I spend most of my travels out in California ever since we moved to the East Coast. My family and I go back to visit as much as we can. And still there is so much I have yet to do. I haven’t explored much of Northern California, but its on my list. Aside from the beautiful beaches and boardwalks I love finding places where you can eat, shop, walk around all in one area. Here a few of my favorite locations.
“All-In-One” Favorite Spots.
1. Universal City Walk
Before you enter Universal Studios they have a strip filled with restaurants, dessert shops, bars, a movie theater, and all types of stores. My favorite being the Harry Potter store of course. Also one of the best stops is Voodoo doughnuts. And for my health conscious folks or those with dietary needs, they have vegan doughnuts as well. The blueberry cake and raised glaze doughnuts are everything! Check out the City Walk website to see all the events taking place so you can be prepared for your visit.
2. Dowtown L.A.
I love to go dowtown to shop. Its my go to for low price jewelry, sunglasses, and shoes. You can pretty much find anything you need downtown and the prices are good for any budget. I recommend starting on Olympic Blvd or Sante Avenue and then walking down to the other areas. Also you have to go the “The Alley”. Its where a lot of the hidden gems are located like $1 costume jewelry and all natural fruit smoothies.
3. Melrose Ave
I have a major love for Vintage clothing and I love to thrift. One of the main reasons I love going to L.A. is to shop the amazing vintage stores, especially on Melrose Ave. Some of the stores I frequent are Wasteland, Crossroads Trading Co, American Rebel, and American Superior Vintage. Of course you can find vintage stores elsewhere like The Way We Wore on and Recess on La Brea Ave, but Melrose is my favorite street to explore. And for my art lovers or those looking for “Instagrammable” locations, Melrose is the avenue for you.
It has become somewhat of a tradition in my family to have lunch or dinner in China town every time we visit. And our usual place to eat is Foo Chow. This restaurant may sound familiar as it was one of the location for filming the first Rush Hour movie. My go-to is the Shrimp and Broccoli but anything we’ve ordered has yet to disappoint
Chinatown also has hidden art galleries, festivals, and more for you to experience during your trip.
5. The Grove
The Grove is a fairly popular and well known shopping center. Endless amounts of stores from Zara to Nike to Ray-Ban. With a movie theater, various restaurants, and a Sprinkles Cupcakes (the red velvet is everything!) its a great way to spend a day in Cali. One thing some visitors may not be aware of is the Original Farmer’s Market located right next door. All kinds of foods to try from all over the world and plenty of shops to get souvenirs for family and friends back home.
Sheraton Universal Studios – Walking distance to Universal/City Walk
Viceroy (Santa Monica) – Close to the beach and Santa Monica Pier
JW Marriott (Downtown LA) – Staples Center close by along with shopping and dining
Hilton Garden Inn (Montebello) – Near Downtown
XOXO, Tara Patrice