Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Travel: Los Angeles

So here it is. My final post on our trip to America. But, before you get too sad about that, there will be plenty more travel posts on their way once I’m back from Southeast Asia (plus a few travel-related list posts scheduled for whilst I’m away).

Los Angeles was one of the first places to become a definite stop on the trip when we started planning. I mean you can’t travel America without stopping in LA, can ya? However, I wasn’t convinced that I would love it, having heard from various people that they were a little disappointed.

I think the main problem is that people go there with the image of Beverly Hills in mind, and obviously that’s just one small part of the rather large city.

We headed to Los Angeles from Las Vegas on a Greyhound coach, after dropping off our campervan. I would definitely recommend using Greyhound for shorter journeys like this one; five hours was a much more manageable journey than the overnight coach we took to Nashville.

When it came to accommodation in LA, everyone we spoke to recommended staying in Santa Monica, which is right on the coast. We used Airbnb again, and stayed in a lovely apartment about a ten minute walk from the beach. I’m so glad we chose to stay in Santa Monica, because it is such a lovely area, but also easily accessible to the rest of the city via bus.

As LA was our final stop on the trip, we were pretty exhausted and spent most of our time on the beach. The beach was huge compared to anywhere I’d been before, so there was never any issue with finding space to sit. Apparently the sea is great for swimming too, although I only went up to my ankles because I’m not a massive fan of swimming in open water (sharks).

Santa Monica also has a pier, which was fun. We didn’t go on any of the rides but we went up there for food a couple of times. It was always super busy and there was a lot to see and do.

On our last day we hired a tandem bike and cycled along the promenade from Santa Monica beach to Marina Del Rey. There is a cycle path the whole way along and it is such a nice ride.

The infamous Muscle Beach is also on the other side of Santa Monica pier and is full of fitness and exercise equipment, mostly geared at gymnastics.

We spent half a day in Beverly Hills, walking around the expensive roads, window shopping down Rodeo Drive and having the biggest lunch of our lives at the Cheesecake Factory. It is just as fancy as you can imagine, and I kind of wish we’d had the time and the money to do one of the driven tours.

On the same day we headed to Hollywood to see the Walk of Fame and the Chinese Theatre. Honestly, it’s pretty underwhelming, and I can understand why people say they were disappointed. There’s nothing that special about the road, and it’s so, so busy, which makes it difficult to see all of the stars on the pavement.

We also went into Runyon Canyon, and I’m really gutted that we didn’t have time to go up the hill, because I’ve seen photos and the view looks amazing!

After a quick pit stop at Hard Rock Café, we got the bus to the Dodger Stadium for a baseball game. Now neither of us have a clue about how baseball works, but it was such a fun experience, and it was reasonably cheap to sit where we did. However, food and drink was very pricey once you were in there.

I was amazed at how big the sport is over there and how many other things went on in the stadium when there was a break in the game. Because we were there on a Friday night (I think), there was a firework display to finish off too.

I really loved our time in Los Angeles and particularly loved Santa Monica. I definitely want to go back to California and see more of the state, maybe in one of the same campervans we had for the National Parks!

My final vlog from the trip is also up, so if you want to see more of Los Angeles, give that a watch. And if you haven’t seen any of my vlogs from the trip, you can catch up on those here.

Although that’s the end of my America posts, I have a little post on things I learnt from the trip coming later on this week, and I will be blogging about Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia as soon as I am back.

If you have any recommendations for any of these places, please let me know in the comments!


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