I started my US adventure in Los Angeles and had only two days to experience everything it had to offer. I know what you’re thinking, two days isn’t necessarily a lot of time to explore an entire city, but surprisingly I covered quite a lot of ground.
I arrived at around 6:30 am local time after enduring a 13 hour flight with zero sleep. I wasn’t able to check into my hotel room until 12 o’clock so despite being exhausted, I didn’t want to waste any of the limited time I had to explore.
I booked a tour with Starline Tours that went through Hollywood, Mulholland Drive and Beverly Hills. I saw some amazing views of downtown LA and the San Fernando Valley. I also saw the Hollywood sign off in the distance and a whole lot of palm trees.
My tour guide was super engaging and told us a tonne of cool facts about the city and the places we saw. He was more than happy to point out which houses had celebrities residing in them. I was given the opportunity to see where Michael Jackson lived and sadly passed away, and a whole bunch of other famous households.
After exploring the Hollywood Hills, we moved on to Beverly Hills and again, saw a tonne of famous people’s houses, lots and lots of palm trees (there never seems to be a shortage of palm trees in LA) and the famous Beverly Hills Hotel.
The tour was just over 2 hours long, which I thought was the perfect length because we got to see a decent portion of the city and I wasn’t bored to death of sitting on a mini bus all day. I would totally recommend booking a tour like this if you are aiming to cover some decent ground in a short period of time. Having a tour guide is also really great if you’re interested in learning more about the history, and the celebrity and entertainment culture of Los Angeles. Starline offer a range of tours, including a Hop-On-Hop-Off that takes you around the entire city as well.
The Walk of Fame
It would be pretty silly to visit LA and not visit the Walk of Fame (in my opinion anyway). Not only is it great walking exercise, (2.1 kilometres in length) there is also some really cool things to see on Hollywood Boulevard.
The Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood Wax Museum, Madam Tussauds, the Museum of Death and Ripley’s Believe It or Not, are some of the main attractions that are worth checking out if you have the time.
Sadly, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds both passed away while I was there, which meant that their stars were decked out with flowers, candles and Star Wars memorabilia.
If you’re feeling a little bit hungry from all that walking, stopping by In-N-Out Burger on Sunset Boulevard is a must. It was pretty packed when I stopped by for lunch but well worth the wait, and you can’t visit California without at least trying it once.
I stayed at the Miyako Hotel, Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles. I enjoyed my stay here because there was plenty of places to eat and explore. However, Downtown LA isn’t the safest place, especially at night, so try to avoid walking around by yourself. The Miyako isn’t really in the best location either, only because it was a little far out from most of the places I wanted to visit. This was easily solved by catching the train and is probably one of the easiest ways to get around LA.
I caught the train down town to Santa Monica, which was easily one of my favourite places in LA. Santa Monica is right near the beach and the Pier is an iconic location. I spent the afternoon riding the ferris wheel, browsing the many stalls and souvenir shops and taking in the beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.
There’s a tonne of things to keep you entertained on the Pier, including restaurants, rides and even an aquarium. Or you can just relax on the beach.