Hey friends! So for my birthday this year, my boyfriend and I decided to visit my family in Long Beach for a week! Long Beach is the only city that I truly feel at home and comfortable in. I hope to eventually move there someday, I love it so much. While we there visiting, we actually spent the majority of the time in Los Angeles. I’ve actually been to Los Angeles many times as it’s one of my favorite cities so I thought I would give you some ideas of things you can do during a week in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas (including Long Beach, of course). I hope you enjoy and let me know YOUR recommendations in the comments below.
How To Spend A Week In Los Angeles
Go On A Talk Show
This is one of the most quintessential things about Los Angeles. You definitely can’t do this in your everyday life. While we were spending the week in Los Angeles, we got to sit in the audience at Jimmy Kimmel! We signed up for free through 1iota and were put on a waitlist for the April 28, 2016, show. We found out that we got in a couple days before we left so I was able to slip this right into our itinerary.
The experience of sitting in on a live show was pretty awesome, especially since we were both fans of Jimmy Kimmel. The best part though was getting to see Nick Jonas perform live… for free! Let’s just say that my former pre-teen self was screaming with joy.
As for the talk show itself, it was very interesting to see how different it is from behind the cameras. I think I’m gonna write a blog post about our experience and will link it here once it’s completed.
Tip: Make sure you read the rules and regulations. There was a pretty strict dress code and that we didn’t realize that until we were standing in line for the show. One of the rules was that no shorts were allowed and Christopher was wearing shorts! Luckily, they agreed to sit us near the back of the audience so no one even noticed.
Go To Universal Studios Hollywood
Personally, Universal Studios is one of my favorite theme parks in the country. Especially since they recently added The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! While my favorite time to visit is around Halloween (they have one of the best haunted houses ever), there’s no bad time to visit. The crowds do generally suck year round so there’s no avoiding that. My favorite rides in the regular park are the Revenge of the Mummy and Jurassic Park. I wrote a blog post all about visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter so make sure you check that out! In the summer of 2018, I’m going to be visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando and I’ve heard that it might be even better than the one in Hollywood?? I guess I’ll let you know!
But my new favorite part of Universal Studios is of course, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I wrote a blog post all about visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter so make sure you check that out! In the summer of 2018, I’m going to be visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando and I’ve heard that it might be even better than the one in Hollywood?? I guess I’ll let you know!
We Recommend Reading: The Muggle's Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
I love Disneyland! I’ve lost count of how many times that I’ve been as I try to go every single time I’m in LA. There’s no better feeling than walking down Main Street USA- it’s so magical and exciting every single time. My favorite rides include Pirate of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, Matterhorn, and Space Mountain. As I’m getting older though, I find the rides at Disneyland Park aren’t as thrilling as they used to be so I think I’m now going to wander over to Disneyland Adventure next time I visit.
One of the items on my bucket list is to visit every single Disney park in the world. Right now I’m only at one but next summer, I’m visiting Disneyland Paris so I can add another one to my list! I think once I visit I’m going to write a blog post comparing the two and will have it linked once it’s written.
We Recommend Reading: A Guide to Surviving Disneyland
Visit Santa Monica Pier
I know, you’re probably thinking that this is a tourist trap. And you’re right. Hear me out, though. Yes, it’s overpriced. We spent about $35 just to ride the roller coaster and the Ferris Wheel. But the experience was so worth it. On the Ferris wheel, Chris and I got to watch the most gorgeous sunset over the Pacific Ocean. I regret not having my camera with me because it was seriously one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. After that, we just strolled along the boardwalk hand in hand, watching the street performers and smelling all the smells. We might have snuck in a churro or two 😉
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Tour The Queen Mary
The Queen Mary, permanently docked in Long Beach, is a retired ocean liner that is rumored to be haunted (it definitely is haunted). Even if you believe in ghosts or not, this is one thing you should definitely add to your list (it’s particularly riveting around Halloween time…). If you sign up for a haunted tour, you’re shown access to typically off-limit parts of the ship but it’s more fun if you sneak off on your own. It’s not technically against the rules, it’s just… frowned upon. But proceed at your own risk!
Eat At In-N-Out
Duh, this is a must do while in California. Their hamburgers are soooo good that they probably could cure cancer*. While you’re there, you have to get a Double-Double with Animal Style fries. Just trust me. Ugh, my stomach is growling so hard now and I hate the fact that I live thousands of miles away from an In-N-Out. I could probably eat there every day. In fact, whenever I spend a week in Los Angeles, I probably do eat there everyday lol.
*disclaimer, I am not a doctor but their burgers probably couldn’t actually cure cancer.
We Recommend Reading: How To Afford To Travel
Eat At Zubies Dry Dock in Huntington Beach
Once you get past the cheesy decor, this place is amazing. It’s tradition for us to eat here whenever we visit California. No matter what you order off the menu, the food is guaranteed to be mouth-watering. My personal favorites are the spaghetti with sausage or the barbecue ribs. Also, if you have any children or are a kid at heart (such as myself), bring a lot of quarters because there’s plenty of arcade games to play.
There’s also a giant aquarium that was my favorite thing ever when I was a kid. I could watch those fishies for houuurs.
Visit Amoeba Music
If you are a fan of vinyl like I am, you definitely have to add visiting Amoeba Music to your itinerary. Amoeba is the WORLD’S largest independent record store. I was in heaven while there!! I actually picked up a Lorde’s The Love Club EP on vinyl, which was quite a rare find. For my birthday, Chris bought me: Brand New’s The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me, Hozier’s self-titled album, Twenty One Pilot’s Vessel, and Cage the Elephant’s Tell Me I’m Pretty among a few others. It’s like a gold mine of vinyl records and it’s impossible to leave there empty handed. If you do, you must have some sort of super power because I definitely can’t.
Eat At Joe Jost’s!
Joe Jost’s is frequented often by my uncle, and for good reason! It’s easily one of the best bars in Long Beach and has been since it opened in 1920. In fact, it’s still serving the same food that it did during the Prohibition. Although you don’t really have that many options when perusing the menu, definitely go for a yellow pickled egg. Life changing, let me tell you.
Visit Venice Beach
This is a must do in my book. I love people watching and this is the greatest place to do so!! There are tons of activities to do here, such as: renting a bike, shopping, and did I mention people watching?
Storytime: When I was a kid one summer, I accidentally got put into a drum circle on the beach and everyone around me was smoking marijuana and wearing fedora hats and I just felt like the coolest kid on the planet. Which I was anyway… 😉 Anyways, when the school year started, my teachers did not like that story and I had to have a talk with a guidance counselor about how drugs are bad for you.
So that was some of the things that I did while spending a week in Los Angeles! Like I’ve said, Los Angeles is one of my favorite cities in the whole world and I discover something new every single time I visit. Thanks for reading!
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