Los Angeles: Three month adventure!

Los Angeles: Three month adventure!

The next couple of months I will be exploring Los Angeles as I finish up my last semester of college. I’m excited to experience a new city that I have never been to before and I want to document and share what I find! I will continue to update this article, with new places to see, where to eat, photos and more information on LA!

My first week in LA has actually been very rainy, which no one prepared me for. To be fair, no one here actually seems prepared either. So, a TIP for anyone coming to LA, it is very possible that January will be cold and rainy. It might not happen that often but be prepared for this possibility. Also, it is desert climate, so it gets quite cold in the night! 

Sights

Griffith Observatory

To go up to the Griffith Observatory you have a couple of options, you can either drive up there or you can hike. For the hike there are also a couple trails you can take up there, some are easier and some are more difficult. The one we took was a shorter one, about 1.5 km each way. At the top you are rewarded with a view of the city on one side and the Hollywood sign on the other side. It’s a great place to walk around, take pictures and even pet some dogs, because a lot of people take their dogs on walks in that area.

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Walk of Fame

This is always a must. Just go to Hollywood/Highland and stroll down Hollywood Boulevard and look for your favorite celebrities. It is an extremely busy, so if you want to take a picture of any particular star, just watch out for people walking by, because you don’t want to annoy people by blocking their way. Also, quick TIP, there are some pickpockets there, someone almost tried to steal my phone from my pocket, luckily my friend noticed and stopped them, so just keep an eye on your things.  

 

Hollywood/Highland

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Like mentioned earlier, this is the place to go if you want to go the best part of the Walk of Fame. You can also do a lot of shopping around there. Most importantly, the Dolby Theater is there, so if you want to go see where the Oscars take place, this is a must. The Chinese Theater is also in that area, only a block away from the Dolby Theater. This is the place where many stars have their hand and footprints. So, if you want to see the Harry Potter, Star Wars, Hunger Games or Twilight cast or Meryl Streep, Julie Andrew and others’ handprints and signatures, this is the place to go.FullSizeRender Highland is also where Jimmy Kimmel shoots his show, so if you get tickets to see that you will go there.Also, there is the El Capitan Theater, where most of the Disney movie premiers happen. They usually have some costumes from the current big Disney movies, like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and they have stormtroopers you can take pictures with. They also have fun screenings, like a sing along version of Moana.

 

Hollywood Farmer’s Market

IMG_3217This farmer’s market is Ivar Avenue & Selma Avenue. I’ve been there a couple of times now and it is definitely worth it! They sell all sorts of fruits and vegetables, that are a) cheap and b) delicious! And if you are not sure if you want to buy something, they usually have samples of the fruit they sell, but fair warning, you will walk out with that fruit. Also be sure stop by the creperie, where they even have gluten-free crepes!! This is obviously very exciting for me, but definitely try these crepes, they are amazing and very filling! Also check out the pastries they sell at the market, because it’s also delicious!

 

 

Universal Studios

This is definitely worth a visit. If you want to see Hogwarts and take the Forbidden ride, drink butterbeer or buy a wand at Olivander’s than Universal Studios is a must for you! But the fun doesn’t end there, they also have the Walking Dead attraction here, where you literally step into the world of The Walking Dead and zombies jump out at you from around each corner! Another great aspect of the Hollywood Universal Studios are the tours of the studios themselves. So many films were shot there, including How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the set of which is still up. IMG_3358

 Another must is the Jurassic ride and the Mummy ride, if you like rollercoasters. The CityWalk to Universal is also a great place. You can go shopping, eat food, drink, or just go to the movies. One place I recommend right now for food, is Karl Strauss Brewery, when we went we shared a bunch of plates, and it was amazing! Definitely spend some time just exploring the CityWalk, not just the theme park itself. One quick tip: if you are planning on going to Universal more than once, buy the seasonal passes, it will definitely be worth it.

 

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Santa Monica Pier is a must when going to LA, not just for the roller coasters and the entertainment on the pier, but definitely for the view of the ocean and the city. It is gorgeous, even though on warm, sunny days it’s extremely crowded. From the beach you can also walk a couple of streets inland, to the Third Street Promenade, where you can do a whole lot of shopping or get coffee or frozen yogurt! Just walking around the area is a lot of fun, it’s a very cute part of town that you can explore for a couple of hours.FullSizeRender 2

 

Malibu

We went to Malibu kind of by accident. We were heading to Santa Monica, but we missed the exit, and since Malibu was just another 6 miles or so from where we were, we were like why not. IMG_3441We all wanted to go anyway, so we continued driving down the Pacific Coast Highway. Malibu is gorgeous. The beaches are beautiful and there seems to be a lot of nice places to stop and eat, if you can afford it. We walked around a beach for a while and then just drove around a little. I definitely want to go back and actually explore the town a little.

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This is it for now! I will update with more places to see and where to eat!


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Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studio Japan was such a fun experience. We spent the whole day there, going on all the big rides!

IMG_8028First we went on the Hollywood Dream ride, which is a traditional roller coaster, the drop of which is the first thing you see and hear when entering the USJ. It’s a really fun ride and you get five options for songs you want to listen during the ride.  If you want to, you can do the Hollywood Backdrop, which is the same roller coaster, but going backwards. I refused to go backwards…

Next up was the Attack of the Titans, which was a 4D Japanese anime movie. I really don’t recommend going to the movies, because they are all in Japanese with no subtitles. I got pretty lost in the storyline, but if you like anime, then you will enjoy it even without the subtitles.

The Spiderman ride was one of my favorites! A big part of this ride is the virtual reality it is set in. The 3D effects worked so well with the roller coaster leading to several surprises, that I don’t want to spoil for you!

The Terminator was a really cool show, but again, only in Japanese. Since I’ve seen the movie, I understood generally what was happening, but if you don’t know the story then you will probably be a little lost. However, there were some really cool effects, that you will enjoy even if you don’t know the story.IMG_8026

Wonderland/Snoopy Land is great for kids. However, for a 21 year old there wasn’t much to do, so while my brothers went on their first ride completely alone, I enjoyed a cup of coffee and sitting on a solid and static bench.

The Steakhouse we went to for lunch was a really nice place, with good wine, steak and salmon. I definitely recommend it, just don’t eat too much if you get nauseous on rides!

Our last stop was by far my favorite: Harry Potter World. Being able to walk through Hogsmeade and see Hogwarts and the Hogwarts Express was like a dream come true for me! The Forbidden Journey ride was amazing, although I don’t want to spoil any of it for you, but definitely go if you get the chance!

IMG_8103That concludes my trip to Universal Studios Japan! The biggest problem with USJ is that it is very difficult for foreigners to get tickets and free passes online, because everything is in Japanese and then to communicate in the park. Of course the workers try very hard, but communication isn’t what it really should be, I personally wish even the rides were a little more foreigner friendly. Other than that, it is a lot of fun!

Final TIP: Get express passes! USJ gets crowded, especially when the weather is nice, so skip the wait by getting passes!

If you have any questions, leave a comment!


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