sprouts, bacon and pecorino in one yummy dish!
This place has been a celeb hang out for years and was intrigued to check this place out for the novelty. In complete honesty I had higher expectations and wouldn’t come here for a meal. However if you happen to pass by the Green Juice was delicious and just what I needed to get some greens whilst on holiday!
Finally, I took my green juice and we took our adorable mustang for the next stop in our journey… SANTA BARBARA!
The drive took us past Malibu and we had to stop on the side of the highway for some photos of golden hour which was truly beautiful.
Don’t miss the full road trip!
Part 1: LA
Part 2: Santa Barbara
Part 3: Monterey
Part 4: Yosemite