Three days in California will surely make a midwest girl smile for weeks! I usually work with a friend, Greg @ Jaffe Inc., two days a week. On occasion, we produce a gala, we create and produce corporate videos, and other times we get to film or photograph musicians. This particular event brought us to Los Angeles and was surreal. We had the amazing opportunity to film the one and only Ringo Starr at the Greek theater. The theater, the setting, and the artist were all iconic!
The Greek Theater & Ringo Starr
3rd Street Promenade
The day before the concert, we visited the Santa Monica Pier. We parked on 3rd street right by Demitasse. I feel like this is the best place to park. The price for parking was reasonable, and you’re just steps away from the most delicious cup of coffee. With coffee in hand, we then walk down the 3rd Street Promenade. This downtown area has excellent shopping, beautiful topiaries, and full of entertaining street performers.
Santa Monica Pier
After walking through the downtown area, we finally made our way to the pier. We arrived early enough to catch the sunset. The dock is also full of things to do for all ages. They have an incredible amusement park area, dining, street vendors, and street performers. The pier is booming with life, and it amazes me that it is over 100 years old. The list of movies and music videos filmed here is endless.
If you make it to the end of the pier, you can grab a bite to eat at Marisol. This little restaurant has incredible views of the pier, the beach, and the ocean. I have to say, and their guacamole is pretty fantastic too! We then made our way back to the Promenade to do some shopping before calling it a day. The pier is a bit crowded, and it makes more sense to save the shopping until the end.
Palihotel Westwood Village
The Palihotel Westwood Village was an incredible find. This hotel is relatively new and located in the heart of everything we needed to do. The staff was the best, and so were the rooms. They offered a beautiful spread of fruits, sweet rolls, infused water, and a coffee bar. I also got a kick from their marketing materials; it was super cute and clever. We got a lot of great tips on places to visit from the desk clerk Isaiah. I can’t wait to go back to this hotel!
On our last day in California, we ventured off to see Catalina Island. We took the ferry in the morning and arrived at the island about an hour later. The island looks like a place straight out of a dream! It is beautiful and full of things to do. It’s hard to believe that this was the training grounds for the Chicago Cubs back in the day! Our first stop was the Bluewater Avalon. The restaurant has excellent views of the ocean and had a nice selection of gluten-free and dairy-free items. Win, win! Since we only had a day to explore the island, we rented a golf cart to see as much of the island as possible. You can rent the carts by the hour, and the rental company provides you with a map of where to go. This golf cart adventure made it a lot easier to see the main hot spots and to take amazing pictures. The island has every water activity imaginable along with golf, zip-lining, and other super fun activities. On this trip, we only focused on relaxing, shopping, and eating. We did, however, rent a few beach chairs and enjoyed watching the people soaking in the sun. Dinner was at the Avalon Grille, by far the cutest and most delicious restaurant on this trip. I can’t rave about it enough.
If you plan a visit to California, let me know where you’re going or where your favorite spot to visit is. I looooove hearing all about travel and especially love great tips and suggestions. It makes the experience all the better!
Here is a fun little printable of California. I like to use these as a place marker in my camera roll or as a starting picture once you arrive at your destination. Enjoy!