Los Angeles was the last stop of my road trip. It took about a day to arrive in Hollywood coming from the Grand Canyon. The trip is a little boring, because there isn’t much to see on the way. My first impression of Hollywood when arriving there, was exactly how I pictured it; the long avenues decorated with palm trees in the light of the setting sun. But soon after this I have to admit I was very disappointed. It was the worst place I ever visited.
But let’s start with the positive things!
Crazy Rock’n Sushi
7100 Santa Monica Blvd #158, West Hollywood
I have a favourite sushi restaurant in Antwerp called Zao Wang and I never found a place that can match it, except for Crazy Rock’n Sushi. They have really good sushi and the restaurant itself is nice to sit at. It seemed very popular, because it was packed. I didn’t make reservations so I had to wait 1,5 hours until I had a table. But I went to the mall next door to kill time, so that was ok.
401 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
I had a wonderful lunch at the Pier on the terrace of a Mexican restaurant called Mariasol. I chose a delicious shrimp cocktail and enjoyed it while the sun was shining brightly on my head. If you like giant cocktails, you should go there. They offered cocktails in huge cocktail bowls of probably one liter.
Mel’s Drive In
1660 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
I wanted to visit a real American diner place so I decided to grab a piece of chocolate fudge cake at Mel’s Drive In. The decor is fantastic in “Googie”-style architecture, which is probably also the reason why it already served as a filming set various times. The portions over here are huge!
Santa Monica & Venice Beach
If you want to do something fun among the locals you should visit Santa Monica. I rented a bike there to ride to Venice Beach, which was very relaxing and fun to do! The well constructed bike path takes you along the beach, riding under the palm trees while you pass all kinds of people wearing all kinds of clothes, which is sometimes a little funny. I also loved seeing the lifeguard cabins and the lifeguards! As a kid I was a huge Baywatch fan and it was my dream to see them live in action!
At Venice Beach I witnessed the Mister Muscle contest. Hundreds of bodybuilders in tiny swimsuits were showing off their muscles. Families were having a picknick, loud music was playing and everyone was enjoying the ambiance.
My favourite shopping places in Los Angeles (and thank god they exist, because otherwise I would’ve been so bored!)
- 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica; a cosy shopping street
- The Grove and the Farmer’s Market; an outdoor mall with a great food market
- Rodeo Drive; the shopping street where you’ll find all the big fashion brands and designers.
The Hollywood sign
It’s not as big as you probably picture it in your mind. I thought you would be able to see it everywhere in Hollywood, but you don’t. It’s small and hard to find. You can drive up the hill to get closer and take a picture there, but I didn’t find this necessary.
Another letdown was to discover that Hollywood isn’t glamourous at all. Don’t expect movie stars or fashionable people to walk around everywhere. You’ll probably only encounter tourists, homeless people and drug addicts. I didn’t feel safe at all in these streets.
Walk of Fame
The Walk of Fame is known for all the golden stars on its sidewalks that pay tribute to artists who work or once worked in the entertainment industry. It’s fun to walk here for 10 minutes, but after that you’re already sick of all the tourists and the awfull tourist shops. The Walk of Fame is a real tourist trap.
I have to say that I was glad that I could take the plane the next day to New York. Because in my opinion; Los Angeles is boring and overrated! If you’re planning a road trip and you’re afraid you won’t have enough days to visit all the places you want and Los Angeles is still on your list? Make sure that LA gets deleted from the list. There are far better places to visit in the area!
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