After a couple of months back in NZ, we headed to Europe - with a stopover in Los Angeles. We had never been to LA before and traveling slowly works best for us, so rather than stopping over for just a few hours, we stayed in LA for just over a week.
We spent 6 days in central LA and then we drove up to the desert and stayed near the Joshua Tree National Park.
We usually use AirBnB, if you don't have an account you can use this link to create one & get a NZD $50 credit :) - www.airbnb.co.nz/c/katyh793
Central LA - We booked through AirBnB and stayed in a two-bedroom apartment, it was a big two-bedroom with two bathrooms, a full kitchen and it had a washing machine. It was in a massive apartment complex, multi-story, several pools, spa pool, gym etc and came with a car-park. We had heaps of requests on where this place was.
This is the property we stayed in central LA - https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms...
Desert, Joshua Tree - We stayed at a thermal springs mobile home resort. I had a typical Katie moment and booked us at a natural thermal pools resort in over 40 degree heat .. lol .. and in a mobile home. Mark was stoked ... Our mobile home was actually awesome, it was big and really nicely furnished and really well set up for renting. And it came with a golf cart !
I'll find the link :)
There is so much to do in LA !!! We stuck to the usual tourist sites but also spent a lot of time having fun in the pool. LA was super hot and busy!
What we did:
- Santa Monica Pier, we drove to and parked up at the pier. We walked along the pier and then up the beach past the famous fitness equipment etc
- Baseball, we went to an LA Dodgers Baseball game. It was awesome, coming from NZ its so surreal to go to huge games (it was a mid-week small game too!). This is something we love doing.
- Malibu, we drove up the coast from Santa Monica to Malibu, spent the day at the beach and then drove home through the hills behind Malibu
- Rodeo Drive, we did a morning of window shopping, people watching and had lunch ... twice :)
- Hollywood Hills Sign, the plan was to get up early, beat the crowds to the carpark and then hike to the sign. We slept in, the queue up the hill to the carpark took an hour and the heat was insane. We ended up just walking a few hundred meters from the carpark, in the shade (yah!) and still got a great view of the sign and a few pics.
- Huntington Beach, we got lucky and found out The Vans Open (huge surf & skate competition) was on, so we detoured to H. Beach for the day on our drive to Joshua Tree. We had actually tried really hard and very unsuccessfully to find accommodation in Huntington Beach (rather than stay in central LA), the surf comp. must of been why there was NOTHING available.
- Joshua Tree, incredible, we are so glad we made the effort and stayed a few days up here. We had never driven through or been in a 'desert' so that was a cool experience in itself. We'd love to go back to Joshua Tree in not such extreme heat and explore more - the place has am insane vibe and energy.
The food in LA was amazing, I could have eaten out every meal. However, most of our meals we try to have at 'home'. .. for our budget & our health.
We were out driving more in LA, so lunch was often at Chipotle. Quick, easy, fresh & I can custom our meals to keep them healthy.
We did have one most amazing dinner out in Santa Monica at Stella Barra Pizzeria. It was some of the best food we have ever had (Mark & I are actually HUGE foodies, I'm reminiscing of our weekly date night .. which was just dedicated to finding the best food in Auckland). Giant crispy brussel sprouts, organic meatballs, gluten free pizza and they were super happy to customise for us.
Happy to answer and questions :)
Lots more photos on Instagram and Facebook