My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1 (all the photos!)

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1 (all the photos!)

Buongiorno!

If you follow me on the gram, you maaaay have seen that I was away on my very first trip to LA last week!  I only posted approx. 853 Insta stories along the way… but here I’m recapping everything I saw, ate and did with my boyfriend while we were away.  A lot of the activities were suggested to me by friends who live there, but some were places I found online or things we found ourselves along the way.  If you’re making a trip out there anytime soon, there are some great restaurants and activities in here!

Since I have so much to say and so many photos to share, I’ve broken the trip down into two blog posts.  That way there won’t be too much info all at once. Plus, it was getting lengthy… I am loquacious.

Night One

We arrived at LAX at about 2:30p local time, and by the time we got the rental car and made our way through some traffic to our Airbnb, the sun was setting and it became more of a nighttime adventure that first day in LA.  We found an adorable Airbnb that was a bit outside of the city in Downey, but so worth it due to it’s cleanliness and normalness (it was struggle city trying to find something just normal to stay in that was at a decent price, so we were willing to stay a little further out of the city for something actually comfortable. Does anyone else have this issue with Airbnbs? I wouldn’t be able to sleep in some of the beds I saw in photos!)

We freshened up, dropped off our stuff and quickly jumped back in the car to hit Santa Monica first!  We both really wanted to see the art installation of Urban Light so we drove there first.  It’s beautiful and fun to walk through and we snapped some fun pictures there.

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1

Next we headed off to dinner at an Italian restaurant in Santa Monica recommended to us by a friend, La Vecchia Cucina.  After all that we ate during the vacation, this meal was tied for first for both of us as a favorite.  The bread was insane and we both happily ate way too much.  Amazing place.

We did some more driving around just to explore on our first night, and ended up driving through Rodeo Drive (had to see it!) and part of Beverly Hills.  Maybe everyone knows this and only I didn’t, but there’s this adorable little side street from Rodeo Drive called Via Rodeo that looks like a little Italian street leading up to Versace. I snapped a photo as we went by because it was too cute.  After a little driving tour of some different areas, we decided to turn in and rest up for the next day.

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1

Day Two

Since we had started our sight-seeing at night, I was surprised this morning to see this stunning panorama of mountains an palm trees from the freeway.  Everywhere we went, this beautiful mountain backdrop was there and I was just in awe of it.  I couldn’t stop staring at them or the Hollywood sign that kept popping up in the distance.  Something about seeing the Hollywood sign was fun for me, having seen it in movies so many times.

I had heard from a friend that there is an amazing farmer’s market in Santa Monica every Wednesday and our first full day happened to be Wednesday, so we had to hit it.  There is such incredible, different produce that grows in California and I was having a ball looking through everything.  I bought some giant carrots, purple cauliflower, baby bananas, and some fresh strawberry juice.  Nom nom nom.

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1

On another recommendation we headed to Sugarfish for lunch, still in Santa Monica.  I was advised to get the “Trust Me” by a friend who claimed she never ate sushi before but was obsessed with everything here.  One of my favorite foods of all time is avocado sushi but I don’t love raw fish.  However, upon hearing that my friend was in the same sushi-uncertainty as me prior to Sugarfish, I took the plunge and loved it!! So fresh and yummy, particularly the tuna sashimi!

Next we made our way to Venice Beach.  I had been told that I needed to see Venice Beach and that it was more of an artsy/creative scene from a few people.  Real talk: I was very disturbed by this beach… tons of people drugged out laying around on the sand and some acting completely crazy.  I was not particularly impressed by the shops right on the beach either, but we decided to rent bikes and take a ride down the coast.  While getting settled on my bike, a crazy, drugged out guy started coming toward me angrily shouting things at me and scared the shit out of me.  I managed to get my footing in time to get biking, but I was so freaked out and just not enjoying that time there too much.  It wasn’t until later in the vacation that we discovered a strip of cool-looking boutiques kind of behind the actual beach that would have been fun to check out, but I was so deterred by that experience that I just wanted to move on to the next place.  But anyways, we managed to get a few cute pictures to remember it!

