Los Angeles: weekend trip beaches + shopping

LA may have a bad rep: drugs, crime, and people being “P.C.” But LA has some amazing pluses: amazing modern architecture, great food, shopping, beautiful weather, and most of all the beaches!

When flying into LAX, it’s difficult to get an uber, and taxis are expensive. Instead, order a shuttle online ahead of time to save you money to pick you up from the airport. I used Super Shuttle to take me to my hotel in Long Beach. I stayed at the Varden hotel, a really neat boutique hotel. It’s close to some nice restaurants and customer service was amazing!

During the day I would go shopping and by afternoon I would go to the beach. There are expensive shopping areas in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and so forth, but they are spread out and one has to walk around a bit to get to each store. But there is an area that has one street filled with shops on both sides: Abbot Kinney Blvd. I stumbled upon it when car pooling in uber to pick up another driver. Even the US ambassador to Spain likes this area. It’s by far the best place to shop for mid-range priced fashion. The shops are beautifully modern and bright. Grab a cup of coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee or Intelligentsia, (or Toms) and shop away!

Modern design in Abbot Kinney Blvd

Getting around LA: I suggest uber: uber has an option to car pool in LA (not a feature in all cities where Uber is available), that way you only pay half for a ride, but it may take longer to get to your destination because other passengers may get picked up along the way. Still a neat way to save money!

In the afternoon (or anytime of the day) hit up the beach. The best beaches are: El Matador beach in Malibu, Venice Beach, Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica beach, and El Porto beach. You can also go further south for even more beaches!

El Matador Beach: a small rocky beach. A little far off, but worth it for a sunset photos and a ride with a view of the pacific ocean and hilltop homes of Malibu. When I made it to the beach, models were getting photo shoots done, and a couple was having their engagement photos taken! Its a steep rocky climb down so wear comfy shoes (I had to climb down barefoot). Not for those afraid of heights. Also, it may be hard to find a Uber to get to and from there, but still worth it!

El Matador Beach.

Venice beach is not too far from Abbot Kinney Blvd, so hit that up after shopping. Santa Monica beach is also close to shopping and restaurants but it’s pretty touristy. I hope this guide will give you some adventure and sun for a weekend.