Visiting LA

I asked the lovely Stephanie of Paisley Petunia to write a guest post on things to do around LA…

Hi, I’m Stephanie. 1/2 of the blogging duo that is Paisley Petunia. I am so honored that Wendy asked me to share a little about my adopted city – the city of angels. I’ve lived in LA for over 10 years (wow, where does the time go?)…I came to attend UCLA (go bruins) and just… never…left. And boy do I love it here. LA gets a bad rap from many, but you know that’s kind of ok with me. I am done with defending it. You just can’t beat the daily sunshine, the warm weather and the proximity to the beach (not to mention mountains nearby too). That’s why I live here. If you’d like, I’ll take you on a tour of some of the best places in the sprawling metropolis.

First stop: Venice.

I am partial to Venice, it will always hold a special place in my heart. It was my home for 6+ years and its mix of cool/urban/funky/hippy/yuppy-ness is very unique. Strolling Abbot Kinney Boulevard is a must do when visiting LA. Start by getting caffeinated on AK by none other than the talented baristas at Intelligentsia. They pride themselves on high quality beans and brewing techniques. One cappuccino will give you a good strong buzz to start your day.

photo by Quoc Ngo

1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd | Venice, CA 90291
website


Brunching it: have you ever tasted red velvet pancakes? These puppies are ginormous, oozing with frosting and pretty much out of this world. It’s perfect for me as I prefer sweet to savory for breakfast and dessert is welcome any time of the day.

Larchmont Village
107 N LARCHMONT BLVD. 323.461.1528
website

Now off to work off that extremely decadent breakfast. A little hike, perhaps? This particular park is a little bit of a hidden treasure. It’s nice and short, but if you take the stairs it makes up for its brevity with an intense vertical challenge. The 360* view spans from west from Downtown, to the Hollywood Hills, (the Hollywood Sign!), Santa Monica Mountains, up the Malibu coast, Santa Monica Bay and down to Palos Verdes. Take the path down to enjoy the view and shake out your trembling legs.

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
(Park on Jefferson Blvd for free, no entrance fee for hikers).
6300 Hetzler Rd. Culver City, Ca 90232
website

photo by Christina Murphy

And a visit to LA would not be complete without some shopping. There’s the new mall at 3rd Street Promenade, W 3rd Street boutiques, the idyllic Grove and the glitzy Rodeo Drive. These are all great, but if you want one-of-a-kind glamour, I present one of my favorite true hidden gems in Shareen Vintage. Shareen has a stylish eye for vintage and her store is actually a full size warehouse filled with vintage from all decades of the 20th century – organized by period and type of clothing, you can spend hours and hours trying on clothes (she even provides the snacks and the prices are really reasonable for vintage). My most favorite pieces of clothing come from Shareen. She will consult, offer her styling tips and help pick the right items for you. Just remember its girls only, so brothers/gentlemen callers/friends must wait outside.

1721 N. Spring St. (Enter on Baker St.)
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 276-6226

website
Open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10am-5pm.
Sundays from 12pm-6.pm

Change into your new-to-you fancy party dress from Shareen and head to Downtown LA for a night on the town. Currently enjoying a resurgence, Downtown is once again a destination and not a drive through. There’s tons of new bars, restaurants and art galleries. But experience an LA tradition – the French Dip Sandwich. 2 rival restaurants in Downtown both claim to be the originators of this fine beef dip treat: Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet and Philippe The Original. If you meet someone from LA you can ask them if they are a Philippe’s person or a Cole’s person; as most people have a deep rooted loyalty to one over the other since the restaurants have both been around since 1908. Yep, you read that right, both are now into their second century. Must be doing something right.The decor has been restored to its original glory. The French Dip Sandwiches are the star, while sides include diner classics like bacon potato salad, mac & cheese, coleslaw, creamed spinach and watch out for the spicy pickles. The item not to be missed is the Famous Bourbon Pecan Pie. I proudly declare Cole’s as The best Pecan Pie in LA. It has the right balance of gooey sugar and nuts, and the bourbon adds a fun surprise. After dinner, find the door marked with a martini glass symbol and enjoy creative cocktails in the speak-easy in the back.

Cole’s
118 east 6th street Downtown LA 90014
website

On one of our famous sunny and warm days, one must take a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu (a convertible makes it all the more enjoyable). My favorite destination to set out for is Malibu Wines, a wonderful little treasure tucked up in the windy hills above Malibu. In a large grassy, shaded area among the vines, there are numerous picnic tables with umbrellas for you to claim for the afternoon. There is live music to enjoy while you sample a flight of wine tastings from one of two local wineries, Semler and Saddlerock. They provide the glasses and they’re yours to keep. Bring a picnic and settle in for a competitive round of horseshoes or croquet, or just lay back and take in the view. An afternoon at Malibu Wines is not to be missed.

Malibu Wines
31740 Mulholland Highway Malibu, California 90265

website
818-865-0605

Thanks for letting me share some of my favorite things about LA. If you have any questions or need recommendations for your visit, feel free to contact me at s@paisleypetunia.com xoxo


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1 Response to “Visiting LA”


  1. 1 Bill March 5, 2011 at 4:16 am

    I don’t see any need to “defend” any of the places you love!


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