I can't believe how behind this post is! We took this trip back in November, and now it's officially February. That is insane. It basically sums up my motivation for sitting on a computer these days though. I've been feeling much more excited about hanging and creating in my studio lately then being in front of the screen. So that's good right? LOL maybe.
We planned a trip in November to hit California. It happened to line up perfectly with my birthday, so naturally the Universe was telling us to go ;).We planned it with two of our friends and it was such a good time. First we hit LA for a couple days, headed to Malibu and explored Venice. Then, we hit San Diego for a few days and stayed in Pacific Beach. We then headed back to LA and explored DTLA, Santa Monica, and we couldn't get enough of Venice Beach. I'm not going to get to in depth with detail of this trip because there was a lot to cover! I'll sum it up with my recommendations if you're heading to that area!
Biggest tip!!! Rent a car with Hertz!! We rented ours through them and the experience was seamless. ALSO make SURE you rent a GPS with the car! This was our life saver becauseeeeeee for 40.00 you can add a hotspot to your GPS and take it with you everywhere. So we had access to internet the entire trip. It was SO MUCH less stressful for getting around and so much less stress on me while I had to work while I was away. I was expecting to have to take time away and go work, but thankfully I could do it from the car when we were on the road, or during downtime at the beach! Truly the best scenario.
I wanted to stay in Malibu so so bad, but it just didn't really make sense for our schedule. So we did head there for a day and it was my favourite day of our whole trip. Driving along the Pacific Coast Highway is truly magical. It's exactly like what you see in the movies, just beautiful.
I would recommend calling ahead and renting surf boards in Malibu! This is something we didn't do. But as we were sitting on the beach watching everyone surf, we wished we had planned it!! The beach we pulled over to and hung around for a while was Surf Beach, lol makes sense right!
Nobu was another spot I recommend checking out. It is expensive, but in my opinion worth the splurge. It's right on the beach, the views are amazing and the sushi was so so good.
It was SO fun to just drive around the hills with no GPS or place to be. We saw SO MANY insane houses in Malibu. We were looking them up as we went along and it was so cool to see how they were priced and who lived there. We drove along Highway 1 and pulled over whenever we felt like it. We stayed into sunset and watched the sun set somewhere in Malibu along the cliffs. Surreal.
We loved San Diego!! It was so chill and way less on the go. A great place to relax and adventure a little bit. We stayed in an AirBnb right on Pacific Beach. It was such a cute little area with so much surfing, cute little coffee shops and cool neighbourhoods. We didn't really explore downtown at all, we just did a quick drive by, so I don't have much advice there!
Encinitas Beach (outside of San Diego)
I needed to see this beach! My photographer, Instagram friend, Mikey Diggs had taken a photo here that I HAD to paint last year. His photography is stunning and Justin and I actually met up and had dinner with him on this trip! How cool!! (I love Instagram!!!) The collaboration painting was the first painting I had ever sold at Handworks Gallery! I needed to get to this spot and I'm so happy we did. It was a grey day (my favourite) and we explored, watched a surf competition AND found the breed of the dog we now have!!! We ran into this couple walking along the road with a Bernedoodle. We fell in loveeeeeee with it, and now we have our own <3!! I loved Encinitas Beach so much lol. Definitely go there.
We had dinner on the most gorgeous rooftop in La Jolla. It was called George's Ocean Terrace and they give you blankets!! hahaha SOLD. I loved this spot. It had an amazing view of the water and we planned it so we ate dinner at sunset. Eeeee. We wandered around La Jolla, did some exploring and shopping. We stumbled upon a zillion seals laying on the beach in La Jolla Cove. SO funny. We couldn't stop laughing, truly a hilarious scene.
So much to say about LA. You really can't go wrong with anything you do here. Justin and I keep brainstorming ways to move to LA. LOL. We loved it SO much. I could truly see myself living there so so happily haha.
Justin and I stayed at the Ellison Suites for 2 nights before we met up with our friends! I booked it online and had really no idea what to expect, it had much lower prices then any other hotel in the area, so that made me nervous. Lol But It was really cute!!!! The location was 1 block away from the beach, and we had a beach view from our suite. It was really historic and had a lot of original charm. The rooms have exposed brick and we felt right at home <3. For the other nights in LA we stayed in an AirBnb!
This is a no brainer, and if you've done any research on visiting LA, I'm SURE you already know this. But -I have to mention it. Venice is such a cool area. So beach town and upbeat. It has the coolest coffee shops, and quirky little spots all along the beach. The beach itself is also awesome, we spent so much time here, swimming, surfing and relaxing. If you explore the area you'll probably come arcross Abbot Kinney blvd. There are sooooo many cool spots to eat and shop all along that road. Must see.
I wish we would have rented bikes sooner! I feel like we would have used it way more to get around! We did it towards the end of our trip and it was so fun! I was a little rusty on my bike riding hahaha. We rode all along the beach from Venice to Santa Monica and then some! We walked them along the pier and was just such a fun way to experience the Santa Monica sunset.
We didn't spend too much time downtown, we agreed that the most time should be spent by the beach. But we did go twice, once for the hockey game, we saw LA Kings vs Vancouver Canucks and the second time we explored the Arts District and finished our last night with dinner at Sugar Fish. After dinner we wandered around the streets and into the market! I think if we were there longer that we'd spend a couple nights downtown, to explore and eat at restaurants haha.
The Instagrammer's dream. Hahaha. Definitely recommend strolling down Melrose Ave for some pink walls, angel wings, cute quotes & coffee shops. Not to mention, The Row, Balmain, The Line, to name a few. Such a cute spot.
I'm sure I'm forgetting all kinds of details that I loved, so I'll make sure to keep this updated as I think of things so you can use it for reference if you're booking your own trip. Shoot me a message, comment or email if you have any questions that require more detail! I'd be happy to help!!! xox
Here's a bunch more photos in no order at all hahah