I woke up around 7am and watched the sun rise over Santa Monica and people watched from our small balcony. I was so excited for today’s plans, before we had left the UK we had booked ourselves onto a Day in LA Tour. We were due to be picked up from our hotel at 9am but before we got picked up we went down to Starbucks to grab some breakfast. Our tour bus eventually turned up around 9.20am. We were then taken to the main meeting spot for the tours starting. When we reached the main spot for the tours we checked in and they told you which tour bus you would be on for the day and you could also grab some cold water and fresh fruit which was a nice touch.
We were on bus number 5 with a tour guide (I can’t remember his name) that looked like Seth Rogen, the whole tour I couldn’t get my head round how much he looked like him. When we were on the bus they had a giant cool box full of ice cold water, you could help yourself to these throughout the day all free of charge, they also had phone chargers which you could use between the stops. The tour guides are so friendly, they have a few rules for the bus which everyone kept to but they are such friendly guys and always happy to answer your questions.
Back to the tour, our first stop was Venice Beach where we had 30 minutes of free time to explore. As we went to Venice Beach yesterday I was keen to get back and explore a little more without a bike attached to me. We were dropped off right by the Venice sign hanging from the buildings. There is also an amazing piece of street art here which is by a car park, you can’t miss it but it looks incredible. We walked all the way down to muscle beach to see the outside gym and the men that love themselves way too much but unfortunately as it was only 10am it must have been too early for them as there was only one person in the gym and he was hiding in the inside part. We then headed for the skate park where it was a lot quieter today compared to the day before. We stood and watched the guys for a while before we then took a stroll along the promenade. Before we knew it 30 minutes had past and we were heading back to the bus to move on to the next stop.
Next stop Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive, let’s go shopping, yeh in my dreams. The drive to Beverly Hills was around 25 minutes, once off that horrible main road (I can’t remember the name of it) there was lots of sights that our guide pointed out to us including hotels that celebrities had lived in or are living in etc. Stopping for the tour busses in Beverly Hills is a nightmare, we were dropped off just past the Beverly Hills sign and Rodeo Drive. We had around 45 minutes of free time here but we had to be back at the meeting spot at the specific time as the bus could only stop for 5 minutes, if you were late it was going without you that meant. Anyway we walked back down to the Beverly Hills sign and took some pictures then it was over the road to Rodeo Drive. I stopped at the Badgley Mischka shop to have a photo and pretend I was in Pretty Woman, I also walked away and said big mistake – Sam thought I had lost the plot but if you have watched Pretty Woman you will understand. We then carried on walking all the way down Rodeo Drive past all the posh shops until we got to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, we then realised we better start heading back to the meeting spot as I didn’t want to be left in Rodeo Drive. If you like cupcakes as much as me the original Sprinkles Cupcake shop is just off of Rodeo Drive I didn’t find out about this until I was back on the bus :-(. Clearly nobody wanted to be left in Beverly Hills as everyone was waiting for the bus for it even arrived to collect us.
Back on the bus the air con felt amazing it was like someone turned the oven up while we were on Rodeo Drive. Our next stop was the Farmer’s Market, it took around 20 minutes to get there. When we reached the Farmer’s Market we had an hour and 15 minutes to explore and grab some lunch. Our tour guide had recommend a Brazilian place called Pampas Grill so we decided to go on the search for this. Well it was definitely worth searching for the steak was amazing. After lunch we had a look round the market then headed into The Grove on the search for Sprinkles Cupcakes, it didn’t take me long to find it the cupcake radar was on high alert. I had a smores cupcake and Sam had a classic red velvet we found somewhere to sit and enjoyed our cupcakes. Time seemed to be going so quick, back to the bus we went.
Next stop Griffith Observatory and off to see that famous Hollywood Sign. I think it took around 20 minutes to get there we passed lots of celebrity houses and houses that TV shows and films had been filmed at. When we reached the Griffith Observatory we had 40 minutes of free time. Our tour guide told us where the best spot was to take pictures of the Hollywood Sign (its by the James Dean statue) so we headed straight for this spot and he was right, it was a great spot. Once we had our photo with the famous sign we headed for Griffith Observatory to see the amazing Downtown LA skyline. The skyline was amazing, you really get an idea of how big LA is up here it went out for miles. We also had such a clear day which made that view all the better. After walking around the outside of Griffith Observatory we headed inside where the air conditioning was just amazing, we walked around until it was time to leave again and look for the bus.
Our last stop for the day was the Hollywood Walk of Fame where we had around 30 minutes to explore. It was extremely busy in this area, lots of people dressed up as super heroes standing by the stars trying to get your attention. If I am honest this was probably my least favourite stop of the day. It was fantastic to finally see the stars on the floor and walk along the Walk of Fame and also see the Chinese Theatre, however 30 minutes was definitely more than enough time here it was way too busy for my liking.
Once we were all back on the bus we had around a 40 minute drive back to Santa Monica Beach where the tour finished. The whole day was fantastic, we really felt we got to see all the sites of LA with a fantastic tour guide who had brilliant knowledge of all the areas. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone. The company has thought about every aspect of their customer’s needs from the breakfast at check in to the complimentary water on board the bus to offering to charge your phone during stops. They deserve their 5 stars on Tripadvisor.
Back in Santa Monica I wanted to go back down the pier to get some pictures of the Route 66 sign. As the sun was starting to come down we decided to stay on the beach and watch the sun set over the pier. Once the sun had complete set we went back to the hotel to get ready for our last evening.
Tonight we didn’t really have any plans where to go for dinner however, I had seen a few restaurants that looked nice opposite the Santa Monica Pier and we decided on Del Frisco’s Grille. They have a lovely outside seating area which I think you can request however, we weren’t fussed and we could have a table inside straight away, so inside seemed more appealing as we were so hungry. The restaurant itself was lovely, staff all friendly and great cocktails. The food is on the large side, I had a chicken burger and Sam had the lamb burger but they were huge and we didn’t manage to finish them. Of course I saved a space for pudding and I chose butterscotch pudding to share…. wow it was good. We enjoyed a few more drinks before leaving and going for a slow walk along the front to walk off the mammoth dinner. After the walk it was back to the hotel to pack our cases again ready to leave for Mexico in the morning.