Earlier this month, I traveled to California, partly to relax and of course to do a little official Know It Alls work. I visited some really awesome places and linked up with some friends of mine that I hadn’t seen since high school. It was a vacation much needed! And I got the opportunity to check out some pretty cool places I have to share!
Check it out!
Set in the Colorado Desert lies the beautiful rainbow colored Salvation Mountain. Built as a tribute to God by late local artist, Leonard Knight, the site is kept running by close family and friends who carry on Knight’s vision of a universal love. Adorned in Bible verses, blue and white striped streams, and multi color flower lined steps, Salvation Mountain looks as though you’ve stepped straight into a children’s fairy tale. Along with the help of the self proclaimed mountain man, a few thousand pounds of paint, adobe, and straw, the land art continues to be a testimony of the infinite love of Jesus and welcomes all to accept Him into their lives.
For those looking to really soak up the sun, head to Southern California. If you’re traveling from LA, you’re in for a lengthy ride but it’s well worth it. Joshua Tree National Park is a gorgeous sight to see. The namesake twisted, bristled Joshua Trees are dispersed throughout the park surrounded by huge formations of boulders, some stacked so perfectly on top of one another they look as though they were man made. Joshua Tree is a great place for rock climbers or those just looking to take in the beauty of one of the world’s most beautiful natural creations. Wear flat shoes and be advised your feet will definitely be covered in dust when you’re through.
If you’re an avid lover of frozen yogurt, do try Southern California based Go Greek. The yogurteria is an authentic yogurt bar and cafe inspired by Greek culture and cuisine. The health conscious master yogurtiers offer a fresh take on the classic frozen yogurt by offering a ton more nutritional benefits with their self serve frozen Greek yogurt. Skip, the original and go for honey, and do not skimp on the tasty, primarily sugar-free toppings. Go Greek also serves up fresh 0%, 2%, or 10% fat fresh Greek yogurt with a plethora of nutritious toppings, fruits, superfoods, even imported gourmet Greek toppings.
The Standard Hotel Hollywood
Photo Via The Standard Hotels
Situated on the famous Sunset Strip is the hip, retro-glam boutique hotel, Standard Hollywood. With public pool hours, no need to be a guest to join in on the festivities. A $30 cover, which can be used towards drinks and food will gain you access to the blue AstroTurf engulfed pool deck.
The Mondrian Hollywood
Photo via Morgans Hotel Group
Located a few doors up from The Standard, The Mondrian LA boasts some of LA’s best views at Skybar, an open aired, ivy covered pavilion. There’s no cover but do get there early as the pool gets pretty packed. Lounge chairs are reserved for guests but make friends with a pool boy and he might snag you one with no problem. Public pool hours are 1-5pm.
The Roof on Wilshire
Photo via Kimpton Hotels
Another great spot to take in the fabulous LA views is The Roof on Wilshire. Dine here and non-hotel guests can take a little complimentary dip in the rooftop pool. Be sure to come for brunch and order the pancake lasagna. It’d best be described as a yummy gourmet McGriddle, thin layers of pancakes and sausage and maple syrupy goodness. Do be forewarned the portions are small but who needs all that food to weigh you down right before you slip on that teeny weeny bikini?
Tacos Tu Madre
Photo via Eater LA
Order upscale tacos super casual style at the walk up window of tiny mural decked Tacos Tu Madre. Black and white striped ceilings, authentic art, and large light filled windows score the restaurant extra brownie points with food enthusiasts looking for the perfect #foodporn backdrops. Get your hands on typical fillings like carne asada and grilled chicken or let your inner fancy foodie out with duck confit topped with foie gras. Whatever it is, Tacos Tu Madre has got you covered. And with weekend hours open until 3am it’s the perfect go to late night spot. If tacos aren’t your thing, satisfy your sweet tooth with an order of soft, doughy red velvet cream cheese filled churros. I promise you won’t be sorry.
Santa Monica Pier
Hosts of the Twilight Concert Series, Santa Monica Pier is the center of a plethora of activities from live music, games, fishing, to trapeze lessons, not to mention the iconic ferris wheel and roller coaster sitting atop the pier. Rent a bike and enjoy the wind blowing through your hair as you ride along the beach to Venice. A small tidbit for the natural ladies, humidity is in full effect so just know that how your hair looks when you arrive is not necessarily how you’re going to look when you leave lol.
Photo via hddonttap
This place can be a little sketch but you can’t go to LA without seeing Venice Beach for yourself. It’s sort of like The Coney Island of Cali and if you’ve been to Coney Island you know exactly what I mean. Go here on the weekends for some very interesting people watching and stop by Muscle Beach too. It’s an outdoor gym with bodybuilders on display working out and throwing in a few Channing Tatum-esque moves if you’re lucky. Along the beach you’ll also find the Venice Art Walls where street artists of Los Angeles can share their work (by permit only) in conjunction with ICU Art (In Creative Unity). Check out the Venice Beach basketball courts too, home to films like White Men Can’t Jump and American History X. Watch or partake in some of the best pick up ball around. Drop by The Venice Skate Park as well to see local skaters ripping it in the flow bowl.
Photo via Glitterati Tours
If you take a ride along the Sunset Strip, which you definitely should, try Open Table Diners’ Choice Winner Pink Taco. The bright pink and blue exterior makes it kind of hard to miss on the strip and is a frequent hotspot for celebrities. Go veggie and start with an order of the popular Pink Taco Nachos, a combo of 3 cheese blend, pink taco cheese sauce, black beans, jalapenos, pico, avocado salsa, and Mexican crema. There’s a lot of options so if you’re like me and cant make up your mind, let me help you, go for the the Lobster enchiladas. They’re just perfect with a touch of brandy-chipotle cream sauce and the grilled corn is made the way all corn should be made with some cotija cheese, a dash of chili powder, and a whole lot of chipotle mayo.