A month or so ago I spent a week in LA. The purpose of my visit was for a conference and I decided to extend the trip and stay for the weekend!
I was so excited for two reasons: Spring in Chicago has been terrible and I was looking forward to sunshine, and 2. I was excited to stay in two parts of the city, Downtown LA and Marina Del Ray.
We stayed at the Marriott for the first few days while attending the conference. I didn't have a lot of free time, other than really getting to know the hotel until the last night of the conference. We ventured to West Hollywood and dined at Pump. I was not too familiar with TV celeb Lisa Vanderpump, but she was dining there that evening and wow is she rude. But at least her restaurant is beautiful and I can say I saw a celeb in LA, sort of.
I created a list of places I wanted to share with you that I recommend for your next LA trip.
Rose Café: If you love breakfast or a lazy lunch, this adorable café is a must. Located in the heart of Venice this chic establishment offers a bar, two patios and a bakery. It’s a very popular spot, has an inviting atmosphere that makes you want to extend your stay and the menu has something for everyone.
Abbot Kinney: This hip strip of restaurants and shops is one of my favorite spots in LA. It’s an abundance of trendy boutiques, good eats, coffee and joy. Walk along here during the day or come shop in the early evening before eating dinner at one of the lovely restaurants that are sprinkled throughout. If staying in Marina Del Ray as we did, it is quite a lovely walk to Abbot Kinney and you escape the LA traffic.
The Tasting Kitchen: A trendy and cozy Italian restaurant on Abbot Kinney serving fresh and creative pasta dishes, beautifully prepared meat dishes and fresh baked bread. The service is attentive, they accept walkins and the wine list is playful.
The Bungalow: Looking for a fun night out? This is the spot. The bar, which is an actual bungalow, is decorated Baja-Cali style and is very handsome. Located at the Fairmont Santa Monica with both indoor/outdoor seating, The Bungalow serves good drinks, brings the crowd and is guaranteed fun. You might see a celeb here, you will definitely get hit on and you won’t be able to stay for just one drink.
Shutters: A beautiful upscale beach house-inspired hotel fronting the Pacific Ocean is the perfect place to relax. Whether you were strolling the beach, exploring the Santa Monica pier, or shopping, stop into this luxurious, but not pretentious, hotel and sit on the comfy couches or out on the front deck that overlooks the ocean and enjoy.
Grand Central Market: If you are staying downtown, you must visit this eclectic market. You will find coffee shops, Asian cuisine, poke, sandwiches and more. We stayed at the Marriott in downtown LA during the conference and had time to walk to Grand Central Market one morning and visited Egg Slut. One of the best egg sandwiches I have had, largely due to the way they handle their eggs, prepared with care and not overcooked.
The Ritz Carlton: You can't go wrong with where you stay in LA, especially if you are close to the water. Marina Del Ray is a bit south if you are looking to spend more time in Santa Monica and Malibu, but still doable. It is in the heart of the marina, which is absolutely stunning, especially in the morning when the sun is so bright the boats and water are beaming. Waking up each morning and looking out at this harbor was a joy. It's a short walk to Abbot Kinney and Venice Beach too.
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