When I was a teenager, probably from the ages of 14 to 17, I was obsessed with all things California. I think because it’s glorified on TV. Or, maybe I was just really drinking The OC koolaid. But for whatever reason, I imagined it to be the best place ever, even though I’d never been. Then, I found out junior year, one of the journalism conferences my yearbook advisor always took us too was in Southern California. Needless to say, I was beyond excited. We spent four days in town—and in addition to the conference, we went to an Angels game, spent a day at Disneyland, and went to Laguna Beach. I was in heaven!
Though I’ve been to San Francisco in recent years, I hadn’t made it back to LA until my trip a few weeks ago. Since high school, I’ve expanded my worldview beyond the golden state and found new places to obsess over, but when an opportunity to travel to LA came up with my day job, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited. And, now that I’m back from the trip, I can see—once again!—why so many people love Southern California—the weather is unbeatable (no humidity!), the landscape is beautiful, it has great proximity to the ocean, and there seems to be something for everyone. If it wasn’t across the country from everyone I loved and so dependent on cars, I’d consider moving there!
I arrived to LA on Monday, and was on a work trip in town until Wednesday. Then, I took Thursday and Friday off on vacation to enjoy some time on the West Coast—and I am so glad I did! While I was with work, we were in downtown Los Angeles, and while I was on vacation, I spent time in Marina del Rey, Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood. This post focuses mostly on the vacation portion of my trip and the neighborhoods I explored on my time off. Los Angeles is huge and I didn’t even begin to scratch the surface during my two days. But, now that I’ve confirmed my love of Southern California as an adult, I’d love to get back again soon and explore even more—The Getty Villa, Malibu, the Pacific Coast Highway, and the Kardashian salad place in Calabasas (I’m not kidding) are high on my list.
One quick housekeeping note, I didn’t write a section below on how to get to LA. Since it’s such a hub, it’s pretty easy to get a flight to LAX! I flew direct from DCA and it’s about a five hour flight. Because of the time change, I think getting out there is a lot easier than coming home, since the latter pretty much takes up a whole day. For instance, when I landed in California after a 9am flight, it was 12 noon local time. But when I landed in DC after a 12 noon flight, it was 8pm local time. Once I was in town, I just took an Uber everywhere—though, if I had been in town longer and wanted to explore more, it would have been advantageous to rent a car since LA is spread out and a lot of the things I want to do aren’t close to each other.
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