Mission San Francisco

#sanfrancisco

San Francisco, is famous for many things, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Golden Gate Bridge, Ghiradelli Chocolates, and the infamous Alcatraz to name a few, but there is so much more to the City by the Bay. During my 8 years living in the Bay Area, I found time to see some of the more touristy attractions mentioned above, but spent very little time exploring beneath the surface of San Francisco’s many unique neighborhoods.

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

I suppose I thought I’d spend more time there later, and instead spent my free time exploring father afield. If you read this blog, you’ll know that I’m doing my best not to make that same mistake here in our new home, Los Angeles.

#alcatraz

The good news is that I visit the Bay Area often, it’s just a six hour drive up Interstate 5, and during our most recent visit we were on a mission to see more of the City. We chose to explore the vibrant Mission District (pun intended), where we discovered delicious food, a fabulous park, and amazing street art! So in other words, my perfect day!

The Mission District

#jacaranda

The Mission District, or The Mission, is located in east central San Francisco, and is borederd by SOMA, Potrero Hill, The Castro, Noe Valley and Bernal Heights. Due to it’s location the Mission is insulated from San Francisco’s famous fog, which means it’s often warmer and sunnier than other neighborhoods.

Tartine Bakery

#tartine
My Guide and family!

Our first stop upon arrival was Tartine Bakery & Cafe, which is known for it’s mouth watering breads and pastries. The line is usually around the block, but luck was in our favor and we walked right in!

#tartine

I had a tough time deciding, as I wanted one of everything, but ultimately went with something on the smaller side, a Mexican wedding cookie, while Elliot got an eclair! Located on the corner of Guerro and 18th, Tartine doesn’t have a sign, so look out for the long line and you’ll know you’ve arrived.

Mission Dolores Park

#missiondolorespark
View from the lawn at Mission Dolores Park.

Sweeping views of the city, large grassy areas, and a fabulous playground are just some of what you can expect while visiting Mission Dolores Park. There is also a large off leash area for those dog lovers out there.

The kids enjoyed the Park’s playground, while I followed them around taking photos of the gorgeous city views. As we were leaving we met, Chris, the Paint a Record guy, and decided this would be a fun activitity. Chris gets the records from yard sales and thrift shops, and sets up at the Park most afternoons and weekends. The acrylic paint dried within minutes and wallah, the perfect Father’s Day present!

Bi-Rite Creamery

San Francisco Mission District Bi-Rite-0620

There’s no time like the present, and after all that park play an ice cream seemed like a great idea! Lunch? Isn’t ice cream lunch? Another San Francisco institution, the Bi-Rite Creamery is a popular place, so we joined the line and patiently waited our turn.

Peach season is upon us, so the Peach Cobbler flavor seemed like a perfect choice, and with large chunks of fresh baked cobbler and peaches throughout, it did not disappoint! Bi-Rite Creamery is just up and across the street from Tartine on 18th Street.

Street Art

The Mission is famous for it’s wall murals, some of which were painted in the 1970s, and reflect the neighborhood’s Latino culture and traditions.

#womensbuilding

More recently other types of street art have entered the mix and there are litteraly hundreds of murals throughout the neighborhood.

#apexer

Don’t worry, I won’t be posting hundred’s of photos, only a few. You’ll have to visit the neighborhood yourselves if you want to see more!

Clarion Alley

#clarionalley

Clarion Alley, off of 18th between Mission and Valenica, is the home of the Clarion Alley Mural Project, which was started in 1992 by Mission residents. The murals here were predominately political in nature, some quite extreme in their views.

19th & Mission

#miniherosMy favorite street art discovery of the day was this Mini Heros mural painted in 2009 by three indivduals known as KEB, WAND and BUTR. Miraculously it’s still in existence! What could be better than street art and superheros?!

Across the street from the Mini Heros you’ll find an amazing tribute to Carlos Santana painted by local artist Mel Waters.

#santana

Walk a little further up 19th and you’ll come to San Carlos Street, which is also the home of a giant honeybear painted by local artist, and a favorite of mine, Fnnch.

#fnnch

Lilac Alley

#lilacalleyWandering along Mission Street we went as far as Lilac Alley, located half a block from the 24th Street Bart Station. The Alley is 2 blocks long between Mission and Capp Streets, and is lined on both sides with vibrant murals.

Straw Restaurant

#strawsf

Knowing the kids might be hungry at the end of the mission, we decided to end our day with an early dinner. We chose Straw, a carnival themed restaurant with unique comfort foods, and decor. Straw is located on Octavia Street in Hayes Valley, a short drive from The Mission and another super fun SF neighborhood worth exploring.

After having cookies for breakfast and ice cream for lunch it made sense to chose the Ringmaster, a burger sandwiched between two glazed doughbnuts for dinner. The idea was fun, but I think I’ll stick with a more tradational bun in the future! We finished up with cotton candy for dessert! Yum!

Tips & advice should you choose to go on your own Mission:

  • I’ve pinpointed some of the places we visited, but keep in mind there isn’t really any right way to explore The Mission.
  • San Francisco can be a tough park, but using the parking app Pay by phone, enables  you to manage everything directly from your phone eliminating the need to keep running back to feed the meter.
  • Walking along Mission Street you’ll find shops, restaurants and markets selling everything from luggage and fidget spinners to t-shirts and fruit. Keep your eyes open, you never know what you might discover.
  • Interested in finding more of San Francisco’s street art? Check out SF Mural Arts a webiste showcasing the city’s vibrant art scene complete with artist and locations.

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#missiondistrictSF

8 Reasons VENICE Should Top your LA List

#venicebeach

#venicebeachI absolutely love LA, its many neighborhoods, and all they have to offer, but keeping up with all the fun can be tough! I know, fear of missing out (FOMO), isn’t exactly a real problem is it? Beyond the everyday happenings, which include a multitude of fabulous restaurants, endless shopping opportunities, and entertainment there are also numerous festivals, special events, and pop ups happening all over the city every single day! So little time so much fun!

#veniceOkay, I live here and I feel this way, so I can only imagine how a visitor must feel. How do you decide, with limited time, which of LA’s amazing neighborhoods to visit, and what should you do while there? I can help with that!

#venicebeachIn my humble opinion no trip to Los Angeles would be complete without a visit to the great and wonderful weird that is Venice, so it makes sense to start there! I’ve mentioned a few of these places in my recent post 50 things to do in LA, but thought it might be fun to highlight some of my favorite parts of this eclectic and spirited neighborhood in greater detail! Read on to see where you might you find me on any given day…

A Brief History

#veniceofamerica

Venice, originally called the Venice of America, was founded as an independent city by Abbot Kinney in 1905. In 1926 Venice merged with the city of Los Angeles and is famous for it’s canals, beaches, and of course the famous Ocean Front Walk.

