Love it or hate it, LA is the perfect weekend city break offering sun, sea and lot's of shopping! Whilst the east coast battles ice and snow, Los Angeles skies are blue and temperatures are soaring in the 70's. Is this really February? Having grown up in England and spent my late twenties shoveling snow in Ohio, and my early thrities trudging through wet, grey snow in New York city, I'm thankful to now call the West coast my home.
In less than an hour from San Francisco you can be on the ground at LAX airport and ready to explore the wonders of the city of Angel's. Here are a few of my favorite spots from my recent weekend.
1. Don't leave LA without taking in the extraordinary atomic mid-century architecture at LAX airport. The Theme Building is an iconic landmark structure that opened in 1961, and resembles a flying saucer that has landed on four legs. The structure originally housed a restaurant that rotated 360 degree's, but later it was made stationary.
2. There's only one way to drive around Los Angeles, and thats in a convertible.
4. Another iconic landmark of Los Angeles, are these tall palm tree's that dominate the city. Originally introduced to Los Angeles in 1932 for the Summer Olympics, these tree's can grow up to 82ft tall.
5. LA can be a scorcher in the Summer months! Make sure your hotel has a good pool.
6. I love passing the pink Paul Smith store on Melrose Ave. (8221 Melrose Ave, CA 90046)
Explore the Venice beach boardwalk where you can find weird artisans, street performers, and plenty of people watching. If you are feeling particularly energetic, hire a bike and cycle the path from Marina del rey to the Pacific Palisades, passing through Santa Monica. End your day watching the surfers at Venice beach pier, before catching a breathtaking LA sunset.
Abbot Kinney Blvd
Anyone growing up in the 80's will instantly recognize this famous landmark school as they drive down Venice Blvd. The iconic Venice high school, was indeed Rydell High in the film Grease. Go and see where Danny and Sandy sang their hearts out to "Summer Nights". The location was also used in Britney Spears video for "Baby one last time", Heathers and Nightmare on Elm Street.
(13000 Venice Blvd)
Malibu/ Zuma Beach
Known for it's long, wide sands and excellent surf, Zuma beach is one of the largest and most popular beaches in the Los Angeles County. It's about a 45 minute drive from Santa Monica (in good traffic) but well worth the trek. The drive down the Pacific Coast highway (highway 1) is stunning, passing through Malibu and past it's fabulous beach houses.
Once you arrive you might see some dolphins jumping on the horizon, so watch out. There is plenty of parking for $8 a day but the beach snack bar is pretty limited so make sure to pack a picnic. Why not book ahead and stop off at Nobu in Malibu where you can enjoy scrumptious sushi, whilst enjoying the ocean views.
LA New Finds
1. M Street Kitchen- Santa Monica. Amazing brunch with outdoor seating. 2000 Main Street, Santa Monica CA
2. PUMP Restaurant - West Hollywood. Newest offering from Lisa Vanderpump (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills). Enjoy splendid cocktails at the outside sexy garden bar, or reserve a table. 8948 Santa Monica Blvd
3. Zinque - West Hollywood. Enjoy outside seating and French fare at this new West Hollywood location. 8684 Melrose Ave