Oh, Los Angeles... so many places to see! For Spring Break, Mitch and I went to Venice Beach, California and traveled around southern California exploring restaurants, shops and everything in-between. I love exploring like a local and found a lot of good spots that you can visit too! Although we stayed in Venice, we explored places like Santa Monica, downtown Los Angeles and Malibu.
E A T:
Abbot Kinney: The strip of Abbot Kinney, located a couple block from the beach, is filled with local and boutique style restaurants. The prices are a little higher but for drinks and sharing a meal, it is a great experience! You can find a great vegan restaurant called The Butcher's Daughter, a great place for pizza called Gjelina and Lemonade for a fresh poke bowl. Salt and Straw served amazing ice-cream and, you guessed it, it's located down Abbot Kinney (I got the toasted coconut strawberry vegan icecream, YUM).
Santa Monica: Our favorite restaurant in Santa Monica was Blue Plate Taco... we loved it so much we went twice! You have gorgeous beach views and amazing margaritas. Flower Child is all organic, with great vegan options, and the interior is cute as well!
Los Angeles: Hands down, Grand Central Market is going to be your best bet for food in downtown Los Angeles. It has so many crazy food options, including all vegan ramen *with a vegan egg*!
Malibu: Although we did not spend a lot of time in Malibu, the two places we did eat were Sunlife and Nobu. Nobu was the one restaurant that we truly planned ahead for and I have to say, it did not disappoint. If you do plan on going to Nobu, make a reservation and be flexible! It is pretty booked far in advance but completely worth it. Sunlife is a great acai and healthfood spot with great juices and bowls
D R I N K:
Venice Beach: Trying to get some Matcha? Shuhari off of Abbot Kinney is the perfect place to go. Pressed Juice, which is also in the Abbot Kinney area, has some amazing pressed juiced and frozen juices (which I loved- so healthy)! Some other places to grab some more *alcohol* based drinks, Gjelina is a great spot to relax and grab a quick beverage. I ordered the Ginger Lemon Pilsner, fair warning... it's only served at lunch!
Santa Monica: Blue Plate Taco for margaritas is amazing. Sidecar Doughnuts has great tea and coffee options, as well.
Los Angeles: Again, Grand Central Market is your place to go. Golden Road offers a bunch of brews that are all local, but most of the vendor within the market space will have beer, wine and some cocktails.
Malibu: Nobu has great drink options, including the spicy acai martini that I ordered. If you are planning to make a date night of it, they have great views and food that is extremely popular but worth the hype.
D O N U T S:
Venice Beach: Blue star donuts is by far my favorite donut shop I went to while in California. The blueberry basil bourbon donut was my favorite. They also offer a large variety of vegan donuts, coffee, and some drink options.
Santa Monica: DKs Donuts is a great Instagramable place, but to be completely honest... it was pretty disappointing. On the other hand, Sidecar did not disappoint; plus, they make donuts fresh every hour! They're so delicious when they are warm and go so well with the tea/coffee they serve.
S H O P:
Venice Beach: Like I talked about before, Abbot Kinney is a great place to shop. I loved the smaller shops mixed in with some popular ones as well. Some of my favorite shops in Venice are Burro (paper/trinket store), Aesop (skincare), Alternative Apparel (the softest sweatshirts in the world - I bought one) and Saje Wellness (essential oils that I now order online).
M U S T S E E S:
Venice Beach: Some fun things we did when we were staying in Venice was walking around the local area to experience the cool wall art. Some parts of Venice can be a little more sketchy than others, so try to walk around during the daytime. Make sure to walk to the beach and take a BIRD bike up to Santa Monica; we did that when I had my nail appointment and it was so rewarding!
Santa Monica: if you have time, schedule an appointment at Olive and June in Santa Monica. That little strip around the nail salon is filled with cute shops, natural beauty stores and even a Whole Foods (what else do you need amiright).
Los Angeles: Grand. Central. Market. We also went to a Laker's game which was super fun. To be completely honest, I wouldn't go back to downtown LA just because I felt like we could have spent our time somewhere else exploring something else. Aside from the LACMA, Grande Central Market, and the Laker's stadium, there is not much to do downtown.
Malibu: Make sure to stop by Sunlife and walk around the small outdoor shopping center. It's filled with some pretty pricey shops but it's a nice area to walk around and window shop. Malibu is filled with amazing beaches, so many sure to take advantage of those as well!
I N S T A G R A M A B L E P L A C E S:
- Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach
- Toms store/coffee shop: Abbot Kinney Venice Beach
- Olive and June: Santa Monica
- Any street with tall palm trees, such a cute Instagram!
- Grand Central Market: Los Angeles
- Rainbow lifeguard deck: Venice Beach
- Sunlife: Malibu
- LACMA: Downtown Los Angeles
T I P S:
- Try to take a BIRD whenever you are traveling short distances. They are motorized scooters around the city of Los Angeles that you can rent for (I believe) $0.15 a minute, such a fun way to get around town! Be careful, they do tend to die quickly and most are dead toward the end of the day so try not to plan your entire schedule around using a bird.
- We used LYFT ride share. We decided not to rent a car in California, which was probably not the smartest decision. Public transportation in LA basically sucks so make sure to give yourself enough time to travel, especially when you are going on the highway.
- If you have time, go to the Melrose Market on Sundays. It's something we did not go to, but I wish we did! Such a good place to find thrifted goods that are trendy too.
If you have any questions or need more recommendations about where to go or what to see... comment, DM me on Instagram or shoot me an email! Happy traveling!
Use the hashtag #TheMoreYouTravel next time you are exploring so I can check it out!