Weekend in the City of Angels
I have such a feeling that the whole world sees America following: New York, Los Angeles and White House. From my blogs you might already know that there is more interesting places than these but this time we will take a look on the City of Angels. If you ever decide to come here, two days isn´t enough, three days is fine and if you don´t want to be in a rush at all, come here for four days. Practical advice for LA: everything is too far away and so you should rent a car. But count with being stuck in a bad traffic. And now let´s make it more interesting: what should you see while you are here?
Hollywood sign and Griffin Observatory
You probably know the scene from the romantic movies where a boy and a girl who are freshly in love go to the Hollywood sign. Let me tell you that I´m pretty sure that you won´t sit on the sign but there is about an hour long hike that leads to the sign. If you write to your GPS Hollywood sign, it won´t take you to the place where all the Instagram pictures come from. If you want to find that place, you can find the directions in my road trip blog, day 5 here.
We didn´t walk to this sign and we drove to the Griffin Observatory. If you drive there, it will take you about 5 minutes and if you walk, it is like an hour but you don´t have to pay for the parking ticket. Entrance to the Observatory is for free but you have to pay the parking fee and there is so many cars that it´s very difficult to find a parking spot and you´ll be literally stuck in a parking traffic. But the Observatory is beautiful and you´ll get an amazing view to LA Downtown.
On the Hollywood Blvd you can find the Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theater with hand prints and foot prints of many actors and a looooooot of souvenir shops. You will see the whole street within 45 minutes and basically all you will see is just an ordinary crowded street, homeless people and stars of your favorite actors on both sides of the sidewalk. I´ve already tried twice to make a picture with Penelope Cruz star but every time I look like an idiot on that picture. I just can´t take a picture with a sidewalk… And if this sidewalk becomes too boring to you (we called it Walk of Shame since it was very dirty and gross), go shopping to Marshall´s which is on Hollywood Blvd as well.
Visiting a film studio
There are two film studios in LA: Warner Bros. (which you probably know from Harry Potter) and Paramount Pictures. I visited Warner Bros. and despite the entrance fee was pretty expensive, I didn´t regret a penny. Unfortunately I was here during the Thanksgiving and so nothing was recording at that time. But the experience was still amazing. Not mentioning that you will see and can sit on the original couches from TV shows Friends and The Big Bang Theory. A regular tour lasts for two hours and if you come during holidays season, it won´t be packed by a lot of tourists. But you also won´t see any recording or actors.
Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive
Do you know one of the most luxury neighborhoods in LA – Beverly Hills, right? So here you can find a very ugly sign Beverly Hills and a beautiful Rodeo Drive full of stores where a regular person won´t buy a thing. I was here during Christmas on December 25th and the only store which was open was Gucci. I put some perfume sample on and then I left. If you are in LA, stop by but trust me – you won´t spend a lot of time here… Funny thing happened to me there when a man stopped me and asked me if I will take a picture with him. I have no idea with who he confused me but I felt great!
This is the place where you want to spend your time! Venice Beach is one amazing beach (full of homeless people) and despite the ocean is cold, you will fall in love with this beach. It is like being in Miami on a South Beach with the only difference that the Atlantic Ocean is warm during the summer even in Boston but the Pacific Ocean is cold even during August… Venice Beach is a perfect place for walks, morning run or just relaxing on a beach. Another well-known beach and neighborhood in LA is Malibu. Houses here are stunning but the beach is not a lot… And if you´re here, don´t even go to McDonald´s because comparing to others, this one is more expensive.
Santa Monica Pier and Route 66
Have you ever heard of the longest highway in the US, Route 66? This highway is long over a 2399 miles (for the record, in such a small country as Slovakia is, we can´t even finish a highway that would connect the East and the West but Americans had built a super long highway through seven States a long time ago!). If you want to make a road trip through Route 66, it would take you probably 2-3 weeks (and it´s very popular!). Route 66 starts in Chicago and finishes at Santa Monica Pier.
This is a place where everyone goes to take a street art pictures. You will find here the famous Angel Wings and the Pink Wall where everyone´s taking pictures. It will take you about an hour to go through this street and make some nice pictures and some of the art it actually very nice – 2Pac, nice quotes or a rainbow… And while you´ll be here, stop at a local small coffee shop. For marihuana lovers you can get a coffee with THC. You won´t get high from it but it tastes delicious. Correct, marihuana is legalized in California…
Urban Lights and Museum of Art
I didn´t have time to visit the museum and so I stopped at Urban Lights at least. These two attractions are next to each other and I recommend this place for every art fan (or lamps fan yay).
The best at the end – do you remember TV show Charmed?
Did you think that the house of sisters Halliwell was in San Francisco? You were wrong. This house is located at 1329 Caroll Avenue, Los Angeles. Unfortunately I didn´t have time to stop here but if I ever come back to LA, this will be my first stop!
City of Angels. LA. I fell in love with Venice Beach and its spirit. The Californian spirit which we see in American movies. This city is a place where handsome boys are concentrated (to be honest the most handsome boys in the US I´ve seen in LA) but there is also a big concentration of homeless people and a lot of Americans will tell you that it is an ugly and dirty city. I have been here twice and I would come back again. To register to a local agency and make my dream come true and become a movie star. I wish. And for the record, the weather here isn´t sunny all year long as you might think. When I was here in November it was raining almost all four days straight!