InstaLA! Part 3: Art Explosion

#paulsmithla

I’m back with more #Instafun? Are you ready?! Los Angeles is exploding with public art, and I’m on a mission to see as much of it as I can. I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I’m up to the task. There is literally something new going up every day, and if it isn’t new, it’s a new take on something old!

Street art is my passion, but I’m pretty happy about museums, pop up installations, and iconic architecture too! I’m an equal opportunity art lover. There is just something about visiting an amazing piece of art that makes my day, sometimes my week! Not to mention its a great way to get out and see the city. In your quest to get that #instapic you won’t just discover a great piece of art, but the fabulous neighborhood it’s located in! In my book thats an #instawin!

1. The Best of LA (available until August 31, 2017)
Artist: The Most Famous Artist/LA Magazine
Location: Corner of 3rd Street and Robertson Boulevard

In my quest to see and do more in and around LA, I subscribed to Los Angeles Magazine. Call it research! As soon as I saw this cover, I thought, “I hope that’s a real mural!” and to my delight it was! Of course I had to visit, and it just happens to be located on the corner of two great shopping streets: West 3rd Street, and Robertson Boulevard! As is often the case with wall murals, it’s only temporary, but don’t worry The Most Famous Artists, aka Matty Mo, is the artist behind a number of great wall murals around town. I featured another one of his pieces in my post InstaLA!

2. Take Note (available until July 31st, 2017)
Artist: Bumblebeelovesyou
Location: Downtown Santa Monica, Colorado Street

A local artist, and a favorite of mine, Bumblebeeloves you has a number of large pieces in the Los Angeles area. Take Note, a large standup, is part of a larger project sponsored by the City of Santa Monica! #RoamSantaMonica officially kicks off in August 2017, and will feature art installations by various artists. I can hardly wait!

3. Paul Smith Pride Wall (No longer available)
Artist: Blank Canvas LA/Paul Smith/Instagram
Location: Paul Smith Store Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

While this particular mural has since been painted over, the original Pink Wall is back in place, it’s worth noting, that sometimes old becomes new, and revisiting is never a bad idea! This mural was done in celebration of Pride month, and I loved that so many businesses took part! Lucky me, I was able to visit on the last day of the installation. You can bet I’ll be looking out to see what’s up their sleeve next year!

4. Save the Bunny
Artist: Adam Dare, KwueMolly, Madmanart, and Outersource
Location: Colyton Street Downtown Los Angeles

You’ll find this colorful bunny located on the side of Dejavita on Colyton Street in the DTLA Arts District. This is piece has evolved several times, so I can’t promise this exact mural, but there is sure to be something great in this location! This is a favorite neighborhood of mine, because you’re sure to see something new each and every visit. Beyond all the fabulous art, there are many one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants in the area.

5. Dunkin Donuts
Artist: Bumblebeelovesyou
Location: Washington Boulevard, Culver City

Keeping up with all the art around this town can be a challenge! I knew about this adorable piece, but hadn’t had time to visit… Driving home one day, there it was! Good thing U-turns are legal!

6. Love wall
Artist: Curtis Kulig
Location: Smashbox Studios Higuera Street, Culver City

There is so much to LOVE about this mural! This is a popular #instadestination, and is one of the first wall murals I visited, when I moved here. I’m thinking a return visit is in order!

7. The Beverly Hills Hotel
Location: 
9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven by the Beverly Hills Hotel, but it wasn’t until recently that I finally went in! Playing tourist in my own city has opened me up to so many lovely experiences, and I highly recommend a visit to this fabulous institution. However, if you can’t make it to the Beverly Hills Hotel, try a visit to your local luxury hotel, you deserve it!

8. Mural Collaboration
Artist: Fanakapan/Starfigherea
Location: 4th Street DTLA Arts District

The amount of art in the DTLA Arts District is staggering, so it’s no wonder that it took multiple visits before I discovered this amazing larger than life mural!

9. Angel Wings
Artist: Kelsey Montague
Location: Sun Life Organics, Malibu Country Mart

The best part about public art is that its there for everyone to enjoy! I love it even more when I get to interact with the art! These lovely wings are just one of many pair you’ll find around the City of Angels!

