Travel Guide: 24 Hours In Los Angeles
The inspiration for this post came from answering a question I was asked on Tumblr about places I’d recommend to see, eat and do in California, from San Francisco stretching down to Newport Beach. My wonderful reader asking the question was only planning on spending a day in Los Angeles, so she asked me what tourist things I’d recommend as a must do for a day. This obviously inspired this post; a guide to 24 hours spent in Los Angeles, or, more specifically what I would spend my time in the city doing if I only had a day, and I would recommend to first time visitors. I hope to put together 24 hour guides like this together also for London, my hometown of Canterbury, and maybe the area of Northern France where I live too.
While there are places I really love to eat in West Hollywood and spots that I don’t think you should miss in Beverly Hills, if you only have a day to spend in Los Angeles I think that you really would be amiss if you did not spend it by the coast in the Santa Monica and Venice Beach areas. Most of my favourite places to eat are there, favourite places to spend the weekend, and favourite places to shop, as well as a few awesome, but still a little touristy spots that you can’t miss while visiting the city.
Well, assuming you’ll be in Los Angeles on a weekend, you need to have brunch at The Tasting Kitchen on the fashionable Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. I actually made the effort to book a table here for my last Sunday in the city so I could have one last brunch there. Practically everyone (including me) will tell you that their brunch cocktails are to die for. The atmosphere is fantastic, and the food is simply divine; and it is so hard to choose what to have off of the menu! I could eat there endlessly.
After brunch, you should take a moment to wander around some of the lovely and independent shops and stores lining this famous indie shopping street (one of my favourite hang outs in the city). If you are into all things stationary or paper, you want to stock up on pretty note cards to take back home or on those awesome paper stripy straws you see on American food blogs, your first stop needs to be Urbanic Paper Boutique. For quirky little gifts from clothes to soaps, books to fun drinks coasters Firefly is the destination you must have in mind, and for great handmade leather goods and bright canvas totes with leather handles, I’m head over heels for Will Leather Goods‘ flagship store (it has a little cafe section in the back! Speaking of flagships with cafes inside, even if you are not stopping for long, you need to make a stop at the TOMS flagship store where they have some great exclusive designs, a great outdoor garden and loads of locally baked goods as well as a fridge full of pressed juice from my favourite The Pressed Juicery. Finally before you leave Abbot Kinney behind you, something to sip on as you stroll; Local 1205 have the most amazing mason jars of fresh pressed juice (pressed juice is an LA thing!); I like the ‘Floral Spike’ Apple Lemon-Ginger, with or without a dash of Cayenne depending on my mood, but in the Summer months I fully endorse just straight Pure Watermelon.
Photos by Nicole Anderson
A short and lovely walk from Abbot Kinney you’ll find the world famous Venice Canals. The canals are one of my favourite places in the city; they are so calm and peaceful (and not to mention pretty and so much fun to take photos around) and wonderful for a stroll; you honestly will forget that you are in the middle of the city for a moment! After the canals, head in the direction of the ocean, and when you hit the beach head towards Santa Monica. It is about 2 miles from Venice to Santa Monica along the oceans edge, but to be perfectly honest when the waves are lapping your feet and you are watching the surfers just past the shore, you don’t notice how far you’ve walked or how long you’ve been walking for.
Once you hit the pier it is time to explore a little; the beach is littered with icons of Los Angeles beaches, and the pier itself is great for a walk down, maybe a turn on the rides, some ice cream, looking at the relics to memorialise that the pier is the end point of Route 66, or simply just to look out at the open sea. After the pier, before dinner Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place open air shopping mall have all the shops you could want to possibly browse.
For Dinner in Santa Monica, either if you are looking for a light bite after still being full up from brunch, or something a bit more substantial I need to recommend the Mexican Branch of the Santa Monica restaurant trio Blue Plate; Blue Plate Taco. I’ve had a couple of plates of tacos there served with their Mexican rice and slaw, and I can really recommend the shrimp. Also, if you are looking to fill up on something a bit more substantial, their tortilla chips are hot and delicious from cooking and served with a great salsa, delicious pico de gallo and absolutely divinely flavoured guacamole, and this is for someone who usually does not like avocados.
If you are looking for more tips of places to visit in Los Angeles you can check out my Los Angeles Travel Section, and if you are looking for any more cafe or resturant reviews or recomendations in the city, be sure to check out my Places To Eat In Los Angeles section. Enjoy!