Anyone that knows Cole and I probably know we are huge Georgia Bulldog fans. Over the course of the past 10 years we’ve been together, UGA football has always been a big part of our relationship. We had previously traveled as far west as Colorado to watch Georgia play in Boulder, road tripped down to Orlando for the Capital One bowl game, cheered them on at the epic comeback at LSU, partied at the largest cocktail party in the world in Jacksonville (GA/FL), and visited many of the SEC stadiums around the south to root on the Dawgs at away games. You get the picture. So when UGA won the SEC championship and we’re headed to the Rose Bowl in California, we knew we couldn’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime to cheer them on at one of the most iconic football stadiums in the world. Little did we know how fortunate we’d be to witness that game in person…but more on that later 🙂
We flew out from Atlanta 5 days before the game as we wanted some one to explore California a bit more. We spent the first two days in the Los Angeles area, which was just the right amount of time to explore the major sites in the city.
We hopped off the plane at LAX with a dream and our Georgia gear 😉We landed at 9am, which meant we had the whole day to explore. We headed over to Santa Monica and Venice Beach since those are not too far from the airport. We walked around Venice Beach first, grabbing a delicious coffee and checking out the beach and skate park. We then rented the city bikes so we could ride along the path next to the beach down to Santa Monica. We checked out the boardwalk and a bit of Santa Monica before deciding it was a bit too touristy for our liking. We were starving at this point so walked over to Urth Cafe, a restaurant recommended by my best friend’s sister who lived in LA for years (thanks Jade!). We enjoyed a delicious lunch and walked/rode back towards Venice Beach. We quickly stopped by the Venice canals before making our way to Abbott Kinney Road. This was possibly the cutest street ever with plenty of boutiques, local shops, and restaurants all with a lovely vibe. We popped in and out of the stores before making our way towards our hotel.
We were fortunate enough to stay at the Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown which just opened last summer. The tallest building west of the Mississippi, this property was one of my company’s flagship openings in 2017. The hotel lover in me was so excited to see it for myself after I’ve heard so many good things about it. The hotel went all out and gave us an incredibly warm welcome with a beautiful room and delicious treats waiting for our arrival. After I geeked out over the hotel, we grabbed dinner at this cool brewery restaurant nearby called Karl Strauss Brewing. The food was fantastic, the beer was flavorful, and the vibe was great.
The following day we woke up early and headed to Griffith Observatory and had some gorgeous views of the city while the morning sun was coming up.
We then headed over to hike the Wonder View Trail, one of the newer trails to hike up to the Hollywood sign. This one gets you to the back of the sign and offers you incredible views overlooking all of Los Angeles and Burbank. Despite the hot morning, we really enjoyed it and the hike didn’t take as long as we expected.
We worked up quite an appetite after climbing the trails and we were craving some delicious Mexican food. We found the perfect spot, Los Amigos, in nearby Burbank, just down the road from the studios. Afterward stuffing ourselves with guacamole, enchiladas and tacos, we made our way over to Rodeo Drive to check out the iconic shop-lined streets. We window shopped for a few hours and even picked up a couple small things (when in Rome, right?!) before we decided to head west to Las Calabasas. This suburb is famous for being home to plenty of A-list celebrities, but we heard the old town was really charming with plenty of restaurants and shops. It didn’t disappoint and we stumbled upon this adorable restaurant called The Six, where we grabbed dinner and caught some of the Bowl games. We finished off a great day with some frozen yogurt, something we really miss in London 🙂
While we didn’t have long in Los Angeles, we felt like we had enough time to see all of the must-do sights and activities. We wanted to explore more of Southern California, so the following morning we headed out to Santa Barbara, which you can read all about in my next post.