This was my very first visit to LA, so it was all about sightseeing, shopping, eating and drinking. And of course, plenty of design research!
LA is the perfect city to play tourist. There’s the Hollywood Walk of fame and The Hollywood Sign – of course, remember to keep your eyes peeled for celebrities. Expedia’s Aussie travellers tend to stay in the Hollywood, and Beverly Hills, with September one of the most popular times to visit, when the weather is perfect for walking and sightseeing.
Sightseeing and celeb spotting works up an appetite. In-N-Out Burger has a reputation for some of the best burgers in town and lets just say once you’ve tasted their burgers and shakes, once isn’t enough!
Just like my home suburb Bondi, Venice is famous for its beach but there’s much more to see than the sand and surf.
The TV shows have it right – the boardwalk and soft sand don’t disappoint. We were lucky enough to have warm weather but it’s also about the vibe and the people watching.
Tucked a few blocks back from the beach is Abbot Kinney Blvd, possibly one of the coolest streets in the world. Jammed with cool shops, bookstores, men’s and women’s fashion boutiques and plenty of cafes, it’s a sweet little spot you could easily miss but make sure you don’t.
A few favourites along the strip were:
Chariots on Fire, 1342 Abott Kinney Blvd
A cool design/furniture store with an eclectic mix of furniture, accessories, lighting and rugs, a mix of new and vintage. I loved the moroccan floor rugs and the elegant timber furniture.
Ilan Dei Venice, 1650 Abbot Kinney Blvd
This awesome store is constructed from shipping containers and is part-gallery-part-design-shop. With a furniture/home/outdoor focus, it’s a very cool space and inspired me to open my own store – perhaps one day!
Jack Spade, 1132 Abbot Kinney Blvd
A favourite brand of mine, a visit to Jack Spade is a must. I love the fit out of all his stores and the classic collection on display is fantastic.
The Piece Collective, 1629 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Possibly my favourite LA find, this is a a very cool store with an awesome yellow and white shop front (seen on many pintrest boards). The store is home to an edited collection of cool home wares and accessories. A definite must visit.
Once you’re done with the beach, head on over to Melrose. Melrose Place is a hot destination for shopping, home to a mix of vintage and designer wares. Here’s a few of my favourites:
Fred Segal, 8118 Melrose Ave West
The iconic retailer has a cool edit of men’s and woman’s clothing footwear and accessories. I love the ivy-covered exterior
Jonathan Adler, 8125 Melrose Ave
America’s king of colour and fun for the home was high on my list of stores to visit. I’m a big fan this potter, designer and author, and of his signature colourful style. His store in LA was a colourful pit stop filled with a fun mix of furniture and home wares.
The Village Idiot, 7383 Melrose Ave
A cool, laid-back cafe that doesn’t take itself so seriously, the Village Idiot serves breakfast, lunch and supper. Try the lamb meatball sandwich for lunch or the buttermilk pancakes for breakfast YUM!
Book Marc, 8407 Melrose Ave
The Marc Jacobs book and gift store is filled with an awesome collection of book, stationery and awesome gifts.
Isabel Marant, 8454 Melrose Place
This one is for the girls but I loved the garden and shop front on Melrose Place. Head in store for French fashion by this covetable French designer.
Kelly Wearstler, 8440 Melrose Ave
The queen of high end glamour is a must visit. Her flagship store exudes style, filled with home wares, fashion, accessories and books.
Paul Smith, 8221 Melrose Ave
The Giant Pink building that houses Paul Smith’s LA store is hard to miss and makes for a great photo opp! Inside, his signature collection of fashion is mixed with cool accessories.
Melrose Trading Post (better know to locals as the Fairfax weekend markets), Cnr Melrose and Fairfax
These large weekend markets held in the Fairfax High School grounds are some of the best I’ve seen, filled with vintage clothing, crafts, plants and everything else you can imagine.
Bar Marmont at Chateau Marmont, 8221 Sunset Blvd Hollywood
This cool, dark and infamous old school bar is the perfect spot for evening cocktails, hanging out with cool LA industry types and the odd celebrity.
Library Bar, Hollywood Roosevelt
Enjoy cocktails right in the centre of Hollywood in a number of different bars, all in the one spot. This is an unmarked celebrity haunt.
Ace Hotel Downtown, 929 South Broadway Los Angeles
The Ace Hotels’ newest establishment has a roof top bar with one of the best views in LA – best enjoyed late in the day for sunset, the golden hour.
Honour Bar, 122 Beverly Drive Beverly Hills
With awesome burgers and cocktails, this little bar is easy to miss but you’d be missing out. We were tipped off by a local about its location.
The Eveleigh, 8752 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles
A great restaurant and the perfect place to sit at the bar for a few cocktails.
Sur Restaurant and Bar, 606 North Robertson West Hollywood
Fans of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills will be familiar with Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant. If you’re lucky you may spot her – being fans of the show, we headed here for this reason but were pleasantly surprised by the excellent food, drinks and service.