Ironically, I only went to LA for the first time just a few years ago, but it’s quickly become one of my favorite places on earth to visit. The palm trees, the reliably warm weather, the active lifestyle, the delicious food—what’s not to love? In March, Chris and I decided to go for a week for vacation, and I’m finally getting around to sharing a collection of images from our trip, plus all of the places we went—both new-to-us and tried-and-true spots. I, hereby, give you my Los Angeles travel guide.
I usually go to LA for work, so we wanted to splurge on the hotel to make it feel like a vacation rather than just another business trip. We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, where the bathtub and the terrace alone made it totally worth it. The service was impeccable, the lobby smells like Baes by Diptyque, and the rooftop pool and bar are great for getting in vacation mode (and spying Lionel Richie, if you’re into that sort of thing). If you’re not looking to splurge this time around, we stayed at the Kimpton La Peer last time we visited, and really loved it for its great location in West Hollywood.
There are a couple of restaurants on our non-negotiable list that we hit up every time we visit LA—Gjelina in Venice for it’s delicious brunch (go for the baked eggs and a mimosa!) and Nobu Malibu for its epic location on the beach (make a reservation at sunset if you can!). Of course, after we tick those off the eating list, we always try a few new-to-us spots each trip. This time we finally made it to Elephante (pictured below), where we got lucky enough to snag the outside seats just in time for sunset. The cocktails were delicious, and we each stuck to our individual go-tos on vacation—pizza for Chris, pasta for me.
Speaking of Italian, I’d heard so many rave reviews for Jon & Vinny’s before this trip, so thought it might fall short of the heightened expectations. I was 100% wrong. As a tomato sauce lover, I still dream of the spicy fusilli pasta a whole month later. I also loved the beet salad with olive tapenade, and spotted Kate Bosworth taking photos of Luka Sabbat for his Instagram as we were leaving. What a time to be alive. All in all, it was a successful venture that lived up to the hype. I’m realizing as I write this that we probably need to dial back the carbs, because our other favorite on the trip was Ronan in West Hollywood for their pizza with honey on it. K, to the gym…
Like I mentioned before, we really wanted this trip to feel like a vacation, so we spent a lot of time lounging at the rooftop pool at our hotel. When we weren’t poolside, we took a trip to the Soho House in Malibu to lounge on the sunchairs there instead. Did I mention we were out of office? Pro tip: if you’re a member of Soho House, you can request day passes for the Malibu house while you’re in town. We spotted Robin Thicke while we were there, and I was really sad we had to adhere to the no photos rule. Chris kept joking that we needed a Thicke pic…and he probably wasn’t wrong.
Anywho, when we weren’t sitting by a body of water, we hiked Runyon Canyon (basic, but fun!), shopped on Melrose Place and hit up my favorite vintage store, Recess. On less lazy visits, I love doing some of the harder hikes out in Malibu, like Backbone Trails, hitting up a museum or two and being more active, but better luck next time!
photos by shelby gordon, chris and myself
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