"In Los Angeles, everyone is a star!"
After San Francisco we packed up the car and headed off on the Ocean Road to Los Angeles.
On the way we stopped for two nights at the sleepy but stunning Pismo Beach. This little surf town on route to the City of Angels was a great place to spend a couple of nights relaxing and enjoying the beach sunsets and local atmosphere. We stayed at the Sea Venture Resort in a lovely sea front room (with balcony hot tub) - delight!
One shout out must go to The Boardroom a great little surf pub not far from our hotel. This relaxed venue was where we spent our first night and the staff and indeed the locals were so friendly and welcoming that we had a great time supping and sampling a number of different beers from the huge selection that they have available. If you're in Pismo and like a beer in a welcoming, relaxed environment then I strongly recommend you check this place out.
After two nights we hit the road again and headed for our final stop - Los Angeles! We chose to stay in Santa Monica at The Viceroy.
I have to be honest and say I wasn't sure how well I would take to LA. I wasn't too keen on the idea of the huge highways, never-ending traffic and having to drive everywhere. I was also certain that the body beautiful and beauty conscious lifestyle would get to me very quickly but you know what, I was very wrong.
We didn't really experience any negatives in LA, maybe we were just lucky, but I really fell in love with the place - especially Santa Monica and the Venice Beach area. We had a great time!
No first time trip to LA is complete without the obligatory stop on Hollywood Boulevard.
To be honest it's not the glitzy oasis you might imagine, in fact it's a bit of a dive and a tourist trap in places. However it has a certain something about it, it's history, the walk of fame, the celebrity handprints outside the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Kodak Theatre the venue for the Oscars amongst other things. It's all got to be seen at least once!
We were lucky to get free tickets to see the filming of Jimmy Kimmel live. I had signed up to 1iota the free ticketing website just before we left the UK, applied for two tickets and low and behold we got some! So that was a great experience - it's worth checking out the website and seeing what's on if that's your thing. It's totally free and quite a fun thing to do.
We also stopped for a 'snack' (queue the biggest fried sandwich with extra cheese you have ever seen in your life) at the Musso and Frank Grill. This was a favourite Hollywood hangout in the 1930's graced by the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Shirley Temple and is a little piece of friendly and welcoming history sitting inconspicuously on the Boulevard. Worth a stop!
Another great place to visit, and a must for getting a stunning view of the city, is the magnificent Getty Museum an impressive collection of European paintings, sculpture and art set in the hills with a breathtaking view of Los Angeles.
Yes I know, it's an obvious thing to do, but our trip wouldn't have been complete without a visit to one of the famous film studios to see how it all works in cinema ville! We chose to go to Universal Studios and I have to admit it was great fun.
I mentioned earlier that we enjoyed the Venice Beach area and in particular browsing up and down Abbot Kinney Boulevard. We found this a really relaxed and unique place to be. Abbot Kinney is a great street for browsing some really nice shops and restaurants and if you're in Venice Beach and looking for a great breakfast you can't go far wrong with the very lovely Figtree's Cafe.
Alas and so our America Adventure had to come to a close and we packed up and headed back home to a slightly grey, flooded and uninviting UK. Although it's always lovely to get back to home soil!
This was a truly great trip - we were very lucky to have the time and resources to take such a long excursion on this occasion.
I hope that this little series may have given you some ideas and provided a little inspiration should you be looking for destinations to visit in the future. Any one of the cities included would make a great single trip or if you have the time to combine them all then fabulous - enjoy and please let me know your thoughts!
Coming up next I will be posting some travel inspiration from the beautiful Portuguese Algarve. Plus watch out for some more mini series! This time on Russia and Asia as well as the many joys of Central America from Mexico to Panama.
Farewell for now and happy travelling. I love hearing new tips and travel advice so please leave me some inspiration in the comments below.