10. Love Mural
Artist: Unknown
Location: Hollywood Forever Cemetery (Just outside the Entrance)

Happy weekend everyone! I've been asked by my friends over at @suitcasesandsandcastles @oregongirl_aroundtheworld and @untoldmorsels to share #20factsaboutme this photo was taken on #mothersday outside the @hwdforever Cemetery, which happens to be #20 on my list of 50 things to do in Los Angeles! #anotherlist #ilovelists #apparently #hilarystyleme 1. I dream of being an #artist 2. I love all things #superhero 3. #red is my favorite color 4. Cooking isn't my thing, but I love to bake and decorate elaborate #cakes 5. I go to the #movies alone all the time and I like it that way 6. Dark #denim is my uniform, but I love dresses, sometimes I wear denim dresses (see above #photooftheday ) 7. #scifi #fantasy is my favorite reading genre 8. I love #pirates 9. I have two amazing sons, one is entering high school #howcanthatbepossible #imonly25 10. I'm an #anglophile 11. I have a #tattoo 12. I'm obsessed with the #tudors 13. #gameofthrones is my favorite tv show of all time 14. I'm afraid to fly, but I love to #travel 15. I'm nervous each week when I hit the publish button on my #blog 16. I love to #sing but can't carry a tune 17. I love #shopping 18. I've been to the #zoo in over 25 places 19. I've been accused of being too #cheerful but you can't keep me down 20. I'm a #hotel snob

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I love this mural for so many reasons! Its cheerful message seems to be saying I love LA, which I wholeheartedly do! It’s located just across the street from the entrance to the iconic Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which is definitely worth a visit. What was it I was saying about discovering new neighborhoods?!

11. The Venice Sign
Artist: Venice Chamber of Commerce
Location: Pacific & Windward, Venice

A perfect example of always evolving art, The Venice Sign, which stretches across the road at Pacific and Windward, changes throughout the year to represent holidays, and other events. Rainbow lights for PRIDE month, red and green for Christmas, and of course red, white and blue for the 4th of July. The diagonal crossing should make snapping that #instapic a bit easier, but do be careful! Traffic is heavy in this popular area.

12. Rear View
Artist: Dface
Location: Pico Boulevard & Federal, Los Angeles

Pico Boulevard has recently undergone quite a transformation with murals of all kinds on either side of the road. This one struck a cord with me, as I discovered it just prior to heading out on a road trip.

13. The Broad
Artist: Yayoi Kusama
Location: Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

LA is home to some pretty fantastic museums! This Infinity Room exhibit is currently on display at the Broad Museum, and was well worth the price of admission: FREE! Do keep in mind that entrance to the exhibit is extremely limited, and an early visit is your best bet.

14. I AM Love
Artist:
Ruben Rojas/Beautifyearth.org
Location: Rose Avenue, Venice

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! Not to mention lots of great #streetart!

15. Venice Art Walls
Artist: 
Varies
Location: Ocean Front Walk, Venice

Graffiti for a cause! Have you heard of Sesame Street's newest resident, Julia? She's autistic, and she's making a difference. Most recently she showed up on the #veniceartwalls as part of a local initiative here in LA. Pauly's Project, was inspired by a little boy, born blind and autistic, with a passion for music. They're raising awareness by donating thousands of radios to the homeless communities of Los Angeles. #makingadifference ===================== #graffiti #streetart #muralart #wallart #venicebeach #julia #sesamestreet #paulysproject #autismawareness #artistmakingadifference #community #instala #instapic #instawall #instalove #touristinmyowncity #professionaltourist #beachlife #keepveniceweird #weirdgood #urbanart #graffitiart #losangeles #insta_losangeles #california #californialove #mondaymotivation #hilarystyleme

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You’ll find the Venice Art Walls just west of the Venice Sign on Ocean Front Walk. The walls are transformed every Saturday and Sunday by professional and amateur street artists alike! A pretty great spot for that #insta if you ask me!

I love LA, and the more I discover the more I love it! The opportunities are endless! Stay tuned…


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Instagrammable Los Angeles California Street Art

DIY: Skateboard Decks

I love a project and I love a challenge, so with a house full of skaters it makes sense that once again this summer’s DIY project centers around skateboarding. Last year we made our own longboards, which were a huge success and have seen a ton of use, this year we decided to paint the decks!

