I moved to metro Los Angeles in October 2016. Everyone always talks about how crowded and crazy it is here, but I think there are definitely ways to get around that. We live in the South Bay, which is definitely very calm and relaxed, and there is so much to do. Every little city in metro Los Angeles is unique and has its own charm, which makes living here so fun because you can explore all of it easily.
I’ve been to downtown Los Angeles a few times. Once, Mike and I went for a Lakers / Clippers game, which was fun because we had free lower bowl tickets from one of his vendors.
I also went to the Deloitte office to pick up my new laptop. The office has brand new modern furniture just like the Detroit office, and it is located right in the heart of downtown LA.
Also while I was working in California, we stayed downtown at the Standard one night, which was super fun. The Standard is a really modern hotel that has a rooftop bar, and a really cool pool.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a really cool Art Museum. Mike and I spent a full day here exploring.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)
This museum is very unique, and very modern. A lot of the artwork seemed dark and sad, which was hard to relate to. Some of the art was beautiful and nice though.
The Getty Museum
Another really cool museum in Los Angeles is the Getty Museum. It has beautiful view’s of Los Angeles as well.
The Broad Museum
Eli Broad opened his own free public museum to display some of his thousands of pieces of contemporary art work. You can reserve tickets online for free prior to going so that you do not have to wait in a long line to get in. Once you get in, the art work is really unbelievable. I highly recommend signing up for the main attraction on an iPad right when you get in because the wait times can be so long (it was 5 hours for us). They text you when it is closer to your spot in line, so you are free to walk around the museum or leave and come back.
The Magic Castle is a clubhouse that you can only get into if someone knows a Magician. Mike and I went for his team’s Christmas party, and saw an amazing magic show. They even used me as a volunteer for one of the acts, and I was completely shocked when the trick worked.
Downtown Los Angeles
Mike and I have also visited other famous spots, such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Last Bookstore. There is a lot of history in the city, and it is very beautiful if people know where to go.
The Grove is a huge shopping center in Los Angeles, and there are many different types of shops that all face outdoors. Walking around reminds me of walking around in Disney World. It is a very popular tourist place to visit.
Mike is obtaining his Masters in Business Administration from UCLA. Occasionally, I go to the campus to meet him, and it is one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever been on (Michigan State is the most beautiful 😉 ). For work, I often get to help recruit students from UCLA, and it is always a very enjoyable experience being on campus. A lot of movies and films are shot here, and I think it is definitely worth checking out the beautiful campus.
Mike lived in Hermosa Beach for two years while we were dating, so we have gone to almost every restaurant in the city; our favorite will always be Palmilla. I love how the town has a beach vibe, and there are always surfers out in the water enjoying the day.
Manhattan Beach is one of my favorite cities. I love it because it has a lot of really nice restaurants. My favorite restaurant is the Strand House because it is located right on Manhattan Beach Blvd by the ocean. You can sit at a table looking right at the water and the Manhattan Beach Pier. Mike and I went here for New Years Eve 2015 and had a great time. We live right near Manhattan Beach, so we frequent here often. The sunsets are always so amazing, which makes it easy to love being here.
Redondo Beach has some of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. They have a Marina filled with sail boats that people live on, and they have a fresh fish market that people come from all over to buy fish. Mike has even tried a sea urchin from the market!
Palos Vardes is a city that is literally on the cliff of the Pacific Ocean. If there ever were a massive earthquake, many of the houses would probably fall into the water. Mike and I went hiking along the trail that is open to the public, and also stopped at Wayfair’s Church, which is in a lot of movies. The rocks that are in the ocean form these cool tide pools that are filled with sea urchins and starfish. It is a beautiful area. Also, at the top of one of the hills is a park called Rocket Ship Park, and it has a beautiful view of all of Los Angeles. Mike and I had some fun photos taken of us to have California engagement photos to remember our first home together forever.
