So, you know Berty and I love to see the world. Being married, we’ve discovered that traveling is our favorite thing to do together. It’s a perfect blend of activities we are both passionate about. For Berty, that’s photography (obvi) and for me, that’s language and culture! It’s the reason we started this blog – to document our travels and share our stories with our family and friends. We love diving into that experience of learning something new, and doing it together. We also love to share experiences with others too – just like when we met up with 6 of our friends in Bali! Anyway, while leaving the country is fun, it was just as fun to stay “domestic” and take a short trip down to California this weekend….my first time in Los Angeles!
I came down here for work in the evenings. Being a nanny, I was helping out the family while they were attending wedding events all weekend long. It was a lot of fun, and we had a ton of free time to explore West Hollywood (where we were staying) when I wasn’t on the job. I did a lot of research on places in our area, and we pretty much checked everything off the list! Read below for a list of places to eat and things to do in WeHo!
– Highlights –
Alfred (In The Alley) 8509 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069
We found this place hidden between two buildings off the corner of Melrose & La Cienega Blvd. We originally wanted to stop for the quirky black and white tile and grungy vibe, but stayed because they had fruit and chia seed bowls (!!!) and their coffee was pretty impressive. This location also has a bagel shop operating from inside – so Berty ordered a classic bagel and cream cheese. It was fun to sit on their outside patio and feel like we were living local LA life for juuust a second. We were also surprised to discover that our barista was from Seattle too!
The Getty Center 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049
After our stop at Alfred Coffee, we drove through the famous Beverly Hills on our way to The Getty. The Getty Center is perched on top of a hill overlooking the entire city of Los Angeles. (What you are looking at above is Hollywood, and wayy in the distance is actual Downtown LA!) Inside the campus’ huge modern buildings with floor-to-ceiling windows, we saw massive collections of European art, sculptures and furniture. Berty was excited to discover that they also had a visiting exhibit on some famous portrait photographers. We definitely recommend grabbing some complimentary iPods to tote around the grounds with you. They are interactive with the art and will tell you more about any piece you’d like. Berty and I used them through the whole tour!
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier 350 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
This one isn’t in West Hollywood, however it’s nearby! Since coming back from Indonesia, we’ve missed the ocean waves and warm sunshine so this was nearly our first stop once the plane wheels hit the ground. Once we got there and saw the iconic solar-run ferris wheel and crazy-colorful amusement park, I wasn’t surprised to discover later that it’s one of the most instagrammed places in LA! Berty and I enjoyed eating ice-cream cones, watching the colorful rides go round and round, and watching hilarious street performers dance (badly). It’s a total tourist trap, but never having been to LA, it was worth it to see with my own eyes!
Melrose Trading Post
Melrose Trading Post 7850 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
This vintage, artisan goldmine is open every Sunday on the grounds of Fairfax High School just outside of West Hollywood. With only a $3 admission (which goes towards the school) we easily spent the entire morning ogling at furniture I couldn’t take home, old film cameras, and awesome artwork. We gained tons of inspiration for our new apartment back in Seattle! Additionally, in a corner of the market was a collection of food trucks, a music stage, and lots of colorful blankets on the grass perfect for eating lunch in style. We spent our last afternoon in Los Angeles devouring awesome local food and listening to chill LA sounds. 10/10 will come back again!
The Standard Hotel
The Standard Hotel 8300 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
We spent the weekend at The Standard Hotel in Hollywood. This hotel has a fun, retro, party vibe to it and we felt fabulous just walking through the doors! Checking in, we were upgrading to a room overlooking the pool and breathtaking views of Los Angeles. We loved the ability to come and go as we pleased – there was a valet service that delivered your car right to the front anytime you wanted to leave! The room was very simplistic/modern and comfortable. I loved the bright colors and Marimekko-esque curtains and patterns that filled the room. We especially appreciated the large desk space to spread out cameras and laptops to research more fun places to explore! Furthermore, in the main floor of the hotel, there was a Warby Parker pop-up shop, where I impulsively bought my awesome new glasses frames.
This hilarious Vietnamese restaurant was our first stop in Los Angeles. I mean, really, straight from the airport into the parking lot of Pho goodness. A long time ago, Berty and I were making Pho puns and googled it for more laughs. (Warning, they are a little crude!) The first time Berty was in LA, he drove passed this place and we vowed to visit next time we were both here. Before we even stepped into the restaurant doors, we stood outside and reveled in the fact that our inside joke was actually becoming a reality! Finally, after attempting to consume the monster portions they gave us, we concluded that Pho Than Brothers in Seattle is still the winner in our hearts. Nice try PhoEver Yum!
Located on Sunset Blvd., this Cal-Mex jackpot was a no-brainer for a quick dinner near our hotel. We ordered a huge steak burrito, $2 beer-battered fish tacos, and some crispy tortilla chips with guacamole. It was really fun to eat our dinner while staring out their floor to ceiling windows to all the interesting happenings on Sunset Blvd.
Instead of fighting the crowds for sidewalk space during the heat of the day, we opted to take a little drive-through the famous strip around 11:00 at night instead. This was the perfect time to come because all the flashing lights were in their full splendor, and we were able to see iconic Hollywood stops like the Ripley’s Believe it or Not House, Chinese Theater, Wax Museum, and so much more.
After our very brief tour of Hollywood Blvd. we drove south a few blocks to In-N-Out! We were surprised to see that even at nearly midnight, the drive-thru line overflowed out onto the regular city street! After a while in line, we snagged an actual parking spot and went in to enjoy our fries, animal style. Bonus: As we were leaving, guess who Berty saw driving away in their Lamborghini….JUSTIN BIEBER!
This coffee shop made us feel like we were back home in Seattle. The style was minimalist but industrial, and they were even playing Modest Mouse! Located right below an apartment complex, it seemed to be a popular place for all sorts of people. We sat out on their open air patio and enjoyed our last bit of sunshine before heading to the airport and boarding our place home.
Berty and I are already excited to come back and explore more of Los Angeles! This time, we stayed pretty much in the West Hollywood neighborhood, but we want to know where to go next! Have you ever been to LA? What’s your favorite places? Send us a comment below.
Thanks for reading!
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