We had been dreaming of getting “the heck out of town” for a long holiday break for about 3 years now. It’s been hectic times with both going free lancing, buying and renovating our first own home, little miss changing school and having a heck of a hard time at it, so… lots of heavy work and adaptation going on. To top it all off, I was just simply ridiculously home sick and wanted to crawl back into my parents nest and pretend I’d never left.
But we needed SUN and as autumn is hitting Brazil, we needed to find a sunny location on our way South. After not much thinking, we decided for California. It was a first for us all so a great chance to explore a total new place just the 3 of us. US was all together a first to me and I will be honest it was not on my top travel priorities list but California was a place I always wanted to visit mostly because of it’s underground culture, arts and music culture. So we made a wild move and packed our bags to stay away from Finland for 2 whole months. And it felt scary! But nonetheless, exiting!
So here a few tips and thoughts for the ones hitting the clouds in search of the California Sun!
Venice Beach was our choice of location and we used Airbnb for accommodation bookings. Venice is wonderful and I felt like it holds the California soul. Felt like an art village with the all the best of urban lifestyle and beach life.
Abbot Kinney boulevard has just about everything and most of the best labels in the country have a presence in Venice. From restaurants, coffee shops, sustainable designer stores, vintage shops, bars and what not. It’s beautiful, bright and very laid back!
People were always friendly and happy to help.
Kids friendly Airbnb accommodation walking distance from the beach.
Electric scooters for rent all over town that work on a app for the days you felt like going a little bit further (or for those times when your kid refuses to walk that extra mile).
Large variety of organic food restaurants.
All the Mexican food.
Curated collection of beautiful sustainable designer stores from Scandi to Boho and stylish surfer stores.
Customer service hit the very high standards.
Smoking cigarettes is forbidden nearly everywhere – the reason? To keep the beach clean from the buds.
Boardwalk boulevard is filled with underground art from early morning to late evening.
Muscle beach is actually pretty cool and has lots of gymnastic gear you are free to play with as you wish and you get to see circus artists doing their daily practice at any given time.
There is more clean white sand than one can wish for.
If you are in to skateboarding, you basically hit paradise.
EAT & DRINK
Besides our Scandinavian beloved AESOP, I stumbled across a bunch of sustainable designer shops but my number 1 favourite was LELABO store. With its own small in-store lab, wabisabi lounge and the coolest photo booth to play with. Which kids will go crazy for.
AIRBNB didn’t disappoint and we got super comfortable accommodations on a great budget.
CARMEL & PISMO BEACH
On our Road trip towards San Francisco, our number one favourite place was Carmel beach. Majestic is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the place. The city is famous not only for it’s clear white sandy beach but also for its lovely hobbit style houses. Pismo Beach is just a fantastic nature scenery.
MONTERAY, STA. BARBARA & STA. CRUZ were beautiful and definitely worth the visit but we kept it into our memory files as we had a tight schedule. But if you are into wine and/or is a fan of the movie sideways you will love the road through the vineyards and if you have time, you should stop for one of the many wine tasting spots along the road.
Downtown LA is pretty intense but we loved it too and quite frankly can’t wait to come back.
PS – when in LA, eat avocados! Lots of it… hands down the best avocados I’ve ever eaten!