I’ve always been rather smitten with LA since I made my first visit to this sunny city at the age of 12. LA’s lovely weather, beautiful palms, and gorgeous beaches get me every time.
I recently spent a fun weekend in LA with my daughters and didn’t want to make shopping the focus of this girls trip. Having teenaged daughters, that can sometimes be difficult, but with some planning and limits on shopping, it all worked out quite well.
We flew into LAX early on a Friday morning, picked up our rental car and headed over to our West Hollywood hotel. We were there by 10:30 am so we dropped off our bags at our hotel and soon headed over to the iconic, Ivy Restaurant, for a delicious, and always entertaining lunch. I had a hike planned for late in the afternoon so I wanted the kids to be well fed and full of energy – and I certainly didn’t want a melt down! No I did not.
This restaurant must spend a small fortune on their flowers. They are so incredibly gorgeous and they are on every table. I love how they offer a glass of champagne upon arrival. Maybe that is a Friday tradition, but I sure do love that touch when having to wait a bit for a table.
Try to get a spot on their lovely patio. On a warm day it’s hard to beat the ambiance of this darling place!
After a very delicious lunch, we headed over to Griffith Park, where I had a hike planned with, LA Bikes and Hikes. Had I asked the kids to go for a hike, they would have said, “a hike”?? But since it was planned they had to go! 😉 Our sweet guide, who was full of information the whole way up the trail, made this a fun and interesting excursion. The views are amazing on this hike and we absolutely loved it!
See the new building being constructed in downtown? That is the, Wilshire Grand Center, which is slated to open in 2017-18. At 73 stories, it will be the tallest building in California. Just in case you were wondering.
Great views of downtown LA and the observatory on the way up, which we eventually made our way to at the end of the hike.
Nice views of the iconic Hollywood sign along the way.
Beautiful place to watch the sunset from the deck of the observatory. Our guide took us into the observatory for a quick and very informative tour.
After a fun hike we were ready for dinner. We headed over to the charming neighborhood of Los Feliz where we dined at a favorite, Little Dom’s. This delicious restaurant was recommended to us by an old friend who now lives in this area. The last time we were there Kevin Bacon and his darling wife, Kyra Sedgwick, were dining there….cute couple!! And he looked as good as he did in Footloose! 😉
If you have the time, try to catch a concert at The Hollywood Bowl. Always a great line up of talent and such a beautiful place to spend an evening.
The next morning we were scheduled to do a historic walking tour of downtown LA with the LA Conservancy, but we decided to sleep in instead. This is on my must do list the next time I’m down there! Downtown LA is going through a complete transformation and is becoming a real hip and happening place to hang out. My sister lived in downtown LA for many years when it wasn’t exactly happening, and now works there, and has seen major positive changes in the last several years. So many great places to see downtown and a vibrant dining scene.
After skipping the downtown tour, we headed to the LA Farmer’s Market at Third and Fairfax for breakfast and then next door for 90 minutes of shopping at The Grove. Always love walking through this lively market and anything you have a taste for can be found here. The next time I’m there I plan to take a food tour with Melting Pot Food Tours. I didn’t find out about this until I was down there and I think the kids and I would have really enjoyed this.
My girls love the very large Top Shop here…2 floors of fun!
After a few hours at The Grove and the LA Framer’s Market, it was time to hit Santa Monica. We always spend at least one night in this fun seaside town when we make a trip down south. We checked into our hotel, Shutters on the Beach, picked up our bikes, which can be rented at several locations along the beach path, and headed to Venice.
The girls enjoyed some time here in the late afternoon while I enjoyed some time with my sister.
What I love about this hotel is that it is right on the path and right on the beach. Step out the door and you are right in the thick of it. Make sure to have breakfast or lunch at Coast, which is the restaurant on the bottom floor of the hotel. Many seats look out onto the path and ocean.
Surprisingly, the kids didn’t want to head to the Santa Monica Pier this time, which was quite shocking to me and a little sad. I guess that tells me that my kids are getting a bit older and not that excited about rides as much as they used to be. They enjoyed the bike riding…. so that was a real plus!
It was a beautiful February day and it felt more like summer!
A beautiful LA sunset to end the day.
On Sunday morning we walked over to the Third Street Promenade for a bit of shopping. We arrived promptly at 11am to beat the crowds at this lovely pedestrian – only, outdoor shopping mall that spans three city blocks in Santa Monica, and a short walk from the Pier.
After a bit of shopping it was off to Urth Cafe. My girls really wanted to have lunch at this trendy LA restaurant. I have to say it did not disappoint. For being as busy as it was, the service was very efficient and friendly, and the food was very good and fresh.
And a beautiful sunset on our flight back to the bay area.
So there you have it. That is how we spent three days in LA. Lunching is always a big part of our getaways, because it is always a nice time for us to chat and catch up. And because of the beautiful LA weather, we try to fit in as much “fun” exercise as we can in this very active and fit city. Something about being in LA just makes you want to get moving.
Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!
What are your favorite things to do when in LA??
I have some more spring favorites coming up soon, so stay tuned for more fashion fun!