#venicbeach

1. Abbot Kinney Boulevard

#abbotkinneyThe place to be right now, Abbot Kinney is one of the hottest streets in town! Many of today’s most popular fashion brands have stores here, not to mention street art galore, and the many trendy bars, coffee shops and restaurants to choose from. #favoriteplaces

#abbotkinneysunsetWhen I first moved to LA, 16 years ago, this area was still on its way up and had been for a while, but its safe to say it’s arrived, and then some! I like to spend time here on weekdays when it’s a little less crowded.

Current Elliot

#current/elliotOne of my favorite shopping spots, I love the fun, slightly eclectic casual style of Current Elliot. The clothing feels loved, vintage and worn in perfect for beach life.

Salt & Straw

#saltandstrawThe ice cream at Salt & Straw is delicious, but don’t take my word for it, the ever present line around the block should speak for itself. One reason the line is so long… you can sample as many flavors as you want!

Blue Star Donuts

donutsBlue Star is high on my list of LA donut shops, the poppyseed lemon is my favorite… this is saying something as there are over 600 donut shops in LA County!

#instaheaven

#kelseymontaguewings

Don’t forget to stop and take an #instagood picture in between shopping and eating on Abbot Kinney Boulevard!

2. Windward Avenue

#venicebeachThis little street is Home to Menotti’s Coffee Shop, the Venice Sign, and the Venice Public Art Walls You’ll easily find me here at least three times a week!

Menotti’s Coffee Shop

#menottiscoffeeGet the Spanish Latte! I promise you won’t be disappointed when you taste this delicious coffee concoction! Seriously, what are you waiting for? Go there! Then take your coffee for a walk along the beach!

The Venice Sign 

#venicesignOriginally hung across Windward Avenue at Pacific by Abbot Kinney himself, this current version was installed in 2007. Most often lit with traditional white marquee lights, the Sign changes throughout the year in support of various events. Currently the sign is lit for Venice Pride!

Venice Public Art Walls

#venicebeachYou’ll find the Venice Art Walls on the beach at the end of Windward Avenue. The Walls are open for painting every Saturday and Sunday, so if you’re feeling creative grab a can and join the fun! Alternatively, show up during the week to see what’s new!

3. Ocean Front Walk

#oceanfrontwlkVenice’s 2.5 mile pedestrian only Ocean Front Walk is world famous for it’s eclectic mix of locals, tourists, performers, physics, and artists! Not to mention, the selection of sunglasses and t-shirts is world renowned. You never know who or what you’ll discover during your visit, but I can guarantee you’ll have an amazing time, and probably come away with at least one treasure!

#venicebeach
There’s something for everyone on the boardwalk
The Wee chippy

#theweechippyLocated just off  Ocean Front Walk at Westminster, the Wee Chippy is a walk up fish and chips joint, owned by a Scottish fellow. The fish is great, but the chips are easily the best I’ve ever had. Anywhere! I’m serious! The opening hours are: Lunchtime to sunset… good luck!

4. Bike Path

#santamonicabikepathThe bike path in Venice is part of a larger 22 mile long paved path, which stretches from the Pacific Palisades to Torrance! While riding along the Venice section of the path you’ll be treated to the sights, sounds and smells of the Venice beach Ocean Front Walk, as well as the Venice Art Walls, the skateboard park, countless shops, artists at work, restaurants, and all the wonderful weird that makes up the vibe that is Venice Beach.

#venicepride
The view from the bike path… not too shabby!

5. High Rooftop Lounge


The High Rooftop Lounge is the only rooftop bar in Venice, and its location couldn’t be more perfect, only steps from the beach and everything else Venice has to offer.  The food is good, but views are even better! You’ll find the High Rooftop Lounge on top of the Hotel Erwin on Pacific Avenue. Just before sunset seems like a nice time to arrive!

#venicebeach

6. The Beach

Los Angeles SurfingWhy not give surfing a try?! After all you’re at the beach!  No matter if you’ve never been on a board before, sign up for a lesson and you’ll be popping up in no time! If I can do it, so can you! Even if you’re not up for riding the waves, you can still wiggle your toes in the sand while eating an ice cream and soaking up the rays!

7. Public Art Galore

#venice
Painted by NEVER this homage to Venice is at Baby Blues BBQ on Lincoln.

If you’re at all interested in public art then Venice is the place for you! Street art, sand art, light art, and more can be found just about everywhere you look! There really isn’t anywhere that hasn’t been touched by this explosion of public art!

#babybluesbbq
They serve Kool-aid at Baby Blues BBQ! Awesome!
Main Street
#beautifyearth
Lincoln Boulevard
Venice Beach

8. California Dreaming Comes to Life

#heartglasses

The hustle and bustle of the city is all around you, yet there is a peacefulness, the smell of the ocean on the breeze, the sun on your face, and the sand between your toes. Here is where the dream comes alive, dolphins and surfers sharing the same waves, skaters and bikers pass each other on a palm tree lined path, the smell of delicious food and coffee permeates the air, they all come together to create the good vibes that are Venice and the California Dream.


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#venicebeachpinme

Exploring California From Sand to Sea

#anzaborrego

At 560 miles wide and 840 miles long, The State of California is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, and the third largest state in America. No matter your interest: city, forest, valley, mountain, coast or desert, the Golden State has it all. I’ve lived here in both NorCal and SoCal for the better part of 16 years, and there is still so much left to discover! I’ve hardly scratched the surface! Most recently, we’ve been exploring more of Southern California.

Sand to Sea

#anzaborrego

A record year of rainfall (yay rain!) and the resulting flower super bloom prompted our visit to the Anza Borrego Desert State Park in the Desert region. I had to see all those amazing flowers! Deciding to go on this little adventure at the last minute meant accommodation choices were somewhat limited, and not finding what I was looking for (yes, I’m a hotel snob) we decided to stay on the coast in La Jolla, the Jewel of San Diego. So, two birds with one road trip… Desert and Coast.

#lajolla

Anza Borrego State Park

Anza Borrego Desert State Park is located in the Colorado Desert in Southern California, that’s not confusing, and is California’s largest state park.

#anzaborrego

As we arrived in the park we noticed that small groups of beautiful flowers lined the roadside, and the scenery did look more green than we expected, but where was this Super Bloom we’d been hearing so much about?

#anzaborrego

We only had one day in the area, and Anza Borrego encompasses 600,000 acres, so rather than looking for the proverbial needle in the desert…

#anzaborrego

#anzaborrego

We decided some advice was in order and the Park’s visitor center located in the small town of Borrego Springs seemed like the best place to get it! The park rangers gave us very detailed directions to a nearby location where we could easily see the flowers.

