3 days in LA

Unlike the many favorites for New York City, opinions are still very disparate on Los Angeles, the city of angels. The city is very large, so is its traffic! Don’t worry, some areas are very cool and I’m sure you’ll enjoy your stay in this gigantic city where the sun shines all year round.

TIPS :

  • Moving from point A to point B by car can quickly take you time due to traffic (to be considered if you book activities).
  • I recommend using Uber for your travels.
  • If you rent a car, download the Waze app to navigate (or another GPS) it is a must in LA.
  • Keep your ID with you, you will need it to access bars, restaurants…

MUST SEE :

Venice Beach & Santa Monica (½ day) :

  • Stroll through Venice and soak up the Californian vibe. You will discover the excitement of its original inhabitants (green doctors, body builders of Muscle Beach and many others…)
  • Take a trip to the canals of Venice or the cool district of Abbott Kinney.
  • Rent a bike from Venice Beach to the Santa Monica pier (20 min) and walk down its pedestrian and shopping street. If you are slightly hungry, you will find many possibilities to eat on site.
  • Back on Venice beach by bike, a quick jump into the ocean and chill by the beach will really be enjoyable.
  • After this short trip, a good cocktail is well deserved in front of a magical sunset from the rooftop High of the Hotel Erwin.
  • For your evening, direction Downtown LA, nothing beats a roof top in the heart of the city with a 360-degree view of the sparkling buildings. I recommend the Standard or the Perch.
  • If you want to continue the night and set the dancefloor on fire, the lively neighborhoods of West Hollywood, Hollywood and Downtown LA will offer you many options in terms of bars and nightclubs. I really enjoyed le Clifton’s for a friend’s birthday party. A huge club with a gigantic tree in the entrance hall, composed of several atmospheres (50’s, hip-hop, Latin…).

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What to do in Orange County?

Orange County is a “chic” microcosm located in South Los Angeles where I have lived for 2 years. Composed of coastal cities, you will find what you are looking for if you want to spend a few relaxing days at the beach or if you are passionate about surfing. For each of the cities presented below, you will find ideas for activities and places to eat that will allow you to fully enjoy your stay.

Laguna beach: THE PRECIOUS

Laguna Beach is what Monaco is to France, a coastal city where you will find some “amazing” houses built in rocky hills with ocean views. The small-town center is very charming with its shops and art galleries, its beach a stone’s throw away but above all the best glacier in the area, Gelato paradisioBe careful, the city is Smoke Free!

  • Crystal cove state park: ($15 parking per car for the day): depending on the length of the hike you want to do, you will have the choice to take different paths in the canyon with the possibility of finishing with a very beautiful view of the ocean.
  • 1000 steps beach: my favorite beach in the region (don’t hesitate to walk along the beach to discover small isolated coves).
  • Take a brunch at the Rooftop Lounge, you will have a magnificent view of the ocean (no reservations, first come, first served).
  • If you like basketball, you will find a beachfront field right next to the city center (you can’t miss it).
  • For the French, if you are in a terrible need for a bakery, stop at Moulin for a butter ham sandwich or a pastry like at home.

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Where to eat in Orange County?

Keep calm, YES, it’s possible to eat well and for affordable prices (if you don’t drink wine) in Orange County! As a Frenchwoman and a lover of “good food”, you’ll find in this article the list of my favorite restaurants and small spots in Huntington Beach and around. Feel free to test one of these addresses and share your experience with me. Enjoy your meal!

BREAKFAST :

Banzai Bowlfor lovers of acai and fresh fruit, this is the must-see spot in Huntington Beach (also located in many cities in Orange County). On the spot or to take away for a tasting at the beach: ) I recommend you the Maui Sunrise which is a delight!

Moulin: French-style bakery based in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach with pastries as well as at home. The atmosphere is warm and the decoration plunges us back into a revisited Parisian bistro.

Milk & Honey: a small café with a charming atmosphere and a very good Wi Fi where you can serenely work. Special mention to the Hot Green Tea latte and the warm welcome of its Huntington Beach staff (also based in Costa Mesa).

IHOP: Yes, I must admit, I love their pancakes! Plate size local version: XXL.

BRUNCH & LUNCH :

Roof Top Lounge: my favorite address for a brunch in Laguna Beach with an amazing ocean view. The poke is delicious! No reservations, first come = first served!

Mozambique: roof top located in Laguna Beach, the Mozambique restaurant is a nice place for a brunch and forall Benedictine egg lovers. Reservation is recommended.

Zinqué: located at the Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach, the Zinqué restaurant with its stylish decoration and terrace overlooking the marina offers a pleasant setting for a brunch. Special mention for the carpaccio.

Greenleaf Gourmet:  located at SOCO in Costa Mesa, this place is perfect for lovers of “healthy food”. Fresh vegetable juice, organic drinks, a varied menu, all in a “natural” atmosphere, this restaurant has many advantages.

FAST LUNCH:

Perfect for lunches where you don’t want to waste time, those three addresses prove to you that fast can be synonymous of good.

Le Pho: small located restaurant based in Huntington Beach where you can enjoy an excellent Pho.

North Shore Poke Co: located in Huntington Beach, this spot clearly offers the best poke in the city. Special mention for the Poke salmon and its spicy sunset sauce.

Kebab Grill Restaurant: located in Westminster, this small restaurant offers very good Mediterranean meals.

DINNER:

Mint Leaf: a small Thai restaurant in Newport Beach offering delicious Pad Thai and a incredible mango rice sticky. Very good quality/price ratio with the option of bringing your alcoholic beverages for free. Reservation is recommended.

Ayce sushi: for all sushi lovers, this restaurant offers an “All you can eat” package for $32 only in Huntington Beach. Unbeatable quality/price ratio. Reservation is recommended.

25 degrees: if you want a tasty homemade burger and excellent sweet potato fries, I recommend this restaurant based in Huntington Beach. Wine is affordable which is rare in an Orange County restaurant.

Mo Ran Gak: located in Garden Grove, this restaurant offers a delicious Korean Barbecue. If you are a meat lover and have never tried this type of experience, I recommend it at 100%. The staff is very friendly and will not hesitate to help you in your choice. No reservations, first come, first served.

Basilic: small French restaurant based in Balboa island. The place is welcoming and the meals prepared by the French chef are delicious. Reservation is recommended.

Salerno: if you are looking for a good Italian restaurant with a varied menu, go to Salerno in Laguna Beach. Special mention to the Fettucini Alf which are succulent. Reservation is recommended.

Habana: very friendly Cuban restaurant located at The Camp in Costa Mesa. The terrace with its many lights is charming and the meals are good and generous. Reservation is recommended.

LiTTLE PLEASURE !

Godiva: if you have a sudden desire for chocolate, I recommend the Godiva shop located in South Coast Plaza. Special mention for its chocolate covered strawberries and its swirl Vanilla / chocolate ice cream.

Gelato Paradisio: the best ice-cream maker in the area based in Laguna Beach and Newport Beach. 

Shuck Oyster Bar: oyster bar based at SOCO in Costa Mesa. The prices are high but the quality is there.