So last week I was fortunate to travel to LA for a work trip, it was my first time to visit this part of California and it also marked the first trip of 2017. I must say I was excited to get the opportunity to travel here, as it has been one on my ‘wish list’ and it didn’t disappoint.
I travel a lot with my work and typically work trips don’t offer any free time, but I try to make the most of the experience, so for example when I am travelling to sites in a car, or driving myself, I am constantly taking in the views and sights, snapping away (when I am a passenger). This is a great way to see the destination and very often we do a lot of on land travelling. In the evening when we head out for dinner, this provides a good opportunity to get a sense of the city/place, get out of the hotel for a chance of scenery and of course take more pics. If you are lucky to have some free time before a flight, then its all about maximizing the time and seeing if you can squeeze in an experience, something that will be memorable.
Since this was a work trip, that means all aspects of the trip are pre-determined, for example where I stay, where I get to eat, so the experience would differ if it was a personal trip. (I am by no means complaining, but just pointing out that my experience is from the perspective of a business trip as opposed to someone who is there for a pure holiday). So undoubtedly there are lots of many other exciting places, hotels and eateries I didn’t get the chance to experience, but this is a glimpse into what I got up to over my 10 days in LA.
I have included a snapshot of what I discovered in LA and if you scroll to the end you can get all the details and links so you can explore more.
(Check out one of my other recent blogs on all my Travel Tips & Tricks , which provides a good overview on all my essentials for travelling.)
While in LA:
- Travel from Dublin Airport direct to US, and take a connecting flight to LAX. Going via Dublin has the benefit of US Preclearance (USCBP) that allows US bound passengers to undertake all US immigration, customs and agriculture inspections at Dublin Airport prior to departure. What it means for you is you are treated as a domestic arrival, allowing you to avoid immigration queues upon arrival and pick up your bags and go.
- Put your head down at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, which is located in Downtown LA, great location, in the hustle of everything. It’s perfect venue for business guests with unparalleled meeting rooms. It boosts a revolving Cocktail lounge called BonaVista, where you can take in breath-taking views of downtown Los Angeles. I enjoyed the views here in the evenings before heading out for dinner.
- Eat at Public School 213, located in Downtown LA. Public School is a chef-driven gastropub serving exclusively craft beer and delivers, “An Education in the Art of Food & Beer.” Using the freshest quality ingredients, sourced from local Farmer’s Markets whenever possible to make an eclectic seasonal menu.
- Take a tour with Starline Tours, I had limited times, but this way you know the exact timeframe of the tour. There are lots of companies to choose from, but this one seems one of the best, I was more than pleased with the tour and service. The package I opted for was the Hollywood Star Homes & Warner Bros. Studio Tours. You can get collected and dropped back to your hotel and this particular tour lasts approximately 6 hours in total. You can pick and mix from a wide range of tours, depending on the time you have available.
- Warner Bros Studio Tours is a must, if your a TV of film attic I can not recommend this enough. Guests will explore outdoor sets and soundstages used to create productions such as Gilmore Girls, The Big Bang Theory and Argo. Each tour includes exclusive access to original props, costumes, picture cars, and sets used from Batman to Friends. Additionally, studio tour guest will stop at the DC Universe – DC Comics Exhibit, the real Central Perk Friends set, original Batman Museum – Batmobile Collection, and so much more.
- Take a walk on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it is an internationally-recognized Hollywood icon and you can spot all the ‘stars’ you can imagine. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is beside the walk of fame and one of the distinctive features of it is the concrete blocks set in the forecourt, which bear the signatures, footprints, and handprints of popular motion picture personalities from the 1920s to the present day.
- Take in the Hollywood Sign from Griffith Observatory. What could be a better place to observe the Sign than at the famous Griffith Observatory? Perched atop a high hillside overlooking all of Los Angeles, there are few more spectacular views to be found in the city. You can also get a peak of the sign from the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue in Hollywood. Another spot that offers a great view is on Mulholland Drive, which has a specific viewpoint officially called the ‘Hollywood Bowl Overlook’ that offers a wonderful view of the Hollywood Sign.
- Use the Hotel Tonight App to avail of some fantastic rates on superb hotels, offering amazing last-minute deals. Book wherever, whenever on your mobile device for tonight, tomorrow and next week.
- Experience the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, for my last night in LA I moved to Hollywood to avail of a cheaper hotel rate and got a fantastic rate through the Hotel Tonight App. It is a boutique hotel, located right on Hollywood Blvd, offering luxury accommodation that has long been a favourite of the stars. From the moment you step into the hotel’s Spanish Colonial style lobby, you’re surrounded by Hollywood history. The first Academy Awards were held here, which took just 15 minutes. Marilyn Monroe lived at the hotel for two years as her modelling career began to take off – she was staying in one of the vintage 1950s Cabanas at the time of her first professional magazine shoot, which took place at the Hollywood Roosevelt pool.
- Chill by the Tropicana Pool Cafe at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and enjoy a bite of lunch.
- Craft your favourite burger or breakfast at 25 Degrees Restaurant , which offers a glam twist on the traditional American Burger spot and has a fab Breakfast menu. It’s named after the precise temperature difference between a raw and well-done hamburger, 25 Degrees introduces a glam twist on the traditional American burger joint.
- Head to the Farmers Market, it is a heaven of permanent food stalls, sit-down eateries, prepared food vendors and produce markets, open seven days a week. The market is a destination for foodies in search of the market’s ethnic cuisines, its specialty food markets, and its prepared-food stalls.
- Indulge yourself in a superb eating experience at Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian Steakhouse located in downtown LA, offering a wide variety of cuts of meet and fish, served on skewers to your table, eat as much as you can
- Take a Pit stop for old-fashioned sodas, ice cream & chocolate gifts inside the Ghirardelli Disney Studio Store.
- Take a trip yourself so you can experience all of this and much more!