If you have been following my blog and my Instagram account for the last couple of weeks you know that I have been in the US (first LA and then New York). Now that I am home I thought that I would share the details about my trip with you. This will be a two-part series where I in this part will talk about LA and in the other part New York.
The trip was a gift from me and my family to my sister that she got when she had her confirmation. She was the one that had to decide where she wanted to go for our summer vacation and she chose Los Angeles and New York since she had wanted to go there for a very long time.
Where I stayed
In LA we stayed at a very small hotel (more like a motel). The hotel we stayed at was the Dunes Inn hotel in Wilshire. We did not choose the hotel ourselves but had a travel agent find one for us since my mother was scared that we would end up in a violent kind of area. We told the travel agent that we wanted a hotel that was central, in a safe area and that it should be inexpensive and he recommended this hotel to us. From the pictures, the hotel didn’t look luxurious at all but we decided to just go with it since we thought that we would be outside exploring most of the time. This was a decision that I think that we all ended up regretting because the hotel was honestly really bad. I mean the location was fine but the rooms were not. The windows were blocked with curtains so there was no natural light at all. Another thing was the walls. They were so thin that you could hear all the noise from the traffic, from the pool area and the halls. It was basically impossible to get a good nights sleep here.
We all agreed that the next time we would stay near Santa Monica pier which definitely was my favorite place in LA. I will definitely recommend a hotel near there to anyone that is considering going to LA. Not only is the atmosphere here amazing but there is also a lot fewer people than near the top tourist attractions which mean less traffic and less crowded streets. But at the same time is it only 30 minutes away from all the attractions so if you want to see them there is plenty of opportunities for that too.
Where I ate
Before visiting I had been told that LA is like the capital of veganism and after visiting I can totally agree. It wasn’t hard to find food that I could eat at all. So if you are vegan and traveling to LA don’t worry. There is food for you everywhere. And even if there isn’t anything vegan on the menu (which is a really rare case) they are happy to make something anyways if you ask.
If you follow me on Instagram you know that I am obsessed with the place called Cafe Gratitude. This is a vegan cafe but I am sure that non-vegans will love it too (my family did). We both tried their dinner and breakfast and it was all so delicious and on top of that they had a detox market in the store and since I have been completely obsessed with health and wellness lately could I use multiple hours there if my family hadn’t been waiting for me.
If you are more on a budget can I recommend vees Cafe. If you see it from the street it does not look appetizing at all which also was the case for us but we were all so hungry and decided to give it a try. And we sure weren’t let down. They both had vegan an non-vegan options and the food was so delicious and inexpensive. We ended up eating here multiple times.
One thing that I really admire about the US is their supermarkets. They have so many to-go options and there usually is a buffet kind of section where you can make your own salad or mix different hot meals. I was especially a big fan of Lassens that provided me with lunch most of the days I spend in LA. But honestly, this place is every vegan’s dream. They have so many vegan and healthy options that you can bring with you to the hotel so you always have snacks.
What I did
The first thing we did when we came from the airport was to rent a car. It really broke my eco-loving heart but we had done some reachers before arriving and we had read that it would be almost impossible to get around in LA without a car. If you are an inner hippie like me I will recommend asking for an electric car or a hybrid since most of the cars at the rental places are huge ones.
Of course, I had o visit the famous Hollywood Boulevard. This place is probably the most crowded that I have ever been. You basically walk the street in one big line because if one person stops it stops everyone behind them. So you have to walk at the same pace as everyone else and hop off the line if there is a store that you want to take a look at. Hopefully, this only happened because we went in the season with most tourists. But one thing is for sure. If your favorite celebrities start is in the middle of the street you will not be able to take a picture with it. And if they are really popular but has a star at the end of one of the streets you will have to wait in line to take a picture. However, if the person isn’t that famous and has a star in one of the ends you might be lucky enough to get a picture.
One thing that my whole family enjoyed was Universal studios. Of course, this place was crowded too but we had bought fast tracks so we didn’t have to wait too long in line. I can definitely recommend this because in some of the lines you could wait more than an hour. I will say that the attractions weren’t that impressive, most of them were just virtual reality rides so if you aren’t into that I think that you can skip the fast track. However, something that I really enjoyed was the tour around the sets. It was so cool to see all the locations from all of my favorite movies and to see how they made all the crazy effects.
Of course, I had to visit the famous Rodeo drive. Even though everything was extremely expensive it was still fun to see all the stores. I could really tell that they had spent a lot of money on decoration here. But if you don’t have the budget to shop here I don’t think that it is really necessary to go here.
I had really been looking forward to hiking to the Hollywood sign (hiking is something that I have been dying to try because we don’t really have any place to do it in Denmark) but when the day that we had planned to go to the sign came, my feet were filled with blister so I had to stay at a cafe near the parking place and wait for my family to come back. When my family came back they told me that I hadn’t missed anything big since they were kind of disappointed by the sign. A big area around it was blocked so you could only see it from a long distance which we already could from near our hotel and since it took quite a long time to drive all the way out there they were really disappointed. So if you aren’t in the area I wouldn’t recommend driving out there since there isn’t much to see in the area around it either.
As I told you earlier was Santa Monica my favorite place that we visited. The whole atmosphere there was just so much different. I just instantly felt so much happier when I got there. I especially loved the pier. People were performing, there was music and everyone just seemed so happy. I didn’t get the chance to try any of the rides since the lines were crazy long but I really enjoyed all the happy people and all the “street” performances.
Now that we are talking about beaches I also visited Venice beach. We rented some bikes from the first rental place that we found which now looking back was a mistake since the place we rented from was at the entrance of the beach so of course, that was the most expensive place too. I will recommend going for a little walk on the beach first because you can for sure find a much cheaper rental place there. But the bike ride is definitely something that I can recommend. It was so nice to get some fresh air after staying in the city for so long. And it was honestly one of the coolest beaches that I have been to in my life. The beach itself wasn’t anything impressive but there were so many activities there. There was a sidewalk on the side of the beach with the cutest little stores, a skating area where so many talented skaters were training, an outdoor fitness area. This is definitely one of my favorite beaches that I have been so far.