When I was in LA last year I knew, I’d come back pretty soon. It took me one year, means my a whole year of excitement. Writing this Blogpost and looking back makes me know, that I’ll return again pretty soon :). Lonely beaches, crowded cities, little cafés, beautiful hikes, hidden streets and veeegan food everywhere… is what comes to my mind thinking about the West Coast.
December, 30th, 5 am. I was wide awake. Back in Germany, it is 2 pm but in San Diego was still dark outside. I opened the window and felt the warm breeze of fresh air on my skin. It was the first day in San Diego and day 1 of 2 of Acro Yoga love festival. We could join it for free. The deal was, bring snacks for 5 of us and you’d be welcome to participate. That was a hell of a good deal and the perfect start for us (my boyfriend and me) with Acro Yoga. We kept practicing since that weekly.
First try of Acro Yoga
After 3 days in San Diego – passing away in no time – we rented a car to drive up north. One thing I highly recommend to everyone to see the most in less time.
However, There is one train (Amtrak Pacific Surfliner) going from LA to San Diego which is definitely worth one way along the coast, since its running very close to the shoreline and offers stunning views. But if you want to see as much as possible, you should go by car. Since we wanted to do both, we flew to LA, took the train to San Diego and drove back (3 days later). The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner is already a bit elderly with some rusty stains and shaky wagons, but this also makes the charm of this route. Besides the train is very comfy and gives you free WiFi (Blogger pus 🙂 ) and sockets.
The way up to North – LA
On the way to Los Angeles we took the Highway 1 and stopped at several places which were recommended by locals. Here are my favorites!
01.01.2018 – La Jolla San Diego
First day of the year, yeaahiiii. It was a Beach day for us. So we went to Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach. I especially liked the Pacific Beach. It seems like being in the movies :). There is a lot going on and it’s fun to do the Pacific Beach boardwalk, take a seat from time to time and watch people. Actually, that’s all we did there. You’ll see every kind of human being and get a feeling of what’s on in the „little American world“. We spend 1,5 hours there before it got to busy for us but it was def. worth to see.
Next was La Jolla, my favorite place in San Diego. I love everything about it. The small and individual Cafés, the rocky and sandy beach, the hill to see the sunrise and the coastline to enjoy the sunset <3.
02.01.2018 – Torrey Pines Hike San Diego
Is a hike (Actually it’s a few hikes) with amazing views. Also, it’s great for parking. Since we always tend to do the more difficult way, we ended up taking a rather forbidden path (Razer Point Trail). I don’t see any danger in the way we hiked but just to be on the safe side, I’ll stick to the proper way for now. You can leave me a comment or send me a message in case you want to know it. Afterwards, we went down to the beach (broken Hill Trail) and up again. We were lucky to find a spot on the beach which seemed to be a great one to walk up. It was truly beautiful but slippery. We hiked through the cliffs and enjoyed the strange rock formations. I actually don’t know which hike it was and if there is a name so I’ve my fingers crossed that you’ll be lucky too and find this one. (Or you might ask someone over-there).
If you have time, please stop by Trilogy Sanctuary. To be honest, we just couldn’t to do so, but apparently, this place must be everything. Everybody I told about my coastline travel plans was like „ohh wow really, you HAVE TO make sure to go the Trilogy Sanctuary – you will love it so much“.
03.01 – 04.01 – New Port Beach
Driving up further towards New Port Beach, we stopped at Laguna Beach to see the sun setting. Laguna Beach is just as charming as La Jolla. And I’d say, everything I said about La Jolla, goes for Laguna Beach too. The Sunset is a bit more magical here, especially at the sunset cruises. Also, if you are looking for food, they literally have everything.
The same day, we drove to my friends Maryam and Juan to stay with them for a couple of days.
New Port Beach is a bit more expensive than the other places. But unless you don’t care how luxurious you spend your night, you’ll always find a m/hotel to sleep in.
Besides Laguna Beach, I looove love love Balboa Island. Also for sunsets. Seems like I plan my days just to see the sun setting xD… But the magic is breathtaking. Moreover, we ate our first „IMPOSSIBLE BURGER“. It’s true, the burger is IMPOSSIBLE. I’m not a burger fan tho, but this one was soooo delicious. We went to The Counter (where you have tons of different filling options), also Umami Burger is apparently another good place to go.
05.01 – 08.01 Los Angeles (I’d recommend way more time)
Being in Los Angeles means for me, being in Santa Monica or Venice Beach :). Santa Monica definitely got my heart. I already thought about moving to Santa Monica (no joke, a looked for a visa). This time we stayed with a friend of mine. Since Santa Monica is really expensive I’d recommend Couch Surfing! I did it for 3 weeks last year, and it went great. In case you can’t find a place, I’d recommend HI USA hostel. I love this hostel and did a Blogpost about it last year.
What to do in La la Land
I went there last year to see the Hollywood sign (it’s a little walk) and the stars by night. Santa Monica Pier is the most beautiful Pier I’ve seen so far. It might be the atmosphere or the people I went with, or the amazing sunsets you can see from there. You have to experience it by yourself <3
Santa Monica/ Venice Beach Board Walk
I can’t count how often I walked from Santa Monica to Venice Beach. It takes a while but I had a blast and almost everyone does. It will keep you entertained for hours. You might have to leave your comfort zone, meeting interesting characters and play around at the Muscle Beach in Santa Monica. The actual muscle Beach is in Venice beach and worth for entertainment too :). To sum it up, I’d say this boardwalk show you how crazy life can be.
Is a perfect spot for a lovely day out. We had fun to explore all those colored walls, strolled through cafes as Butchers Daughter and Café Gratitude (true love) and saw trendy upscale eateries & boutiques. Every first Friday in a month, there is a social gathering on Abbot Kinney. They have a whole range of different food trucks, the shops stay open till late and you can crush into people – if you know what I mean. The food is very over-priced and can be kind of overwhelming since you might want to try everything. But I love the atmosphere and would definitely stop by again.
How to sweat for free
There a 2 Hikes with an amazing view I truly love.
First Runyon Canyon and second Temescal Canyon Trail. Runyon Canyon is great for a run, located at the base of the Hollywood Hills while Temescal Hike is in Santa Monica and a good run too. Also, you can check Outdoor Voices. They offer free events as yoga or this trail as a tour. They are super friendly, bring snacks and another gift such as a cap or something.
Another great thing about California is, that you can almost everywhere have a 1 week free trial of yoga. I went to CorePower Yoga and tried it at several places. CorePower Yoga is an amazing chain of yoga studios in the United States means you can go there even on Hawaii. They offer intensely physical workouts combined with the mindfulness of yoga which will definitely make you sweat.
Still, my favorite place for yoga was Poweryoga in Santa Monica. If you can, go to Brians’s class. It’s the best yoga class I’ve taken in my entire yoga life.
Where to eat
I just went to the same places as last time 🙂 and can recommend you my „Food Guide of last year’.
There is one I’d love to add to all my falafel lovers out there which is Falabr!
Where to sleep
Have you had the chance to go to Los Angeles or San Diego? If so, I’d love to know your favorite spot.