I lived in metro Los Angeles from October 2016 until April 2019. Everyone always talks about how crowded and crazy it is in Los Angeles, but I think there are definitely ways to get around that. We lived in the “South Bay”, which was much more calm and relaxed than other parts of Los Angeles. Every city in metro Los Angeles is unique and has its own charm, which made living there so much fun because there was always something new to see.
The Staples Center is one of the most famous landmarks in Los Angeles because of all of the events that are broadcast on TV from there. The first time I went was for a Lakers / Clippers game, which was fun because we had free lower bowl tickets from one of his vendors.
Around the holidays, the Staples Center puts up an Ice Arena for people to skate at. My work had our holiday party here twice.
I also went to the Drake concert at the Staples center with my team from work and our client. We had a big suite, and it was the perfect way to watch a concert there. They also brought us a dessert cart, and it had SO many amazing desserts to choose from.
I worked for the Deloitte Los Angeles office for 2.5 years. The office has brand new modern furniture just like the Detroit office, and it is located right in the heart of downtown LA. I had many opportunities to volunteer with the firm at our annual Impact Day where we have local students from Los Angeles come and learn about STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). I also have had the opportunity to help with various recruiting events, interviewing, and onboarding trainings.
The Standard Hotel
Also while I was working in California (before I moved there), Mike and I stayed downtown at The Standard Hotel one night, which was super fun. The Standard is a really modern hotel that has a rooftop bar, and a really cool pool. They have funky furniture, a rooftop pool, a beer garden, and a DJ that plays on the rooftop on the weekends.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a really cool Art Museum. Mike and I spent a full day here exploring. I would highly recommend coming here for a few hours since there is so much to see as it is the largest art museum in the West.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)
This museum is very unique, and very modern. A lot of the artwork seemed dark and sad, which was hard to relate to. Some of the art was beautiful and nice though.
The Getty Museum
Another really cool museum in Los Angeles is the Getty Museum. The museum has great architecture, gardens, and views overlooking Los Angeles. There is also very famous artwork inside that you can walk around and enjoy.
The Broad Museum
Eli Broad opened his own free public museum to display some of his thousands of pieces of contemporary art work. You can reserve tickets online for free prior to going so that you do not have to wait in a long line to get in. Once you get in, the art work is really unbelievable. I highly recommend signing up for the main attraction on an iPad right when you get in because the wait times can be so long (it was 5 hours for us). They text you when it is closer to your spot in line, so you are free to walk around the museum or leave and come back.
The Magic Castle is a clubhouse that you can only get into if someone knows a Magician. Mike and I went for his team’s Christmas party, and saw an amazing magic show. They even used me as a volunteer for one of the acts, and I was completely shocked when the trick worked.
Downtown Los Angeles
Mike and I have also visited other famous spots, such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Last Bookstore. There is a lot of history in the city, and it is very beautiful if people know where to go.
Grand Central Market
Grand Central Market is a large indoor market downtown Los Angeles that has many food vendors, and has been open since 1917. They have every type of food that you could want. I have visited a few times, and it was always an enjoyable experience. We went during the 100th anniversary and they were celebrating with this beautiful balloon art.
Across the street from Grand Central Market is the beautiful Bradbury Building. If you are interested in architecture, you will love this building. Also, if you have seen / remember the movie Blade Runner, one of the famous scenes was filmed here.
Annual Women’s March Los Angeles
My company was a sponsor with the United Way in hosting a breakfast for women and making signs and posters for the 3rd Annual Women’s March in downtown Los Angeles. With everything that is going on in the United States in 2019, I went because I believe that every voice in our country counts, and there is no reason we cannot all succeed together. I do not like how divided our country has become, and I wanted to be a part of a movement that represents so many different type of people. It was definitely an interesting march, and I did not believe in everything that it was discussed, but it is good that so many conversations are being brought to the table now.
Los Angeles Flower District
The Los Angeles Flower District is located Downtown in a six block floral marketplace, consisting of nearly 200 wholesale flower dealers. You pay $1 for entry, and then you are able to walk freely among all of the wonderful floral vendors. There are flowers, indoor plants, outdoor plants, vases, anything you could need related to florals. Mike and I bought a few flower babies to bring home, and we love them so much!
Los Angeles Fashion District
I have not sewn in a very long time, but if I was into it, I would definitely come back to the Los Angeles Fashion District, located right next to the Los Angeles Flower District. There are so many vendors and stores that sell fabrics of all kinda. My favorite were the fabrics with all of the glitter on them!
Los Angeles Art District
I have been to the Los Angeles Art District many times for various art pop-ups. It is so fun and unique that people can have a creative idea, rent space for relatively cheap, and then so many people from Metro Los Angeles can come to visit. Every experience is unique, and I have loved them all.