The desire to recreate a skate shop display wall is what led to this summer’s project idea. We all admire the amazing artwork we see on the decks hanging on skate shop walls, however purchasing multiple brand name skateboard decks is cost prohibitive, so why not find a why to do it ourselves!

While we will be using these skateboard decks as objet d’art in the boy’s rooms, these boards would also be perfect for riding! Keep reading for a list of supplies, hints, techniques, and inspiration!

Supply list:

  • Blank skateboard deck(s)
  • Frisket for making your own stencils
  • paper/cardstock
  • paints – Acrylic or Spray
  • Paint brushes
  • varnish to seal your design
  • face mask to cover nose and mouth
  • disposable gloves
  • blue tape
  • table/surface covers
  • enclosed area for spray painting
  • paper towels
  • dedicated trash can
  • apron or old clothes
  • Board mounts

Blank Skateboard deck(s) –

DIY Skateboard DecksFirst you’ll need to gather some decks! They can be used or new. We ordered our decks new from an online wholesale website, which meant a minimum order of 10 boards. Our cost per board was $15 including tax and shipping. We chose to sell some of the boards, at cost, to friends who were also interested in this fun project, however this could also make a great birthday party activitiy, or maybe you want to hang 10 boards!

Pre-Project Prep

This may seem obvious, but I feel I should mention: Prepare your work surfaces before you get started, especially if you’re using spray paint or varnish to decorate/finish your decks. You’ll want to create an enclosed area to prevent overspray, and its important to wear a mask, and gloves.

DIY Skateboard Decks
Don’t use your living room rug as a work space!

Chosing to decorate only the bottom of the decks, we used blue painter tape to cover the sides and top.

Techniques

Each of us designed our own decks and interestingly each of us had a different technique in mind. That’s the great thing about art, anything goes!

Painting

DIY Skateboard DecksThis is a great project for all ages! My younger son was able to design and paint his board with minimal help from me.

He used acrylic paints for the background, which dry quite quickly, and a cardstock stencil to create the smiley face!

DIY Skateboard DecksI helped him finish the board off with a UV protective varnish.

Stencils

DIY Skateboard DecksMy older son has fully embraced the SoCal culture, and regularly enjoys both skateboarding and surfing, which is what inpsired my design. In order to get the clean crisp look I was after I would need to use stencils.

DIY Skateboard Decks Los Angeles California
Use an exacto blade to relase any stencils that won’t let go.

Using frisket, a low tack material often used by grafitti artists, I created my own stencils. The great thing about Frisket is that it creates a tight seal keeping paint out of unwanted places, but it can also be easily removed! It can be purchased online or at your local art supply store.

DIY Skateboard Decks Los Angeles California
I used the negative image to help me place the letters.

I used the Silhouette Cameo machine to cut my stencils, however one can easily cut these materials freehand with a razor blade or scissors.

DIY Skateboard Decks Los Angeles California
Remember to use an enclosed area before spraying.

After you apply the stencils, use paper and painter tape to protect any areas where you don’t want to apply color. You’re now ready to paint! I chose shades of blue to represent the water meeting the sky. To achieve this graduated look I used Montana Gold spray paint a quick drying paint with a low flow spray.

DIY Skateboard Decks Los Angeles California

Give the paint ample time to dry, especially if you’ve applied a heavy coating. Once the paint has dried, carefully removes the stencils using an exacto knife. Don’t rush when you pull of the tape and stencils as you don’t want to pull off any of your design.

I finished the board off with a UV protectant varnish.

DIY Skateboard DecksI enjoyed this process so much I made another deck, this one featuring one of our family’s favorite snacks, popcorn!

Simon got in on the stencil action with his Miami Sunset design!

DIY Skateboard Decks

Image Transfer

DIY Skateboard DecksOur final technique was image transfer. Simon wanted to transfer an image he created previously, but didn’t want to recreate it, so we used acrylic gel medium to transfer the image to the deck.

You do this by printing your image out using a laser printer. Paint your image with a generous amount of gel medium. Saturate everything, but don’t make it so wet you tear the paper.

DIY Skateboard Deck Los Angeles California
If your image contains text make sure to create a mirror image.

Lay the image down and smooth it out. Let it dry overnight before you complete the process.

DIY Skateboard Deck Los Angeles California
Saturate your image with gel medium an apply it to the board.

