Newest Review: ... place to be and we really enjoyed it although at first we thought it was a right dump. I think it is one of those places that really grows... more
Not What I Expected
Los Angeles (USA)
Member Name: katygriff
Los Angeles (USA)
Advantages: Lots to See
Disadvantages: Safety at Night
So I have told you about my first trip on my Honeymoon so now the second. When we finished in Vegas which is the most glamorous place I have ever been to with glorious weather and we arrive in Los Angeles Airport. The people were still very friendly and the airport was very big but when we left everywhere looked so dull. It was raining and we were stuck in traffic for what seemed like hours and then all of the buildings just looked like they needed a good spruce up. We then got to our Hotel and I was worried about what we would do and during the trip of 3 days we were unsure of LA but now reflecting back we loved it and here is why.
Now I am going to take you on a pure tourist trip of LA as I have not been everywhere and only to select places so here is how we found it.
You see wonderful pictures of LA everywhere with people in shorts and T-Shirts most of the time so we expected sunshine. This was the beginning of June and we had about 50% rain but to be honest in LA the rain does not really stop you doing anything and there are always plenty of people around.
We stayed in Hollywood so this was the place we explored the most. Now when you think of Hollywood you think of big flash cars and buildings and gorgeous people all around and a basically very rich looking place. What you actually get is quite a rundown looking place which still has beautiful buildings and very big flash cars.
The first thing I should tell you is that Hollywood looks absolutely nothing like you see on the TV. Our Hotel staff were telling us on our first night everything is simply an illusion and nothing is real and you do get that impression when you are here. We saw all of the main sights here which I will tell you about later and they were fabulous and Hollywood has a great buzz about it as it is very busy mainly with tourists.
The thing with LA is that everywhere you go you will see some very expensive cars which is crazy. We just kept looking at the people driving and thinking how can they afford it. We got told that your car is a status symbol in LA so that is why people spend a lot of money on them.
Hollywood is a great place to be and we really enjoyed it although at first we thought it was a right dump. I think it is one of those places that really grows on you and when you leave you will want to go back and be very pleased that you went.
The other destination type place we saw in LA was Santa Monica which was just gorgeous. Big buildings which are extremely well looked after and the shopping centre is huge with lots of very unique shops that I have never seen before but unfortunately I just couldn't afford anything. Then you have the absolutely fabulous beach which is the scene of many films such as the Lost Boys and it is great to see.
The pier is great and there is lots to keep you amused. It was sunny when we were here and this helped as it is a beach after all. The pier is buzzing with people but the main centre on this day was quite quiet which was enjoyable. Santa Monica is a very pretty place and even the streets are lined with trees at times which looks beautiful. Definitely a place to see if you go to LA.
One of the things I recommend to do in LA is go sightseeing and we decided to do a tour to see it. It was through Beverley Hills tours and the guy called AJ was amazing. They take you on a tour of all the famous LA hotspots so we saw lots of celebrity houses and places like the Viper Room and school that was used in the film Grease.
We also went over to see what Venice beach was all about which was the craziest beach I have ever been to. It was beautiful sand and sea but then at the back of it are loads of crazy shops and graffiti walls. There is a skate park and even a part of the park which you go and can graffiti in but I think you had to pay. Then there are the people there trying to sell you things such as their music.
My favourite thing about Venice beach though was that it is known as muscle beach and there is an outdoor gym where all the guys work out. It is great and we went to see and it was so amazing to see all of these proper muscle men working out. I felt bad standing there with my ice-cream really enjoying it while they were working out but hey I'm sure they got over it.
Rodeo Drive is also a great place to go and see as it is renowned for being a very expensive place to shop. Every shop had the most elaborate display and people were telling me that some shops only let you in if you made a minimum spend. This is definitely the place to see celebrities as I can imagine they shop here all of the time.
Now I will take you back to Hollywood as it had some of the great sightseeing trips that if you are in LA you must go and see. First is the walk of fame which is so much longer than I ever thought it would be. We must have spent an hour walking along it and I still don't think we have noticed every star. I didn't even know my hero was there (Britney Spears - don't laugh) until our last hour in LA. You do have to take a trip to the very start though where the Marilyn Monroe statue is though as it makes a good picture.
Then you have the handprints and footprints of all of the celebrities. Again there are so many that I don't think we will have noticed some people. They are great though as they have star trek characters and all sorts so it is very entertaining to see. I was particularly interested in how big Arnold Schwarzenegger hands were compared to mine (his were bigger but only just).
Graumans Chinese Theatre is where the handprints and footprints are and this is the number one premiere place. You have to stand in front of the theatre and imagine red carpets and flashing lights and the theatre is beautiful. It is huge with elaborate and extravagant decorations. For $12.50 each you can take a tour around the theatre and even go and watch a film in there if something is showing. I loved it as I love to pretend I am a celebrity and I even got to bang a gong in the VIP lounge so well worth doing.
My only other sightseeing trip I can recommend in La is to go to Universal Studios Hollywood as it is great fun. We spent the whole day there and the City walk which is just outside. Great rides and everything is so well done. There is more than enough to keep you going all day as some rides have specific times so get there early. It is a very busy place and it was raining when we went but we still had a great day.
We enjoyed eating out in Hollywood as it is buzzing at night. We went to a great Italian which I cant remember the name of but it is in the middle of the Kodak theatre where they hold the Oscars at times so a very nice place. Then we ate at the California Pizza kitchen which was so yummy and had the best cocktails ever! Then we ate at a Mexican at city walk but there were loads of places there so you could choose from Bubba gump shrimp and hard rock cafe and many many more.
Prices are ok with a meal costing around $50 for the 2 of us.
There are plenty of places to shop in LA and Hollywood had loads of very cheap shops so absolutely fantastic for souvenirs. Then you have Rodeo drive which is very expensive so whatever your budget you should be able to find something. Nowhere I went in LA had a healthy of mix of cheap, medium and expensive though but I am sure there are places.
I think the safety aspect of LA is worth a mention as although during the day in the tourist places I felt more than safe, when night fell it did get sparse in areas and I was not very comfortable walking around so we got taxis everywhere.
Then we have travel around LA. What I recommend is any taxis around you get a fixed fee to take you where you want to be. We travelled from the airport to our hotel on $50 as it was an agreed price at the airport. We then got stuck in traffic and were in the car for 2 hours so if we hadn't agreed a price I would hate to think how much it would have cost. We also took the subway once which was extremely really useful and easy to use and only cost $2.50 each which is really cheap.
In conclusion I loved LA. It was hard going from glamour of Vegas to the very understated glamour of LA but one that I am glad we did. I do recommend planning your days though and making sure you have got something planned in. We did find ourselves bored one afternoon and went to see Up at the theatre which was great and kind of a show and so glad I found it. I found 3 days to be enough in Hollywood but I would like to see more of LA in the future.
Thanks for reading.
Summary: A Great Place I Would go Back to.