A lot of people have asked me if I felt safe in LA by myself and my answer is Yes. I used common sense and followed my gut. When things got weird, I got out.
I arrived very late, after taking a low budget airline that never seems to be on time. *Cough* Spirit. From there I used Lyft (because I had a referral coupon) to get to my hostel – HI Los Angeles Hostel Santa Monica.
Free breakfast was included at HI Los Angeles Hostel Santa Monica. So I fueled up in the morning with a nice selection of food. Next door is a ticket office for sightseeing tours, I did my research and decided the 48 hour Hop on Hop Off Tour. Because I was solo and wanted to cover so much territory, I saw this tour as the best fit.
Just around the corner from HI Los Angeles is the beach is the Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park. There’s a Hop on Hop Off stop beside the park – headed South down the Pacific Coast to Venice Beach. I hopped on and took the bus all the way to the end of the route at Fisherman’s Village in Marina Del Ray.
The return route went back North, so I got off the bus at the Venice Canals in Venice Beach and made my way to the pier. I arrived just in time for the most amazing sunset!
I met a friend for dinner at the ever-so delightful C&O Trattoria. Such a good choice! A fun romantic Italian restaurant with an endless amount of the most amazing garlic knots! Plenty of wine to go around, alongside servers singing and doing toasts. A really fun atmosphere and we even got a free keepsake photo!
After dinner, I headed back to Santa Monica to see the Pier at night. It did not disappoint. Then I walked the 2 blocks back to the hostel and called it a day!
Woke up and grabbed breakfast. I brought my bag with me and checked out, my next hostel would be Banana Bungalow in Hollywood. This time I headed to the bus stop around the corner, but I took the opposite route, on the other side of the street going north to LA.
The tour took me through Malibu neighborhoods, then to Beverly Hills, down Rodeo Drive and I got off at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (better known as LACMA). I walked around the area to see the Urban Light exhibit and La Brea Tar Pits. The street was lined with food trucks, it was a dream come true but so hard to decide what to eat!
Banana Bungalow also served free breakfast in the morning, so as usual, I filled up before heading out for the day. When I bought my 48 hour Hop on Hop Off ticket and timed it just right, so on the 3rd day I could catch one last tour before the ticket expired. I walked back down Hollywood Boulevard to the bus stop at the El Capitan Theatre to take a tour of Downtown LA.
While waiting for the tour, I met a man from NYC who was also solo. We decided to do lunch together in China Town. Ironically, we ended up at Foo Chow, a Chinese restaurant where scenes from Rush Hour were filmed. Lunch was very good!
The tour brought me back to Dolby Theatre, I grabbed a bite to eat and went back to the hostel. I had big plans for the next day, so I wanted to rest.
Banana Bungalow offered a shuttle to the Griffith Observatory in the morning. I grabbed my breakfast and loaded in the van with everyone else. We were dropped off at Observatory Road and given instructions how to get back, from the driver.
A friend met up with me at this point, we toured the observatory and then set foot for the Hollywood Sign. What was estimated at a 1.5 hour hike through lots of winding paths, took us more like 3 or so hours. We should’ve brought wayyyyy more water!
After lots of huffing, puffing and complaining – WE MADE IT! The pictures really don’t do it justice, I swear we were so much closer than it seems!
After the hike, we check into our AirBnb in downtown LA., a cute little one bedroom apartment. That evening we took a Lyft to the Grove for some window shopping. It was November so the entire place was lit up and alive with Christmas cheer! So much fun!
It took forever to decide what to eat at Farmers Market! Soooooo many great vendors to choose from. On the way back we stopped at LACMA to see the Urban Lights at night – much more crowded than during the day, but still just as spectacular!
We picked P.Y.T., a nearby restaurant for brunch. I expected just an ordinary egg sandwich but I was brought something much much more! Yummmmm.
We got a ride out to the Getty Museum, where we spent the rest of our day. The museum is partially outside and it was pouring rain, so my moccasins were completely soaked. My bad for not choosing better footwear.
After all was said and done, I took a Lyft out to LAX and flew back home (of course, on a late flight!) Adios, L.A. One of my greatest solo adventures! Have any questions, let me know, I’d be happy to help 🙂
L.A. is huge, deciding on an itinerary can be a bit overwhelming. There is literally a million things to do and see. The area is also so spread out, it can cost a fortune when it comes to transportation.
So here is my guide for anyone planning a short visit to LA or is working from a smaller budget.
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If you’re American, you’re in luck! If you’re from a country that drives on the left, you may want a little practice before hopping behind the wheel.
Do you know what love is? Would you like me to show you what it looks like? This is it! Love! Arizona is so amazing, I can’t get over it!
1. Antelope Canyon – Page, Arizona
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Try these 101 things before you die! Either way, if you’re stumped on where to go next or looking for some out-of-the-box places to explore, check this list out!
1. Visit all 50 states in the USA
As soon as you arrive to Mackinac Island, a map will be your best friend. They’re easy to find at the Visitors Center, Tourism Bureau, your hotel front desk/concierge, stores and restaurants. Unless you’ve lived on the island your whole life, you’re going to be lost without a map. I highly recommend getting one before you head out.