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A Day in Los Angeles | Travel Diary

Happy Friday friends! I wanted to get ahead of all the travel posts as much as possible and before I forgot all the details, so today I'm starting with our 36 hours in Los Angeles. Our flight got us into Los Angeles right around 3 pm - once you factor in picking up the car, navigating through the city & getting dinner -you're pretty much pooped from the time difference. Especially when you had a great weekend on the east coast. We did have a quick dinner with a friend of mine who was also in town with her husband celebrating their anniversary which was such a nice treat, but more on that later! 
What to do in Los angeles, LA, one day in LA, where to eat in LA, Bardonna

Tour 

I wanted to make sure that we got the most out of our short time in Los Angeles so I immediately started the search for interesting tours and kept seeing "A Day in LA" pop up. An all day, smaller tour of about 12 people takes you through every popular and let's be honest, touristy spot in the city. I knew that it would be overwhelming to try to hit all the high points on our own, so this was really the only option I wanted. Here's what we were able to see & do! 

Santa Monica / Venice 

We chose to meet up with the tour at 9:30 AM in Santa Monica since that's where we were staying and was the easiest pick up point. They do offer hotel pickups but we were staying in an AirBnB in the area so this made the most sense. From the pick up your quickly taken a few miles up the road to Venice Beach. Your given about 35-40 minutes to tour the true highlights including muscle beach & the venice boardwalk. 
Venice Beach Board Walk, A day in LA tour, tour venice

Rodeo Drive / Beverly Hills 

I'd say this was the one part of the tour I wish we had a little more time - sadly we were only given 45 minutes so you're not given much time to really go into any of the stores, but let's be real - everything is so astronomically priced odds are I shouldn't have been going into the stores anyway. We walked around, saw a $2.5 million Bugatti & saw a few of the famous hotels in the area. 


The Grove 

This was definitely my favorite stop on the tour and the "lunch" stop. We opted for a super quick lunch so that we would have as much time to roam around the outdoor area as possible. Filled with great stores, an incredible food market & a beautiful outdoor space - the Grove is one of the places I would have gone back to if we had more time in LA. 
Los Angeles The Grove

The Griffith Observatory 

Funny enough, the observatory itself is closed on Monday's which is the day we were doing the tour, but it was the second longest time we had a stop which I didn't think made that much sense. I watched La La Land on the flight to LA, so when we were driving up to the observatory I felt like - hey I know this place!! You get absolutely incredible views of Los Angeles - the Hollywood Sign looks pretty great from the top! 

Hollywood Walk of Fame 

The final stop of the tour is the Hollywood Walk of Fame and it was the most meh portion of the tour for me. Not because of the tour itself, but I was so let down with how it actually looked. Felt a little rundown & of course the highlight is seeing all the stars on the sidewalk, but I was expecting something more, I'm just not sure what that was. 

Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica 

After the tour was over around 5:30 we were dropped back off in Santa Monica and we decided to stick around and check out the Third Street Promenade. It's a completely outdoor experience with shopping, food & musicians performing on almost every corner. We spent a couple hours walking down the length of the promenade & it was plenty of time to see everything! And I also made a little purchase :) 
After one full day in LA I actually walked the equivalent of a half marathon - that number of steps was pure insanity to me! My calves were still hurting two days later!! 

Eat

We didn't do a ton of eating LA believe it or not, but hit up a few of the local spots. 
In-N-Out Burger, Los Angles Burger, Where to eat near LAX
Of course the first stop was In-N-Out burger which you already saw, but I'm hoping we can go again because I had no idea there was a secret menu and we should have gotten the fries "animal style" 
Mercado Santa Monica 
We also ate at Fig in the Fairmont Hotel & Misfit in Santa Monica - we didn't really taste test the menu since we weren't that hungry, but the few things we did get were good. 
Bardonna, places to eat in Santa Monica, Brunch in LA
My absolute favorite meal from LA was at Bardonna  in Santa Monica. The brunch that both Gary & I had were delicious and of course the latte's were perfectly brewed!! Highly suggest a visit there if you're in the area & take a picture near the love wall - picture below! 

Fun fact & Mural Art! 

