Last weekend I wrapped up a month in California with a girls weekend in LA. I had been staying in Oakland when two of my best friends, with detours to Santa Barbara for my brother’s graduation, a family camping trip in Big Sur, a weekend in Mendocino, a road trip along Route 395, and random days in San Francisco. By the end of the trip I was excited for warmer weather (at 60-degree temps in June Oakland was too cold for me!), and Brianna had a few places she wanted to check out for wedding dresses. It was the perfect girly weekend, full of cocktails and brunches and beautiful lace dresses. If you’re planning a girls trip to LA anytime soon, read on for a few places you cannot miss.
Cocktails at the Beverly Wilshire–After a morning watching Brianna model the most stunning dresses at Panache, high-end drinks at a high-end hotel in a high-end location seemed fitting. Sipping a summery concoction of strawberries champagne while sitting in the sun watching shoppers on Rodeo Drive was fabulous.
Just landed and am starving! Dreaming of this amazing brunch yesterday. This is an avocado studded with a poached egg and wrapped in bacon. Yes, it tasted as incredible as it sounds. If you're in LA definitely check out Estrella. The peanut butter toast, poached eggs, breakfast wrap, and many luxurious latte flavors were fantastic as well.
Brunch at Estrella–This goes down as one of the best brunches I’ve ever had. The place is airy and quirky and exactly what you would expect from a trendy brunch spot in California. There are comfortable couches, cool artwork, wood accents, and an overall elegant beach vibe. Every single thing on the menu looked amazing, so we settled on almost all of it. We started with coffee, and even that was a challenge with things like crème brulée cappucinos and s’mores lattes on the menu. I went with French press coffee, because I really can’t mess with anything other than black coffee first thing in the morning, but others were more adventurous. Next we had the cheese board. Amazing, but what cheese board isn’t? Finally, we ordered at least half the menu. Eggs Benedict served over potato cakes instead of bread, a breakfast wrap which was much larger and more elaborate than it sounded on the menu, breakfast potatoes to share, peanut butter and banana toast for the table, and finally, the Rolling Stone. On recommendation from our very patient waiter, that was my final order. It’s an avocado stuffed with a poached egg and wrapped in bacon, served with tomatoes and queso fresco on the side. All of my favorite flavors in one bite. We all walked away feeling very happy and very full, and with vows to come back every time we’re in LA.
Hollywood–It’s touristy, but it’s fun. Stroll the Walk of Fame and take photos with the stars of your favorite celebrities, and stop for a drink at the Roosevelt Hotel like you’re a star yourself. Even on an almost 100 degree day the hotel’s garden bar was cool and refreshing.
Ok LA, you've changed my mind. I kind of love you. ❤️💛💚💙💜 A little sad to be leaving California after six weeks of exploring what feels like almost the entire state with the most amazing people (@briannabobora @jennigrubba @stevesunderland @robbie_dutch thank you so, so much for everything! ) but also so excited for the next adventure! Heading to @flylaxairport to catch the red eye to Miami. 😴✈️ #coasttocoast
Venice Beach and Abbott Kinney Blvd.–Sure Venice Beach is cheesy and oftentimes cringeworthy, but that’s part of the allure. Walk by Muscle Beach and ogle the guys working out in public (then muse over what possesses someone to actually want to work out for an audience), hang on the beach for a bit, then make your way to Abbott Kinney Blvd. I love this street! If I lived in LA, I would live here. It’s full of great coffee shops and bakeries, clothing boutiques, and other random shops full of things you don’t need but will become convinced you do (like the table of books and gifts at Urban Outfitters). We stumbled into the Artists & Fleas market, where we ended up buying dresses from a Smak Parlor sample sale, and Brianna tried on more dresses at Solstice Bridal, which is one of the most inviting bridal shop spaces I’ve seen. Finally, we had dinner, which leads me to my last highlight.
Dinner at The Butcher’s Daughter–This all vegetarian (with tons of vegan options) restaurant bills itself as a “vegetable slaughter house.” I’m not a vegetarian, but like inventive food, and I left feeling extremely satisfied. The pizza had a perfectly crisp crust, and all of the pastas were devoured with wide eyes of wonder. It was SO good.
This was such a fun girl’s weekend and the perfect way to end my time in the Golden State. Brianna and I have been travel partners forever, from studying abroad in Jordan to an 8-month backpacking trip, to Iceland last year. There’s something special about friends you can travel with and not get sick of, and I feel especially lucky to have the opportunity to travel with different groups of girlfriends all the time, and that no matter where we’ve all moved over the years travel brings us together again.
If you’re headed to LA anytime soon I hope you check out some of these spots! What are some of your girls weekend essentials or must-dos? Any cities you think are the best for a girls weekend getaway? Let me know! I’m always planning my next trip…