The hustle and bustle of the city brings limelight to Los Angeles. LA is amidst sunny California filled with palm tree lined streets, beautifully landscaped beaches and artistic trendy places to eat perfect for any foodies out there. Since LA is the hub for television and movie production sets, if you are lucky you may even spot some celebrities as you explore this golden city.
Below are my best recommendations on must see sights and eats in Los Angeles:
Museum of Ice Cream – Most adorable museum I’ve ever seen, the backdrops were amazingly cute. The photos alone made the admission fee totally worth it. The sprinkle pool was so much fun, but tinnier than I had imagined. My favorite ice cream we got was the strawberry vanilla oreo cone at the end. Loved the gummy bear, popsicle and banana rooms.
LACMA-Go here to take Instagram photos in front of the tall white iconic lamps display called ‘Urban Light’; showcases some of the most interesting artwork
Griffith Observatory-The views here are stunning; check out the beautiful architecture of the observatory building; also can see the Hollywood sign in the hills at a distance (best time to go is at sundown)
Getty Villa– Gorgeous property in the hills of Malibu; houses some of the most intricate European style artwork; beautiful gardens can be viewed year-round
Manhattan Beach & Pier -Famous surfing spot and home of beach volleyball
Santa Monica Beach & Pier -Cute little amusement park & iconic ferris wheel at the end of the pier (way better to see during the day than night)
Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens – Located in Pasadena amongst the prettiest unique estates, Pasadena is home to the Rose Parade and some of the grandest architectured homes.
These were the most beautiful rose gardens I’ve ever seen. Reminded me of the Butchart Gardens in Victoria Canada. Loved how each flower had a name card and there were so many gorgeous colorful roses, one of my favorite flowers.
The Japanese Garden section was really neat too. It was fun walking through the bamboo forest. I felt like I had flew to Japan, so well done.
Malibu Beach & Pier -Lovely little town and beautiful sandy beach
Hollywood Sign Hike-Hike to the top to see the back of the sign, I recommend Hollyridge Trail; there is a fence that will block you from being able to go up to the sign closely; go early in the morning to avoid crowds (take Mt. Lee Summit .3 mile hike to the back of the sign)
Pantages (Broadway Shows)-If you love broadway shows like me you must see a production here (I’ve been to Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Lion King, Cinderella, Mamma Mia, Matilda & The Sound of Music; all amazing)
Runyon Canyon Hike-Might be closed for awhile due to safety, but this hike offers amazing views of the entire downtown skyline. There’s so many cool trails to choose
The Grove – The best shopping center in the area; filled with trendy popular stores and delicious restaurants – some of my favorites are Nordstrom, Sephora, Alo Yoga and Banana Republic. They also have the cutest dessert places like Dylan’s Candy Bar Shop and Ladurée (amazing macaroons and sorbet). My go to restaurants for lunch/dinner are Cheesecake Factory and Maggiano’s but I’m dying to try La Piazza next time. Go see the fountain in the middle which put on little mini water shows – reminds me of a tinier version of the Bellagio fountains.
The Point – Cutest trendy shopping center in El Segundo. They’ve got all my favorites…Loft, Kendra Scott, Sugarfina, North Italia, Lululemon, Lou & Grey and Pressed Juicery.
Broad Museum-Three words “Infinity Mirrored Room”. Incredible, mirrored room with LED lights surrounding peninsula platform surrounded by water. Yayoi Kusama’s installation is on view as well as another second mirrored exhibit. Other highlights of the museum are the multi-colored tulip structure, Under the table exhibit (life size table & chairs) and the blue balloon dog art structure. Such a fun unique mid-century modern museum
Knott’s Berry Farm Amusement Park – Not a huge fan of the rides, but we used to go every year during Christmas for the Snoopy on Ice show at the Charles M. Schulz theatre which was a favorite
Universal Studios Hollywood-Just opened the new Harry Potter World
Dodger Stadium – My favorite sports team in the entire world; go early to batting practice to snag a baseball; check out the clubhouse during a tour to walk the field, sit in the dugout and see the club’s trophies; get a chocolate malt during the game and you won’t regret it; Dodger dogs in my opinion are the best in the nation but again I’m biased; One of my favorite memories was eating at the Stadium Club before a game!
Staples Center-Most go here to see the Lakers basketball games, but I’m an NHL fan so “Go Kings”; spend a night watching ice hockey at it’s finest (Got to see the Stanley Cup in person)
LAX-LA’s main international airport hub; the largest airport in California
Antelope Valley Poppy Reserves-The most California poppies I’ve ever seen, the fields were so beautiful and well worth the drive. I couldn’t believe how vibrant they were and how the fields looked like a big patch of orange from far away.