I went the day that this opened during the day, so it was not that crowded. For any art pop up or museum, I recommend going as early as possible so that you do not have to wait in long lines to see the art. There were 29 different “rooms” of art here to explore with different stories. There were many helpful staff around to help explain the art and take photos.
Museum of Ice Cream
The Museum of Ice Cream was full of exhibits and interactive spaces that were a lot of fun. In each of the different rooms, you get to try a different type of ice cream.
I took a Deep House rooftop yoga class in ROW DTLA, and it was amazing! Everyone was so happy and had so much fun. The class was the perfect level of hard and fun. In the end, we had a dance party. I love the yoga community in Los Angeles.
Similar to the Rooftop Yoga, I participated in a Skyspace yoga class by Bender Yoga at the OUE Skyspace located on the 70th floor of the US Bank building. It was a really fun yoga and dance party in the clouds up 1,000 feet above a sea of lights.
Samskara was an immersive art experience that featured works of transformational artist Android Jones. The art itself changed colors depending on the angle and time you were looking at it. We also were able to participate in VR simulations and a 360 degree video game. The entire experience felt like we were in a Burning Man Avitar simulation.
Two Bits Circus
Two Bits Circus is a Virtual Reality arcade that is great for team events. I went with my coworkers, and we had a great evening. They have many different types of virtual reality games. My favorite was the 4 person game; we played it twice: once with Zombies and once with Samari’s. It was really cool because you can see the other team members in the game as well. You totally forget that you are just in a random warehouse when you are playing the game. The arcade is really fun to check out.
Angel City Brewery
Angel City Brewery is a popular LA-based craft brewery located in the heart of the Art’s District. They host different types of events here (including yoga). Mike and I visited with his old coworker Alex and his wife. We tried different types of beers, played a game, and had a really fun day.
UCLA – Westwood
My husband, Mike, obtained his Masters in Business Administration from UCLA. He graduated in 2019. Occasionally, I visited the campus to meet him, and it is one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever been on (Michigan State is the most beautiful 😉 ). For work, I often visited to help recruit students from UCLA, and it’s always a very enjoyable experience being on campus. A lot of movies and films are shot here, and I think it is definitely worth checking out the beautiful campus.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
The Rose Bowl Flea Market is held on the second Sunday of every month. It is full of various clothing, art, and food vendors. It is fun to walk around and see everything that people are selling. Michigan State University (the school that I went to), won the Rose Bowl football game in 2014, so it was fun to see our school name there.
Mike lived in Hermosa Beach for two years while we were dating, so we have gone to almost every restaurant in the city; our favorite will always be Palmilla. I love how the town has a beach vibe, and there are always surfers out in the water enjoying the day.
Comedy and Magic Club
Hermosa has a Comedy and Magic Club, and Jay Leno practices here every sunday. Mike and I have visited the club multiple times as they often have deals, and they often have 10 comedians for 10 dollars. The most famous person that we saw here was Aziz Ansari, and he was really funny. I would recommend checking out a show at this little club.
Manhattan Beach is one of my favorite cities. I love it because it has a lot of really nice restaurants. My favorite restaurant is the Strand House because it is located right on Manhattan Beach Blvd by the ocean. You can sit at a table looking right at the water and the Manhattan Beach Pier. Mike and I went here for New Years Eve 2015 and had a great time. We live right near downtown Manhattan Beach, so we frequent here often. The sunsets are always so amazing, which makes it easy to love being here.
Redondo Beach has some of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. They have a Marina filled with sail boats that people live on, and they have a fresh fish market that people come from all over to buy fish. Mike has even tried a sea urchin from the market! Many of our friends from the area live in Redondo Beach. It will always be a very special place to me.
Just inland from Redondo Beach is a city called Torrance. We mostly came here because they had every store imaginable. We bought both of our cars in Torrance. One of our favorite stores in Torrance was called Rainforest Flora, which is a large Tillandsia Air Plant with very interesting and fun plants.
Palos Verdes is a city that is literally on the cliff of the Pacific Ocean. If there ever were a massive earthquake, many of the houses would probably fall into the water. Mike and I went hiking along the trail that is open to the public, and also stopped at Wayfair’s Church, which is in a lot of movies. The rocks that are in the ocean form these cool tide pools that are filled with sea urchins and starfish. It is a beautiful area. Also, at the top of one of the hills is a park called Rocket Ship Park, and it has a beautiful view of all of Los Angeles. Mike and I had some fun photos taken of us to have California engagement photos to remember our first home together forever.
