Travel Diary: How We Spent 3 Days in Los Angeles

3 days in Los Angeles

I have said it before, but I’ll say it again. LA, you stole my heart. This wasn’t a city at the top of my bucket-list. In fact, the only reason we booked this trip was because friends of ours were going and they had asked us to join them – so, why the hell not? Well, it ended up being one of our favourite cities we’ve visited and it even made it onto our list of cities that we would visit again.

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Day One: Arrival in Los Angeles

Arrival at the Airport:

We arrived midday to a pretty chaotic airport, found our bags, called an Uber and headed downtown, to the Omni Hotel. We decided to stay downtown with our friends. Before we could waste any time, we headed out the back entrance for a quick bite to eat.

I came to LA super unprepared, which in itself is really unusual of me. You should see the pre-planned schedule and calendar of events and things to do I usually come to a new city geared with. But we had been pretty busy —  what with me trying to study in amongst spontaneously heading off to Mexico a few days before LA. That said, our lunch plan was a result of a quick Google search nearby and boy, did we get lucky.

Lunch at Otium:

My quick Google search landed on Otium — which ended up being one of LA’s highly ranked restaurants. We arrived around 1pm to a packed restaurant with more and more people flooding in so we quickly grabbed some free seats at the bar and used it as an excuse to get quick and easy access to cocktails. On the note of cocktails, we had our most memorable one at Otium! It was a PB & J flavoured one and it was AMAZING! (Peanut butter addict over here!).

If you want to read more about our Foodie Adventures, here is a full guide of the Hot Spots in Downtown LA. 

Post-lunch dip:

Then we settled in at the hotel, met up with our friends who had arrived. We also had a quick dip in the pool! And then planned dinner (with no reservations) and such late notice, it wasn’t easy!

Drinks & Dinner:

We hit up a hidden bar called Birds & Bees. And, boy, was this place hidden! It was underground and super retro. We loved it! I can imagine it gets pretty full later on in the night but at 6pm, we had no problem with getting a table or spot at the bar. Afterwards, we had dinner at Water Grill, for some amazing fresh seafood seeing as we near the coast (When in Rome right?). But to be honest, it was also the only place we could get a last-minute booking on a Saturday night. I’d come prepared with reservations in the future!

Day Two: Rodeo Drive + Santa Monica + Venice Beach (All in One Day!)

Santa Monica

NYC-style Breakfast:

We had breakfast at the highly recommended Bottega Louie, just a short walk from the hotel, for the best fruit parfait I’ve literally ever had.

Rodeo Drive — because it just has to be done!

We headed off to Rodeo Drive, for the obligatory tourist stroll. The walk up and down was relatively quick – that is if you don’t stop to buy something ridiculously priced. But in saying that, if you are planning to make a When-in-Rome purchase, some shops need an appointment to go in, so do be sure to get that in place before you knock down the door. I reckon visiting this street would be a lot more fun with loads of cash, but for us, it was a bit of an average sight! Nothing to write home about!

What I did enjoy though was the best smoothie I’ve ever had in my life. Do yourself a favour and stop for a smoothie at Kreation Organic at the top of Rodeo Drive (like all the celebs do).

Santa Monica Baby!

Onto Santa Monica, for a stroll along the busy Pier and onwards to Venice Beach along the promenade. But don’t underestimate this walk, before we knew it, we were starving, unprepared with a booking or plan and ready to retire back to our hotel. The Pier, the boardwalk and the beach are all usually packed full of people and this day was no different. If you want to get a good spot, get there early.

3 days in LA
Dinner:

We had dinner at the casual eatery, Baco Mercat, which was a bit of a fail for me because they didn’t have as many gluten-free options. Nonetheless, the boys all enjoyed their food.

Day Three: Universal Studios 

Breakfast at the Hotel:

In order to save some rime and get to the Park as soon as possible we opted for a quick breakfast at the hotel. While I usually prefer to try somewhere local – you usually get more bang for your buck plus something a little more unique then bacon & eggs – this worked out well as we were ready to leave by 9am.

Geeking out on Harry Potter at Universal Studios:

We took the subway/metro to Universal City and arrived at Universal ready to get our geek on. Excuse us — we’re Harry Potter Fans.

Check out the blog post on our day at Universal Studios here and Harry Potter’s Wizarding World here.

Pre-dinner Drinks:

We met up with a friend who was visiting LA at the same time and had drinks at another little hidden bar, Everson Royce. With no signage and a rather run-down looking neighbourhood, even our Uber driver was nervous for us but this might have been my favourite find. I loved the outdoor courtyard vibe and their margaritas went down waaaay too quickly! It’s all in my foodie guide here.

Favourite Dinner of Them All:

This dinner though. This was my favourite. Dinner at Broken Spanish definitely takes the cake. We love Mexican food, but this was on a whole different level. If Mexican is your vibe, try them out!

Day Four: Goodbye LA

Quick Coffee + Breakfast at the Market 

We had spotted this Market on our first night out strolling to dinner and so we had to check out before we left LA (FYI: I am obsessed with markets). The Market is called Grand Central Market and it reminds me so much of a Cape Town Foodie Market. We grabbed a coffee and a museli bowl from G & B Coffee. BUT, their waffles smell so so good. Like evil good. Like you can’t resist good. But of course, not gluten-free.

Also, side-note: Shockingly, this was the only coffee I tried in LA. For that reason alone, I need to plan a return trip ASAP to try all their coffee shops! If you have any recommendations of places I should try, comment below!

3 days in Los Angeles
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9 Comments

  1. I haven’t been to LA yet, but I want to go soon after reading your post. Your guide in your post is really helpful and definitely will help me plan my trip to LA. Thanks for sharing.

  2. LA also stole my heart!! When I was younger (and living in Edmonton) my aunt surprised me with a trip to visit a girlfriend of hers. After that week, LA pretty much was cemented into my favorite-places-I-have-ever-been list. This post just makes me want to go back (SO badly I might add)!

  3. ⚡Harry potter at universal! This is on our places to travel dream list. & The photos of your trip are just lovely. Those baked goods look amazing. 🍪

    Will be pinning this for later travels! 😊

  4. I love LA, but hate LAX haha with all that construction! This looks like an Amazing trip for only 3 days. You covered ALOT! I like your retro bar recommendation. Definitely need to check that out next time I’m in LA. Super jell you got the HP experience at Universal. I have never been and dying to go! Pinning this itinerary! Thanks love!

    1. Ah, thanks Hun! Yes that construction is a bit chaotic! I hope you get to go to the HP World soon! We had so much fun! x