People tend to either love or hate LA. We definitely fall in the love camp. But we should take a step back and explain that we have a real thing for California in general. The feelings are legit and strong. While we love our island of Nantucket we dream of a life split between the two. Never stop dreaming people!
We have been lucky to spend a lot of time on the left coast and we wanted to share some of our favorite spots in the LA area. We can't wait for our next trip. Enjoy!
Where to Stay: Not shocking, we prefer to stay by the beach typically in either Santa Monica or Venice. Airbnb is always a great option and one of our friends just rented a cottage on the canals which sounds amazing! We also love The Viceroy in Santa Monica. 1819 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica
Coffee Stop: You must stop by Groundwork coffee and try their nitro iced coffee, still dreaming of this, it is that good! They have multiple locations, we loved the one on Rose Ave in Venice. 671 Rose Ave, Venice
Hiking: We have always loved the hike at Runyon Canyon, but this last trip we finally went over to Topanga and talk about a gem of a find. Runyon is great and you get awesome views of the Hollywood sign, but Topanga makes you feel like you are worlds away and offers 36 miles of hiking trails. From Santa Monica, take the Pacific Coast Highway towards Malibu and soon after the Getty Villa, take a right at the Malibu Feed Bin. Keep driving and eventually you will see signs for the park.
Topanga is also a cool, artists community so be sure to check out the town and read up on what events are taking place.
Biking: Or shall we say cruising. If you are by the beach, definitely go rent a beach cruiser and ride along the beach path scoping out the scenery. Let the hair flow in the wind! We rented from Perry's which was easy and inexpensive. 2400 & 2600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica (there are many locations)
Unique Dining: A friend recently tipped us off to the Old Place Restaurant. We get it, we are likely late to the game on this one but we love quirky spots and can't wait to go back. They have been in business for over 45 years and the restaurant has transferred from father to son. There is no freezer, so the food is fresh! Check out their hours as they aren't open 7-days a week and you don't want to miss this one. If you need to wait for seats (very likely!), there is a winery next-door. We had a glass of wine and they had a great musician playing acoustic guitar. This was 100% worth the drive! Hint hint: we desperately want one of their "gift certificates."
Healthy Cafe: We stumbled upon Bondi Harvest when we were staying at a friends place around the corner. It's the perfect spot to have a healthy breakfast and coffee while sitting in the alley catching up on work, a good book, etc. Our absolutely favorite is their acai bowl. It's a great laid back, local scene at this Australian cafe. 1814 Berkeley Street, Santa Monica, CA
Burger & Beer: Father's Office is the spot to go. Order at the bar, expect no frills but this is an awesome old school joint. 1018 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica
Classic Margarita: If you are sensing a trend, you are right...we love old school spots. Casablanca Restaurant in Venice has been around for over 30 years and might have just one of the best margaritas we have ever had. That and their delicious homemade tortillas. 220 Lincoln Boulevard, Venice
Venice Canals: The canals are ever so charming and we are pretty sure, like us, you will want to buy a home there after strolling around.
Farm to Table: We used to stay around the corner from Eveleigh quite often for work. This is a charming spot with beautiful, rustic decor and delicious food. You will feel at home here! 8752 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood
Brentwood Country Mart: There isn't a ton of shopping in the Brentwood Country Mart, but we just love this place especially the charming post office. If you need to mail something definitely mail it from Substation No. 1 - operating since 1948. We love grabbing lunch at the Farmshop, you can sit down or grab something to go and sit at the picnic tables outsides. Typically, you always spot someone in this place!
225 26th Street at the corner of San Vicente in Santa Monica.