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1

Next we hit Hollywood Boulevard, knowing that it was more of a touristy spot that wasn’t necessarily going to blow us away by its beauty, but we had to check it out.  We checked out some of the stars (which go one forever btw), walking along the walk of fame and I stumbled across my favorite lady, Celine.  Ugh, live for Celine.

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1

We just walked around there a little bit, grabbed a couple slices of pizza and then just decided we’d seen everything and were ready to move on.

I’ve always wanted to see The Grove in real life!  I follow a bunch of LA people on insta that always go there and (confession) I watch Dancing With the Stars and they always have their finale there, ha!  For those that don’t know, it’s a beautiful outdoor shopping center with restaurants and at night it’s lit up beautifully, perfect for a little night stroll through.  Most of the shops are higher end, but we had fun peeking through them and snacking on some caramels along the way.

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1

Day Three

Ok, I found this gorgeous cafe in West Hollywood on Instagram through an entertainment host/blogger that I follow so I had it on my list to check out.  It’s called The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker (can it get any cuter?).  We headed here first for brunch and got a table in the beautiful and relaxing courtyard that sat between the areas of indoor seating.  The weather was perfect, it was quiet and we were both just so content being there.  I could have stayed there all day.  I started with an almond milk cappuccino (of course) and then we enjoyed our food.  It was delish and the whole experience just started our day off on the right foot!

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1

The street that it was on was super cute too, nestled under the mountains beside it, so we took a little walk after lunch and just window shopped.  We spotted a little side street that was leading up into the mountains and we were curious to check it out.  I’m not sure if we were supposed to be driving there honestly, but we were so blown away by the phenomenal homes up there that we just kept going up and up.  Actually driving through here reminded me so much of Italy.  The street was getting so narrow and the homes were often in Spanish styles, nestled into the sides of the cliffs.  Just stunning.  We kept marveling at the increasingly beautiful view of the city as we continued up.

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1

We came back down after a while, and took a little drive down Melrose Avenue just to see.  It was cute, mostly with commercial/high end shops and we were more interested in finding funky boutiques so we didn’t feel the need to really stop in anywhere.  We did find a cute place to take a few photos though!

Next on the list was Griffith Observatory.  This iconic building sits up on a hill, and offers an incredible view of the city and the Hollywood sign.  It was really fun looking through the museum there and we caught a cool show at the planetarium before watching the sunset on one of their terraces and heading back down.  Here’s a look at some of the views from the deck of the observatory.

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1

We stopped for ice cream at the amazing Salt & Straw, highly recommend!! Then we caught an easy dinner at a local taco place with a reputation for super authentic food, Tacos Por Favor.

My First Time in Los Angeles :: Part 1


This was the first half of the trip and as you can imagine, we were super tuckered out by the end of each day.  It was definitely a lot of driving, but that was the only way to see everything.  If you’ve been to any of these places or live here, what are your impressions?? Agree? Disagree? I hope you guys enjoyed taking a peek at my vacation so far and part 2 will be up in a few days.

A presto,
Amanda ❤️

68 Comments

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 15, 2018 / 6:53 pm

      Thank youu!

      • February 15, 2018 / 8:39 pm

        Such.a pretty young woman with the world at your feet! Greet job on your vacation review. The photos are wonderful, too. Let’s see what’s next! Thank you for sharing…

      • The Bellezza Corner
        Author
        February 16, 2018 / 11:53 am

        Aw thank you for your kind words! I had too much to put in one post, ha! Thank you for stopping by!

  1. February 15, 2018 / 4:38 pm

    I love the pictures!!! Your style is also awesome!

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 15, 2018 / 6:53 pm

      Thank you so much!! <3

  2. February 15, 2018 / 4:38 pm

    Amazing pictures and very interesting post, I’d love to visit Los Angeles one day!

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 15, 2018 / 6:54 pm

      Thank you! Yeah, it was on my list for a while and it was definitely worth it! <3

  3. February 15, 2018 / 5:59 pm

    Ahhh I’m dying to visit Los Angeles!! Love your pictures!

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 15, 2018 / 6:54 pm

      I was too!! It was definitely worth the visit and we got lucky with some incredible weather! <3 Thank you girl!

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 16, 2018 / 11:52 am

      Thank you!

