Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year. I had been wanting to go to Los Angeles for several months, so my boyfriend Tim and I decided to pull the plug and fly out. Fall was the perfect time to go because it was quickly dropping in temperatures back home and it was a time we both could take off for a quick vacation.
Last time I was in LA was for the Rosebowl two and a half years ago. Back then, I was with my family doing “family vacay activities” – this time I went with the goal of shooting a lot of content, experiencing the city with Tim, do some shopping, establish new connections, survey neighborhoods that I could potentially relocate to, and enjoy some much needed time away from home. Since Tim had never been to LA before, it was also the perfect time of year to visit the tourist attractions without having crowds of other people there!
Below I will outline where we stayed, where we ate, where we shopped, and the fun things we did!
Where We Stayed
The Beverly Hills Plaza Hotel – Beverly Hills
Hotels were all relatively expensive – I mean it is LA – LOL. And, because we had plenty of other trips we just went on AND had more planned for the future – neither Tim nor I wanted to spend a fortune on hotels. I luckily found a beautiful hotel right in Beverly Hills that was moderately priced and had plenty of space in the room where I could lay out of my outfits without having clutter and disorganization. Our room had a sitting area, mid-sized bathroom, and bedroom. It was ideal for Tim & I because I could use the closet space and living room to lay out my clothing – but he also had two TV’s to watch football and have some space to his own.
The pool area was very nice, we just did not have time to use it. The hotel also had a spa, hair salon, hot tub, and gym that we didn’t get around to using either. Had we had more time in LA we definitely would have been making use of the pool area!
My one complaint with the room was that it didn’t have a bathtub – which I thought I booked when I initially made the reservation. The other is that our room was also situated in the very back of the complex. This wouldn’t have been an issue except whenever we wanted to get our room, we had to enter the lobby, take an elevator, walk down two hallways, and then take two flights of stairs. This was a hassle – especially late at night AND when we were checking in and checking out of the hotel with four suitcases.
Where We Ate
Our favorite place to eat was actually a place we stumbled upon in West Hollywood. It was a family-owned italian restaurant named Miceli’s. I ordered a classic caesar salad with minetrone. Tim got a pasta trio.
FIN Tapas Bar
The other place we went out to eat was at an Asian Tapas Bar called FIN. We had a lovely four course meal of delicious asian foods including a selection of raw fish, sushi, mocha ice creams. If you’ve got some extra time, head upstairs to the speak easy bar – the experimental drinks are definitely worth a try!
Ye Olde Kings Head
The evening we went down to Santa Monica Pier we ate at a British pub called Ye Olde King’s Head. They had traditional British fare – shepherds pie, chicken thighs, stew, and sourdough bread.
My favorite place to go for a quick bite. The least expensive place we ate – but we always left with full stomaches! A chain restaurant with a buffet style soup and salad bar. They also serve several different kinds of pastas, potatoes, pizza, and desserts. Don’t forget to get your soft serve!
Coffee & Tea
Cha Cha Matcha
Hands down my favorite place to grab matcha. The whole place is fun and bold. I usually hate spending $6 for a hot drink – but this place is worth it for the aesthetics alone.
Alfred’s Tea Room
My favorite place in LA to grab a quick tea or coffee. They have several location scattered around the city so you’re bound to walk by one sooner or later! Similar in style to Cha Cha Matcha, Alfred’s attracts a slightly more sophisticated crowd, and has a much larger menu. While the serve matcha, I highly suggest trying there teas – they’re the best you can grab in a rush.
Although the most expensive of the bunch, it is a place to go when you have time to sit down and treat yourself. Every Laduree I’ve been to has been distinctively different to one another. The Lauduree is Beverly Hills is abundant in pastels and wicker furniture. The tea tastes just as good as the one in Paris – as do the macrons and yummy pastries.
Stopped by the cute cafe to get photos and was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it! I ordered a fun little Hello Kitty cappuccino – though they had plenty of other “latte art” designs to choose from. The interior was beautiful with a fun little vintage phone booth in the back!
