My recent trip to Los Angeles was not just about attending the makeup show and press events I also did some shopping and sightseeing.
My hotel was in Manhattan Beach close to LAX. This area is a great place to stay due to the considerable number of large shopping centers and restaurants. It is also safe, clean and the beach area is a great place to hang out.
At Manhattan Beach Pier the views of the coast are picturesque. Surfers bob in the rolling waves and beautiful houses line the beach. At the pier’s free animal conservatory you can learn about the sea creatures that inhabit the area and watch the sun set over the ocean.
There are an abundance of Mexican restaurants in L.A, so we stopped at Chipotle Mexican Grill's patio to have a bowl of chicken and rice topped with veggies and guacamole.
Transportation is a bit sparse especially by metro/subway so we rented a car. Although the traffic in the city is legendary it was not as daunting as the rumors had me believe.
Since it was my first time in L.A I decided to book a sightseeing tour with a company called A Day in L.A which is highly rated on travel websites. The tour departed from the Santa Monica Pier and embarked on a journey to some of the top tourist attractions.
Santa Monica is also popular for its beach, restaurants, bars and its modest amusement park.
Next we set off to Venice Beach which is famous for its role in films and TV. The less populated area of the beach was the former set of Bay Watch. It is also a popular destination for surfers, body builders, skate boarders and tourists looking for the perfect souvenirs. Although this area can be a good place to stroll during the day at night it is unsafe for tourists.
A tour through L.A would not be complete without checking out the homes of some movie stars, so we headed to the hills of the Palisades where we saw the houses of stars like Bill Cosby, Betty White, Rihanna, George Lucas, the Spelling mansion and more.
Famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is the place to get designer items and star gaze.
For lunch we stopped at the Farmer’s Market which is the place to go if you crave a variety of ethnically diverse cuisine and shopping.
The Griffith Observatory in the hills of Hollywood is an ideal place to take in scenic views of the city if the L.A smog permits. This point is also the closest visitors can now get to the iconic Hollywood sign due to prior cases of vandalism. I was a bit disappointed because from that vantage point the letters were dwarfed by the hills far in the distance.
The Oscars were also being held the same weekend I was visiting so we passed by the Dolby Theater to take in all the excitement as the stars got ready to walk the red carpet.
On the Hollywood Walk of Fame you can take photos besides the stars of your favorite celebs but they may be a little difficult to find as there are over 2500 of them on the sidewalks! In front of the Grauman's Chinese theater embedded in cement are the hand and foot prints of some of the greats like Michael Jackson and Mohammed Ali.
I spent the last day of my trip strolling on the beautiful boardwalk at Redondo Beach. The Redondo Beach Pier has many restaurants and bars. Here you can munch on some delicious churros and other tasty deserts or have some fresh seafood and drinks.
Churros are long Spanish doughnuts that are deep fried and covered in cinnamon sugar. They are warm, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They can also be served with a variety of dipping sauce like caramel or chocolate.
I am not a fan of seafood so I opted for the Cheesecake Factory which serves a large variety of delicious dishes. It was the perfect end to a great trip.
I look forward to seeing more of California in the future