Los Angeles | Venice Beach & Santa Monica
This trip was an absolute dream! I had been wanting to visit Southern California since I was a child. It took me 24 years to get there but it was more than worth the wait! I planned the trip with my boyfriend, Kevin, and we did nothing but explore. First Stop: Venice Beach, a funky, bohemian town with charm and color. We stayed in the cutest little teal Airbnb, just steps away from the iconic Venice sign and so many fun spots! Venice Beach is where I was introduced to Egg Slut, birds, and diagonal crosswalks. Check out some of my photos below and read about what there is to do in Venice Beach!
If you’re a breakfast fanatic, like me, Egg Slut is a must when in LA. They offer a variety of sandwiches but I, of course, got the most basic one they have: Bacon, egg, cheese, and chipotle ketchup on a brioche bun. The ingredients are so fresh and high in quality (like pretty much everything I ate in Cali). These epic egg sammies made me miss New York bagels way less. All I can say is the long line is worth every minute.
riding birds on the boardwalk
Ah, the birds! We loved the birds! And no, I’m not talking about seagulls. For anyone who hasn’t experienced them, birds are motor scooters that you can rent for 15 cents by the minute. California is not known for its public transportation, so the birds are really the most convenient way to get around. All you have to do is download the app and be a licensed driver. Kevin and I rode the birds up and down the Venice Boardwalk. It took us about ten minutes to ride from Venice to Santa Monica. The best part: once you’re done with the birds, you can just leave them literally anywhere. Then another app user will pick it up! The downside to birds: you can’t use them after dark because, ya know, safety.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Such a cool little strip filled with shops and places to eat! Although pretty much all the shops were out of my price range, Kevin and I did enjoy us some eats! We hit up the famous Lemonade for lunch. The food was honestly so-so but that lemonade is MUST. We capped lunch with a visit to Salt and Straw for ice cream, another must. We went on a random weekday but the line was still out the door, rightfully so. That hand made ice cream was easily the best I’ve had. And guess what people, you can order it online and have it shipped anywhere in the US!
Kevin and I took a nice little romantic stroll along the Venice Canals one day. For a known tourist spot, it was totally empty. All we could hear was birds chirping. Not gonna lie, the water was not the prettiest but that’s a canal for ya. Did any of you used to watch the show Californication with David Duchovny? Fun fact: the Venice Canals was the spot where Hank’s daughter, Rebecca, had told him that she lost her virginity. I bet you Hank never looked at the Venice Canals the same way after that! Being from New York, I’ve visited plenty of spots where films and tv shows were shot. But for some reason, it was way cooler in California.
This is where Airbnbs come in handy. Our amazing host suggested Rose Avenue. According to Venice locals, Rose Avenue is the new Abbot Kinney Boulevard, not yet ruined by tourism. Go visit before the secret gets out! It recent years, this area has been built up and gentrified. Once upon a time, Rose Avenue was filled with a whole lot of nothing. Today you can find a ton of trendy bars and restaurants, as well as some pretty dope street art. Kevin and I couldn’t resist a visit to The Rose Cafe, a cute, airy, little spot with bohemian vibes where you can brunch all day and drink all night (until 11pm). I had the best breakfast of my entire life, no exaggeration. I ordered their English breakfast, comprised of two sunny-side-up eggs sprinkled with scallions, perfectly cooked, thick cut bacon, homemade raspberry jam, whole-grain toast, and roasted potatoes. The way everything in the dish blended together…it was magical. I think the photo (above) speaks for itself.
santa monica pier
Me and Kevin actually didn’t spend much time at the pier. We kind of just walked through on our way to the 3rd Street Promenade. I would say it’s worth skipping. It’s just one of those crazy, overcrowded tourist attractions that doesn’t truly represent the city you’re visiting (like Times Square for NYC). It’s pretty much just a carnival on the water. Games, rides, fried food, way too many people. If that doesn’t sound like your idea of a good ol’ SoCal time, might I suggest you head downtown?
Downtown Santa Monica
Downtown Santa Monica is great area for shopping and eating, so naturally we did both. A few restaurants we enjoyed include Sugarfish, North Itlaia, and 1212. All three of these spots have amazing food and atmosphere. One of my favorite things about Southern California is how so many of the bars and restaurants are partially outside. I love an open and airy ambiance while enjoying a cocktail. There is truly nothing better, in my opinion.