We dreamed of taking a trip to LA for a while and this year we finally made it happen. During Labor Day weekend (Arrived Thursday, Departed Monday) we took on the City of Angels with a couple of our friends. This trip turned out to be everything we hoped for and more! Check out where we stayed, where we ate, and what we did during our trip out west!
Where To Stay
After hours and hours of searching trip advisor forums and reviews, and comparing costs with Air Bnb, we decided to stay at the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport. Our hotel was across the street from the infamous LAX sign & colorful light poles, which added a charming sparkle to our night view outside our room window. Because we were next to the airport, we could see the planes arriving and leaving from our room and overhead from the hotel's Olympic-size outdoor pool. The Hyatt also has a gym, bar (we recommend the BBQ wings), café, and restaurant. The hotel staff was, informative, attentive, and made our stay here very comfortable. As we began to explore LA, we soon discovered that we were in close proximately to not only the LA hotspots, but also a shopping center with a CVS, ATMs, a couple of Starbucks, TJ Maxx, and many other popular store chains.
Where To Eat
To satisfy your sweet tooth, you must try Randy's Doughnuts. They have a variety of flavors such as buttermilk, plain cake, coconut, jelly, and the list goes on and on. We all decided to go with the classic glazed and it was soooo good. The doughnuts were super-sized, moist, and fluffy-everything a doughnut should be. We all gave Randy's an A+
This was our first meal in LA! We visited the location next to the airport in the vicinity of our hotel. It was super packed with regular customers and other customers like us who had just arrived to LA. Although it was packed, service was very fast and efficient. Our friends had done a little bit of research & discovered their famous burger is the Animal Style Burger, which has extra Thousand Island spread, mustard grilled patties, and extra pickles, so we all went for it! (They also have Animal Style fries, which one of my friends decided to indulge in)
Roscoe's Chicken's & Waffles
Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm sure you've heard of Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles-a legend in these Cali streets. We visited Roscoe's Inglewood location for brunch on our second day in LA and it did not disappoint. When you walk in the restaurant they have pictures of celebrities framed on the wall who have all dined here including President Obama! Roscoe's had a familial, welcoming vibe. Speaking of President Obama, there's a meal on the menu called "The Obama," which consists of four pieces of fried chicken and a waffle. The chicken was seasoned JUST right and the waffle was a perfect match. We all were beyond satisfied with our meals.
Benny's Tacos Santa Monica
After visiting the Santa Monica Pierre, we discovered Benny's Tacos on Yelp. Before visiting LA, we knew we wanted to try Fish Tacos for the first time and Benny's had great reviews for their tacos. We all ordered the grilled fish taco meal, which came with three tacos and chips and salsa. The meals looked good and tasted even better-the food was so fresh! The portions were more than enough and happily helped us check off 'Try Fish Tacos' on our trip list.
One morning while searching on Yelp for a place for brunch, we discovered a new place called Hash in Playa Vista It had perfect reviews and coincidently the Saturday we visited, was their weekend grand opening. It's tucked inside what seemed to be an office complex. It's a small restaurant with most of the seating outside under umbrellas. Of all the restaurants we visited, this was our favorite, hands-down! By first-hand experience, we can recommend the Chiquitas & Gringos, Big Papa's Sandwich, and, Acai Bowl. Besides the food being so yummy, the owners and staff were super nice and went ABOVE and BEYOND to make sure we had a comfortable, pleasant experience. We loved the food here so much that we went back the NEXT day for breakfast on our last full day of this trip lol
The Find and Journey Sisters pictured here with Mrs. Georges of Hash!
The owners of Hash told us about their other restaurant in North Hollywood-called Rodini Park. It's a Greek restaurant, which also came highly recommended on Yelp and we soon found out why. To top off our authentic Greek dinner, we indulged in Rodini's special creation-Baklava cheesecake. By the end of this trip, our taste buds felt like they had won the food Superbowl lol
What To Do
The LA area is a canvas to a lot of cool wall murals. We dedicated one of our days on our trip in search of cool street art in our version of Pokémon go:
Location: LACMA Los Angeles County Museum. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA
Location: Chinese Laundry Headquarters, 3485 La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016
Location: Venice Beach
Location: Curtis Kulig's Love Wall at Smashbox Studios. 8549 Higuera St, Culver City, CA 90232
Location: Pink Wall at Paul Smith. 8221 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Hollywood Walk of Fame
We visited the Hollywood walk of fame on our first day. It's no time square, but it is definitely peculiar in its own way. We took pictures with the stars of some of our favorite celebrities and stopped to watch street dancers and celebrity impersonators.
Venice Beach was HOT! No surprise there, right? lol But, the beautiful ocean definitely cooled us down. We also rented two umbrellas for the four of us as we laid out on the beach for about two hours. Although we visited on a Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend, it wasn't crowded at all.
Santa Monica Pier
Right down the way from Venice Beach is the Santa Monica Pier. You can see the Pier Ferris Wheel from Venice Beach. The Pier had arcade games, restaurants, and souvenir shops. We strolled along the boardwalk, stopped to watched street performers and dancers while eating ice cream and icees-we can't describe a more perfect summer afternoon.
The Grove is an outdoor shopping center where the who's who of LA hang out and shop. If you like to shop on your vacation, then The Grove is highly recommended-you can find a cute outfit and maybe spot an Instagram star or two.
One night we were looking for a lounge and after asking the girls at Sephora from The Grove, random restaurant staff, and our Uber driver, our search led us to LA Live-an area in Downtown LA. We ended up at a Latin nightclub called The Conga Room. It definitely wasn't a lounge lol The Conga Room is a high-energy nightclub with three floors. One of the floors features old school hip hop, which is where we spent our night dancing the night away-until 1am lol To our surprise, the nightlife shuts down early in LA, so definitely keep that in mind when preparing to go out on a night on the town.
We rented a car to get around during our trip. There are parking meters alongside the streets throughout the city. Most of the hotels charge a daily parking fee. When we visited Downtown LA for a night out, we used Uber, which was about $25 each way.
Everyone we met from hotel & restaurant staff to LA natives were so nice and welcoming. If you're in need of creative rejuvenation and inspiration, then we highly recommend taking a trip to LA. We definitely plan to visit LA again! Our time in LA was made all the more special by our friends Shaquana and Deborah! Click here to check Deborah's blog about her experience on this LA Trip! Have you been to LA and can recommend a restaurant, place, or experience for our next trip to LA? Share with us in the comments below!