Last month I had to take a quick business trip to LA. It felt foolish to fly across the country for just one day, so I figured I’d embrace the MLK Jr. Day holiday weekend and build myself a little west coast getaway!
Since I’m an LA noob – and it’s winter in NYC – I decided to focus my trip around the beach. I stayed at a GREAT Airbnb in Venice Beach, and spent my days in Venice, Santa Monica & Marina del Rey. I made a tiny little detour to Hollywood to meet a friend for dinner, but skipped the tourist stuff altogether. LA is huge, so if you’ve only got a day or two, I definitely recommend heading to an area and sticking to it. Cars from ride-sharing apps are widely available and affordable, but you do lose a good amount of time in a car if you’re trying to bounce all over town. You’ll get more vacay for your buck if you focus your trip.
Here’s what I loved:
Since I was traveling alone, I figured I’d stay at an Airbnb with a reputation for helpful hosts. I HIGHLY recommend this! The hosts, Lyn and Paul, were so kind and have cultivated a wonderful community feel at their place. I got to borrow bikes from their property, chat with other guests on the patio, and get recommendations for the best places to watch the NFL playoffs (I know, I KNOW – I flew across the country to watch football in a bar – sue me).
Venice Beach Boardwalk
It lives up to hype and expectation. Surfers, skaters, artists, shitty t-shirt vendors, street performers, psychics – it has all your characters. I loved it. For all my fellow New Yorkers – it feels a little bit like the illegitimate love child of Williamsburg and Coney Island with a suntan.
SUP Yoga seemed like the most LA thing I could do. It was a short jog from my Airbnb in Marina del Rey. If you have ANY interest in stand up paddle boarding or yoga and are headed to LA – go! It was a blast. It managed to be both easier – and harder – than I thought it would be at the same time. Also – because it’s LA and everything must be insta-worthy – they even have the instructors snap photos for your social media. No joke. #LAliving
Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Shopping, restaurants, arts…one street – full package.
“the Strand” aka the Marvin Braude Bike Trail
The whole trail can take you from Pacific Palisades to Torrence County beach. The triathlete in me thought it would be a great idea to do the whole thing. The tourist on a beach cruiser in me stayed close to home. I did an out and back for a total of 15 miles along beautiful beachfront. It was glorious.
Finally, Salt’s Cure
I’m biased because I met a dear friend that I haven’t seen in awhile when I went here, but DAMN was it delicious. Try the pork chop.
Thanks for a good time LA – I’ll be back!