#anzaborrego

There are many hiking trails ranging from easy to difficult as well as camping opportunities in the area, and if you’re interested the rangers will provide maps and directions. March afternoon temperatures were already in the high 90s, so we decided against hiking, and there were plenty of flower viewing options near the visitor center. We saw some pretty neat desert art installations on our way to the fields!

Anza Borrego State Park California#anzaborrego

The flower fields, as expected were stunning, and walking among them was a joyful experience. There weren’t many bees, strangely, but there were a ton of black ants and  caterpillars, which meant my boys weren’t willing to pose for too long among the flowers, and they definitely weren’t willing to sit down. Hoping for sunset photos, we timed our visit for late afternoon and sunset, which worked out perfectly.

#anzaborrego

#anzaborrego

Anza Borrego is an official Dark Sky, and while I love night photography, my amateur status meant that I wasn’t exactly prepared to take the night photos I had hoped for. Nevertheless we found ourselves a bench outside the visitor center and enjoyed viewing the stars and hearing the sounds of the desert at night. There was a little Saloon down the street from the visitor center where we enjoyed a meal before setting out for the sea portion of our adventure.

Anza Borrego State Park California

 

La Jolla The Jewel of San Diego

#lajolla

La Jolla, a lovely little seaside community located within the city of San Diego, was the perfect place to spend the day exploring. We saw Public art, delicious donuts, and a ton of wildlife, and these were just a few of the fun activities available!

La Jolla Mural Project

The La Jolla Mural project started in 2010 as a way to enhance the local community. The murals are painted or mounted on private buildings and are on display for a minimum of two years! We didn’t have time to view all of them, but loved the ones we were able to find.

#lajollamuralproject

 

Children’s Pool Beach

Just steps from the cute downtown area the coast is lined with lovely parks and beaches. We read that Children’s Pool Beach was a worthwhile spot and we were delighted to discover that our visit took place during the Harbor seal pup season! I loved watching the adorable interactions between the mother and baby seals, and we stayed quite a long while before wandering further up the coastline where we saw sea lions, pelicans, and many mischievous squirrels.

#childrenspoolbeach

There are times during the year when the beaches are open for swimming and scuba diving is permitted as well. We saw divers among the sea lions, and there’s something so special about viewing animals in their natural habitat, but I must admit I’m just fine with my feet on the shore!

 

Donuts

Since our move to SoCal, we’ve been on a quest for the best donuts, so when we came across this donut shop, we couldn’t resist!

 

#lajolla
These gorgeous flowers were alongside the road in San Diego County

Tips & Advice:

  • Anza Borrego Desert State park is a 3 hour drive from Los Angeles
  • La Jolla is a two hour drive from Anza Borrego.
  • The Children’s Pool Beach is closed to public access during harbor seal pupping season, Dec. 15 through May 15, yearly. However, you can view the seals during this time.

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#pinteresthilarystyleme

Venice Art Walls: Caution Wet Paint

#venicebeachartwalls

#veniceartwalls

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I’m a  fan of street art! I spend a good amount of my free time seeking out and enjoying the murals and graffiti art throughout Los Angeles, and lately, any other city I visit. Lucky for me there’s no shortage in LA! Although, It was my visit to Lisbon a few years ago that really awakened my love of this art genre and since then I’ve been hard at work curating my  collection!

#veniceI love art museums too, but there’s something so wonderful about a giant piece of art out there in the open for everyone to enjoy. You might just see it out of the corner of your eye as you walk or drive by, but if you do have the time or inclination, its there for you to admire at your leisure any time of day or night. Stay as long as you’d like, or take a photo, but either way, its there for your enjoyment, no walls, opening hours, admission, or strings attached!

LA’s Mural Moratorium

#veniceartwalls
During the Mural Moratorium  the art walls were the only place”Michelle” could have written her real name.

In my quest to see the art I’ve learned a ton about the culture and the artists behind these amazing paintings, but that wasn’t always possible and even now, many graffiti and mural artists are anonymous, preferring instead to use pseudonyms, in order to protect their identities.

#veniceartwalls

Today there are countless murals throughout the city of LA, but there was a period of 10 years, referred to as the Mural Moratorium, where it was illegal to paint any kind of fine art mural. Anywhere. Even on private property. The penalties included steep fines and even jail time.  Many artists chose to move away…

#veniceartwalls

During my art seeking adventures, I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be a street or graffiti artist, to create a mural, or paint the side of a building when no one was looking…

The Venice Public Art Walls

#venicebeachartwalls

Thanks to the Venice Public Art Walls, I’m able to find out, and it’s legal!

The Venice Art Walls are all that’s left of the Venice Pavilion, and while there has always been graffiti on the walls at this location, it wasn’t until 2000 that painting them became legal. 2017 is the 10 year anniversary of the name Venice Public Art Walls. The LA Mural Moratorium officially ended in 2013!

#veniceartwalls

The Walls are transformed from week to week by amateurs and professionals alike. One of my favorite Monday morning activities is riding my bike along the beach path to the Art Walls, so I can see what’s new!

#veniceartwalls

Sometimes I see familiar characters, like Snoopy the dog, or Frosty the Snowman, other times, its giant ice cream, or corn on the cob. There are countless sayings, some hopeful, some not, occasionally there are memorials, but no matter what it always smells like fresh paint!

While I haven’t had a chance to leave my mark yet, I did purchase some cans, and did a little practicing at home. Are you interested in making your mark? Every wondered what it might be like to be a graffiti artist? Feeling creative, grab a can and join the fun!

#veniceartwalls

Tips & Advice:

  • You’ll find the Venice Public Art Walls just west of Windward Street on the other side of Ocean Front Walk and the bike path, just adjacent to the Venice Beach Skatepark. The approximate address is: 1800 Ocean Front Walk
  • The Walls are always open for viewing, 7 days a week, but painting is only allowed on Saturday and Sundays on a first come first serve basis between 10 am and 5 pm.
  • A free permit is required before you can paint. Do not paint without one or it will be considered graffiti and you can be fined.
  • Before you can get your permit you’ll need to fill out the Artist Agreement. Permits are given on site.
  • Children under 18 require the presence of an adult, and should only use brushes and rollers when painting.
  • Do get plastic gloves and a mask. Do not wear anything you care about.
  • Did you know that spray can nozzles come in different sizes for better control?
  • Pressing down on the nozzle for extended periods of time is harder than it looks!
  • The Art Walls are available for filming and private events. These photos are from an Autism Fundraiser.

Do grab a coffee at Menotti’s or a bite at The Wee Chippy, both within walking distance, before or after you create your work of art!

Maybe you’re not interested  in creating? The Venice Public Art Walls are also a great place to catch the sunset!

#veniceartwalls

#veniceartwalls


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#veniceartwalls

The Museum of Ice Cream Los Angeles

#museumoficecream

You Scream, I Scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM!