Bottega Louie-Get macaroons here (my favorites were the raspberry chocolate and earl grey); aesthetically beautiful interior design; known for their decadent desserts; the packaging alone is to die for
Urth Caffe-Best brunch spot besides Toast Bakery Cafe; try the artistically crafted coffee drinks (you can get a bear or swan drawn on the top of your latte with the cream, so neat)
Toast Bakery Cafe-Located in Beverley Grove, the place that started the avocado toast trend; amazing for brunch (my favorite was the berry wonderful french toast)
Dal Rae-Iconic upscale steakhouse; My favorite is the pepper steak filet mignon with the delicious green onion, peppercorn, bacon mixture. Yum! Came with vegetables and mashed potatoes which were amazing. Also the white fish with the almondine sauce (French style with slivered toasted almond sauce) is fantastic
Lemonade-Known for their lemonades of course; I love the blood orange it’s my absolute favorite but have tried them all and you cannot go wrong with any; Food is delicious as well but served cafeteria style
In&Out Burger-Iconic California burgers; order the Neapolitan shake as well; a staple for even the locals because it’s just that good (the “animal style” burger and fries are highly loved among most; get the protein style burger to replace the buns with lettuce for a healthier take)
California Donuts – These are just too cute to eat, no shame but I got these because I kept seeing them all over instagram and pinterest
Diddy Riese– Home of the ice cream cookie sandwiches; unbelievably cheap and delicious; so many flavors to choose from; parking is bad here in downtown Westwood so be forewarned go early or be prepared to stand in line for awhile (I love the snickerdoodle cookies so much)
Rawberri – Amazing acai bowls in Santa Monica; love the palm leaves interior design aesthetic plus the bamboo egg chairs are super fun
Sprinkles Cupcakes– Overly hyped cupcakes but you’ll need to try at least one during your visit; check out the cool cupcake atm in Beverly Hills. They even have Sprinkles Ice Cream Pop Up shops all over too. My all time favorite Sprinkles cupcake was the limited edition royal wedding cupcakes for Prince Harry & Meghan Markle shown below which were lemon elderberry yum!
The Strandhouse– Located in Manhattan Beach straight up from the pier I first stumbled upon this place at the LA Kings Stanley Cup Parade; best for brunch on the weekends get the chicken & waffles or the belgian waffles; make sure to request to sit on the upstairs level across from the bar to soak in the gorgeous views of the beach as you enjoy your meal
Alfred Coffee & Tea Room-Beautiful coffee house that attracts locals alone on merely the decor; the new take on Starbucks
Houston’s Steakhouse – My favorite are the BBQ ribs and Filet Mignon (always cooked to perfection)
King’s Hawaiian Bakery – It’s a tradition to get the King’s Hawaiian Paradise Cake on my birthday; perfect fluffy light chiffon cake with whipped cream frosting, yum! Plus the colors alone are to die for
Sugarfina – Champagne Gummy Bears are seriously amazing! The bubbly bears are my favorite along with the peach bellini and apple frogs
Gelato Lounge – Located in Manhattan Beach and just a short stroll away from the beautiful pier; love all the delicious sorbet and gelato flavors
Malibu Farms – Delicious healthy salads, amazing Swedish mini pancakes and the organic fresh squeezed juices are terrific. Plus gorgeous views of Malibu Pier
Grimaldi’s – The most amazing pizza…get The Don and always love caprese, yum!
Salt & Straw – A favorite from Seattle, but they brought this trendy ice cream place to LA; Pssst their coffee ice cream is amazing
C&O Trattoria Ristorante Italiano – In Venice Beach; cool ambiance with the Italian like architecture and cute place for a dinner date with the string lights, delicious pastas and garlic bread knots are super yummy
Cha2O – coolest boba / smoothie drinks in Artesia; they look amazing!
Bowlology – Newest favorite in El Segundo, these acai bowls are delicious. My favorite is the Berry Good but also tried the Ocean bowl which was interesting with the watermelon. Also pictured below is the PB Lover.
Smitten Ice Cream – Cutest little ice cream stand in El Segundo. Such unique interesting rotating flavors. We tried the Earl Grey Tea and Tcho Chocolate w/strawberry sauce.
Marugame Monzo – Has the best udon I’ve ever had, tastes just like from Japan. I got the Kake Udon which is plain udon in hot clear soup with green onions and tempera flakes. The broth was amazing and tasted just like miso soup. Delicious! Located in Downtown LA in Japanese Town.
Mikawaya – The original mochi ice cream creators and best mochi ice cream bar, love all the unique flavors (little tokyo) Got strawberry, chocolate and oreo cookies & cream below
Porto’s – This place has the most amazing bakery treats. I’ve tried the apple strudel, strawberry cheese croissant, mixed berry danish, apple turnover, apple empanada, blueberry muffin, lemon meringue tart, fresh fruit tart, potato ball, ham croquette, chicken croquette, chicken empanada and strawberry smoothie. The croquettes and smoothie were my personal favorite.
There you have it friends—have fun discovering these Los Angeles gems!
Next Time on My List:
Santa Monica Pier (during the day)
Beverley Hills Hotel
Malibu Wine Safari