For my Dad's 50th we planned a trip of a lifetime which involved a roadtrip from Los Angles to Las Vegas and a sneaky stop over in Orlando! My family and I spent 3 days in LA and I'm going to tell you all about it.
If you are planning a trip to the city of angles being completely honest 3-4 days is enough to get all the main attractions done.
We stayed in a Best Western in Rodendo Beach which was clean and comfortable and the local was central to all the main areas. We also hired a care which is something I would rate as a necessity if you do intend on visiting. Driving is not as bad as you would think.
Things to do for free
Universal Studios and Disney are also there for you adventurers!
If you do Univesal Studios MAKE SURE to check out the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter. Even if you are not a Potter fan it is truly amazing! And the rides are awesome!
High up in the Los Angles Hills is a little gem that is the Griffith Observatory. It is a must see and no photos or postcards do it justice. At the summit you get to experience panaromic views of the entire city and suburbs. You also get a fantastic view of the Hollywood sign.
There are some lovely nature walks throughout the hills from the Observatory, just make sure to wear comfy shoes! You can trek up to it, however I recommend the car as it is a steep climb. Take a walk around the site and you can also watch the sun setting from different points around the Observatory itself.
You don't want to miss this spot!
A little bit of paradise!
The only definition that describes how incredible beautiful Malibu Beach is. If ever you get the opportunity to go there just sit on the rocks and listen to the peace and calm of the ocean waves crawling up to white sand beaches.
A long winded way of saying it is simply amazing. One of my bucket list items was to place my feet in the Pacific Ocean and Malibu was the only place I wanted to do it.
If you want a more lively scene - Santa Monica Pier is a lively area with found and amusements fit for all ages. It is a lovely beach to watch the sunset on and you can also play some volleyball on one of the endless number of courts on the beach.
It really is one extreme to the other.
LA really has a lot to offer and you can tick off alot of the main tourist attractions in a couple of days. It's a relaxed city with nice food, gorgeous beaches and amazing scenery. Don't think twice and just book it!
Until next time
After weeks of patiently waiting I finally traveled to Amsterdam last Thursday for a short city break in this wonderfully strange place. Here is the adventures I got up to over the 3 day period...
Arriving late Thursday evening the gang and I caught a train to our hotel, checked into our rooms and headed straight for the city centre. We stayed in the Meininger Hotel which was in a great location and only one short train stop to the city centre. We grabbed some food along Dam Street and decided to stroll around for a while. Being the typical tourists, we unintentionally found ourselves in the Red Light District which was an experience in itself. There are really no words to describe how strange and unique this area is. It is the heart of Amsterdam and most of the restaurants and shops are located here. Venture in at your own risk as you are sure to come across some 'peculiar' sights! This picture was taken late in the evening and the red lights looked very pretty reflecting in the canal.
Friday saw us get on the Hop on Hop off Bus early in the day to see what this city had to offer. I highly recommend doing this as it was such good value (we got both the bus and boat ticket for €20) and it stops at the the tourist hot spots, along with receiving a detailed history of certain areas throughout the city. Our first stop and possible the most fun one was the Amsterdam Ice Bar - labelled the 'coolest place in Amsterdam'. It was €17.50 entry to the bar which included a cocktail (worth €8.50) and two drinks in the freezer itself. It was such a fun and memorable experience and considering you got three drinks, it was very reasonable in my opinion. Be prepared to freeze though!
After a refreshing few drinks we made our way towards the iconic 'I AMSTERDAM' sign. This area is perfect for all the art junkies out there as all the major museums such as Van Gogh are located here. It was about 3pm when we got to the sign and the crowd was fairly manic! It is hard to get a decent picture with all the people but it is worth a visit. There were people climbing all over it and under it and squeezing into all the nooks of the sign. We managed to get a spot in the 'M' and also risked our lives in a bicycle lane to get a decent selfie! Something I wouldn't recommend as some cyclists get very angry when you get in their way!!
A minor fault for the day was when we went to the 'Anne Frank Huis' where Anne Frank and her family hid during the Second World War. We had intended on doing the tour of the house but upon arrive the queue was CRAZY (at least 200 people waiting) so we decided to leave it and get onto the Canal Cruise for the evening. If you did want to do this I would suggest booking tickets well in advance as it seemed to be a similar problem for many tourist going by Tripadvisor reviews. I would have liked to have done it but I wasn't waiting that long.
Saturday was an eventful day to say the least. We decided to rent bikes for the day and do as the locals do and cycle around the city. If you have ever been to Amsterdam or intend on going it's worth noting that cycling is the main mode of transport for most people. Cars often give way to cyclists which led to a confusing start on our expedition! Once we got the hang of it we were flying around. It is definitely a great way to see the city, if you're brave enough to try it! Out of all the things we came across over the few days this was my most memorable and enjoyable experience and I'm truly glad I can say I cycled around Amsterdam... And survived!!!
Saturday evening we took a trip to Dam Square and ventured into Madame Tussaud's. Tickets for this attraction were €20 and to be honest I did feel it was a little over priced. It did pass an hour though and we did enjoy it.
Overall Amsterdam did not disappoint! It is a place like no other and I highly recommend a visit to this strange and wonderful city. Most of the city's attractions are reasonably priced and dining was also inexpensive. The city has something for everyone from the history lover to the art junkie to the party animal. It is a place that should be on everybody's Bucket List!
I hope you enjoyed reading my adventures in Amsterdam and if you plan on making a trip there hopefully you found some of this information useful.
Until next time,