Sightseeing In Los Angeles

10 Unforgettable Experiences In Los Angeles For The Bold Adventurer

Sightseeing has never been so exhilarating when you're in the City of Angels.

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"Everything is just better in California - the wine, the food, fruits and vegetables, the comforts of living. Even the instrumentalists are generous and curious. Everything is wonderful." - Beth Anderson

It's true, California is one of the world's hottest spots. It has beautiful skylines, delectable food, and endless breathtaking sights to see. Everything seems better when you're visiting the City of Angels! Last year I took my first trip there and it was the most amazing vacation I've ever had, full of constant adventure. If you get the chance, explore the city and try some new things while you're there. Here are the highlights from my visit that might help you get an idea of where to start on your venture!

1. Explore the thrills dotted around the Santa Monica Pier

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You'll find talented street performers balancing dishes on their heads, dancers showing off their best moves, and if you're lucky, you might find an adorable grandpa playing Titanic songs on his violin. Despite how cliché, I found all the lights and energy to be electrically intoxicating. Pro tip: ride the giant merry-go-round right at twilight and wait to walk on the beach as the sun sets.

2. Gain perspective while gazing at the skyline

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One of the most humbling things is working hard for something. Find a place where you can climb to the top to view the sparkling skyline of Los Angeles. Even better, make the trip with a knapsack that holds a new novel to start once you finish your journey to the top. It puts a new meaning to such great heights.

3. Discover new tastes at Grand Central Market

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Grand Central Market is like sampling a taste of everything LA has got to offer! The bustling market is packed full of people trying to grab a treat and savoring the delicious smells. It's got it all, from fresh fish to craft beer to delicate pastries. You won't regret stepping into this 1917 established blast from the past.

4. Enjoy a tour of The Walt Disney Concert Hall

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Even if you don't actually go inside the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, walk past it to experience the breath-taking architecture. The grand, sweeping movement of the building is structurally unique. The interior is also impressive, containing Disney's famous acoustic auditorium. If you travel outside, take time to check out the amazing view of downtown.

5. Admire the unconventional artwork at The Broad

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The Broad is well-known for the innovative exterior and the 250 original pieces on display inside. The art history buff in me felt like a kid in a candy shop. Most famous for featuring artists that work outside the box, the exhibit contains a table and chairs fit for a giant, a statue of Michael Jackson with his pet monkey, and so much more to get excited about.

6. Visit The Witch's House in Beverly Hills

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If you're a fan of Halloween and all things quirky and spooky, check out the Spadena House that features Storybook architecture designed by Hollywood director Harry Oliver! Originally built in 1921, the quintessential house has been featured in the movie 'Clueless' and is well known in Beverly Hills as the Hansel and Gretel house. While you're in the area, take a walk down to the famous Beverly Hills Park to feel extra fancy.

7. Venture around Venice Beach

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Venice Beach is like a magical world where everything is amplified, the sounds, the colors, the artwork, and the energy is hypnotic. One of my favorite memories from this trip comes from renting the bikes and taking off down the strip, viewing the artists working on murals and riding out to the crashing waves right at sunset. If you have a GoPro, hook it up to your handlebars!

8. Stuff your face at Smorgasburg

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If you're a foodie, you will NOT want to miss America's largest open-air food market! 100 local vendors pack in to cook their specialty dishes and serve to as many as 20,000-30,000 people on Sunday afternoons. You can't find food this delicious all in the same place anywhere else! Just make sure you don't eat anything the night before so you have plenty of room to try a little of everything!

9. Tromp around Little Tokyo

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Little Tokyo is a cultural delight. It has beautiful lanterns dotted everywhere, amazing food on every corner, and tons of traditional Lucky cats and trinkets to charm all! Inner 13-year-old weeb in me felt like I was walking through the streets of Japan as I explored the Weller Court Light Tunnel, manga stores and tried the fresh sushi. The Japanese American National Museum is also worth a visit when you're in the area!

