Over Labor Day Weekend, I travelled to Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles has long been a place that has piqued my interest. The glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the beautiful coastal climate, the juxtaposition of mountains to beaches, and of course, the off chance of running into a celebrity!

This trip marked my first ever experience traveling further west than St. Louis! Needless to say, I booked a window seat on the flight to LAX. I was fascinated by the changing topography as we traveled further and further west.

The group I was traveling with had already visited LA many times before and were not terribly interested in doing all the touristy stuff again. Fortunately for me, they entertained my requests and we spent the first day of our trip checking out several iconic Los Angeles sights to satisfy my needs as a first-time LA visitor.

Madelyn 1

Our Airbnb was located just a few blocks from Venice Beach, which is an interesting place to say the least. We spent one afternoon adventuring a few miles along the boardwalk from Venice Beach to the iconic Santa Monica Pier. I have seen the pier in so many movies and TV shows, so it was exciting to see it in person. Electric scooters are EVERYWHERE in Los Angeles, which we took advantage of for our journey back home to Venice Beach.

Madelyn 2

The following day was spent hiking Paseo Miramar. Let’s just say this was no Indiana hike… Paseo Miramar is a rather exhausting hike straight up a mountain, but the view at the top is marvelous… or so I was told. When we reached the top of the mountain, I was expecting to see a breathtaking view of Southern California’s coastline. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The cloud coverage blocked the entire view of the water! Nevertheless, we had great fun enjoying the beautiful weather and we did at least get a nice view of the valley. After the strenuous effort of hiking up and down a mountain, we treated ourselves to a snack at In-N-Out, a burger joint on the west coast that I have long wanted to try! And I must say, the burgers lived up to the hype!

Los Angeles is large and sprawling, making it impossible to squeeze everything into a long weekend. I am thankful for the time I spent in Los Angeles, but I have already made a list of activities and sights to see for my next trip to the Golden State!