#museumoficecream

I love museums, and consider myself something of a museum collector. Over the years my collection has grown and is quite varied including museums about science, art, natural history, diamonds, children, and chocolate to name just a few! We’ve had the good fortune to visit some of the world’s most amazing museums in cities around the globe, so when I hard a museum about ice cream would be coming to Los Angeles, our home town, I knew we’d be adding it to our list! The funny thing is, I don’t love Ice Cream, or at least that’s what I tell myself…

#museumoficecream I’ve been eating the same flavors of ice cream my entire life, at first  it was chocolate chip mint. Every. Single. Time. At some point I switched to Pralines and Cream and that was my flavor. These days, I have been trying to branch out a bit more in the flavor department. My current favorite is salted malted cookie dough at Salt & Straw.

Anyway…

What is the Museum of Ice Cream & Will Their be Treats?

#museumoficecreamThe Museum of Ice Cream is a temporary interactive art installation featuring not just ice cream, but all things ice cream related. The only real purpose, as far as I can tell, is to provide pure joy and happiness and they’re really good at it!

#museumoficecreamAlong the way, you’ll see and experience a ton of silly fun from ice cream sandwich swings, to giant popsicles, and scratch and sniff wall paper! Along with all the silly fun, there will be endless photo opportunities! I loved that they incorporated some of LAs most famous icons into the installations.

#museumoficecream
Doesn’t this remind you of another famous sign?

Of course you can’t have an ice cream museum without treats! A lot of them! We sampled Gummy bears, ice cream of course, mochi and a number of other delicious items all of which came with the price of admission!

The Bad News and The Good News

Okay, so as you can probably guess this place is very popular, which also means high demand. The bad news is that tickets for the limited Los Angeles engagement have already sold out, but the good news is that there will be other locations! If this sounds like something you might like to experience you’ll want to visit the Museum of Ice Cream’s official website and sign up for information about upcoming locations.

#museumoficecreamThe Museum of Ice Cream is located inside a converted warehouse in the DTLA Arts District! Everything including the outside of the building is Pink! Did I mention Everything!?

The phone is ringing, and it’s for you!

Upon arrival, you’ll gather in this adorable room where you’ll hear about the Museum of Ice Cream, and directions on how to proceed. The museum is one way only so remember to take your time. Your first stop will be in the Ice Cream Hotline room, do stop and have a listen. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

Go Bananas!

You’ll receive your first ice cream treat inside the next room! Our flavor was Earl Grey, but the flavors will change!

Not all the rooms have treats in them, some are just photo opportunities, or immersive experiences. The mint room smelled deliciously fresh, and I really loved the mochi, which just happened to be chocolate chip mint! Serendipity!

Silliness ensued at the video station!

These giant popsicles were so cool, and we had a lot of fun posing with them before heading to the gummy bear room! We have gummy bear fanatics in our house, so this was a favorite stop!

These tiny cones look like ice cream, but they were actually scoops of cookie dough!

You had me at Sprinkle Pool!

The sprinkle pool was easily our favorite experience in the entire museum! The feeling of immersing yourself into a pool filled with 100 MILLION sprinkles is equally weird and great!

If you’re wondering, the sprinkles aren’t real, they’re plastic, so don’t try to eat them! I’m still finding sprinkles around the house, and even though I zipped my bag the sprinkles found their way in, but I don’t mind, in fact I kinda like it!

Our last stop in the museum was a game room of sorts with this fun ping pong table, a giant swing and a gift shop. We were offered freshly made delicious and very pink pancake ice cream sandwiches.

Our visit to the Museum of Ice Cream took about 90 minutes, and we all agreed that it was a really fun family experience! We ate five different treats and participated in everything the museum had to offer.  Do you Scream for Ice Cream? If so, what’s your favorite flavor?


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#pinmehilarystyle

50 Things To Do in Los Angeles

#dtlaskyline

Have you noticed all the lists online lately? Me too! This recent trend has alerted me to the fact that I’m not alone in my love of lists. What’s even more fun than making a list? Crossing things off them, of course! It’s so satisfying!

#losangelesmuralIn a city as vast as Los Angeles, on any given day, there are countless opportunities for tourists and non tourists alike. So many, in fact, it wouldn’t really be reasonable to try and list them all, so for the purposes of this list I’m drawing the line at 50* places.

50 Things to do in Los Angeles* (and Surrounding Areas)

1. DTLA Arts District
Location: 812 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles

#peacegoddessDTLA

The revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) is nothing short of amazing, especially the Arts District! Biking, street art, restaurants, shopping and more… I guarantee you’ll love it and with so much to see and do multiple visits are in order!


2. LA Art Tours – Graffiti/Mural Tour
Location: 533 Colyton St, Los Angeles

#dtlagraffititourA walking tour of DTLA is the perfect way to view the city’s vibrant mural and graffiti scene and get the lay of the land. The tours are lead by the artist themselves, and you’ll not only be viewing amazing artistry, but you’ll learn all about the culture and lingo of these incredibly talented locals.


3. Pie Hole
Location: 714 Traction Ave Downtown Los Angeles

#pieholeDTLA

Whether you like it savory or sweet you’ll be guaranteed a unique and tasty treat at the Pie Hole, We love the DTLA location, but with 5+ locations throughout the greater LA area you have no excuses! I wish I could show you a photo of the pie, but It never lasts long enough to take a photo!


4. Walt Disney Concert Hall
Location: 111 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

#waltdisneyconcerthall

If you’re a fan of architecture, the symphony, or both then you’ll want to consider a visit to the Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall. If nothing else it provides an amazing backdrop for those #Instagood pics!


5. The Broad Museum
Location: 221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles

The Broad Los Angeles California

If you only have time to visit one museum while in LA, I highly suggest The Broad located in DTLA. Entry to the museum is free, and the collection is top notch! Do keep in mind that advance reservations are required.


6. Little Tokyo
Location: 115 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Los Angeles

#hellokittyforpresident

The Little Tokyo district in DTLA is the place to go for authentic Japanese dining, quirky shopping and a healthy dose of kawaii!


7. The Last Bookstore
Location: 453 S Spring St, Los Angeles

#thelastbookstore

When I heard about that cool book seller in Downtown Los Angeles that not only sells books but sells them with flair, I just knew I had to go there! With social media on the rise, the appropriately named, The Last Bookstore, might well just turn out to be the last bookstore!


8. Canter’s Deli
Location: 419 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles

#canters

Canter’s, an LA institution, has been serving up their award winning pastrami sandwiches and other deli fare since 1931. Beyond pastrami, other favorites on my list are the Mish Mash Soup, and the High Hat, which is basically a cupcake married to a ding dong! Delicious!


