Last year, my brother, sister and I, set off on an amazing adventure to the US of A. Somehow, we survived each other and spent two incredible weeks city-hopping down the West Coast. If you’re planning a similar trip this summer and need ideas, look forward to reading my city guide travel series…
Seeking stars and thrills
After ferrying back to San Francisco from Alcatraz prison and returning our hired car, we got straight on a plane to Los Angeles. By the way, I was very impressed with Alamo‘s car hire return process, so quick and simple to do. We were also impressed by Virgin America‘s whole flight process. Super quick check-in, very spacious and comfortable plane, and great on-flight entertainment – including their music video spin on the safety information at start of the journey.
What To See
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Our hotel was right by the Hollywood Walk of Fame so we had fun finding our favourite stars one night. The Boulevard is more packed full of tourists during the day but at night it’s a bit easier to roam about. Saying that, it is still very lively in the evening with lots of characters from films, games and music creating a real Hollywood feel. Being big fans of Johnny Depp, my sister and I were thrilled to bump into Jack Sparrow and Edward Scissorhands and had to get a photo!
I didn’t know whether to smile for Jack or cry for my hair… Thanks, Ed.
Oh my god, this place was a dream land. Especially Springfield, it was amazing to be able to go to Moe’s Tavern, Krusty Burger, Duff Beer and even the Kwik-E-Mart, where I bought this amazing giant doughnut!
Universal was more about the film and design element rather than the rides but still a lot of fun. Make sure you take the Studio Tour, you get to see a lot of TV and movie sets and their props like the cars from Flintstones, Back to the Future, Fast and Furious, etc. They also take you through design sets where film effects such as flooding, fire and explosions happen right before your eyes. I also recommend The Transformers ride for those longing for a roller coaster experience.
Word of warning: Don’t spend your entire time on the Jurassic Park ride trying to avoid the water sprays. You get absolutely drenched at the end by travelling through a sheet of water. That was a fun surprise.
We only had time to make a quick stop at Venice Beach before our flight to Vegas but it’s definitely worth spending time here. Lots of restaurants, tourist shops, local acts and plenty to see at the infamous Muscle Beach.
Where To Eat
Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill
We loved Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill, located right by the Walk of Fame. The restaurant has a very rural feel and reminded us of Oregon with antlers and guns decorating the walls. It is fairly big inside, includes a bar, and would be a great place for families or large groups.
Food was delicious with plenty of choice on the menu and well priced. Great place for meat lovers with steaks, burgers, grill combos, Mexican, seafood and sandwiches on offer. But don’t worry, there are some tasty vegetarian options too.
For breakfast head to Mel’s Drive-In for an all American experience. They do classics such as pancakes, french toast, cereal, waffles, omelettes and hash browns, as well as some alternatives such as the breakfast sliders that I had. You’re bound to find something you like as the menu is huge. Food was very tasty and they do fresh juice, milkshakes, coffee and tea.
The only thing I didn’t like was their version of an iced coffee. It was black coffee with a load of whipped cream on top which I didn’t think went well together and wasn’t expecting.
When in Springfield. Krusty Burger was good for the overall experience. The design was obviously the main selling point but the food was also good for burgers, chips and milkshakes. Enjoy your food with episodes of The Simpsons playing on tele.
The Terrace is a cute little café right by Venice Beach. they have a selection of breakfast, sandwiches, juice, tea and coffee. I had their tuna toasties which were really really good and filled me up for the morning and flight to Vegas.
We stayed at Holiday Inn Express and were very happy with the service and rooms. Located just a five minute walk from the Walk of Fame, its location is prime for nightlife, tourist attractions, restaurants and transport.
If you liked this post, look out for next in series: Las Vegas
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