Inevitably one of the most hyped-up tourist destinations in America, Los Angeles, (or the ‘City of Angels’ as it is commonly known), was fittingly the very first stop on my American Dream Topdeck Tour. I had prepped myself- I was ready for the hordes of tourists, bumper-to-bumper traffic and endless need to pull out my camera for yet another photo opportunity. I never had high expectations for LA, but I was looking forward to exploring the place nonetheless.
With only two days to scrape the surface, Los Angeles was fun to see, but it is the kind of place that requires time to discover more than the touristy side to the city. For starters, the city is incredibly spread out, which is something I did not realize until I arrived. The public transport in LA isn’t incredible, so hiring a car or catching Uber’s around is the way to go. Your best bet is to stay in the area you want to spend the most time in as this will minimize your travel time.
On our first day in LA, we were lucky enough to be driven around town by our Topdeck Coach. We hit every cliché photo spot to get our share of happy snaps at places like Venice beach, Santa Monica Pier, Beverly Hills, the Hollywood sign and the Walk of Fame. Unfortunately, the Californian sunshine didn’t quite come out to play, so everything was a little gloomier than its normal state. Nevertheless, I enjoyed walking along Venice Beach and seeing in the flesh every Californian stereotype imaginable. We ate bagels on Santa Monica pier, and then I got asked to be in a music video. Only in LA, right? After making it as a D-list celebrity, we finished our bus tour of LA and headed back to our hotel in Little Toyko for a traditional Japanese feed before heading out to The Standard, an amazing rooftop bar with beautiful views over the city. The perfect end to a busy day in LA!
The next day we had a free day so I went to Universal Studios. I’d done Disney before but this was my first Universal experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! The tour of the movie studios was a major highlight and is an absolute must-do for any film buff. After another busy day of lining up for rides and geeking out over movies, I finished up by meeting a friend from LA at an incredible organic café in Hollywood called Café Urth and finally ate some ‘real’ food. We went up to Griffith Observatory to take in some breathtaking views over the city, and of course when I got there I discovered I had forgotten my memory card which meant I couldn’t take any photos. I just had to savor that view and moment instead, which was almost refreshing. Below is a little photo diary from my two days of adventures in Los Angeles…
It was an action-packed few days but I’m glad I can now check LA off my list. No doubt I’ll be back one day to see more of what the City of Angels has to offer.