Our anniversary trip to L.A. last week was everything we could have dreamed of. Here’s a list of highlights from our stay.
Avalon Beverly Hills. This is our second time staying here. Before a trip I map out all the places we want to go and eat and explore and we base the area we stay in on “majority rules.” Beverly Hills tends to be the best spot for us because it puts us in walking distance of the things we’ll frequent most and since we indulge on trips like this, daily walks are essential. I love that this hotel feels elevated and has everything we need while not being a billion dollars a night like the other hotels in the area.
I only have a couple photos of outfits because it just wasn’t “that type of trip.” I never got fancy, stayed totally comfortable and myself the entire time and often just threw on a quick outfit to go for a walk or bike to grab a meal and those outfits certainly don’t need documenting. What did get worn and packed in the suitcase are my go-to comfortable, reliable staples that receive compliments while feeling almost like pajamas and also feel the most “me.”
I got this cashmere sweater in Rome and it’s been a fun thing to whip out every now and then. It feels like actual butter and I wear a short sleeve shirt or tank underneath so I’m ready for blistering heat and air-conditioning alike. The one-two punch. I’ve only been wearing two pairs of jeans (I talk more in depth about my denim situation here) and this is my favorite pair of blue jeans right now. Poor things aren’t getting a break.
This bag, friends. Oh this beautiful bag. So many of you asked about it and here it is-tried and tested. At any given time it was stuffed with my small camera, giant wallet, snacks, vitamins, pens, water and more. I’m amazed at how much it’s able to store and I’ve had my eye on this brand for a while but this shape was the one that sold me. It was a Mother’s Day gift and is my first purse in this color. I can’t recommend this beauty enough and would say it’s 100% worth the investment. You can find it here.
I wore this cashmere sweater I always travel with my favorite leggings for the flight there and back AND two days in between. I wasn’t prepared for that L.A. chill! It’s my oldest and coziest sweater and they no longer sell the exact same one but I’ll share similar grey cashmere staples. These white jeans are the best ever made, hands down, the end.
Urth. We walked or biked here for breakfast three times in our six day stay. I love the coconut milk decaf honey latte, an egg white omelette with bell peppers and red onions and the house potatoes with olive oil and no butter. sometimes a side of bacon made the plate. SO. GOOD. It’s clean and I love knowing I’ve started the day off on the best foot.
Sqirl. This is famous for a reason. It’s such a small space inside and theres a line wrapped around the building but trust me–it’s worth it. The coffee, juices, and every single thing on the menu are phenomenal! And again, wherever we eat needs to be friendly for a gluten free and vegan diet and they passed the test with flying colors. I got the frittata, the tumeric-millet “cereal” and organic bacon. I then had the exact same breakfast delivered via Postmates for our last day. O got the buckwheat pancakes, the toast with jam and the granola and raved about each thing giving them 10/10.
Erin McKenna Bakery. This is a tradition for us that when we land in L.A. we order doughnuts from here and have them delivered to the hotel just waiting for us to arrive. It’s the best decision you’ll ever make. This bakery is 100% gluten free and vegan which is so comforting and special for us. I don’t typically eat any grains, but when I travel I usually make one or two exceptions for baked goods that are ‘gluten-free’ rather than my usual ‘grain-free.’ The doughnuts are absolutely delicious and the thin mint cookie is so light and delectable you’ll have a hard time just eating one. (My order is one chocolate doughnut and one mint cookie. O’s order is ridiculous…lets just call it a tasting platter)
Pressed Juicery. I miss California so much every time I taste a juice of freeze from pressed. The freeze is so delicious- I get ‘chocolate’ (almond, dates, sea salt, cacao) with extra almond butter.
Cafe Gratitude. The butternut squash risotto and raw kelp noodle pad thai from here are wonderful. I had the kelp noodle pad thai twice and came home looking for recipes to make it myself. I can tell this is going to be new favorite lunch around here.
The Butchers Daughter. This restaurant focuses on wellness and is 100% vegetarian. I got the number 10 juice, the ginger wellness shot and had a custom dairy-free gluten-free pizza made. It was so yummy, guys. O got the pear and fig jam pizza with dairy-free cheese, the ‘crab’ cakes and the eggplant lasagna. He said everything was absolutely perfect. This isn’t a place you want to order Postmates from-it’s just way too beautiful and it’s on Abbot Kinney Blvd which is one of the best shopping streets around. Wander, linger, enjoy.
Sweet Laurel Bakery. I’ve talked many times before about my love for this dairy-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free bakery. I’ve baked from their cookbook at least three times a month since getting it last year and it has changed my perspective on restrictive eating. Being able to stop into the bakery, eat a slice of cake I didn’t have to bake and drink a latte that I didn’t have to worry about was a blessing I can’t quite describe the enormity of. If you’re anywhere near the bakery, pay a visit. My order is a slice of chocolate caramel cake and a collagen cinnamon latte. I did order their brownies on Postmates and they were so good that the day I returned home, I made them myself. Recipe here.
Other favorites we didn’t visit this time around but love are Gracias Madre (a 100% vegan and natural restaurant that makes the best Mexican food in all the land) and Alfred Coffee.
We didn’t do much this trip. While planning I like to decide what the intention of the trip is. Is it for exploring? Adventure? Rest? This one was for rest and recharge and we did just that. That being said, these are the things we did and would recommend:
Olive & June manicure/pedicure: I got SO many questions about this little nail salon. It’s the best in the country in our books and we love walking there from Urth Cafe or the hotel and its a 100% guarantee O will fall asleep. They just created their own natural nail polish line I can’t wait to get my hands on.
Walk. Walk everywhere you can. I always visit lots of favorite shops but didn’t purchase a single thing this trip aside from our “we were away” gifts for the kids which is a fun tradition in every city we visit.
We went to Santa Monica to visit our friend and ended up spending a whole afternoon sitting at her kitchen table and talking. We didn’t explore whatsoever, but those times are much more special to me than more wandering would be.
I love going to The Grove late at night to get some Freeze which is always refreshing and delicious. We then wander into Barnes and Noble and choose a stack of magazines or books to just unwind with. It’s a nice simple evening that never lets us down.
We made a quick visit to Venice Beach just to walk around at sunset. O has been wanting to exercise and play on the outdoor gym so we had it all to ourselves.
What are some of your L.A favorites? I already can’t wait to head back, but next time we’ll be sure to have the kids in tow.
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Loved this article. I’m in California at least twice a year and plan to visit some of the spots you said are definitely worth a visit. Thanks for sharing!
Please tell me where you go so I can live vicariously through you!