  4. February 15, 2018 / 8:18 pm

    I have never been to LA yet, but I would absolutely love to! It sounds really awesome and the pictures are amazing, thank you so much for your detailed travel diary!!
    love, elena

    https://outnaboutweb.wordpress.com

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 16, 2018 / 11:53 am

      Thank you!! I thought it was definitely a worth while trip, especially to get a little sunshine during this winter!

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 16, 2018 / 11:54 am

      Thank you so much! It’s easy to make this beautiful place look great in pics!!

  5. February 16, 2018 / 5:59 am

    I hope you had a lovely time in LA hun, the pictures are absolutely stunning! 😍

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 16, 2018 / 11:54 am

      Thank you so much, love!! LA is gorgeous, can’t wait to go back sometime!

      • February 16, 2018 / 4:02 pm

        Gosh, it really is stunning. You take care of yourself lovely and keep us updated 😘 xoxo

      • The Bellezza Corner
        Author
        February 21, 2018 / 12:59 pm

        I thought so too! 😊 I was in awe of the nature the whole time! Thank you love, I always appreciate hearing your feedback! <3

  6. February 16, 2018 / 7:50 am

    I am going to visit LA in the summer, therefore your review is very useful!!! Love your shoes ;-).

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 16, 2018 / 11:55 am

      Omg how exciting! Glad to be of any help! We definitely saw a lot of great places, let me know if you want to know anything else in particular!!

  7. February 16, 2018 / 9:33 am

    omg, I’ve been waiting for this post! I’ve been seeing all your photos on insta, and I was legit waiting for the post to come out. I’ve been to California twice, but still haven’t had the chance to hit up LA. It’s still on my list to do, aha. Great post love, can’t wait to see part two of the post xxx

    Melina | http://www.ivefoundwaldo.com

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 16, 2018 / 11:56 am

      Yay! So happy to hear it! Yes! I still have so much of California to see, but LA was super cool and I loved getting some sunshine in. Thank you for the support, as always girl! <3

      • The Bellezza Corner
        Author
        February 21, 2018 / 1:03 pm

        Yes!! I’m actually from MA so I have a bunch of friends out there, and a visit is overdue! 😊

      • February 21, 2018 / 1:31 pm

        yasss, let me know when you do! We can meet up for some coffee or a dinner date or something 🙂 xx

      • The Bellezza Corner
        Author
        February 23, 2018 / 7:39 pm

        I’d love that! <3 I'll for sure let you know!

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 16, 2018 / 11:57 am

      Thank you! I thought LA was pretty amazing. It has the nature and all the fun stuff you could want, I loved it! Worth a visit for sure. <3

  8. February 16, 2018 / 10:36 am

    How lovely! I was just in LA last week as well. It looks like you had a wonderful time! Biking at Venice is one of my favorite things to do, but yes, you definitely have to be wary of some of the characters that hang out there!

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 16, 2018 / 11:58 am

      Oh how funny! Yeah, biking was fun and that bike trail is a nice ride, but I was so distracted by those negative parts of Venice Beach that I couldn’t fully relax there unfortunately. I was just so surprised by that, but it’s all good. There was still so much beauty and fun stuff to experience!

      • February 16, 2018 / 7:04 pm

        It can definitely catch you off guard if you haven’t been to the area before. But, I’m glad you were able to still enjoy your trip!

      • The Bellezza Corner
        Author
        February 21, 2018 / 1:00 pm

        For sure.. fortunately it was just a moment of an otherwise super fun time 😊

  9. February 16, 2018 / 2:40 pm

    I’d love to go to LA. You took some fantastic photos! Thanks for stopping by my site. I hope you do so again!

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 21, 2018 / 12:59 pm

      Thank you so much! Yes, I think it’s definitely worth at least one visit! I will be sure to stop by your site again. 😊

  10. February 16, 2018 / 5:21 pm

    It’s my home! I love this post. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 21, 2018 / 1:00 pm

      Oh awesome!! I hope you thought I did it justice! I had an amazing time seeing everything with fresh eyes 😊

      • February 21, 2018 / 1:45 pm

        I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip! I’d love to see Chicago one day (that’s where you are right?) hahahaha!

