Ah, my poor neglected blog! Don’t worry, I’m still around! Like many other bloggers, I’ve caught cant-get-a-post-published-itis. I’m starting a foundation to fight this illness. Together, we can find a cure. Or I could manage my time better, but that would require effort. Unthinkable!
“Los Angeles is completely different city in the summer.” That’s what my (amazing) AirBnB host told me. I wouldn’t know. I visited LA for the first time in third grade on a trip with my mother to see family. While that was during the summer, we didn’t do much sightseeing, and I was too young to remember most of it. The next time I returned would be with my aunt in December of 2014, and I fell in love. Therefore, it’s no surprise that I settled on LA (and San Francisco, but that’s another story for another time) as my winter-break destination. LA as a whole may have a warm weather “vibe” – especially with the palm trees, which by the way, are not native to California – but I think it’s overlooked as a winter-break destination. In fact, it’s kind of my ideal winter oasis: a multi-faceted, unique city with tons of vintage clothes, delicious ice cream, gorgeous parks, and stunning cityscapes – all wrapped up in 60 degree weather.
What can I say? I’m not a fan of the beach. But hiking through mountainous parks, catching a Lyft to a delicious ramen restaurant, and then topping off the night with some roller skating? Or wandering through neighborhoods filled with oddity stores, vintage shops, and vegan ice cream? Sign me up. Moreover, take me back! Please enjoy my top moments and photos in Los Angeles, while I cry over the abundance of schoolwork I already have. If you’re traveling to Los Angeles, hopefully this post can give you some decent, relatively cheap, less-touristy (ish? I’m not a local, obviously) itinerary ideas.
Barnsdall Art Park
I almost excluded this park from our itinerary because we were running short on daylight. That decision would have robbed me of a wonderful experience. This park is free (well, the outside), the view is beautiful, and the architecture is amazing. Several visitors were laid out on the grass enjoying the gentle breeze, amazing cityscape, and warm sunshine. We followed suit.
Fun fact: Barnsdall Art Park is circled around HollyHock House, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I’m convinced that you can see Ennis House, which is also designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, from Barnsdall (not in the view pictured). Don’t quote me on that.
The Ice Cream Roll Experience
Have you ever rolled ice cream? No? Not to brag but…
Ahem, anyway, you need to book this. Affordable? Check. Tons of flavor (and vegan) options? Check. Lots of toppings? Check. Loads of fun? Double check! The host cracked lots of corny jokes, which I appreciated. Via AirBnB experiences/Chillbachi.
Echo Park Staircases
Los Angeles and San Francisco are littered with remarkable staircases. These are the “Micheltorena Stairs.” It’s a perfect place for an impromptu hipster photo shoot. The “Music Box Steps” are located nearby, as well as the “Piano Mural Staircase.” I am really bummed I didn’t get to the Piano Mural Staircase. I didn’t find them on maps until after I left.
Echo Park park park park park park park. The park in Echo Park. It’s a park, in Echo Park. Next time I visit, Im definitely going to peddle one of those Swan boats!
“Secret” Swing in Elysian Park
Is it really a secret when the location is pinned on Google Maps? Expect to wait your turn for the swing and enjoy the views in the meantime. Also, check out Angel’s Point at Elysian Park for another beautiful view (not pictured).
Fun fact: I didn’t know how to roller skate. Fun fact: Still can’t.
Sure, I could go rollerskating anywhere, but Moonlight Rollerway has Throwback Thursdays! I don’t have many photos from this experience, because I was too busy having fun and trying not to fall on my ass. Moonlight Rollerway is located in Glendale. Click here for Google Maps, and click here for their website.
But Knurly, didn’t you say this wouldn’t be touristy? I said it “ish.” Besides, Griffith Park is massive, and there are so many spots to explore: the abandoned zoo, Griffith observatory, Amir’s garden, Dante’s View, any many more. Just watch out the coyotes. No I’m not kidding.
The Last Bookstore
The Last Bookstore (click here for their website, here for Google Maps) is an iconic second-hand bookshop. It’s definitely worth the hype. The most popular spot is the book tunnel, located upstairs. This shop has so much to offer, both in inventory and art, as the upstairs is home to several displays and shops. My boyfriend had a good time in the comic book section while I enjoyed browsing their horror collection.
Weller Court Light “Tunnel”
One for the ‘gram: Weller Court light tunnel – it’s a hallway. You have to be quick about taking photos in the light tunnel. Security will either tell you to move it, or, they’ll shut the lights off. It didn’t happen to me, but it did happen to another duo I was observing. Weller Court is located in Little Tokyo.
Little Tokyo Wishing Tree
For some reason I adore Little Tokyo. It’s probably because I can’t go to actual Tokyo. Anyway, Little Toyko has a “wishing tree.” You can purchase a paper (it’s 25 or 50 cents, I think 25 each) from the store behind it. It comes with the ribbon. This was my boyfriend’s wish:
That’s all, folks!
I will definitely be returning to Los Angeles/California in the future. Each trip leaves me with an entirely new list of things I want to go back and explore! I know some people think LA is overrated, but I beg to differ. There’s something for everyone. It has wonderful parks, beaches, mountain vistas/hiking trails, unique neighborhoods, large museums, indie art galleries, tons of food options, and glorious weather. Oh, how I miss the weather.