9. Pinks
Location: 709 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles

#pinkschilidog

No trip to Los Angeles would be complete without a trip to Pink’s a true LA institution! Famous for it’s chili cheese dog, Pink’s has been in the same spot on La Brea Avenue for 76 years and if the perpetually long line is any indication, it’s not going anywhere.


10. The Getty Center
Location: 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles

#gettycenter

The Getty Center features American and European art from medieval times to the present. Not only is it considered an architectural masterpiece, but it’s surrounded by beautiful gardens and on a clear day the views of Downtown Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean are spectacular.


11. Griffith Park Observatory
Location: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles

Los Angeles Griffith Park Observatory

A visit to the Griffith Park Observatory includes something for everyone! Fabulous views of Downtown Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign, Hiking, The Halls of Space, a planetarium, and a cafe. Entrance to the Observatory and parking are free of charge.


12. La Brea Tar Pits
Location:5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

#tarpit

Are you a history lover? Then you’ll love a visit to the La Brea Tar Pits!  It’s hard to believe that at one time Wilshire Boulevard was once the home of dire wolves, saber-tooth cats, and mammoths, but It’s true! Of course that was 50,000 years ago, give or take a few thousand years…


13. LACMA
Location: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

#urbanlight

The largest art museum on the West Coast, it would take multiple visits to see everything LACMA has to offer. Just try and walk by Chris Burden’s Urban lights without snapping a few photos.


14. Peterson Automotive Museum
Location: 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

#petersonautomotivemuseum

Los Angeles is famous for many things, but one of them is not waking! In fact, just the opposite and as the song says, “Nobody walks in LA!” If you’re a fan of cars, movies, or both, then The Peterson Automotive museum is a perfect for you!


15. Chandelier Tree
Location: 2811 W. Silver Lake Drive, Los Angeles

Chandelier Tree Los Angeles California

The Chandelier Tree, created by, Silver Lake resident and artist, Adam Tenenbaum is a magical piece of art which is located in his front yard! The tree’s restored chandeliers have been collected over time through donations, swap meet purchases and film sets. #instala


16. Hurry Curry of Tokyo
Location: 2131 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles

#hurrycurry

If you’re looking for a unique Japanese cuisine experience Hurry Curry of Tokyo located in  Japantown is the place! Get the White sauce I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!


17. Surf Lessons
Location: Santa Monica/Venice

Los Angeles Surfing

Why not give surfing a try?! No matter if you’ve never been on a board before, sign up for a lesson and you’ll be popping up in no time! If I can do it, so can you!


18. The Grove
Location: 189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles

IMG_9913

If shopping is on your list, check out The Grove, not only is it home to many  trendy shops and restaurants it also boasts one of America’s tallest Christmas Tree’s!


19. The Hollywood Sign
Location: Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Los Angeles Hollywood SignOne of the most iconic signs in the world, no trip to LA would be complete without at least a quick view of the Hollywood Sign. There are a number of viewing spots around town. One of which is the Griffith Park Observatory located in… Griffith Park.


20. Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Location: 6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038

#hollywoodforever

The Hollywood Forever Cemetery, isn’t just the final resting place, of some of film and music’s most celebrated stars, Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone, Judy Garland, and Douglas Fairbanks to name a few, but it’s also a fun and quirky place to see an outdoor concert. Check the official website for the current season’s offerings.


21. Hollywood Walk of Fame
Location: Hollywood Boulevard between Gower and La Brea, Los Angeles

Los Angeles Walk of Fame

Everyone should visit The Walk of Fame, which runs 1.3 miles along Hollywood Boulevard between Gower Street and La Brea Avenue, at least once. There are more than 2,500 stars along the Walk and you’ll be sure to recognize a few of your favorites!


22. Mann’s Chinese Theater
Location: 6925 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles

#graumanschinesetheater

If you’re already in the area visiting #21, make the most of your time and visit Mann’s Chinese Theater too! Attempting to fit my feet and hands into the many celebrity prints, which have been pressed into the courtyard floor is always a fun activity.


23. Santa Monica Beach Bike Path
Location: Santa Monica

Bike Path Santa Monica

The 22 mile long paved path stretching from the Pacific Palisades to Torrance is perfect for biking, running, skateboarding or just plain walking! Along the way you’ll find playgrounds, bike rentals, ice cream shops, burger joints and shopping.


24. Street Art Walk
Location: Santa Monica

#sidecardoughnuts

Go on an art walk! Santa Monica is loaded with street art just waiting to be discovered! The photo above, located at Sidecar Doughnuts on 7th and Wilshire Blvd, is a piece by Bumblebeelovesyou, a local artist, and a favorite of mine! Other fun areas with a lot of  street art are Main Street and Pico Boulevard, both of which are also loaded with fun shops and restaurants!


25. Sidecar Doughnuts
Location: 631 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica

#sidecardoughnuts

Sidecar Doughnuts  is our favorite donut shop on the Westside, and we’ve tried a few. Sidecar’s doughnuts are always fresh, tasty, and popular, so be prepared for a long line, and because your first choice will most likely sell out before you make it to the counter, choose a second. Don’t worry they’re all good!


26. Santa Monica Pier
Location: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica

#santamonicapier

Yes, it’s very touristy, but everyone should visit the Santa Monica Pier at least once! Not only does it boast the only over water Roller Coaster in the world, but it also has an adorable little aquarium and an old fashioned carousel!


27. Santa Monica Beach
Location: Santa Monica

#santamonicabeach

Santa Monica is the perfect family beach. It has everything you need for the perfect beach day! Soft warm sand perfect for sandcastle building, a pier complete with amusement park, and tons of nearby shopping and dinning!


28. The Original Muscle Beach
Location: Santa Monica

#musclebeach

Just south of the Santa Monica Pier you’ll find the original Muscle Beach, which features loads of gymnastics equipment, the Chess Park and easy access to the Carousel. My boys and I have always enjoyed trying out all the equipment.


29. Tongva Park
Location: 1615 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica

#tongvapark

Tongva Park is a lovely traditional park just south of the Santa Monica Place Mall on Ocean Avenue. Along with unique play structures, you’ll find beautiful gardens, fountains, and lovely ocean views.


30. Third Street Promenade
Location: 3rd Street between Wilshire Blvd and Broadway, Santa Monica

#thirdstreetpromenade

I’m always up for a stroll and some shopping! Just a short walk from the beach you’ll find world class shopping, restaurants and entertainment at the Santa Monica Place mall and on the pedestrian friendly Third Street Promenade.


31. Montana Avenue
Location: Montana Avenue, Santa Monica

#lovewall

Located just one mile north of Downtown Santa Monica, you could spend all day wandering in and out of the boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants located on Montana Avenue!