Bardonna, Santa Monica, Mural Art, Love Wall
Outside the first Starbucks in Los Angeles
You might have noticed that in some photos I had my jean jacket on and in other's they were a no go...well all of California has something called "micro climates." I'm well aware of how different inland temps can be to those temps by the water, but 20 degree differences with fog rolling in within a matter of a few feet was just crazy!! Just be sure to bring lots of layers when you visit! It also wasn't hard at all to find great backdrops for photos - there are murals on every corner! 
So there you have it - a quick and easy way to see all the highlights of Los Angeles in basically one day! Of course we missed out on some great food spots, but that means we'll just have to go back and do a food tour version next time!
We are headed to Napa today & looking forward to a few days of relaxing in Wine Country. Hope you'll follow along on Instagram - I'm sharing a lot of quick snippets of the trip - sometimes too much, but when everything is so picturesque it's hard to stop yourself!! 
What to do in Los angeles, LA, one day in LA, where to eat in LA, Bardonna
Sadly no celeb or real housewives sightings in LA, but I'm still crossing my fingers for some! Have you ever been to Los Angeles? 

54 comments

  1. Wow you guys got to a lot of spots in one day, which is awesome! I use to bring family and friends to half of those in a day when they would come visit. Mercado was a great restaurant to get too! Their margaritas and tostadas are delicious! Have fun in Napa, can't wait to see pictures!
    xo
    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

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  2. It sounds like you had such a great time in LA! We went to a lot of the same places when we visited last year - it's crazy how the areas are so different from each other. I really loved car watching when we were there - and I don't really like cars, but there was so many amazing ones! I'm loving all your outfits as well, too cute!

    Annessa
    www.seekingsunshine.com

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  3. Girl you need to be enjoying your trip and not working! You guys fit a lot in. It looks like you are having a fabulous trip :-)

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  4. Such a fun trip! I am so jealous!! And I totally experienced those micro climates in Hawaii and no thank you. Haha! I can't believe how much you guys got done in such a short amount of time. Gary looks so excited about that Bugatti! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  5. I've been wondering about you "Cali Girl for a week!" Looks like you are having the best time! LOVE the brunch hat and seeing all the cool things and yummy food you've found!! Birthday trip success!! XO

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  6. This post made me REALLY miss living in Cali! When we lived in San Diego, we would pop over to LA and spend the day. So much fun!

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  7. What a fun trip, and boy did you pick a great time to go! Your photos are gorgeous, and I love the ones with you and the wall murals!
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

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  8. Sounds like your time in LA was great. That tour seems like the best option...although maybe not on a Monday? :) Can't wait to hear more!

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  9. This trip looks amazing!! LA is always a win in my book... My first stop when I go is always In-N-Out!!! Their fries are the best!

    Brittany :)
    www.kingdomofsequins.com

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  10. Wow! You covered a ton of ground! Looks like such an amazing trip! I'm pinning this for reference later!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  11. What a fun and fabulous time you enjoyed in L.A.! Thanks for taking us along via this post! ;) Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead, B! xo - Brenda // ChattingOverChocolate.com

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  12. When I went to California a few months ago we were only in LA for a few hours before we headed to Santa Barbara! Steven and I want to go together later this year and I definitely want to be in LA for a couple days this time! Definitely bookmarking this post! Glad y'all are having so much fun!

    www.rosyoutlookblog.com

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  13. Gorgeous Photos Biana :) Looks like an amazing time !!! The food has me like..... yum :)

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  14. This looks like the perfect start to your trip-- you guys got to see so much on the tour, so it sounds like it was the perfect way to see the city. My husband has a work event later in the year and I might tag along, so I'll definitely keep this post in mind.

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  15. so fun! i havent been to LA since college but I remember the grove!!! :) now i need to go back so i can go to IN&OUT! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  16. I literally laughed when I saw the photo of Gary next to the Bugatti, that would've so been Eddie, haha! Men and their cars, right!? Lol! The food looks so delish, I've never had In & Out burger, so that's a definite whenever we do visit LA! It looks like you had so much fun in such a short amount of time, making the most of your stay! Thanks for sharing, beauty, and I hope you have a great weekend ahead!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    www.thestylecontour.com

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  17. This post makes me miss living in LA so much!! You could stay there for days and still not see it all! I love The Grove and they make it snow at Christmas which is the best! And the In 'N Out secret menu is life! Get your burger animal style, too! Hope you have the best time on the rest of your trip, love following along! XO

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  18. Wow, so much fun!! I'd love to go to California one day. You got a lot accomplished on that tour and I totally would've been looking out for celebs too, haha!

    Amanda Kids and Cabernet

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  19. This was so great! I have never been to L.A. (only LAX on a layover from Hawaii) so I enjoyed seeing your tour! Looking great as always!!! xoxo catchatwithcarenandcody

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  20. Gary needs to step away from my car! ;) JK! I was wondering how y'all fit so much in to so little time--the tour seems like a great way to see the highlights! And you look adorable in all your photos (obvi!)!! XOXO, R

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  21. Such a fabulous tour, and helllllo Rodeo Drive! Watching LaLa Land on the flight over was a great idea, and you know I need that brunch hat! Enjoy the rest of your trip <3
    Green Fashionista

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  22. Sounds like such a fun trip! Love the photos!! LA is one of my favorite cities. The weather there is just beautiful!

    xoxo
    Rachel
    http://thetrendytomboy.com/

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  23. Hope you and Gary are having the best time! Dying over all the fun murals and sunshine looks good on you! Safe travels along the highway :)
    xx Tess | Sequins are the New Black

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  24. A guided tour sounds like the way to go to see all the main attractions when you're in a time crunch. Love the painted mural walls and the brunch looks delicious!

