Welcome to my much anticipated Southern California travel guide! I’ve been working on this for a few weeks now because there was just so much content to cover. Throughout the post there are links to different places I visited plus links to some of my favorite pieces I wore are at the end. SoCal is pretty much the most amazing place I’ve been to, and I hope you guys get great travel ideas from reading this!
I lived in Anaheim for the month I was in Cali, and it is a wonderful place to call home! It is actually very drive-able and many life necessities are within the city limits. I’m talking Target, In-N-Out Burger, outlet malls, etc. Plus it’s home to Disneyland, so need I say more? (See my Disneyland Travel Guide for a separate guide to the park!).
One of my favorite things about living in Anaheim was all the delicious food options. One particular place was the Anaheim Packing District, which is essentially a free-standing food hall with cuisines including southern comfort, Indian, Vietnamese, Italian, and so much more! They also have a yummy ice cream stand and a few cute trinket shops. The whole place is decorated in greenery, and it is perfect for a photo for the gram :P (very important feature!).
There’s also a cute old-town strip of shops and restaurants located near Glassel St. There’s delicious pizza, coffee shops, and brunch options. I visited The Filling Station Cafe for brunch (pictured above), and it was beyond yummy!
Not going to lie, downtown LA can be a total zoo filled with tourists, but if you know where and when to go, it’s super amazing and glamorous! Obviously strolling down Hollywood Blvd is a must (stars span 15 blocks along the famous road), and you can go online to the Walk of Fame website ahead of time to find where your favorite actor’s stars are. When we went, there was even a movie premiere going on!
Just one block south of Hollywood Blvd is Sunset Blvd, the iconic street home to many famous places used as film sets such as Mel’s Drive-In (American Graffiti, 1973). They have some of the most delicious milkshakes in the area just fyi!
Another must is a total gram worthy pic with the Hollywood sign. Now, it is no easy task to get a good photo with the sign relatively close up. I went to Griffith Observatory first, but the sign was too far away for my liking. I will say the observatory is AMAZING to go to at night and see the whole LA skyline lit up. The best view I found is near 3000 Canyon Lake Dr. Put that as your Uber destination, and you’ll be able to get a pic like the one I have above! Other people are more outdoor savvy than I am, so there are tons of ways to Hike the Hollywood Sign via the parks close by for other viewpoints.
Needless to say, Beverly Hills is my happy place. Home to the most high-end, luxury brands you can think of, you better bring a full wallet to Rodeo Drive. This street is beyond beautiful and just fun to walk around and browse if you’re a super poor student like me. The gorgeous streets are lined with flowers and palm trees, and it is literally the most chic and wonderful place I’ve ever been!
If you are interested in shopping, the street is home to Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada to name a few. So in reality, it is more of a place to walk around and gawk at, not to actually shop, but it is so worth the stop!
VENICE BEACH and SANTA MONICA PIER
Venice and Santa Monica are some of the most scenic and famous beach towns in the country. There’s so much to do and so much life in this area that you can easily spend a few days here! The most iconic spot is probably Santa Monica Pier, where there are arcade games, carnival rides, an aquarium, and of course, delicious food! I’m not a seafood fan myself, but I’ve heard the fish served at some of the restaurants on the pier are major delicacies! They also have a quick burger joint, a soda fountain, and a food court. An event calendar is online as well so you can plan ahead what days to go if there is something specific you want to do (or to avoid larger crowds).
The other iconic thing for those instagram lovers is the famous Venice sign that hangs above some of the cutest beach town streets in the country. It is located at 80 Windward Ave. Venice, Ca 90291 so you all know! Venice Beach is also home to shopping, restaurants, sandy beaches, and a boardwalk bustling with character and an amazing art/talent scene. One of my favorite spots is Abbot Kinney Blvd due to the many trendy coffee shops and boutiques!
Seal Beach is a hidden, must-go-to gem of SoCal! It is probably the cutest and smallest beach town in the city, and it brings such a relaxed feel that is sometimes hard to find in bustling LA. The streets are lined with local restaurants and one-of-a-kind boutiques for both clothes and beach souvenirs! My friend and I went to brunch at The Crema Cafe, which is not only super insta-worthy, but super yummy. I got the French toast and my chai tea latte, and I couldn’t have been happier. Seal Beach is also a great spot to have a chill beach day because a lot of the other beaches in LA (Manhattan, Redondo, Huntington, Venice, etc) can get very crowded.
That’s it for now! And as promised, here are links to my favorite pieces I wore while in California! Happy shopping and thanks for reading!