Exploring Los Angeles for the First Time
It may be hard for my West Coast friends to believe, but until this fall I had never been to Los Angeles. (Except through the airport, which we all know doesn’t count.) Earlier this year at a baseball game in Seattle Ben and I got vouchers from Alaska Airlines for 50% off plane tickets. The destination options and travel times were limited, but we aren’t ones to pass up a good deal on plane tickets so we booked a long weekend in LA.
We tried to keep our “tourist-ing” cheap or free when possible, and we didn’t rent a car.
Without renting a car our explorations were limited to what we could get to with public transportation and short Uber rides. I know LA is a car city but it worked out ok for us not to have one. Our hotel in Koreatown was a good central location near buses and subway, and we managed to pack our days with tourist highlights like Beverly Hills, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, The Getty Museum, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, and tons of amazing food.
^The City Hall observation deck downtown was a favorite stop. Free admission and great views!^
^Late night hot dogs at Pink’s, a famous Hollywood stop.^
Beverly Hills and Santa Monica Pier were exactly as I expected:
^We rode the ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier. (Only $8 per person.)^
^At the recommendation of several people we considered riding bikes from Santa Monica Pier to Venice Beach but ended up walking since we were trying to keep our activities cheap or free. It was a great walk and we stopped for coffee at a little beach shack along the path.^
The Getty Museum was amazing and beautiful, plus admission is free. We spent half a day there (and it felt like the other half of the day was spent getting there on the bus). We didn’t have time to look at all the exhibits but loved the art we saw and made sure to walk a lot of the grounds because the location is spectacular, as you can see:
Another place we hung out a few times and loved is the Grand Central Market in downtown LA.
To complete our trip to LA we did see one celebrity at Santa Monica Pier–Zach Woods aka Jared from Silicon Valley. I’m sure he would have been super nice if we had asked him for a photo but we decided not to bother him.
Here are a few resources I used to plan our trip:
Somehow I missed this video when I was planning our trip, but I watched it after we returned and it has some great ideas for exploring Koreatown.
That’s a wrap for now, California, though I imagine I’ll end up in LA again sometime. What are your LA favorites?