32. Menotti’s Coffee
Location: 56 Windward Ave, Venice

#menottis

Get the Spanish Latte! I promise you won’t be disappointed when you taste this delicious coffee concoction! Seriously, what are you waiting for? Go there! Then take your coffee for a walk along the beach!


33. Venice Beach Ocean Front Walk
Location: Ocean Front Walk, Venice

#ilovevenice

Like the sign says, I ❤️ Venice, and not just for the cheap sunglasses and great people watching! No trip to Los Angeles would be complete without a visit to the great weird that is Venice!


34. The Wee Chippy
Location: 1301 Ocean Front Walk, Venice

#theweechippy

Located just off  Ocean Front Walk at Venice Beach, the Wee Chippy is a walk up fish and chips joint, owned by a Scottish fellow. The fish is great, but the chips are easily the best I’ve ever had. Anywhere!


35. Venice Beach
Location: Venice Beach, Venice

Venice Beach Los Angeles California

There’s nothing like the beach in Southern California, and when you throw in everything else that Venice has to offer you’ve got nothing short of paradise! Don’t forget your sunscreen!


36. Venice Beach Skate Park
Location: 1500 Ocean Front Walk, Venice

#venicebeachskatepark

Skateboarding as we know it originated in Los Angeles,  so it makes sense that there’s an awesome skatepark right on the beach. Grab your wheels and drop in for some fun, or be a happy spectator either way, all are welcome!


37. Venice Art Walls
Location: Ocean Front Walk, Venice

#venicebeachartwalls

Just next to the Skatepark you’ll find the Venice Art Walls, where every Saturday and Sunday you’ll find them transformed by professional and amateur street artists alike! Feeling creative, grab a can and join the fun!


38. Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Location: Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice

#abbotkinneysunset

One of the hottest streets in town! Many of today’s most sought after fashion brands have stores on Abbot Kinney, not to mention the many trendy bars and restaurants to choose from. #favoriteplaces


39. Rose Avenue
Location: Rose Avenue, Venice

#roseavenue

Completely transformed in the past few years, Rose Avenue, is definitely worth a visit. Lined with one of a kind boutiques, restaurants and markets, there’s a little something for everyone!


40. Malibu Farm Pier Restaurant
Location: 23000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu

#malibupier

Stay cozy inside on a stormy day or eat out when the sun is shinning, either way the Malibu Farms Pier Restaurant is the perfect little breakfast spot! Locals only! Just kidding, but do check this place out if you’re looking for something a little less touristy.


41. The Getty Villa
Location: 17985 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades

#gettyvilla

Located on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, the Getty Villa is dedicated to the antiquities and features 7000 years of ancient art. Even if antiquities aren’t your thing, The Villa itself is a site to see.


42. Zuma Beach
Location: Zuma Beach, Malibu

#zumabeach

The drive to Zuma, along the Pacific Coast Highway, is spectacular in itself, and when you get there… Sun, sand, and surf. Need I say more?


43. Solstice Canyon
Location: 3455 Solstice Canyon Rd, Malibu

#solticecanyon

Hiking options in Solstice range from easy to difficult, making this a great destination for families and pets! There’s a waterfall, gorgeous views, and even an architectural landmark, all waiting to be discovered.


44. The Beverly Hills Sign
Location: 9439 N Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills

#beverlyhills

You’ll know you’re in Beverly Hills when you see THE Sign! A lovely and iconic place to take a photo!


45. Rodeo Drive
Location: Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills

#rodeodrive

First timer or resident, there’s something special about a stroll down Rode Drive.


46.The Love Wall (Wall Hopping)
Location: 8549 Higuera St, Culver City

#lovewall

The Love Wall located at Smash Box Studios in Culver City is just one of the many popular wall murals throughout Los Angeles. Your trip to LA is made all that much more colorful when you include one these fun pieces of street art in the background of all your social media posts! #instala


47. Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Location: 3400 W Riverside Dr, Burbank

#centralperk

Los Angeles, is the home of movie magic, which also makes it the perfect place to find out how all that magic happens! During your visit to the Warner Bros Studio Lot you’ll get behind the scenes peeks into many of your favorite television shows and movies both old and new!


48. Universal Studios Theme Park and Studio Tour
Location: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City

#hogwartsexpress

Universal Studios is not just a theme park, but a working movie studio as well! We love the Studio Tour, which is full of fun surprises, and of course there’s Butterbeer!


49. Disneyland Theme Park
Location: 1313 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim

disneyland-1137

They don’t have call it the Happiest Place on Earth for nothing! Yes, it’s crowded, yes, it’s expensive, and yes, despite those things I absolutely love the Magic Kingdom. Checkout my tips and tricks for a successful visit to Disneyland.


50. Huntington Library and Gardens
Location: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino

#huntingtonbotanicalgardens

The Huntington Botanical Gardens, has something for everyone! Museums, a library and acres of beautiful and unique gardens, including a fabulous children’s garden!


Living here gives us access to all the amazingness that LA has to offer, however, our family, like many others, often struggles when it comes to deciding how to spend our free time. lucky for us, Los Angeles also happens to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, so hopefully, now that we’ve got this handy list all our problems, and maybe yours, will be solved!

* As fast as we “check things off” we think up more fun and interesting ideas, so stay tuned for 50 More Things To Do in LA coming soon

*Be sure to check official websites for operating hours and ticket prices.


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InstaLA! Part 2: #WallAntics

Attention #dreamers, wanna be #angels, #lovers, and #wildthings, are you ready for some #instafun?! I hope so, because I enjoyed putting together my previous InstaLA post and the ensuing #wallantics so much, I decided a part two was in order.

#lovewall
#lovewall by Artist J. Goldcrown on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica

From Santa Monica, to Silver Lake, Mar Vista to Venice Beach, Melrose to Downtown LA, and everywhere in between, there is no shortage of fun to be found in and around the City of Angels and I’m so excited to share this next round of #insta favorites and their locations with all of you! While some of these might be familiar, I’m hoping there will be a few surprises as well!

#californiadreaming

Getting a photo isn’t as easy as it looks… Incase you need some Insta inspiration, check out this incredibly silly video of me at the Paul Smith LA Pink Wall… trust me when I tell you I wasn’t the only one…

16 Fun Instagram Locations in and Around LA!

1. Rock Paper Scissors Building
Artist: Risk Rock Location: The corner of Broadway and Cloverfield, Santa Monica

Occupied by post production company, Rock Paper Scissors, the “graffiti” building on the corner of Cloverfield and Broadway, recently received a fresh coat of paint! Take the time to walk all the way around!


2. The Swan Stairs Flight #2
Artist: The Painted Line Mural Co. Location: 2958 Swan Place, Los Angeles

Named for their location, the Swan Stairs were painted in 2015 by The Painted Line Mural Co. and are separated into three different flights totaling 287 steps. Each flight of stairs is unique with different shapes and colors.