When you’re ready to remove the image use a damp sponge or smooth cloth to help you remove the paper. Don’t rub too hard! Give it a minimum of 8 hours but overnight is best!

DIY Skateboard DecksI also wanted to try this technique, so I created a deck using an image I took at the tamago stand in Tsukiji fish market during our Tokyo trip. To create this distressed look I rubbed the image with a rough cloth and then sanded off excess bits of paper.

DIY Skateboard Deck Los Angeles California

We still need to practice this technique but came out with two Decks we were really happy with! We all really enjoyed this project and let coming up with more and more ideas! My son’s birthday is coming up… I feel a party theme coming on!

DIY Skateboard Decks Los Angeles California

Tips & Advice:

  • We purchased the a spray painting tent, disposable gloves, and masks at our local art store!
  • The blue tape and plastic can all be purcahsed at your local hardware store, however we found that we had many of these items around the house left over from previous projects.
  • Don’t rush! Allow time in between steps, especially when applying and painting stencils, or you’ll end up repainting. Trust me, I know.
  • Don’t worry if you make mistakes! It’s just paint, paper, etc. you can always sand off your design or paint over it until you achieve the look you want!
  • We plan to mount our boards with these Sk8ology hooks to give them the appearance of floating on the wall… Once I get them up I’ll update with a photo!

DIY Skateboard Decks Los Angeles California


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DIY Do it Yourself Skateboard Decks

The Beverly Hills Hotel

The Beverly Hills Hotel

#Thebeverlyhills

Having first visited and now living in the Los Angeles area off and on for my entire life, I would consider myself pretty familar with the area, yet there is always something new, or rather in this case something old, to explore! Recently after driving by more times than I can count, I decided a visit to the Iconic Beverly Hills Hotel was in order! A birthday celebration with the girls seemed like the perfect excuse!

Los Angeles has no shortage of recognizable icons, the people, buildings, street names (Rodeo Drive ring a bell?), even the palm trees, lets face it the city itself is an icon. However, there are some places, that are famous the world over for a variety of reasons, even if we aren’t exactly sure why we’ve heard of them, the Beverly Hills Hotel is one of those places!

#beverlyhillshotelThe Beverly Hills Hotel is located in the city of Beverly Hills on Sunset Boulevard (another one of those famous streets), and opened in 1912, before Beverly Hills was even a city! You can’t miss its iconic pink paint and famous sign.

Smile for the Camera!

The Hotel’s famous pink color and Polo Lounge didn’t come along until the early 1940s, but the Hotel has long been associated with the glamour of Hollywood’s film and rock stars.

#beverlyhillshotelJust like all the celebritites before you, upon arrival, you’ll walk the red carpet under the hotel’s trademark green and white awning with an obligatory photo op at the end! Definitely stop to have your photo taken! What no paprazzi, no matter, a friend will do! You’ll feel just like the celebs!

#beverlyhillshotelThe decadance continues in the lobby with gorgeous art, and flower displays that had all of us whipping out our phones for a photo.

#beverlyhillshotel

The 1912 Bar

Named for the year the Hotel opened, the 1912 Bar was a lovely place to spend an evneing. The ambiance was lovely both inside and out, so we opted for a little of both.

#beverlyhillshotel Starting our evening off outside overlooking the Beverly Hills Los Angeles iconic palm trees I mentioned earlier, we sipped our drinks and shared a heavenly dessert. Berry Pavlova is my new favorite dessert! I can’t stop thinking about it!

#beverlyhillshotel
That’s gold on top!

Once we’d polished off the Pavlova*, we went inside where we were treated to live music courtesy of a Noelle and Nick Fabian a brother and sister team from Nashville.

Looking for that magical far away feeling? Consider an evening at a local hotel in your town, we had the best time as tourists in our own city. While I did check an item off of my LA To Do list, I’ve now added another one: STAY at the Beverly Hills Hotel!  Stay tunned… Cheers!

#beverlyhillshotel

*I really wanted to lick the plate, but held back… after all I was at The Beverly Hills Hotel!


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The Beverly Hills Hotel Hollywood Glamour Staycation Los Angeles

Wanderlust is Calling! Travel Resources & Inspiration Hilarystyle

#guidebooks

Generalife Gardens Alhambra Spain

It’s no secret that exploring the world and everything it has to offer is something I love and want to do more of (hence this blog), but realistically I can’t always be traveling… So how do I keep my wanderlust at bay? I admit it’s not always easy, and some who know me, mainly my husband, might say I fail miserably.