Santa Monica is special because of the Santa Monica pier. We have gone here a few times when people come to visit, because it is such a famous spot. Lunch at Del Fresco’s right across the street is amazing. There are usually pretty cool street performers right on the pier as well.
Venice Beach is a pretty interesting city. There is a boardwalk with all kinds of tourist stores. We went here with my brother to show him the famous Muscle Beach. There are also the Venice Canals, like the ones in Italy. Also, on the first Friday of every month, Venice has food trucks all over the city, and it is a really fun environment to go visit and try out some of the different local food.
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Mike and I received free tickets to see Jimmy Kimmel live. Besides waiting outside in the scolding heat with no shade for 2 hours prior to getting in, it was an amazing experience. Jimmy is such a funny host, and Tom Cruise was on the show the day we were there. It was really cool to see how the show is filmed.
El Captain Theater
For Halloween, Mike and I got tickets to see A Nightmare Before Christmas in 4D downtown Hollywood. While we were waiting to get into the theater, we had to wait outside, and it was amazing to see some of the costumes people were wearing downtown Hollywood.
The Roosevelt Hotel is a really cool place to hang out, and it has 3 different bars. The outdoor pool bar is really cool, and would be fun to go to with friends in the summer and drink outside. The bar on the first floor is a speakeasy type of bar, where they have fresh fruit and ingredients, and they will make anything you would like fresh for you on the spot. The bar upstairs is cool because it has a bunch of board games in it. Mike and I played chess… I can’t remember who won ;-).
Hollywood Stars and Sign
Everyone knows of the Hollywood Stars and Hollywood Sign. They are cool to see once, but in my opinion, they are very over rated. It is actually very hard to get up close to the Hollywood sign, but there is a decent view from the Hollywood & Highland Mall.
Mike’s old roommate Luis works at the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel Air. Luckily, he has given us tours of both hotels, which are absolutely stunning properties. All of the famous stars and rich people from around the world stay at the hotels. Mike and I stayed at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and Zac Efron walked out of the building behind us and snuck in one of our pictures! I also took my mom to the hotel when she visited, and she absolutely loved it so much.
One year, for Mike’s birthday, we ate dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant at Hotel Bel Air. The hotel is absolutely beautiful. Mike’s old roommmate works ate the hotel and gave us a tour of the entire grounds. It is the most beautiful hotel I have ever seen. I love how it is unique and modern.
When my two best friends came to visit me for one of their birthdays, it just so happened that they were visiting during the weekend of the largest rain storm in Los Angeles in 15 years. We stayed at the hotel and had a girls night and made the most of being in such a beautiful hotel.
This beach is the Los Angeles beach that you see in models photos and in the movies. It has so many beautiful rock formations and cliffs.
Malibu Wines & Malibu Cafe
Hollywood chic would be two perfect words to describe this place. All of the girls are dressed in their stylish outfits, with their floppy hats, taking 37829 selfies. The concept of the venue is unique and exciting. You bring your own picnic, aka food and blankets, and then buy wine from the vineyard, and just chill out with your friends.
Malibu Cafe is just down the street from Malibu Wines. It is a huge outdoor restaurant, with hang out areas, and chandeliers hanging from the trees. It is a very fun and unique hang out spot, that I would have loved to go to with my friends growing up.
Malibu is known for its many hiking trails. The very first hike I ever did was on the Escondido Falls trail, which was beautiful. Personally, I thought it was challenging because you actually have to climb on your hands and knees multiple times. It is worth it though because you get to see a waterfall once you reach the top.
Mike, Luis, and I went to Six Flags in the Valley for Halloween for the Horror night. I had never been to a haunted house before, so I was so scared, but it was actually so fun. We only went on a few roller coasters, but we went to every single haunted house because we bought the fast pass.
The SpaceX Christmas Party was one of the biggest parties I have ever been to in my life. There were over 3,000 employees plus their dates there. The room was broken out into different rooms including a beach room, a dancing room, a casino, a ball pit, a clean room, a food room, a sweets room, and an outdoor area. The party was so much fun.