Postcard from Los Angeles, California.
After a compulsory early detour inland to avoid the usual morning coastal mist, I drove most of the 100 miles right along the Pacific Ocean. As I questioned my luck about the once again gray sky and the questionable local radio music choices, I found comfort in hearing the GPS say “to Los Angeles” as if it knew it was a cool city to name.
Once in LA, I returned the car because, like last year, a grand finale deserves something better than a midsize. But not having a car in the City of Angels is not an easy task. To add a layer of complexity, for the very first time I was not staying in Venice Beach but on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, closer to the office. Iconic? For sure. Walkability score? -10.
The 4th of July was well spent in Venice, where after a refreshing long-awaited swim, I raised a pint to say happy birthday America. And happy birthday Mom.
One sleep to go.
Bucket list items:
– Drive a Chevy Malibu through Malibu: done.
– Be swept away by a 6 feet tall wave and land face down on the beach in front of a Baywatch-like lifeguard, pretending you did it on purpose: done.
Driving from Carpinteria to Los Angeles cheat sheet
Accommodation in Los Angeles:
- The Moment Hotel, 7370 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Where to eat and what to see between Carpinteria CA and Los Angeles CA
- Malibu. I doubt you can get a more iconic place than this in this part of the world. Seen in hundreds of tv series and movies, probably it is smaller than what I was thinking.
- Rock & Reilly’s Irish Pub, 8911 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069. A very cool pub with great vibes, friendly hosts, decent food and great beers. You can’t ask much more in a hot sunny California day.
- Guisados, 8935 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 Some good tacos, not the best you can find on the west coast for sure, but they’ll do the job if you are hungry and don’t wanna spend too much
- Mel’s Drive-In, 8585 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069. One of the coolest drive-in I’ve been. Feels like you are sent back to the 50s.
- Venice Beach. Hands down my favorite part of LA.
- Hotel Erwin, 1697 Pacific Ave, Venice, CA 90291 great rooftop overlooking Venice Beach. I might (or might now) have had a bit too many old fashioned here for the 4th of July celebration. Great view.
- Venice Ale House, 2 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291 I’ve been here every single time I was in LA. Great crowd, great music, great food, tons of beer and, last not least you are right on the beach.
- Carney’s Restaurant, 8351 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069. I saw this place on my way back to the hotel from the office and I had to stop: an hot dog place in a yellow Union Pacific rail car on Sunset Boulevard. I know that you can’t go “that” wrong with an hot dog but this one was particularly yummy.
Los Angeles is big. Massive actually. I’ll write another post about my experience in the city with more tips and all.
Driving from Carpinteria to Los Angeles FAQ
From Carpinteria to Los Angeles there are as little as 83 miles if you take the shortest way. As said I took an early detour followed by the road running along the coast which means I drove for about 100 miles.
The shortest way would take you a couple of hours. It took me 4 hours cause I’ve stopped in a few places along the route.
It is a relatively short and easy drive and you are most of the time right by the water.
There are a couple of nice places along the way. My favorite were Lake Casitas a few miles drive from Carpinteria and despite the weather was poor, “house watching” in Malibu. Some of these residences are jaw-dropping.
It really depends on the weather. If sunny for sure a convertible. I was still driving my Chevvy Malibu and giving the poor weather I think it was more than ok.