Another travel diary today and after years of sharing holiday snaps I'm writing about my happy place, my favourite place on earth and somewhere I recommend to people constantly, you'll have already seen the title but today's post is all about Huntingdon Beach and Central LA/Hollywood. I've been to California twice for 2/3 week per trip and can honestly say some of my happiest memories are in California, we've stayed at the same hotel during both trips and it's the most beautiful place.
Central LA is definitely a bucket list place, not the most relaxing place on earth but the history there is amazing and you can't help feeling like every corner you turn and street you stand on was once a part of film history. I'm a huge film fan so exploring the museums and landmarks you do get a sense of movie magic. I've got another few travel diary's coming up covering Newport Beach and San Diego but today we're exploring the beautiful Huntingdon Beach, the surfers paradise, but if you're more beach than board I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised.
The hotel we stayed at is the Hyatt Regency Huntingdon Beach, you may recognise it from the 90210 TV series, but it's without a doubt the most stunning hotel I've ever stayed in and the setting could not be more idyllic. There's a private beach owned by the hotel with a bridge that leads directly over to the shorefront. This hotel feels like a little coastal village, its huge in size, has a surf shop, a few restaurants for whatever you're in the mood for, and a coffee shop. My favourite part of this hotel is the fire pits, you pick up a smokes pack from the coffee shop and spend the evening watching the sunset and toasting marshmallows in these huge comfy armchairs. Just thinking about the hours my family have spent together there gives me the warm fuzzies. The hotel is a luxury but family friendly resort and I hope to go back one day...to be continued
The attention to detail around the hotel is what makes the biggest difference, little touches like fun fruit water in reception, to the hand-painted signs outside. One of my favourite memories is all my family hiring bikes one morning and cycling up the coastline. Fun fact but I didn't learn to ride a bike till my teens and although I'm definitely not the best or most confident cyclist, riding a bike down the beach paths felt so exciting, it did help that the bikes were all gorgeous colours and came complete with a basket
Such a gorgeous sunset, completely unfiltered. The California coast is known for it's gorgeous views and Huntingdon Beach does not disappoint. The street through Huntingdon Beach are full of independent restaurants and in the evenings the streets are lined with musicians, artists and performers. There's such a relaxed vibe around the whole area, there's no need for full faces of makeup or fancy dresses which is why I love it so much, it's such a relaxing part of the world.
Central LA traffic is no joke, it has a reputation for a reason. However because of the size of LA I'd highly recommend getting a car for your trip, unless you plan on staying in one area the whole time, and with a car comes the traffic. So get yourself a decent playlist and try and enjoy the ride.
Hollywood is such a fun and busy part of LA, along just one road you can tick off so many must see sights, the Dolby Theatre (home of the oscars), the Hollywood sign, the walk of fame and the Disney El Capitan Theatre. As a tourist you've got to be careful around central Hollywood because it's a hotbed for pic-pockets, but it's got such a buzzy atmosphere it's 100% worth the trip.
If you're a Disney fan you've got to go to the El Capitan theatre, it's such a hidden part of Disney's history. This historic cinema/theatre is where every Disney film is premiered worldwide, you can see all new releases here before anywhere else! We went to see Zootopia when we went and the theatre itself is gorgeous. If you're near the El Capitan make sure to visit the ghirardelli ice cream shop next door, it's also owned by Disney as part of the theatre but I promise you you've never seen an ice cream shop with so many flavours.
As for other things to do in Central LA, it goes without saying that doing a movie lot tour is a must! Go behind the scenes at Warner Brothers studios or Sony and walk into the sets of some of the best tv shows and films of all time, we saw the sound stage where they recorded the soundtrack for jaws, The Wizard of Oz, James Bond and Finding Nemo. I'll also never forget the collective gasp from my family when we walked into a pretty plain looking building at Warner Brothers and straight into the coffee shop set from Friends, as a film and tv fan the studio tours should be your first stop. They really make the movies come to life and offer some truly special memories.
A family favourite when we're in LA is to go to the baseball! Warning the games are very very long but it's good fun and the atmosphere is well worth it.
Ok so I think that's part one done for now, I'll be back with more Central LA recommendations soon because there's just so many and we've not even touched on food yet! If any of you are heading to LA in the near future and want some more specific recommendations pop me a message on social media and I'll happily help