We will begin the presentation of the third and last part of our trip to West Coast of USA by trying to show to you the fabulous Los Angeles, one of the top 2-3 cities of the States, regarding visitors and publicity.
A general view that we can provide for this city is that Los Angeles is really enormous. Distances are chaotic, metro serves specific metropolitan areas (mainly city center and crowded areas) and transportation is quite frequent, but sometimes awkward and maybe dangerous, specially at night.
Our arrival time showed to us what means traffic in LA. Our driver was one hour late due to traffic and stuck inside airport for 45 min. This is classic for LA, the driver claimed, specially now that is pre-Thanksgiving period.
Our hotel turned out not a successful option. Hollywood Hotel, has one single advantage. It is extremely near the metro station Vermont/Santa Monica of red line, which is huge convenience. In general, we don’t recommend this hotel, it is not attractive, it has small room sizes, not well cleaned and also has shared balcony with three more rooms.
Leaving behind the above mentioned and known that we will spend minimum time at the room, we were heading for Santa Monica, in order to be able to walk it through and reach Venice beach, beginning from the famous Santa Monica Pier. If you have never been in that city before and your eyes capture all these pictures that can only be seen in movies, makes you live an experience really great, with colors and controverse views that will be unforgettable. Huge beaches, lifeguards towers, people that were jogging, bicycling, exercise, use their electric and not only skates, art street in Venice beach, shops, street music, open air gyms, huge palm trees, cabrio cars, open air parking, enormous skate board deck and unfortunately many homeless people are things that is impossible to be forgotten forever.
Since it got dark, we headed to North Hollywood, where we met the Walk of Fame with numerous stars, the Chinese Theater with footprints and hand signs of many celebrities and Dolby Theater, where Oscars are taking place every year. This is Californian Dream!
Next day we went to see the Hollywood sign and we captured it from the best available spot, the Griffith’s Observatory. Then we went to Beverly Hills and extremely expensive Rodeo Drive and we walk through many streets at the area, where we saw many villas and mansions existed. Afterwards, we went to Melrose Avenue, at its bohemian part, where street art and controverse between this part and Beverly Hills part is chaotic.
The same afternoon we visited Staples Center, home of Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, in order to watch the live concert of Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin. It is actually amazing to be able to see so often and into your city so famous artists performing and make concerts.
Next morning we woke up without knowing that we were about to live a remarkable experience, maybe the strongest in our trip and one of the best in our lives. This was Universal Studios, a place that young children and grown ups left at its magic, living a fairytale and for some hours become a part of this spectacle industry, being speechless for the majority of experiences lived there.
From Hogwarts castle, to Simpsons, Jurassic Park, Transformers, real play of Waterworld movie scenes, the amazing animal actors, the Studio Tour, where for one hour, you enter into the world of filming, being part of scenes, visit actual areas of the most famous films and series filmed and living the action with actual scenes that you participate from Fast & Furious, Jaws etc, to the countless and great food and shopping options, all this holistic experience is enough to provide to you the sparkle to make this trip real thing.
After almost a whole day there, we visited Cecconi’s for dinner, one of the most high-end places in Beverly Hills, considered super trendy and must nowadays for local Californians. Very nice and tasty Italian food at the majority of the menu, good service, worth a visit, not only because of food and drinks, but from the aspect that you may meet accidentally some celebrities there.
After waking up from the previous really tired day, we headed to Warner Bros Studios, where was also remarkable experience. Tour was really analytical, we saw stages like Ellen Degeneres, we saw some fake buildings that they look like normal and there are actual filming spots of countless movies and series, we saw the famous Friends couch and we shop at Friends gift shop and at the main gift shop of Warner Bros. DC Comics, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Harry Potter were unique placed and exhibits were the actual items and uniforms of original movies.
Later, we used metro and uber, like every day, we made a small stop at Walsh residence of the famous TV series of 90’s Beverly Hills 90210, among Dylan’s house just few steps next.
For dinner we went to The Ivy, maybe the most famous restaurant in Los Angeles, where food is nice and atmosphere and decoration truly unique. It is most likely that there you will actually meet some celebrity or some rich businessman, since this is the ultimate meeting spot for them in the city.
Next morning we were heading to famous Downtown LA, with a small d-tour to Charmed house from the famous TV series and to the Dodgers stadium. As soon as we arrived downtown, we walked to the Cathedral of our Lady (the Cathedral of the city), to Union Station, El Pueblo and Olvera street, where Mexican culture is present, we saw Walt Disney Hall, the Broad, the Grammy Museum, the LA Live, which is located next to Staples Center, which was our destination, in order to watch the NBA game between Los Angeles Clippers Vs Dallas Mavericks. As soon as the game finished we visited LA Grand Central Market, where street food is at its best. Countless choices, really delicious and affordable (in contrast with all the rest of the city).
One amusement park that we didn’t have the chance to visit is the Disneyland Park, which is also a life time experience, that everybody must see it live.
So, as a final conclusion, we will mention below the top-to-do things for someone in LA, in 4-5 days time:
· Visit Santa Monica & Venice Beach
· Visit Universal & Warner Bros Studios
· Visit Beverly Hills and walk through streets to the area
· Visit Disneyland
· Watch an NBA game live
· Walk at Walk of Fame and Oscars
· Rent a car and be aware in advance that you need to get a weekly ticket for metro and a lot of money for uber if you decide not to rent a car. The balance between these two choices is almost the same
· Choose a nice hotel in a nice area with access to main streets and avenues and convenient for public transportation
Finally, we have to admit that LA is a lifetime experience, among all West Coast trip, a totally different world from East Coast of USA, from Europe and mostly Greece, that’s why is something that we fully recommend to everybody.
Thank you for reading.