Congratulations! You’ve settled into your amazing life in LA. You got a job, you’ve been to Club 90s unironically, and you’ve come to terms with the fact that you never need to go to Pink’s Hot Dogs no matter how much your aunt from Iowa loves it. All in all, it’s going great.
But, then it starts to happen. You fall into a routine. You see the same four people in front of you at the coffee shop every morning, your Netflix queue is shockingly empty, and waze has made you turn left over four lanes of traffic without a light…again.
My word. It sounds like you need a vacation. But, who has the time or money to travel? When you live in LA, there’s no need to look further than your own backyard.
Okay, so a lengthy relaxing vacation would be ideal, but you only have one day off this week. So, here’s the play. Grab your sunglasses and fanny pack and be a tourist in your own city.
The PCH Food Tour
A short million hour drive (fine, forty-five minute drive) from almost anywhere in LA and you can be on the road trip of your dreams. And what better way to feel like you’re on vacation than chowing down on some fried shrimp, contemplating life’s great mysteries, all while staring at the seemingly endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
Take a tip from Infatuation LA’s “Guide to Classic Cheap Eats on Malibu’s PCH” and take a joy ride up the coast that will leave you full and carefree. Grab some fish tacos at Reel Inn, some clam chowder (or really anything) at Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market, and end the day with a cocktail at sunset at Duke’s Barefoot Bar.
Who can even remember the troubles of real life when you’re busy shoving fresh seafood in your blissed out, sun-soaked, face?
Universal Studios Hollywood
Don’t overthink it. At almost half the price of its Disney competition in Anaheim, Universal Studios perfect for fun day of rides, eating, and drinking. The studio tour ride is a classic, and the newer Transformers ride is well worth the wait. Also, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened April 7th. Probably should have led with that.
Just because other studio lots don’t have an entire theme park built around them, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a look. Studios like Paramount and Warner Brothers have been around forever, and as a result are packed full of fascinating television and film history. Did you know that one of the parking lots at Paramount can be flooded to shoot water scenes? Did You?!?
Roughly 100 miles north of LA, Santa Barbara is perfect for the beach loving, wine drinking, drunken people watching, staycationer. It’s easy to get to (Amtrak from Union Station, or hop in the car for a breezy, beautiful two hour ride), and it has some of the best wine options in Southern California. Spend the morning on the beach, stroll through the downtown area for wine tasting and frivolity in the early afternoon, then sober up at La Super-Rica Taqueria (get the rajas) in the evening before heading back to reality.
You could very easily turn this into a weekend getaway to include trips to Solvang (it’s so weird) and Ojai (it’s so stoned), but if you only have a day, stick to good old SB.
The Hollywood Roosevelt
Grab Doc Brown, gas up the Delorean, and set your coordinates to Hollywood, 1955. The Hollywood Roosevelt (or Hotel Roosevelt as its neon sign declares) is one of Hollywood’s oldest hotels, and one of its best. Keeping its old Hollywood charm despite the modern conveniences and updates, it houses several different bars, lounges, and restaurants for any of your vacation desires. You can be at a fancy poolside cabana, or an old Hollywood dive in the span of two drinks. At a surprisingly reasonable price, it’s the perfect place to forget your troubles and teleport to a time when cigarettes were good for you, and a hooker cost a dime.