Disgustingly touristy content alert!
When my family first started talking about going to the US, I was very insistent on going to Los Angeles. Mainly because I spend a lot of my life on social media, and the one place that people on the Internet seem to talk about more than anywhere else, is LA. With constant blue skies, beautiful beaches, celebrity sightings, world famous theme parks, and a vibrant community – it’s no wonder so many young people want to live here.
Unfortunately we only stayed for a few days (after our trip to Palm Springs), so we only had time to visit the ultimate tourist destinations – sorry to any locals!
So here are my very cliché photos and thoughts on the wonderful city of LA!
Universal Studios Hollywood
We went to Universal on our first full day in LA because everyone knows that theme parks are TIRING, so we wanted to go before we completely ran out of energy!
For anyone who hasn’t been to Universal Studios, there are no words to describe how much of an incredible experience it is, especially if you’re into your films.
The reason I was most excited about Universal Hollywood, is because it is home to the original Harry Potter world – literally a whole section of the park dedicated to making you feel like you’re in the wizarding world. As a HUGE Harry Potter fan, I honestly felt like crying the whole time we were there. The 3D Harry Potter ride was hands down one of the best things I’ve ever experienced, and I even got a photo with the Beauxbatons girls and Durmstrang guys, much to my family’s embarrassment.
So after speaking to an overly enthusiastic employee for ten minutes, we ended up being given front of line passes for the whole day, so we didn’t have to queue for anything and managed to go on every single ride, including the studio tour. If you ever get the chance to go to Universal, you must must must go on the studio tour, it. is. incredible. Especially as now they have the worlds largest 360 degree 3D screens that give you the most intense, immersive experience – you truly feel as if you’re in the midst of the movie action!
Ahh, I could go on about this place forever, but I’ll stop there!
Hollywood & Beverly Hills
Well you can’t visit LA without taking a look round Hollywood can you?
Everyone warned me that Hollywood in reality is nothing like the Hollywood in the movies, and while this is partly true, there’s still something very special about it that I can’t exactly pinpoint. Or maybe I was just so excited to actually be in Hollywood, that everything seemed amazing – I could have seen a piece of rubbish (or trash) on the street and still thought “wow…but it’s Hollywood trash”.
While walking around we saw some of the classic Hollywood sites such as the walk of fame and the Chinese Theatre, as well as bumping into some – shall we say – interesting characters… Needless to say I was in awe of it all!
To ensure we got the full experience, we decided to hop on a bus tour around Hollywood and Beverly Hills to see some famous landmarks, the Hollywood sign and (I’m ashamed to say) celebrity houses. It is crazy the amount of tours that take you to celebrities’ actual homes – just imagine bus loads of tourists turning up at the end of your driveway every day – such an invasion of privacy! But I’m a hypocrite because I still went on the tour, and enjoyed every second of it!
The only thing I can say about Beverly Hills is #goals. Insane mansions, perfectly preened trees lining every road, million dollar cars driving around, swanky restaurant and bars (where a bottle of water costs $25) and of course Rodeo Drive, with stores that most of us can only dream of shopping in.
My crappy photos honestly don’t do this place justice!
This was the one place we all agreed that we wanted to visit. I’ve obviously seen Venice Beach everywhere online, and my parents hadn’t been for many years, so they wanted to know how much it had changed.
It really did live up to all the expectations I had – here is a short list of some of the absolute stereotypes I witnessed with my own eyes, on Venice Beach:
– People rollerblading to music
– Girls in bikinis walking around holding boomboxes and skateboards
– Bands playing on the street
– A store where you could pay $40 for a ‘medical marijuana evaluation’
– A freak show
And what’s more, we happened to be there on the 4th of July, so everyone was in the best possible spirits and the atmosphere of the whole place was completely electric – it sucked me right in, and I’m already itching to go back!
If you can’t tell I’m fully obsessed with Los Angeles, and if it was as easy as packing up and moving, I would be there in a flash!
I’m so frustrated that we didn’t get the chance to delve into the ins and outs of LA properly, but I can’t wait to go back and explore some more! If anyone has any recommendations of where I should visit next time, please let me know! 🙂