#generalife
Relaxing in the Generalife Gardens of the Alhambra Granada Spain 2015

Feed Your Wanderlust

Feeding my wanderlusting spirit is a full time job! Have I mentioned, I love my job!? Eating out and cooking food from favorite destinations, or places I dream of going is a fun way to satisfy my wanderlust. In fact, we’ve picked destinations based solely on a meal!

Our first family trip to New Orleans came about while planning a ski trip in Tahoe. Sitting in a New Orleans themed restaurant planning, we realized, why not New Orleans? We went straight home and booked our tickets! To this day we’ve never made it to Tahoe, but we do visit New Orleans every year.

#lovecitypark
Taken in City Park during our most recent visit to NOLA in April 2017.

Interested in visiting New Orleans? I’ve written a “few” Articles:

I love fish & chips, and they’re a nice reminder of our  visits to London, a favorite destination of mine. We make regular visits to The Wee Chippy, on Venice Beach, and although they don’t offer mushy peas, it does help keep that particular craving satisfied.

#theweechippy

We love the food in Spain with two of my favorite items being Manchego cheese and chorizo. I keep a steady supply of both these items in the house at all times!

I don’t know how “Spanish” the Spanish Latte at Menotti’s is, but I do love the coffee in Spain, so this is a nice reminder.

#menottis

Cheese is easily my favorite food! My local market has a great selection and I was pretty excited to discover they even had Blarney Castle cheese?!

#kerrygoldblarneycastle

Cork Blarney Castle
Here we are at Blarney Castle in 2016

Blogs & Books

Blogs

hilarystyle blog header tim

Of course I don’t only write a travel blog I also read other travel blogs, which not only helps with planning, but they’re also great for “visiting” places I may never make it to, and for inspiration and advice!

#datdog
I met  up with my fellow Blogger, Cory, from Fifi & Hop in New Orleans!

I’ve discovered many wonderful blogs, and have come across real world advice which I know I’ll use. In fact, I already have!

I’ll be traveling throughout Nevada, Utah, and Arizona in a few weeks, and I booked rooms based on Oregon Girl Around the World‘s blog. Thanks to Tanama Tales, I learned I’ll need advance reservations for the Las Vegas Neon Museum, a place I definitely plan on visiting.

Travel Blogs I read frequently:

Clare from Suitcases and Sandcastles writes about family travel. Her photography is stunning, and her destinations are wide ranging, they include everything from remote Greek Islands to The Hundred Acre Wood (otherwise known as Ashdown Forest)!

Katy from Untold Morsels  writes about her family’s travels with an emphasis on food and unique places to stay! After reading about her stay in Amsterdam I’m definitely putting houseboat on my list!

Lorelei from Caliglobtrotter is a California girl currently living in Germany. I love reading about her adventures, especially the many castles she visits! Her photography is amazing, and now I know how to pronounce Ljubljana! (Pronounced: Lub-lee-yana)!

Erin of Oregon Girl Around the World currently lives in Copenhagen, but we’re both from the PNW, and I love that we connected with eachother via blogging! She’s full of fun and eco-friendly ideas!

I always look forward to reading posts by The Adventures of Daisy the Bus, written by Jonny a father of four, who loves to travel to places off the beaten path. He paints a lovely picture with his words, his photos are pretty great too, and I have wanted to visit just about every place he mentions!

Cory of Fifi & Hop, who I was lucky enough to meet in New Orleans, writes about her family’s adventures on the East Coast and abroad! I especially loved her post on Tuscany, I was ready to book a flight after reading it!

I love reading Joy Loves Travel who seems to have some similar interests to my own! Her info on Belgium came in handy prior to my own visit there.

Dannii Jane of A Beautiful Thing writes a lifestyle blog, but features her adventures in and around London and Europe. Thanks to her we found ourselves in Camden during our last visit!

Books

#guidebooks

I admit I have a guidebook habit. As soon as I learn I’ll be going somewhere, or even if it’s just a possibility I’ll pick up the guidebook(s). I also love travel magazines, the big glossy photos, Best Of lists and the off the beaten path recommendations all feed my passion to see more of the world!

