I've been heading to LA every month or so lately since the sister lives down there now! It's nice because it's not an awful drive and I get to bring my pup, Cleo. Los Angelas isn't know for "walkability," which I love when I'm exploring places, so often we're driving around from spot to spot - 10 minutes to ice cream, another 15 to dinner, etc. But, Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach is totally walkable! It's not too far from the beach boardwalk and there are fun shops, beautiful street art down alleyways, and places to snack.
Murals - Urban Art
Although most of the shops and restaurants are right along the main street, the best artwork is tucked into the alleyways. Sometimes larger than life and easily seen by strolling the several blocks of Abbott Kinney, many are unseen, making for a good excuse to get more steps in, right?
Palm Trees & So far "so good" artwork: between Rag & Bone and Kit Ace
Love wall: Santa Clara Ave on Greenleaf Chop House
Two reasons that I'd used to go to Portland quite a bit are now right on Abbot Kinney!
Blue Star and their amazing buttermilk donut (perfectly crisp outer texture and soft fluffy inside) is a must try if you haven't been. It's really special, I swear! But, really only the buttermilk donut - I like the original glaze, but if you have room for more, then the other glazes are fun to try, but it's really all about that perfect texture. The best part is that the lines aren't crazy like they are in Portland! www.bluestardonuts.com/
Salt & Straw has some fun flavors - but what I always go there for is their Strawberry Balsamic. I'd used to get sad when I'd try other flavors (even if I tried it as the second flavor) - because I'd always want more of that Strawberry Balsamic. The lines are just as crazy here as they are in Portland, which kinda makes sense to me seeing as it's warmer in LA. I'd wait in line for it down here or anywhere. They're finally opening a few shops in SF, so I'm pretty excited about it and likely less sad when trying more flavors with it more easily accessible! saltandstraw.com/
Unrelated to Portland love...
Intelligentsia has great coffee, period. Those that know me, know that I need my coffee in the AM. The ambiance at this store is beautiful, too. Indoor/outdoor seating with beautiful artwork on the outside space and modern, minimalist decor inside. www.intelligentsiacoffee.com/
Quit my non-profit career in a fit of YOLO rage. Blessed enough to go from wanderlust to wanderslut. Collecting cities & countries, not men.