10. Appreciate the Arts District

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Art lovers will relish every mural and sidewalk graffiti as they stroll through east downtown L.A. A popular place to casually explore, this hip spot celebrates local artists through a series of colorful walls. Attracting professionals and dreamers, this is a perfect location to fuel your creative soul.

Currently, I'm sitting in my little apartment in Charlotte wishing I could be back in Cali sipping on red wine and watching the sunset over the horizon on Venice beach. Maybe you can take a trip soon and I can live vicariously through you until my next excursion to the west coast!

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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9 Things To Do In Nashville If You Have No Idea What To Do

Trust me, I was just as lost as you are.

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Nashville is a great place packed full of lots of really cool smaller great places that all offer their own unique take on the city. If you're like me, though, and have a hard time ~planning ahead~, then this list is exactly what you need. I went around and got lost and tried all the coolest hidden gems in Nashville so you don't have to. Here are some of my faves.

1. Milk & Honey Nashville

Located in the Gulch, Milk & Honey is the coffee shop/cafe from my dreams. It's decorated perfectly for any cute insta story and y'all when I say their coffee is amazing I mean it. Try it. It's so worth it, and pretty easy to find, too! You can browse their menus here.

2. Frothy Monkey Coffee Shop

While we're on the topic of coffee shops, Frothy Monkey is a MUST try. Trust me, I've drunk A LOT of coffee in my lifetime, and theirs is up in the top 10 of the best. They have other good things too, but if you're a coffee person like me, this place is heaven, I promise. It's right off 12th Avenue and within walking distance of lots of other funky little shops.

3. Two Old Hippies

This is the coolest little shop you will ever go into. Tucked away in the Gulch, it's within walking distance of Milk & Honey, so stop by after you grab a coffee and browse. They have everything from handmade clothes to cool books to refrigerator magnets. This is one of my all time favorites and I know you'll love it too.

4. Baked on 8th

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I fell in love the second I saw the cute sign. Baked on 8th has a great atmosphere and even better little pastries, cookies, and cakes. Their cookies were so good it took every ounce of self-control I had to not go back and order 2 dozen. 12/10 would recommend if you're into Instagrammable locations and bomb sugar-filled desserts.

5. Burger Republic

I get it, you've gotta eat more than just cookies and coffee. As far as restaurants go, this place is home to the best burger I've ever eaten, plus the atmosphere is pretty laid back and great, and it's an awesome place to go and watch pretty much any sporting event happening anywhere relatively close to Nashville. Browse the menu so you can know exactly what to order before you even get there here.

6. Fido

In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm a HUGE fan of coffee shops and cafes. Fido was the most perfect little spot. It boasts about its gourmet coffee and great food, and rightfully so. It's also got the coolest funky vibe that makes you just want to sit and stay all day, and it's in a great location and decently close to Vanderbilt.

7. Go see some murals

Nashville is FULL of these bad boys. I know y'all have all seen the countless pictures of those people with big butterfly wings. Well, there's more and they're all around the city and on the side of pretty much every building. It's cliche, but tbh it's also kind of a must do while you're there.

8. Walk around Centennial Park and the Parthenon

This is a really nice place to visit if you're looking to spend a couple of hours away from the concrete of the city, and the Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the one in Greece.

9. Ride one of those little scooters around and explore

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I'm not gonna lie to y'all. I did not ride the scooters. They seem kind of dangerous and I know without a doubt that if I tried to get on one it would not end well for me, the scooter, or anyone within a 3-mile radius. With that being said, though, I did see a lot of people riding them and it looked pretty fun, plus it's a great way to see the city without walking too much. So if you just want to explore, hop on one of these bad boys and pray.

Nashville is a great city full of tons of tourist attractions and amazing musical history, but if you find yourself stuck with nothing to do for a couple of hours before your next walking tour, you're sure to find something on this list that you'll love. So, you're welcome.

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