This post has been 6 months in the making but I’m finally getting around to talking about a little staycation I had with my husband and in laws back in January. I love writing travel posts but they tend to be a little time consuming so they unfortunately get pushed to the back burner. I have lots of fun ones to catch up on so if you like travel posts, stay tuned! Here’s my breakdown of the first of many weekend getaway guides.
I am calling this guide #1 because there is way too much in Los Angeles to contain in one post so this will be an ongoing series in the future.
Where We Stayed: Hotel Indigo (Downtown)
We had a wonderful stay at Hotel Indigo, the customer service was great and the design of the hotel was beautiful and unique. The best part of the hotel is definitely 18 Social, the rooftop bar with amazing views of Los Angeles. One of the best parts of this hotel is that it is very close to LA Live and the Staples Center. If those are attractions you are traveling to, this is a great location to stay at.
Must Visit Spot for Drinks: Clifton’s
It’s hard to describe Clifton’s, it is something that is better seen with your own eyes, but I will do my best to convey it through words and photos. Cliftons has a lot of history. It is the world’s largest public cafeteria and the Forest Glen dining hall is said to have inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyland. There are so many nooks and crannies throughout the cafeteria it is hard to absorb them all. There are different areas known as The Marketplace, The Monarch, The Brookdale, the Gothic Bar and the Pacific Seas. These are all different areas with their own unique personalities and decor. The Pacific Seas was my favorite because I’m obsessed with tiki bars and this isn’t just a regular tiki bar, it’s a secret tiki bar! You have to look for the secret passageway to access the bar which makes it even more exciting. Clifford Clifton created his Pacific Seas bar well before Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic so this is a true classic to visit if you are a tiki fan. We didn’t eat at Clifton’s but I can definitely recommend the drinks, there is something for everyone there. I recommend going in the early evening before it gets too busy so you can really take your time to see all of the details.
Getting to see a show at the legendary Viper Room was another huge bucket list moment for me. I should mention, that you will probably only love it here if you are a huge music fan or a history buff. I’m not going to say that it has universal appeal, but if you are interested in really seeing the music history of the Sunset Strip, you will love this place. First of all, the people who were at the Viper Room were some of the nicest people we have ever met. Everyone who works there is so gracious and friendly. Most of them have worked there for a very long time and they take great pride in the venue which I love. If you aren’t familiar with the Viper Room, here is a quick backstory. The venue was opened in 1993 by Johnny Depp and Sal Jenco. It quickly became a hangout for the Hollywood it crowd and although it is famously known as the spot where River Pheonix died, there is so much more to it than that. It has hosted performances by Tom Petty and Johnny Cash and has cemented itself as one of the most well known spots in the L.A. music scene. I can’t recommend it enough.
Next up when you’re finished at the Viper Room is a stop at the Rainbow Bar and Grill, or as the locals call it, The Rainbow. The Rainbow was founded in 1972 and hosted a party for Elton John on its opening night. It is a multi level building with the lower level housing a restaurant and a bar, dance floor and DJ booth upstairs. The building itself has a lot of history as well, before it was the Rainbow it was a restaurant called Villa Nova which was where Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio met.
This place also quickly became a celebrity hangout and was best known for being filled with rock royalty. Frequent visitors included Keith Moon, Alice Cooper, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Motley Crue, Poison, Guns N’ Roses and many many more. Again, not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re a rock fan, it’s pretty exciting. I highly recommend the mozzarella sticks, my husband and I love them!
Where to Brunch: Chateau Marmont
Visiting the Chateau Marmont was a major bucket list item for me and something that has evaded me for the past nine years since we moved to California. I was so excited to see the history with my own eyes and the hotel did not disappoint. I highly recommend the brunch too! The food was fantastic, the atmosphere was upscale yet mellow and the design can’t be beat. Next up on my bucket list is to spend a night in this landmark of Hollywood history!
Where to Spend Your Sunday: The Melrose Trading Post
I’ve been coming to the Melrose Trading Post for years to source products for design projects and my own home and to look for fun and unique gifts. This is one of my all time favorite places and is somewhat of a hidden gem. Open every Sunday from 9-5 on the campus of Fairfax High School, the merchandise here is constantly changing so you never know what new treasures you might encounter! My favorite things to pick up here are vintage records, band tees, repurposed clothing, handmade candles and eclectic home goods.
So there you have it, my first weekend guide to L.A! Let me know what your favorite L.A. spots are in the comments below!