Last stop: LA. First night in Downtown. When we arrived late afternoon there was another game of the NBA Finals on. Right after dropping our luggage at the Stay on Main boutique hostel, we went out to check the game in one of the nearest dinner places at the corner of our block. There I ordered probably the worst pizza I had on this trip. I can handle a considerable amount of meat, but this time I got served more meat than pizza. The Lonely Planet travel guide warned us for walking around Downtown by night, but after the game and the horrible pizza we decided to take a short stroll around the block before going to bed. We took a U-turn after a few minutes. Only drug dealers and complete wackos were walking the streets now.
Luckily our second and third night were booked in Palihotel on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. Very nice hotel with a beautiful interior. But as most hotels we stayed in, breakfast was a disappointment. This one was overpriced and a couple of days old. Next day we looked for the nearest coffee place around.
- El Pueblo is the oldest part of LA but the railway station where we arrived with the muni was even more impressive.
- The Last Bookstore doesn’t only house a huge bookstore but also has a floor for exhibiting upcoming local artists.
- Grand Central Market close to the Bradbury Building, is an ideal spot for breakfast, lunch or coffee.
- The Museum of Contemporary Art. Unfortunately we only had time to check out the bookstore because we were eager to go to West Hollywood.
- Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park offers an amazing view over the City of Angels and the Hollywood Hills next to it. The planetarium inside is also worth the visit, with a Foucault Pendulum and a live view of the sun.
- Have a stroll down Melrose Avenue and stop by Fratelli Café for a tasty all day breakfast (croissandwiches!) on their nice green terrace. After that we took a guided tour at Paramount Studios. (Only if you’re into movies and have some spare time.)
- Sunset Junction was where we watched the final game of the NBA Finals (Golden State Warriors won! Go Curry!). There are some nice restaurants (Moby’s newest vegan restaurant for example) and cool bars, also the Casbah Cafe Store for a late night tea (we had some time to waste before our flight back home).
- At Farmers Market on Fairfax Avenue you have plenty of options to grab a bite at noon. The walk from Melrose Ave down Fairfax Ave is interesting on its own with lots of small (surf clothing) stores.
- We went to the famous Pink’s Hot Dogs but if you’re into fastfood the In ‘n Out Burger place on Sunset Blvd is definitely a better idea.
- Not the beach. Too crowded and crazy people.
- Abbot Kinney Blvd is what we’ll remember. Cool shops and the so-called best coffee in town at Intelligentsia Coffee.
- The Venice Canals Walkway was a quiet and beautiful intermezzo.