Spending Two Weeks in California with a Local

The summer of 2016 was my first time being on the west coast. Whenever my roomate Harley asked if I wanted to road trip back with her to Los Angeles I obviously had to jump on the opportunity.

Spending two weeks in California was a blast, especially since my guide was one of my best friends who’s lived there her whole life!

Although we stayed at her house in a city right outside L.A.  and hang out with her friends most of the time, we also took excursions to San Diego and the hiking trails in Forest Falls.

 San Diego

San Diego is a beautiful beach coast city. My friend’s mom had a friend who was renting out an apartment in San Diego and she invited us to come for a weekend to visit.

As soon as we got there and unloaded the car, my friend and I went for a walk to the beach (about a 2 mile walk) and stopped at a taco shop as well.

Anytime I come to a new city the first thing I like to do is walk around and get to know what’s around me. It’s fun to find cute local shops.

I also wanted to visit the San Diego Zoo, one of the things on my bucket list! I love going to zoos, I’m one of those people that has to see every single animal in the place and this one gave me anxiety because of how big it was! They gave us a map of the entire zoo and I planned where to go. We spent the entire day there seeing the whole thing. My favorite part was the gondola ride over the park, the view was amazing

Forest Falls

If the hustle and bustle of the city get too much for you, one way to unwind is a hike through the mountains. One of the days we were there we rounded up a few of her friends and drove to Forest Falls. There’s a small waterfall you can hike too, and it’s not a very difficult trail either.

This was a nice outdoor activity, especially since it was free. It was nice to get some fresh air and explore some of the landscape around the park. There was also camping grounds available and with its proximity to the city was a convenient getaway from the city noise.

Los Angeles

Since my friend lived so close to Los Angeles we took a few day trips. There’s plenty to do in L.A. and I don’t think you could ever get bored there. It’s interesting to just walk down the streets and explore the shops along the way. We also went and walked around the LACMA. If you don’t want to pay the hefty fee to get into the museum (although I totally think it’s worth it) there’s some artwork around the museum as well

And if modern art isn’t really your thing, you can head over to the Abandoned zoo also nicknamed “graffiti park” for good reason. Exploring the cages and grounds of the park was a cool way to see behind the scenes and also a great place to have a picnic!

The area around the Santa Monica Pier was also a good place to walk around. This is also the end of Route 66.  There were plenty of shops along the pier and the streets around it. There’s some good shopping and a much less crowded than the typical Rodeo Drive. I think there was even an aquarium under the Pier.

Hiking to the Hollywood sign is one of the only ways to get a good picture with the famous sign. My friend and I started our trek out early, and without knowing that this trail was one of the most difficult ways. By the middle of the trail I was contemplating turning back because I was so tired. However, once we reached the top, the reward so amazing. You can see the whole skyline of Los Angeles.

This was definitely the more adventurous routes. But the view was worth it. And the climb back down was a lot easier. There was also a balancing stones and trees nearby that was cool

The same day we hiked to the top of the sign we also visited the walk of fame. This is definitely really touristy but also really cool at the same time. It was late at night so we didn’t go into the Chinese Theater but it was fun to find my favorite stars’ star. 

And of course, what’s a trip to L.A. without getting a picture of yourself with graffiti angel wings! There’s plenty of opportunities all over the city

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