Though not a book, Instagram is great for inspiration, and I have discovered not only far away places, but many fun ideas much closer to home.

Some of my favorite Instagrammers:

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🇬🇧 Photo: @cleeve_04_ 🇬🇧 ______________________________________ Good evening from the very edge of the known Northern Roman Empire – Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland, England. I absolutely love this shot..but some of you might be thinking "eh? what's this?"… let me explain. On becoming Roman Emperor in 117AD, Hadrian set about making the Empire more secure, separating Roman and Barbarian territories. This was the result…Hadrian’s Wall was the north-west frontier of the Roman empire for nearly 300 years. It was built by the Roman army on the orders of the emperor Hadrian following his visit to Britain in AD 122. A World Heritage Site since 1987, Hadrian’s Wall is an astounding feat of engineering. The concrete alone is a marvel.. Roman concrete (as seen in the core of Hadrian’s wall) was made by pouring liquid mortar (fine volcanic ash) over a layer of broken stones, allowing it to harden before repeating the process. It's stood the constant battering from rain and snow for thousands of years! Hadrian's Wall leaves a lasting impression on any who visit, including writer George RR Martin who used it as inspiration for his own Wall in the bestselling books and hit TV series, Game of Thrones. This is probably one of the few places I recommend going when the weather is a bit wild. Sunshine isn't the same… dark clouds adds to the atmosphere. I've uploaded a story from my recent trip there… a very brooding atmosphere. I don't know who that figure was standing at the top near the end of the footage…when I walked back up, there was nobody in sight and I could see for miles. A visitor from the past? Or had I had one too many warming whiskeys in the nearby cosy pub? (And yes…this was the location used in the Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves film with Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman!) – Beautiful shot by @cleeve_04_ 🇬🇧 Want your Photos of Britain to be featured? Follow us and then add the tag #photosofbritain and tag us in the picture too! 🇬🇧

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wander 🌎 wonder Photo Credit: @london #WRDSMTH #WRDSMTHinLondon #flashback

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🌎Interlaken, Switzerland 🇨🇭 📸Photo by: @veronique.yang

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Preserve your Wanderlust

#mpixbooks

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I have TOO many photos on my computer and no idea how to manage them all! Recently I’ve started creating photo books using not only my travel pictures, but the text from my blog posts as well. They look lovely, and make great keepsakes.

#mpixbooks

We don’t just shut our photos up into books on a shelf, we love to print them out for display too! Some of our favorites from near and far are hanging in large format around our home. We love it when people come to visit and ask about the different locations!

#mpixprints
These 20 x 20  London dessert prints hang in my son’s room!

It’s not all about photography! We love a good project, and have created various pieces of art around the house, which represent loved places. Most recently I painted this “graffiti” Union Jack flag using spray paint and resin. I’m practicing for those Venice Art Walls! We can’t forget about the around the world furniture projects!

#unionjackpainting

#diychairs

Lego Destinations

#legolondonskyline

We’re big lego fans in our house and we get excited when sets are created that represent places we’ve been!

#legotowerbridge
This rather large Lego Tower Bridge lives on top of my guidebook shelf!

We built this Tower Bridge set over the winter holidays. I’m anxiously awaiting my Houses of Parliament set, which should keep me busy this summer, while planning what I hope is a Christmas trip to the UK.

Be A Hometown Tourist

#gettycenterviewWhether or not you’ve lived very long in a place, I guarantee you haven’t done it all! We’ve had such a great time this past year playing tourist in our own town, and with all that Los Angeles has to offer, I see no signs of that slowing down!

In case you’re interested, here are just some of the articles I’ve written about our recent discoveries in and around the Los Angeles area!

The J. Paul Getty Museums 

8 Reasons VENICE Should Top your LA List

50 Things To Do in Los Angeles

The Museum of Ice Cream Los Angeles

The Hidden Staircases of Silver Lake

Downtown Los Angeles Graffiti & Mural Walking Tour

InstaLA! 15 Places to Snap Those InstaGood Pics

InstaLA! Part 2: #WallAntics

Tourist In My Own Town

One Amazing Day in LA!

Warner Brothers Studio Tour

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Last Bookstore…


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#travelinspiration

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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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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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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50 Things to do in Los Angeles

 

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