Santa Monica is special because of the Santa Monica pier. We have gone here a few times when people come to visit, because it is such a famous spot. Lunch at Del Fresco’s right across the street is amazing. There are usually pretty cool street performers right on the pier as well. I also went to a silent disco at the end of the pier with some friends, and it was so much fun.
Snap Inc., (a.k.a. SnapChat), is located in Santa Monica, which started the era of calling the beach cities in Los Angeles Silicon Beach (similar to Silicon Valley in northern California). Snap is always doing fun activities, and they are volunteering to help the community. The offices are a really fun environment. One of the conference rooms looks like a meditation studio. You have to know someone to get inside of their campus.
Venice Beach is a pretty interesting city. There is a boardwalk with all kinds of tourist stores. We went here with my brother to show him the famous Muscle Beach. There are also the Venice Canals, like the ones in Italy. Also, on the first Friday of every month, Venice has food trucks all over the city, and it is a really fun environment to go visit and try out some of the different local food.
Ceremony Meditation is a beautiful wellness space located right downtown Venice Beach on Rose Avenue. They host different breathwork, sound bath, reiki, and other classes on a daily basis. They also oftern have fun events. If you are interested in wellness at all, you must check this place out. I went to a sound bath with the owner, and I left feeling magical.
This mile long street is full of hipster restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and shops. It is fun to walk around and look around in the shops, and have some fancy craft cocktails.
Culver City is located right near Venice and Santa Monica, and a lot of people live here because it is a very centralized location in Los Angeles, which is nice that you can get anywhere pretty quickly. There are also studios very close by (i.e. NBC, Sony, Fox). I go to the dentist in Culver City at Silicon Beach Dental, and I just wanted to share this adorable picture of their office. Everyone here is SO nice, and everything is so high tech. This office is great.
The Grove is a huge shopping center in Los Angeles, and there are many different types of shops that all face outdoors. Walking around reminds me of walking around in Disney World. It is a very popular tourist place to visit.
Heyday Facial Spa
For my 29th birthday, I treated myself to a customized 50 minute facial at Heyday, and it was AMAZING! I had never had a facial before, and everything about it was brilliant. From the moment I walked in, the vibe was so fun and happy. My consultant was great and informative, and she told me about every step of the facial, and she started by looking at my face under two different lights to see what my pores looked like, if I had sun damage, etc, and then she applied a scrub, different fruit filled serums, and explained every step along the way. It was amazing and everyone should experience a facial here.
Melrose Avenue is a famous street in West Hollywood that is home to many chic restaurants and shops. Some of our favorites are Catch LA, Fig & Olive, EP & LP, SUR, Pump, and The Abbey. I highly recommend this area to any visitors because there is so much to do.
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Mike and I received free tickets to see Jimmy Kimmel live. Besides waiting outside in the scolding heat with no shade for 2 hours prior to getting in, it was an amazing experience. Jimmy is such a funny host, and Tom Cruise was on the show the day we were there. It was really cool to see how the show is filmed.
El Captain Theater
For Halloween, Mike and I got tickets to see A Nightmare Before Christmas in 4D downtown Hollywood. While we were waiting to get into the theater, we had to wait outside, and it was amazing to see some of the costumes people were wearing downtown Hollywood.
The Roosevelt Hotel is a really cool place to hang out, and it has 3 different bars. There is an outdoor bar with a DJ, and it is really fun to visit in the summer. The bar on the first floor is a speakeasy type of bar, where they have fresh fruit and ingredients, and they will make anything you would like fresh for you on the spot; you just tell them what you are in the mood for, and the mixologists whip something up. The bar upstairs has a bunch of board games in it. The first time we visited the hotel, Mike and I played chess… I can’t remember who won ;-). The second time, we stayed at the hotel for Mike’s UCLA graduation, and we had amazing room service in the morning.
Hollywood Stars and Sign
Everyone knows of the Hollywood Stars and Hollywood Sign. They are cool to see once, but in my opinion, they are very over rated. It is actually very hard to get up close to the Hollywood sign, but there is a decent view from the Hollywood & Highland Mall.
Griffith Park is another one of the top places to visit in Los Angeles. Mike and I and some of our friends brought a picnic to the Griffith park, and then we enjoyed the views of the Griffith Park Observatory to see the Hollywood Sign.
Not far from Griffith Park is the famous Runyon Canyon, which is a 160-acre park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains. Many famous people post photos on Instagram here showing their workouts. The views of the city are pretty amazing. It is work checking out if you are into fitness.