      • The Bellezza Corner
        Author
        February 23, 2018 / 7:40 pm

        Thank you!! Yes, I’ve been in Chicago for a little over a year now, and really like it. I’m not sure it’s my “forever” place but it’s definitely a really cool city and worth seeing as well. xo

      • February 24, 2018 / 10:30 am

        Where were you before? 🙂

      • The Bellezza Corner
        Author
        February 24, 2018 / 11:16 am

        I grew up in Massachusetts and then spent several years living in Milan, Italy 😊

      • February 25, 2018 / 9:36 am

        I would love to go to both!!! XO

  11. February 16, 2018 / 6:56 pm

    Lovely pics and enjoyed this post! 🙂

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 21, 2018 / 1:00 pm

      Thank you so much!

  12. February 17, 2018 / 9:31 am

    Fabulous pix. LA is downright surreal but also wonderfully seductive. You’ve captured both qualities.

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 21, 2018 / 1:01 pm

      Thank you, what a compliment! I totally agree, and found myself in awe of the city’s beauty most of the time. 😊

  13. February 17, 2018 / 9:31 am

    The pictures you got look so good! And you have amazing style x

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 21, 2018 / 1:02 pm

      Thank you so much, that’s so sweet! It was easy to get beautiful shots in such a cool place!!

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 21, 2018 / 1:03 pm

      I certainly did! I really thought the city was gorgeous and was so sad to leave. Thank you! 😊

  14. February 20, 2018 / 12:39 pm

    This was such a lovely post to read. I just enjoy reading your posts so much. I love your fresh style and how you show us both the good and the bad of your experiences. Your authenticity and manner of writing are beautiful. I’m so glad that guy didn’t hurt you. I hope you got over the incident and that you were able to enjoy your trip again.

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 21, 2018 / 1:07 pm

      This comment just made my day, thank you so much. I try to write as I would speak, and I’m glad to hear that it translates! Fortunately, that weird incident on venice beach was just a moment in an otherwise very fun and happy adventure. 😊 Thank you for your feedback and kind words. <3

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 23, 2018 / 7:41 pm

      Thank you, it definitely was a lot of fun! xo

  15. February 23, 2018 / 2:45 pm

    Lovely post! Your pictures are incredible 💯 what camera do you use?

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 23, 2018 / 7:45 pm

      Thank you so much! Most of these were shot on an iPhone 7 plus actually. A few of the scenic shots were taken on my canon rebel t5.

  16. February 24, 2018 / 7:17 am

    This makes me want to visit LA so much 😭 may I ask which air bnb you stayed in?

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 24, 2018 / 1:03 pm

      Sure, we stayed here. Lovely woman and beautiful, clean space.

  17. February 24, 2018 / 4:04 pm

    This has just made me want to go to LA so much more. It sounds like you had such an amazing trip X

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 27, 2018 / 11:44 am

      Looking back on my pics makes me want to go back to LA too, ha! I had a great time, so worth it!

  18. February 24, 2018 / 10:08 pm

    Oh my gosh, so many amazing photos! Fresh strawberry juice sounds soooo good. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that drugged out guy & that he ruined your whole experience but you did get such a good shot on that bike. 😉 I’ve never heard of The Grove but it looks and sounds like a place I need to visit! Wow!

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      February 27, 2018 / 11:45 am

      Thank you!! The fresh strawberry juice was definitely a highlight!! It was just a rude awakening to Venice Beach, but I know that’s not how to the whole area of Venice is, so you live and learn. The Grove was super cute, I’d go there all the time if I lived there!!

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      March 2, 2018 / 7:31 pm

      Thank you girl! Actually for this post, I just used my iphone which is a 7plus! It has a great camera 😊

      • March 2, 2018 / 8:26 pm

        I actually have the same phone, I need to stop using the snapchat camera lol! Great post looking forward to reaing more of your posts x

  19. March 6, 2018 / 2:26 pm

    Awesome post and gorgeous photos! I really hope one day I get to visit LA 🙂 About Venice beach – what a scary experience though. Gladly nothing else happened to you, sweetie! 😘

    • The Bellezza Corner
      Author
      March 9, 2018 / 10:38 am

      Thank you so much! It was an awesome trip and definitely worth it! I didn’t feel mentally prepared for that Venice beach situation, but it was one weird hiccup in an otherwise beautiful vacation! xo Thanks for showing the love as always girl.

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