We have visited LA on our way to Canada (and on two occasions also on the return trip) for the past three years. Partly because we like to break up the long trip to Canada with the kids and partly because we love it there. My husband lived in LA for a while in his twenties and gets a hankering for a visit every now and then. I love the shopping and the restaurants! The boys are learning to love it!
We have stayed either in Santa Monica or in Beverley Hills. Both are great places but if I had to choose between the two locations I would pick Santa Monica. Choose a hotel along the promenade and then it is an easy walk to the beach, playgrounds and one of LA's best shopping precincts. If you are travelling with kids the promenade in Santa Monica is brilliant for children and a great place for them to explore and burn off some energy!
Despite our frequent visits to LA we have never 'done' Disneyland. The boys have never even asked us to go. Everyone from the moment we get on the plane in Sydney assumes that is why we are heading to California and asks the boys if they are looking forward to Disneyland, so it isn't even as if they don't know about it. They just don't seem to be that interested in going. They do get excited about our annual visit to Pizzeria Mozza though!
Activities for kids that they have enjoyed in LA have included a visit to the California Science Centre to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The exhibit wasn't complete in January 2015 but it was still well worth a visit. The boys couldn't quite believe the size of it, nor that it had actually been into space, and multiple times at that. The rest of the Museum is well worth investigating, it is similar to Questacon in Canberra with lots of hands on exhibits
The highlight for the boys though was a visit to the Peterson Automotive Museum, the home of the Hot Wheels Museum and all sorts of other fabulous cars. For my two little car fanatics this was literally paradise.
They really enjoyed the Hot Wheels exhibit but they also loved the rest of the museum. It is home to one of the largest automotive collections in the world and of course has lots of cars that have featured in all sorts of Hollywood films. Including multiple Batmobiles and so on!
Their father loved this one, a 1966 Jaguar XKSS formerly owned by Steve McQueen!
My favourites were a toss up between these two! Who remembers the movie the above car came from? I seriously must have watched that movie a hundred times with my brother.
The boys could have spent all day exploring the museum and it is well worth a visit if you are in LA.
The highlight for me in LA is the shopping and just simply exploring. All of these photos were taken around Melrose Place as I love it there!
If you are looking for a decent coffee in LA - ignore everything on tripadvisor and other forums. Everywhere we tried was terrible.
Alfred we just stumbled across and thank goodness. Perfect coffee every time. They know what a flat white is. Enough said.
Food wise the highlight of our trip to LA each year is Pizzeria Mozza! We have two pizza connoisseurs in the family and they rate the pizza at Mozza as they best they have ever had! Everything that we have ordered there has been fabulous though!
The Ivy at the Shore in Santa Monica is great too for breakfast. Not so much for the coffee but do go for the atmosphere and the boys rate the pancakes highly!
Look at that bougainvillea. A visit to the Ivy at the Shore is essential just to walk through that fabulous entryway. Until next time LA!