If you follow along on my Instagram Story, then you know all about my LA staycation this past week. My family packed a lot into just a few days but playing a tourist of sorts in a city I do not claim to be a tourist in (my mother, step father, and sister live there so I am visiting ALL the time and I lived there for a short stint as well) provided a fresh perspective to the city of angels. I am kind of considering doing the same here in San Diego to capture my city with a more invigorating and pure perspective.
ANYWAYS – it was an awesome trip. Usually my immediate family on my mom’s side takes a vacation once a year. This year, due to scheduling and a detour, we decided to forgo the family vacation and have my three step siblings who are from England travel to Los Angeles to have a staycation. Shout out to my step sisters for booking and organizing activity after activity.
Here are the highlights, the recap, and the suggestions on how to pull off a successful staycation in Los Angeles.
1. What To Do
Watch a Movie on EP & LP’s Rooftop Bar
I came to LA a day before the staycation was officially supposed to kick off to watch Jurassic Park on EP & LP’s rooftop bar – which is one of the best LA experiences I have had in a long time. The movie started at about 8:30 PM but the doors opened at 7:00. Get there early, save your seats, and then hop over to the rooftop bar and order a bottle (or two) and some snacks to bring back into the theater zone. The rooftop theater is so perfectly laid out – bean bags for the front seats, cute slingback seats for the general admission, an INSANE view of the Hollywood Hills and surrounding LA landscape, AND it’s only $15. They give you headphones (since the bar is literally two steps away, they cannot play the movie loudly) which is a super neat way to curate the entire experience. I am a die hard Jurassic Park fan (have you heard?!) so I technically came there just for that but left wishing I lived near EP & LP to frequent their movie rooftop events. If you are in West Hollywood, this is a must, must, must. If you want to add to the experience, you can eat at their downstairs restaurant, hop up to the rooftop bar for a drink, and close the night with a movie and the LA horizon as your backdrop.
Visit the Broad Museum
Two reasons to visit The Broad Museum: 1) it’s free and 2) their collection is so perfectly curated for the modern art enthusiast (and for the modern Instagram enthusiast). The Broad Museum has an insane collection (think Jeff Koons, Cy Twombly, Roy Lichtenstein, Barbara Kruger) but that can often go unnoticed with their repeated pieces ending up on Instagram – guilty as charged myself. The Broad Museum offers a unique experience – one that millennials will love and relate to due to the massive social media appeal the museum has and one that art lovers will highly appreciate as well. That balance is hard to come by. TIP: you have to book your tickets about a month in advance since it is usually booked pretty far into the future.
Watch a Movie at The Hollywood Bowl With The LA Philharmonic
The Hollywood Bowl plays all sorts of classic movies with the LA Philharmonic playing the score. We went to see Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark and it proved to be a really fun group outing. We brought dinner, cheese, crackers, wine, guacamole, fruit – you name it, we brought it – and sat at the picnic tables to the side of the stadium. We had our little picnic and then took our seats to watch Indiana Jones. I recommend taking an Uber to the venue and walking about six blocks towards a gas station or hotel away from the crowds to call your Uber home. This activity was perfect for large groups and those that love a good picnic and outdoor movie setting in the heart of Los Angeles. The Hollywood sign is illuminated in the mountains behind the screen reminding you of where you are.
2. Where to Eat
Joan’s on Third
Joan’s on Third is located right next to my sister’s apartment in West Hollywood so we have been frequenting Joan’s lately. If you haven’t seen it on Instagram, it is a cute upscale deli where you can grab a good baguette, a jar of olive tapenade, a bottle of wine, and some cheese for good measure. It can get crowded at times, but the black and white French motif is quite charming.
SQIRL is located on the east site of Los Angeles near Echo Park. It is a small joint and it gets packed, making it difficult to maneuver. What it lacks in square footage it makes up for in flavor. I ordered the pesto egg bowl and it was DELICIOUS. It was the perfect amount of food – not too little, not too much. It’s a pretty hip spot and most definitely caters to the millennial. If in the area, it is definitely worth a stop by.
3. Where to Stay
The Chamberlain Hotel in West Hollywood
The Chamberlain Hotel is situated on a residential-like side street near La Cienega and Sunset Blvd. You would never know it’s there but once you find it, you can’t keep this little gem a secret. This boutique hotel is perfect for a staycation. They have complimentary coffee in the lobby in the morning (literally my heaven – I hate when you have to order coffee, I like it right when I wake up – I like it accessible), it is pet friendly, they have a bomb restaurant, a retro and quirky midcentury modern decor, AND a rooftop pool. Did you catch all of that? I gave a video tour of the lobby and of our room (which was huge with a full on living room) on my Instagram story. Highly recommended for a quiet, adorable, and high quality abode.
So that concludes the recap of our LA staycation. I highly recommend anyone who lives in the Southern California region to try this out for a weekend. Perfect way to get away without making a huge trip. Revisit and fall in love with the city.
Where is your favorite Los Angeles spot?