LA is a huge city. Allie and I have been slowly trying to see as much of it as possible before we head back home to Canada. This trip we decided to check out what the South Bay area had to offer.
South Bay is located in the south west corner of LA and gets it’s name from the Santa Monica Bay.
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at the amazing Aloft in El Segundo. This hotel is located super close to the LAX airport, so is a perfect stop if you are flying into or out of LA.
Immediately walking into the lobby I was impressed. Aloft is super modern feeling with a very fun and friendly vibe. As soon as you walk in you can see the hotel bar W XYZ, a pool table and board games.
We loved our room. It was really spacious and from the 8th-floor, we had a great view of the pool area. The decor was really modern and it was super clean. I loved the big bean bag chair that was part of the decor.
We were in LA in the middle of a heat wave so we spent lots of time lounging by the pool.
They also had plenty of in-room coffee, and options for espresso downstairs. A must for Allie!
Sadly, there was a power outage lasting most of our stay. Thankfully, when the power went out Sunday night, the hotel moved us over to the adjacent Marriott hotel.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
The Butcher’s Daughter
Our hotel in El Segundo was just a short drive from Venice Beach where we decided to go for brunch on Saturday. The Butcher’s Daughter had been highly recommended to us by many locals and it did not disappoint. We did have to wait 45 minutes for a table but Abbott Kinney Blvd in Venice makes the perfect street to wander to kill time.
The Butcher’s Daughter is a plant based vegetarian restaurant and describes itself as a “vegetable slaughter house”. The perfect spot for two veggie ladies like us to grab food.
Allie and I shared an acai bowl and vegan almond croissant for breakfast. Allie got a delicious (and pretty) matcha latte to drink while I got a flight of four of their fresh pressed juices.
I found out about Abigaile from a magazine I was reading while in our hotel room without power. (No power meant to tv or wifi access which was hard for millennials like us). Reading about it must have been fate because this was one of the best brunch spots I have ever been to.
We were lucky enough to get a table on the patio without a wait (again, fate right?) and we enjoyed the sunshine since it will be fall when we get back to Halifax. We decided to splurge and have bottomless mimosas since we Ubered and Allie didn’t have to drive anywhere. This turned out to be a great choice. We had such a good time chatting and sipping our drinks in the California sunshine.
As for food, we had a vegetable frittata and monkey bread. Both were super tasty and I need to figure out their monkey bread recipe. It was like the yummiest, sweetest dessert pastry ever topped with fresh peaches.
Kreation Organic Juicery
We found Kreation just by luck when we went for a drive down Main St in El Segundo. They have such a wide variety of fresh cold pressed organic juices and organize them by their properties. Cold pressed juices have much higher nutritional value because heat can destroy many nutrients and enzymes. All juices contain no preservative and use local ingredients. These juices are all super good for you and taste great (they have samples!).
All juices come in glass bottles which you can return for your $1 deposit after you drink your juice. Yay for recycling and fewer toxins from plastic bottles!!
W XYZ Bar
W XYZ is the super cool bar in the lobby of Aloft Hotel. It makes the perfect place in El Segundo to grab a drink and some bar snacks even if you’re not a hotel guest. They even have live music on weekends! Personally, Allie and I love to play board games while we have drinks but we can get quite competitive. They had a great selection of games to pick from. We played Uno, checkers and Battleship (all of which I managed to lose…).
WHAT TO DO
Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier is such an iconic spot on the LA landscape. It didn’t feel right to go to California and not see it at least once. This was an interesting experience let me tell you. The area is super cool. I loved seeing the theme park on the pier and all of the street performers. The beach was absolutely littered with people trying to escape the heat wave that had encased all of LA. The people were a different breed than any I had encountered before and the crowds were massive. I am a very anxious and nervous person for the most part so I was pretty scared. I was pretty relieved when Allie didn’t want to stay longer and we could retreat back to a quieter area to explore.
Venice – Abbott Kinney Blvd
We mainly went to Venice to grab food from The Butcher’s Daughter, but I am so glad we found this street. It was jam packed with cool places to eat, shop, or grab a drink. I’m so glad that I have good self-control when it comes to shopping because I wanted to buy just about everything.
Also, take the time to appreciate the amazing street art in the area. The murals are breathtaking!
Hermosa Beach and Pier
Hermosa Beach is such a cool little area and I am so glad we went. We were there on Labour Day weekend when there just so happened to be a massive farmers market happening. We had a lovely time exploring the stalls and listening to the tunes after we had left brunch at Abigaile.
The California coast is jam packed with piers. I feel like every coastal city or town we have been to so far has had a pier or two. The pier in Hermosa beach, however, is my all time favourite. First, the pier itself is made out of concrete instead of wood which for some reason I liked walking a lot more. This might have had to do with me not worrying the whole time about dropping my phone between the cracks. There also wasn’t any large buildings at the end of this pier. It made the walk out and back a lot more scenic with nothing clogging up the view.
I’m so sad that our time in California is winding down. I feel like there is still so much left to see!