3. The Swan Stairs Flight #3
Artist:
The Painted Line Mural Co. Location: 1784 Rotary Drive, Los Angeles

The final of the three Swan Place flights, and my favorite, showcases a quote from the band the Decembrists: “Los Angeles, I’m Yours.”


4. Alfred Coffee
Location:
33371/2 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

Alfred Coffee has become something of an LA institution, and rightfully so! Their coffee is excellent! They have multiple locations throughout town, each with it’s own unique decor. This particular location happens to be conveniently located near the Hidden Stairways of Silver Lake


5. Dreamer
Artist:
Ruben Rojas Location: Walgrove Ave and Palms Blvd., Mar Vista Los Angeles

The minute I discovered this recent street art addition to the Mar Vista neighborhood, I just knew I had to see it in person. I love the bright colors and positive message created by artist Ruben Rojas as part of the Beautify Earth initiative.


6. Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Artist: The Art of Chase & Hashim Thomas Location: 1400 block of Abbot Kinney, Venice

Beyond world class shopping, great food, and overall good vibes, Abbot Kinney is a treasure trove of fabulous art, like this fun mural painted by The Art of Chase. Be sure to walk down both sides of the street, so you don’t miss anything!


7. Barry’s Boot Camp
Artist: Kelsey Montague Location: 1500 Lincoln Blvd., Los Angeles

No matter how many times you drive up and down Lincoln Boulevard there is always something new to discover! My latest discovery was these fabulous wings painted by Kelsey Montague. Of course I had to stop… #whatliftsyou


8. Collete Miller Angel Wings
Artist: Colette Miller Location: Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

With multiple locations around LA, and the world, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve heard of Colette Miller’s Wings! This particular pair, which are located on Melrose Avenue were pretty busy, with a long line of Instagrammers anxiously waiting their turn.


9. Where the Wild Things Are Wall Mural
Artist: PDB Crew Location: 7629 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

My little one was really excited when he recognized these characters from one of his favorite stories, Where the Wild Things Are, painted larger than life on the side of a wall! He happily posed for this shot, and in fact he requested we have it printed. It now hangs in his bedroom!


10. American Vintage Wall
Artist: Adam Dare Location: 7575 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles

The entire American Vintage shop is covered in fabulous wall art! Big small, pasted, painted, you name it! Artists of all kinds leave their mark here and it’s definitely worth a visit. There’s some pretty neat stuff inside the shop too!


11. Arts District Co-op
Artist: Royal Location: 453 Colyton St, Los Angeles

I’m crazy about the DTLA Arts District and no trip would be complete with a visit to the Arts District Co-Op. Not only will you find loads of #insta opportunities on the outside, the inside is pretty great too!


12. Kiss The One You Love… Mural
Artist: WRDSMTH Location: 300 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles

I’m a big fan of WRDSMTH! He often uses a “typewriter” stencil to convey his very positive WRDs of wisdom, but went a different route this time. Might be a fun place to pose with your sweetheart?!


13. Cafe Gratitude Love Is…
Artist: J. Goldcrown Location: 300 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles

A post shared by Hilary (@hilarystyleme) on

While I felt I might be pressing my luck if I asked for an action shot in front of WRDSMTHs mural, I thought I might have a good shot with this one just across the way! You might recognize these #bleedinghearts from my previous InstaLA post as they’re in multiple locations around town!


14. Colette Miller Angel Wings – The Very First Pair!
Artist: Colette Miller Location: Traction and Hewitt in the Arts District, Los Angeles

These are the wings that started it all, and considering how temporary street art can be, its pretty amazing that they are still there. Every pair is unique, why not make a stop at each one if you can?


15. Artist & Craftsman Supply
Artist: Kurt Thompson Location: 1660 S La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles

The Mondrian style wall on the side of the Artist & Craftsman Supply in mid-city is one of LA’s most popular #InstaWalls!


16. Chinese Laundry Headquarters
Artist: @itsaliving Location: 3485 La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles

Last but not least, is my most recent discovery, and one of my favorites, the fabulous California Dreaming wall located at the company headquarters of Chinese Laundry!


Now that we’ve taken so many pics and had so much fun in the process, what will we do with all the photos? I mean, beyond post them on Instagram? Make our own wall art of course!

#8x8project

Los Angeles is a veritable treasure trove of art and fun! The more I search the more I find, so don’t be surprised if there’s an InstaLA! 3 in the future…


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Warner Brothers Studio Tour

#warnerbrosstudios

#warnerbrostour

I love the movies! Do you? One of the reasons I love entertainment so much is the ability to imagine and get lost in lots of different realities. I also love that I can simply walk away when I’m over it. When I sit down to watch a TV show, or a movie I’m ready and willing to believe the unbelievable! Obviously, I don’t sit down and say, “Prepare to suspend belief,” it simply happens. That’s the magic!

Warner Bros Studio Tour Los Angeles California
Belle Haven Prison… good thing this isn’t our reality!

When done right, it’s so seamless, its easy to believe that what you’re watching is actually real. I love nothing more than the ability to settle in with my popcorn, (is there any other movie watching treat) and blissfully forget that it took literally hundreds of people working behind the scenes to create that seamless transition between the real world and places like Hogwarts, The Shire, or Gotham City. Three of my favorite alternate realities!

#batsignal

I literally forget that I can’t actually go to these places, and that Batman isn’t real. Wait! What? Batman isn’t real? I refuse to believe it!

#batmobile
Batman must be real, here’s his car!

Okay, now that we’ve established that one does not simply walk into Mordor, how do they make it look like we can? How do they make it look so real?  Well, it just so happens that Los Angeles, the home of movie magic, is the perfect place to find out! During my recent visit to the Warner Bros Studio Lot we got behind the scenes peeks into many of our favorite television shows and movies both old and new!

#centralperk
After your tour stop by Central Perk for a coffee!?

Now, you might be thinking that a studio tour is incredibly touristy, and it is, but hey there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s touristy for good reason. Next you might say to yourself, but I’m not into theme parks, and to that I say, “Not all studios are theme parks, however some theme parks are studios!”

 

#warnerbrostour
You’ll go inside actual filming locations!

Even the cynic in your group will be won over when they see the location of their favorite television show or movie. At least our resident cynic was!

 

#warnerbrostourYour tour starts with a brief film overview, hosted by Ellen, (her show is filmed at Warner Bros.) afterwards you’ll be split into small groups! The lot encompasses 110 acres, and is big enough to need its own fire department, so this won’t be a walking tour. Your open air vehicle seats about 12 people and will ensure that you’re able to see everything!

#warnerbrostour
You’ll be riding in a vehicle similar to this one!

