A few weeks ago, Kayla and I traveled west for our third annual sister trip. The first year we went to NYC, and last year we went to Denver. I love these travel weekends with my best bud, and would urge anyone with siblings to take trips like this. This year was extra special because our trip coincidentally coincided with the week our brother moved from Chicago to San Diego so we got to sneak some sibling hangs with him too.
I’d never been to LA as an adult, so I didn’t have a firm grasp of what makes up LA. Is Hollywood the same as West Hollywood? What’s the difference between Santa Monica and Venice? Are these neighborhoods or cities? After some googling I learned Santa Monica is technically a different city, but it felt more like a neighborhood of LA to me. Any who, keep scrolling for me weekend guide to LA/Santa Monica.
Nom nom – Food
- Brunch time at Great White. I’d recommend the avocado toast with a poached egg on top. It’ll fill your belly up and it’s right by the famous Venice sign so you can snap pics right after.
- Deluxe yogurt or your basic LA acai bowl at Flake. This place was right by our Airbnb and was really cute and kitchy. They have limited seating so keep that in mind.
- I think I’m in the minority here, but I thought In-N-Out was just “meh.” The food took a long time, and it just tasted like any other orders of fast food fries and a burger.
- Sugarfish is an LA staple, and I was urged to go there by more than one person. They are very particular with how they serve the sushi (warm rice) and thoughtful sauces. If you like sashimi, you’ll be in absolute heaven.
- THE BEST PLACE EVER is Forma. You must go during happy hour and you must order the burrata and the tortellini. Honestly life changing.
- Grab a scoop of ice cream at Salt & Straw. They have artisinal ice cream flavors like turkey and carmel (shockingly better than expected).
Guzzle Guzzle – Drinks
- Don’t trust their Yelp rating. We spent a big chunk of time at the Bungalow in Santa Monica on our first day. It’s set up in an old house, and all the rooms are decorated incredibly well. Grab a margarita with a super salty rim and settle in.
- If you don’t want to eat, but still want a delicious glass of wine, then you should go to Forma.
Let’s get physical – Do
- Book a surf lesson through Groupon. We decided on surf lessons last minute and it was our favorite part of the whole trip. Most surf lessons include the equipment rental and guided practice! Only do this if you are a strong swimmer.
- Walk the Santa Monica Pier. We walked along the beach, past muscle beach, and onto the pier. There was a little seal friend waiting for us when we got to the end of the boardwalk.
- We stumbled upon an Artist and Fleas vintage fest on Saturday. Even if you don’t buy anything, the boots are really fun to poke around.
- Scoot SCOOOOT. I think we saw three different electric scooter companies around LA. The electric scooters are THE BEST way to see the city. If you don’t know, companies like Bird have placed scooters throughout some major citites in the U.S. You pay for the ride by the minute (most I’ve done are under $3). Unlike other ride share programs, Bird let’s you pick up and drop off the scooters anywhere in the city limits.
- Walk around the Venice Canals. The Venice Canals exceeded my expectations. The houses along the waterways are breathtaking.
What are you waiting for?! Book your trip to LA right now.