West Coast Road Trip – Day 1

Our 10 days road tripping up the West Coast was even better than we imagined.

We are going to do a post per stop so we can go in to more detail on all of our favorite stops in each city along our way up the Coast but here is the shortened version:

Los Angeles – Monterey (Stops in Big Sur)

Monterey – San Francisco (Stop in Santa Cruz)

San Francisco – Klamath (Stops at Muir Beach, Stinson Beach & Redwood Forest)

Klamath – Portland, OR (Stop at Crater Lake National Park)

Portland – Bend

First, let’s start with day one in Los Angeles. We landed early at 9:40am PST and immediately took a shuttle to our rental car location right at the airport- Budget. This was supposed to be a short process since I reserved a convertible a month in advance to be picked up at approximately 10:30am. (Yes, I plan everything to almost the minute- Courtney) Once we arrived, we were handed a number – 498. The number being called on the intercom- 392. I won’t go into exactly what I said but what the hell? Is PG enough. This is apparently standard in LA so my advice is to pay a little more for the speed pass (not positive this is the official term) or find another location outside of the airport. Probably a rookie move on our part. Two hours later, we were starving and behind schedule so not a great start. Finally after an attempt to upgrade us to a BMW convertible for only $60 more, we were ready to hit the open road in our fire red Mustang Convertible.

We headed to Venice Beach to do some people watching, grab a great West Coast IPA and head to the beach. I want to say we did some great research on a must go to restaurant but we were just ready for anything as it was about 2:30pm CST. We ended up asking a local where the closest decent place was that offered seafood. We ended up at Larry’s and both got burgers…but they were great. The beer even better. Definitely try the Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point brewed in San Diego. We apparently lucked out because it turns out this was rated the #1 bar/pub in LA. I must say that we fell in love with this little unique beach town.

After exploring Venice Beach we headed to the Santa Monica Pier. This is obviously one of the top tourist attractions in LA so it was extremely crowded. Parking is expensive $15-20 but the pier is free. We didn’t spend too much time here due to the crowds but it was fun watching the street performers and hearing about Brandon’s one year in LA and hanging in the huge arcade on the pier.

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On to experience the “real” LA, the seven lane highways that you always hear about. I was glad that Brandon was driving. Apparently, motorcycles don’t have to use lanes here so they just weave in and out of traffic going about 90 mph. It’s an experience. Once in West Hollywood, we checked in the Le Parc Suites that looks more like a three story apartment complex than a hotel. We almost passed it twice. I usually don’t comment on hotel staff but these guys were great and were overly friendly which I loved.

For those who don’t watch reality TV on Bravo you can just skip this paragraph because you won’t care where we went for drinks and appetizers. I made a reservation a SUR aka Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant (Real Housewife of Beverly Hills) aka site of Vanderpump Rules! And yes, the cast of the show really do work there well some of them. Our waitress was Kristina Kelly, one of Stassi’s best friend and to Brandon’s embarrassment; I definitely got a picture with Max Todd, Lisa Vanderpump’s adopted son. So he really is the manager. I also took the time to “go to the bathroom” and creeply checked out the entire restaurant. The drinks were great. Food was pretty much what you would expect from a reality TV show restaurant, not that great.

On to the real dinner, a local hangout restaurant in West Hollywood-  Toca Madera. I made a reservation for this restaurant as well. Side note- I would suggest doing this for any dinner in LA if you can. The wait everywhere is crazy and they have limits on how long you can be seated.

Breakfast the next day was at Urth Caffe, the best breakfast of the trip. We got there early still being on CST but we beat the crowds. Reviews say this restaurant has a line all day. This seemed to be an all local stop as well which was just fine with us. We then headed to Rodeo Drive. I don’t really suggest this stop unless you plan to do some shopping.

Our last stop in LA was the Getty Musuem. Parking is around $15 but the museum is completely free. Parking is located at the bottom of the hill with a trolley that takes you to the museum. The wait for the trolley due to the crowds was about 20-30 minutes so we opted for the 15 minute walk straight uphill to save some time.  Probably not for everyone but we saw some deer which was neat. The views at the top were amazing. The museum overlooks all of LA including downtown and the coast. The garden and the view itself is definitely a must stop for everyone but the museum is huge. I’m not even going to pretend to have seen the whole museum but we did make sure to visit the Rembrandt paintings. You could spend a whole day exploring. There are a few café’s and snack bars onsite which is convenient.

LA to Monterey, our favorite drive, on the next post. Thanks for reading!

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