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  25. you are so cute in that hat!!!! and i love the ryan gosling pic.

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  27. Looks awesome!!

    www.loveolia.com

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  28. You guys definitely hit all the hot spots! We did a day in LA when I was a teenager, and this is exactly what it looked like. Isn't the Grove so fun? Sorry you were let down at the Hollywood theater. Hope you have the best time in NAPA!

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  29. When I have limited time the tour is usually the way I go too - you covered a lot of ground even if some stops were meh! Great photos, I hope you're enjoying Napa!

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  30. SO FUN!!!!!
    Tell the hubs to play it cool though next time near that kind of car... he can play it off like its his ;)
    That little area with the low water turned out so beautiful.

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  31. This is definitely on my bucket list!! I am loving following along via snap and insta!!

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  32. Looks like you did LA right. All the major spots and good food choices.

    Lisa Linh
    https://www.bylisalinh.com/blog/2017/3/15/malibu-safari-stanley

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  33. We did a tour while in LA too, and it was definitely such a fun way to see and learn about the city. I loved the Grove too!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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  34. Looks like you are having the best time!! This makes me miss Cali so much! Haha Gary with that pic in front of the car reminds me of something Eric would do. I can only image all of the fun street art! Blogger and instagram worthy heaven ;) Enjoy your weekend girl! xo Beautifully Candid

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  35. So much fun! We loved The Grove, too! I've heard that it's also a really great place to spot famous people. Y'all enjoy wine country! I'm so jealous!

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  36. LA is one of my favorite places to visit! Luckily I live in SF so it's so close to me!

    XoXo,

    Tamara - LoveofMode.com

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  37. I love visiting LA! Looks like you had fun :)

    http://www.myclusterofthoughts.com/

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  38. It looks like you got to do a lot of fun stuff on the tour. Certainly for the best that you didn't have a ton of time to shop on Rodeo!!!

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  39. Loved reading this. Please check out my personal post on things to make life happy!

    Kisses xo | From Aliona With Love
    Instagram @alionawithlove
    YouTube @alionawithlove

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  40. I'm so impressed with your ability to blog while traveling. Tell me your secrets because that's actually one of my goals. lol!! I've been loving following along on IG stories... and LOL I knew exactly where you were when you first posted the story from In N Out. Exactly. I used to park right over there when I lived in the area and had to fly out of LAX!

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  41. Sounds like you two had a fun day there! I loved the Grove too, it is really pretty. Venice is super cute too. Looking forward to seeing more posts and pictures!! :-)

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  42. It looks just like the movies! :) Glad you are having a great time!!

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  43. Wow you made the best of your day! I've done alot of these things last time I was in LA and it brought back so many memories! I agree with the walk of fame, very blah

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  44. You are legitimately on my dream trip right now. I've been wanting to do this for the past couple of years. I can't wait for the full recap! This day trip guide is perfect! xx, I'm Fixin' To

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  45. I was in LA/Santa Monica this time last year...fun fact: stars have to buy their stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for $35,000!

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  46. The tour looks awesome! What a quick way to see the big spots. Thank God for jean jackets :)

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  47. love this post! i hope you have an amazing day :D You will like to see more fashion from here.

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  48. You have had the most amazing California adventure!! I love all the bright art walls that you found and I'm so glad you've had such nice weather while you've been here. Southern California is always pretty nice but this year has been crazy with the rain. That car you guys saw....good lord thats nuts.

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  49. wonderful.. looks like you guys had a great time.

    http://www.henatayeb.blogspot.com

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  50. We also did the tour with A Day In LA and I'm so glad that we did! You really do get to see the highlights of the city and they drive you around, which is a major plus. Bummer that you didn't see any Real Housewives or celebrities, but you still have some time!

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  51. I was in CA in Octo for my bday, but danggg you are giving me the travel itch to head back!!!

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  52. So fun! I love California but felt the same as you when visiting the hollywood walk although my kids loved the wax museum. We road bikes from Venice beach almost to Malibu and it was so fun. Looks like a great trip!

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  53. Wow you guys really did see a lot! I love Santa Monica. Rodeo Drive is cool to see....not so cool to shop ($$$$$), like you said, haha!

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