TIP #4: EXPLORE LA
Check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame, see the Chinese Theater, window shop your way down Rodeo Drive, visit the iconic Urban Light at LACMA, and view the Great Wall of Los Angeles. All bucket list items, for sure, but once you've seen them, you've seen all there is to see.
Planning a trip in the summer? Head to a Dodgers game, just to say you've been. Don't have time? Take a tour! They're only $10. Or, if sports aren't your thing, picnic and see an outdoor movie in Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Couldn't get a ticket? Griffith Park also presents outdoor movies. Plus, they have dozens of food trucks - yum!
If you're looking for a night out, but not sure where to go, sign up for a bar crawl. That's what we did to get the lay of the land without having to wait in any lines, or pay for covers! Pasadena also has some great bars and clubs. FYI, a lot of places charge a HUGE cover, I'm talkin' $60 - $100. Avoid them by getting in early, usually before 10pm.
TIP #5: CALIFORNIA IS GREAT FOR ROAD TRIPS
I have a new found appreciation for solo road trips. If you ever have the opportunity, do it! It's fun to explore by yourself and you gain an incredible sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, California was getting TONS of rain when I visited, but it was still fun to reminisce on some of my favorite spots.
I started just north of Malibu at El Matador State Beach. If you're looking for a beach day, this is my favorite place. Secluded and drop dead, out of a magazine, gorgeous. Just north is Neptune's Net - BEST crab cakes around!
Then, I drove down the 101, past Zuma Beach, and through Malibu, stopping in Santa Monica. If you're looking for a lunch spot with good views, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., right on the pier, is the way to go. From there, it's a short drive to Venice. Definitely take an hour and rent some roller blades - "so cali."
From Venice, I took the 101 the entire way down to San Diego quickly stopping in Huntington, Newport, Laguna, and La Jolla. It's such a cool drive, and even cooler when it's sunny!