1. Bike around Venice Beach.
Venice is a really neat little neighborhood in Los Angeles. Unlike the downtown areas of LA, Venice has a notably laid back and genuine vibe to it, and I absolutely love it. The pier and seaside areas are filled with bike/board rental shops, so finding a place to rent is not an issue. During my most recent trip to Los Angeles, Crystal and I spent two days biking around the Venice Beach strip, pier, and alleyways. It was a convenient, fun, and scenic way to take in the city, and it only costed $13 per bike for three hours- For how great of a time we had, that’s not too shabby at all.
2. Surf/Watch the surfers in Malibu.
Malibu is also a great oceanside area in Los Angeles. The vibe is far less laid back than it is in Venice, but it’s great for surfing and/or watching surfers. Crystal and I laid down a beach mat and spectated some of the great surfers that were out on the water despite the dreary weather. It was a good activity for the relaxing day we were aiming for.
3. Approach strangers.
Truthfully, I recommend this for traveling in general and not just in Los Angeles. Obviously, use good judgement in regards to who you approach, but definitely do talk to people. I’ve always been an outgoing person, so I constantly find myself chatting up strangers wherever I go and it’s benefited me significantly on numerous occasions. I’m of the firm belief that when in an unfamiliar or new place, this is the best way to expand the adventure. Anyway, during our time in Malibu, we were sitting on a beach near two guys our age who were quite clearly shooting shy glances our way. After realizing that they were just as terribly shy as Crystal, I decided it was up to me to initiate conversation. Once I did what I do best, we ended up meeting and befriending them. As it turns out, this was the perfect scenario. Ruben and Rob were also best friends on a mini vacation together. Ruben is from The Netherlands and Rob from Greece, but they met at university in London. As they did not have a vehicle and were planning on grabbing a Lyft back to downtown LA, we ended up offering them to ride with us in our rental. Long story short, we spent the entire (long- thanks to LA traffic) car ride getting to know each other and building a cute little LA friendship with them. We ended up getting together with them again later on in our trip, and (attempted to) hike up to the Hollywood sign. Due to being chased away by furious security, we didn’t quite make it, but it was an incredible night and a lasting memory. All in all, approach people and make friends in new places. It’s well worth it.
4. Spend a day at Santa Monica Pier.
Santa Monica is a lively neighborhood with a sweet little boardwalk filled with food and fun. The pier itself has a few restaurants, rides, and activities to enjoy while being surrounded by the bright blue ocean. I definitely recommend riding the Ferris Wheel just to indulge in the breathtaking view of Santa Monica. There’s also a cute little ice cream shop that has a wide variety of creams. I personally went the Dippin’ Dot route because I’m forever a child, but there is a large selection of homemade ice cream flavors that I reckon anyone would love to indulge in. By the way, for you lovebirds out there, Santa Monica Pier would be a really rad daytime date idea. You better keep that in mind if you’re ever in the area.
5. Hike up to Griffith Observatory at night.
I can’t express enough just how unbelievable this view is. The observatory itself is free, but does have pretty unfortunate hours and strict security. It doesn’t actually close until sunset and the sights are certainly worth it, though. Crystal and I (people with a disdain for law breakers/trespassers, stop reading now) actually hid beneath bushes for a good hour after closing until we no longer heard footsteps from the security guards, then climbed our way back up onto the observatory deck to enjoy the views for longer. Eventually we did get caught, and were chased away by security, but this is no regret of mine. The views of Downtown LA were well worth the run-in with government security, and I recommend it to all who enjoy good scenery. As a side note: If you do choose to trespass late at night here, be aware that you are in the wilderness and there is wildlife surrounding you. When we were headed back down, we were stopped by six or seven coyotes who stood just a few yards away from us- Pretty intimidating stuff. Nonetheless, definitely head up to Griffith Observatory. It’s not a view to pass on.
And that’s it! I had an amazing little vacation in LA recently, and this list of things to do derives directly from our own adventures. I hope this helps those in search for things to do while in LA and/or encourages others to plan travels out there!
Until my next post,