Beverly Hills Hotel
Mike’s old roommate Luis works at the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel Air. Luckily, he has given us tours of both hotels, which are absolutely stunning properties. All of the famous stars and rich people from around the world stay at the hotels. Mike and I stayed at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and Zac Efron walked out of the building behind us and snuck in one of our pictures! I also took my mom to the hotel when she visited, and she absolutely loved it so much.
Rodeo is one of the most famous streets in the world. It has more than 100 world-renowned stores on the street. Many people know of the street because of the movie Pretty Woman. The price tags in most of the shops are out of this world, but it is fun to walk around and browse. Make sure to get a coffee from Alfreds. Also make sure to keep driving and see all of the beautiful palm trees that line the street.
One year, for Mike’s birthday, we ate dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant at Hotel Bel Air. The hotel is absolutely beautiful. Mike’s old roommate works ate the hotel and gave us a tour of the entire grounds. It is the most beautiful hotel I have ever seen. I love how it is unique and modern.
When my two best friends came to visit me for one of their birthdays, it just so happened that they were visiting during the weekend of the largest rain storm in Los Angeles in 15 years. We stayed at the hotel and had a girls night and made the most of being in such a beautiful hotel.
El Matador State Beach
This beach is the Los Angeles beach that you see in models photos and in the movies. It has so many beautiful rock formations and cliffs.
Malibu Wines & Malibu Cafe
Hollywood chic would be two perfect words to describe this place. All of the girls are dressed in their stylish outfits, with their floppy hats, taking 37829 selfies. The concept of the venue is unique and exciting. You bring your own picnic, aka food and blankets, and then buy wine from the vineyard, and just chill out with your friends.
Malibu Cafe is just down the street from Malibu Wines. It is a huge outdoor restaurant, with hang out areas, and chandeliers hanging from the trees. It is a very fun and unique hang out spot, that I would have loved to go to with my friends growing up.
Malibu is known for its many hiking trails. The very first hike I ever did was on the Escondido Falls trail, which was beautiful. Personally, I thought it was challenging because you actually have to climb on your hands and knees multiple times. It is worth it though because you get to see a waterfall once you reach the top.
Soho House Malibu / Malibu Beach House
Soho House Malibu is also known as Malibu Beach House, and it is a popular private club in Malibu situated right on the ocean. I visited here to go to a live podcast recording for my favorite podcast called “Almost 30”. During the podcast, we did a meditation, and we had a reiki master there, and I participated in my first reiki session. Reiki is a spiritual healing, and I can’t really describe what I felt, but I could definitely feel the positive vibration of so many open minded people. It was a great experience.
Mike, Luis, and I went to Six Flags in the Valley for Halloween for the Horror night. I had never been to a haunted house before, so I was so scared, but it was actually so fun. We only went on a few roller coasters, but we went to every single haunted house because we bought the fast pass.
Silver Lake is a gentrified city near Los Angeles, and they have a famous rainbow set of stairs. Many “Instagrammers” go here. I only saw it because it was right near my friends house, but I love the colors and the heart, and I with more stair cases were painted so beautifully.
The SpaceX Christmas Party was one of the biggest parties I have ever been to in my life. There were over 3,000 employees plus their dates there. The room was broken out into different rooms including a beach room, a dancing room, a casino, a ball pit, a clean room, a food room, a sweets room, and an outdoor area. The party was so much fun.
Los Angeles International Airport is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world. Over 45,000 people work at LAX. There are 7 different terminals at the airport. It is always busy, however, around 7 – 9PM is the busiest time for airport traffic because it is busy for both incoming and outgoing flights—both domestic and international. Try to avoid the airport during that time if you can (especially on a Sunday!).
In N Out
Near LAX, you can find an In N Out, which is an American regional fast food chain located in states throughout the west coast. They are known for their animal style where they basically put a thousand island dressing on burgers and fries. I personally think the restaurant is pretty over rated, but it was good and worth checking out.
Candy Cane Lane
In a city called El Segundo, located just south of LAX, they celebrate Christmas to the MAX every year. There is a street called Candy Cane Lane, and they decorate every house on the street. It was really cute to check out.
I went to Universal Studios twice within the same month for Grinchmas because they had a deal if you live in California if you buy a pass, you can come again for free. So I went once with my friend that is obsessed with Harry Potter, and it was so fun to experience it with her, and I went another time with my husband and other couple, and we had so much fun as well. I would definitely recommend coming here for a fun filled day!
Descanso Gardens is located north of downtown Los Angeles, and it is a beautiful garden with many different type of flora. Our friends had their wedding there in the summer, and we went back again in the winter for their Enchanted Forest of Light. The Enchanted Forest of Light is an interactive light show, and there were many children (and adults), enjoying walking through the gardens and forests enjoying the lights.