My good friend from Germany visited me last November. It was her first time in Los Angeles, and the United States, so the pressure was on to share with her the best that Southern California has to offer. She wanted to hit up the obvious places like Hollywood Boulevard to see the “stars” and Disneyland, the happiest and most expensive place on earth. Two weeks flew by and almost a thousand photos later (literally), I’m here to share a few of my favorites today.
If you’re visiting Los Angeles for the first time, going to the beach is a must. Santa Monica and Venice Beach are very popular with tourists but I’d suggest visiting Manhattan Beach! It’s less crowded, extremely walkable, and more picturesque in my opinion.
Hike to the Hollywood Sign:
Or if you’re pressed for time because you need to race to see the sunset at the Griffith Observatory (or if you’re lazy), drive to the Hollywood Sign! Type in 3000 Canyon Lake Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068 into your GPS, drive up a few winding roads, and treat yourself to the closest view you can get of this famous landmark without getting arrested. You can get even closer if you hike behind it but who wants a picture from the back of the Hollywood Sign?
This is the place to be in Los Angeles at sunset. I’ll let my pictures do the talking.
Mission San Juan Capistrano:
Or just get out of Los Angeles (I know it’s hard, traffic-wise) and visit other parts of Southern California. While San Juan Capistrano isn’t the first place I’d recommend to tourists, I felt like I had to show my friend some sort of historic building that wasn’t just built in the 1900’s. Apart from visiting in the 3rd grade, this was my second time to Mission San Juan Capistrano and it was a beautiful place to explore and learn about the history of the missions. In grade school, I never really understood the sad history behind the missions and all the forced labor required from the Native Americans to build these beautiful settlements. There are 21 missions along the coast of California and I’d definitely recommend visiting at least one.
Have you visited Los Angeles before? What is your favorite place to explore in the City of Angels? Let me know in the comments! I’ll be visiting London and Edinburgh over the next two weeks so look out for a guest post while I’m away. I’ll be back on March 7th with a new post for my #Take12Trips challenge!