Along the way you’ll have the opportunity to visit the homes and buildings from some of film and TV’s most popular places, including ER, Gilmore Girls, Dukes of Hazard, the original Batman TV series and Full house to name just a few. You might even get the opportunity to step inside some of them. Don’t worry there’s plenty of time for photo opportunities!

What you’ll see on your tour is largely dependent on what is happening on the lot on that given day. We were treated to exhibits showcasing props from Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Suicide Squad and Batman Vs. Superman.

My favorite exhibit had to be the Bat Mobiles, but we also got the opportunity to visit the sound stage of the Big Bang Theory, the coffee shop from La La Land, and even the set of Central Perk from Friends. If you’re so inclined you can even sit on the Friends couch.

Towards the end of your tour you’ll be given the opportunity to explore, at your own leisure, interactive exhibits dedicated to showing you just how the movie and television magic happens, including costumes, scripts, set dressing, green screens, forced perspective and more.  We held Oscars, “rode” the bat cycle, explored movie props, and made a trip to the studio shop!

Tips and Advice:

  • You’ll need to reserve your tour online in advance.
  • Kids under 8 are not permitted.
  • You’ll be getting in and out of the tour vehicle, so make sure to dress appropriately.
  • The tour is three hours long, but the time flies by!
  • The tour operators are very accommodating, so feel free to ask for a photo stop at any point along the way.
  • Save time for a visit to the  tour studio store, which features items from many well known films and shows and is only available on the tour!

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Downtown Los Angeles Graffiti & Mural Walking Tour

#lagraffiti

A self described urban girl, art lover, and travel addict one of my favorite pastimes is “collecting” street art. It’s a hobby I picked up a few years ago, while traveling in Portugal. Over the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to have collected some great “pieces” from cities around the world, Glasgow, London, Paris and Seattle to name just a few*.

#DTLAArtsDistrict
Lucky for me Los Angeles has no shortage of local and international artists who are literally painting the town, enabling me to continue collecting even when I’m not on the road! I like to think of it as sort of a worldwide treasure hunt, and along the way, I’ve come to know and love the styles of many artists, recognizing their unique styles on sight.

#WRDSMTH
WRDSMTH is a favorite! I ❤️ his positive messages!

The scale, accessibility and temporary nature of street art are all part of its draw, and thanks to social media it’s easier than ever to follow and find new works by some of my favorite artists. When I do discover a fun new piece there’s no time to waste, as one never knows how long it will be on “display.” Legal, or not, you never know when it might be tagged, buffed over, or even torn down.

#WRDSMTHBandit
This  Bandit / WRDSMTH collaboration has since been buffed over.

I’ve been doing a pretty good job of discovering pieces on my own, but recently I decided to enlist a little help, and signed up for a graffiti/mural walking tour in Downtown Los Angeles.

#dtlaartstour
The Tour Starts Here out side of Dejavita Boutique!

walking tour of DTLA was the perfect way to view the city’s vibrant mural and graffiti scene and get a feel for the neighborhood. Not only did we view amazing works of art, but we learned about the street art culture including, the techniques, territory, hierarchy and lingo of these incredibly talented artists. It was fascinating and I could go on and on, but let’s get to the art!

Colyton Street

#dtlagraffititour

Your tour begins and ends on Colyton Street just outside of Dejavita and Shreebs Coffee in the Arts District. The tours are led by local artists, and I’m sure just like their art, they all have their own style. Our guide started by giving us a quick lesson in street art vocabulary, “rules” and the history of the area.

We were excited to come back and explore this area after the tour, taking tons of photos and poking in and out of the various shops. I love the DTLA Arts Co-op, which sells local art, jewelry and clothing, some of which is based on art you might recognize from the tour.

The Container Yard

#bumblebeelovesyou
Bumblebeelovesyou & Mikael Brandup

Sadly, you won’t be able to see this Bumbleelovesyou and Mikael B. collaboration, as it’s been painted over. However, you can see the fresh new piece by Deferism, which took its place along with many other fantastic murals, which are located at the Container Yard, an undefined collaborative art space, in the heart of the DTLA Arts District and one stop on the tour. Other stops on the tour were located along Traction Avenue, at The Angel City Brewery, and along 3rd Street.  There was so much amazing art it was hard to decide which pieces to share…

#containeryardDTLA

Traction Avenue

#elmac
El Mac

Angel City Brewery

SAMSUNG CSC

3rd Street

#kimwest
Kim West
#jrpasteup
Paste up JR

The Lingo

Angels –  Famous or respected graffiti artists who have died. Sometimes represented by tags or tributes with halos above them.

Crew –  A group of artists who regularly collaborate often in the same part of town. Examples of local crews: UTI and Mad Society Kings

Legal Walls – Walls, buildings or neighborhoods where artists are encouraged to create graffiti. The ability to create without having to look out for the police means larger and more creative pieces.

Colyton Street DTLA Los Angeles California
Legal Wall behind Dejavita

Mural – A huge work, often on a legal wall. It might be done by an individual, an informal group, or a crew.

#roadtla
Roa

Piece or Masterpiece – Short for “masterpiece.” The term is frequently used to describe a more labor-intensive work.

#tristaneaton
Tristan Eaton

Stencil – A design cut into heavy paper or cardboard, then spray-painted onto a wall. A stencil may be a phrase, an image, or a combination thereof.

Tag – A stylized name or signature done with various materials, such as a marker or an aerosol spray can, often freehand.

#dame
Dame

Throw up – A tag or small “piece” thrown up in a hurry, often located down low.

#graffitithrowup
Throw up

Toy(s) – A derogatory term referring to either poor workmanship, or an inexperienced writer. Going over or “toying” someone else’s work is an act of disrespect. An acronym meaning Tag Over Your Shit.

Wheatpaste/ Pasteup – A type of street art which is literally pasted onto the wall using an adhesive made from flour and water.

#serenity77
Paste up

Woodup – Similar to a paste up, however the stencil is imprinted on wood and then pasted up. This little guy, Nicky Nailed It, is literally everywhere in Los Angeles, often in the least expected places!

Tips & Advice:

  • The Downtown LA Graffiti and Mural tour is offered on Thursdays and Saturdays at 11:30 am. The cost is $12.
  • Reserve your tickets in advance online.
  • The tour starts outside of Dejavita Boutique at 533 Colyton Street.
  • You’ll walk around 2 miles over the course of 2.5 hours.
  • You will be continuously walking and standing for the majority of the tour. It might might not appeal to younger children.
  • Proper attire and walking shoes highly recommended.
  • After the tour, consider exploring the area on your own…

You never know what you might find!

#isabellegorilla

*As you can see my street art collection has grown substantially in recent months, and I’m still collecting, so stay tuned for more discoveries from both near and far…


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