What We Did
Disney was a must because it was Halloween and Tim and I desperately wanted to see all the festive decor. I was eager to go as the last time I had been to Disneyland was three years ago. During this time Star Wars was still being constructed so I missed out on its grand opening. Tim had never been to Disneyland before so it was perfect timing!
Neither Tim nor I had been to the park in California – only the one in Florida. We had a great time doing the studio tour and visiting the new Harry Potter world – (although much smaller that the one in Florida). Our favorite “ride” was the famous Studio Tour we took at the end of the day where we got a special behind-the-scenes of all the production that goes on in the back of the park.
We decided to go up to on a Sunday morning and join all the hikers and bicyclists. The views were amazing – even with all the smog clouding the city!
LA Clippers Game
Tim found some cheap tickets one evening to a Clippers game so we decided to go since neither of us had been to the Staples Center before. We sat in one of the highest sections of the area but the tickets were $10 a piece and we won a free two-night vacation to Orlando, so I counted that as a major win – LOL.
Louis Vuitton Museum
The most colorful, fun, and interactive museums I’d been to in a while. I was so fortunate Tim and I were able to visit this museum while it was open – and we took full advantage of the free entrance by immuring ourselves in all the interactive elements of the museum. Each room told a different story on the Louis Vuitton legacy and we certainly learned several things while we toured it!
Santa Monica Pier
A fun place we wanted to go and experience together one evening. The sunset was unbelievable and we were able to stop and watch several street performers on the pier.
Another place Tim hadn’t been to before so we had to go and check out all the liveliness taking place in this area. We had a wonderful time walking down the beach and strolling down the boardwalk looking at the shops together. Also took a stop by the famous skate plaza and Venice Muscle Beach.
Hollywood Walk Of Stars
I visited this area last time I was in LA and admittingly was disappointed – LOL. It definitely is not what you see on TV – but it’s a very “tourist” thing to do and see while one is in LA so I thought it was worthwhile for Tim to see!
Dave & Busters
Tim and I had a crazy obsession with Dave & Busters and luckily for us, LA had two of them. We visited the one in West Hollywood our second night in town and played our favorite game of Monopoly, Yahtzee, Pop The Lock, and Big Bass Wheel.
Where We Shopped
Begins near the Beverly Center and La Cienega Boulevard where you’ll find beautiful places to shop with many boutique/specialty stores. Brands include Glossier, Marc Jacobs, House of CB, Fred Siegel, The Real Real, and Resurrection. Walking down towards La Brea Boulevard the shops change, transforming into funky and edgy boutiques with more reasonably priced trendy outfits. Plenty of fun quirky cafes and restaurants to try out while you’re shopping!
The most expensive, yet famous place to shop in LA. So many movies have filmed scenes here! It’s the best place to find an abundance of luxury labels including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, YSL, Valentino, Gucci, and Dior. A great area to buy new jewelry – if you wish from Tiffany’s, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, Harry Winston and/or Cartier.
Westfield Shopping Mall
Newly renovated outdoor mall with over 200 shops and restaurants. Same stores you would find in a typical mall including Zara, Ted Baker, Michael Kors, Nordstrom, and Macys.
In West Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard is famous for its bright billboards, places to dine, shopping, drinks and catch live music. Its a very long strip full of something for everyone! We stopped by coffee here one morning before heading out to Universal Studios one morning and also shot some content here!
Many shops ranging from high-street to high-end. Several films and television shows have been filmed here and the mall soars eight stories high!
What I Wore
I primarily wore light-wash destroyed denim jeans and jackets, bodysuits, skirts, leather boots, mules, and sweaters. The weather was much warmer here than back home so it was easy to layer up in the early morning and in the evening when the sun was down and the air got chilly. I generally wore comfortable clothing that I could also shoot content in during the day without having to make too many outfit changes!
While Tim and I didn’t get to do everything we wanted, we accomplished a lot and are looking forward to visiting LA again very soon!