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  • How We Spent a Week in Los Angeles

    8 min read

    How We Spent a Week in Los Angeles

    5 Perfect Days in LA

    Is there anything better than summer in Southern California? We set out to find out. To be fair, we are already huge fans of Los Angeles. After all, our @cityshirtco  Los Angeles collection was one of our first to launch. (Every time we visit, we ask: “Why don’t we don’t live here?”) 

    Our goal this trip: What makes LA unique in the Summer? What’s the best way to spend a five days in the area? You may be thinking about taking a trip. We’re here to help. With the help of our amazing friends and customers in this region, we’ve compiled a list of the best areas, restaurants, and cocktail spots for you. 

    Bottom Line: You will love Summer in LA! Plan a few days... pack your favorite City Shirt Co (all our shirts, sweatshirts, tanks, pants, and hats will help you look on trend and fantastic during your visit)....use these recommendations... and enjoy yourself! 

    5 Ways to Stay In Los Angeles Infographic


    1. Venice Beach 

    Venice Beach CaliforniaVenice Beach Air BnBVenice Beach Graffiti

    Topping our list of best summer spots..... Venice! If you have never visited this neighborhood, take our word for it. It’s amazing. A community rich with history and pride, it’s easily one of our very favorites. This was our first time staying reasons staying here, but it will certainly not be our last.  Here’s a list of all the reasons we loved Venice so much that it made #1 on our list: 

    • Quiet neighborhoods filled with quaint, but expertly-designed & renovated homes
    • Hyper-local feel (presence of one-of-a-kind groceries, coffee shops, retailers, and more... along with a noticeable absence of high rises, large big-box retailers, and herds of tourists)
    • Perfect city center for shopping/dining/drinking (Abbot Kinney Boulevard). We recommend wearing an City Shirt Co t-shirt paired with your favorite light jacket, vest, or button-down sweater for a night out on the town)
    • Commitment to art and design (architecture, interior design, lawn art, public murals, open graffiti art areas, and more)
    • Beautiful, local-feeling beach area lined with skate parks, public sports areas, surf shops, eateries and more (Pro Tip: Check out our City Shirt Co Los Angeles Collection t-shirts for a perfect bathing suit pairing)
    • Amazing (let me say it again... AMAZING) restaurants and shops

    Where to stay? We recommend you do exactly what we did: Rent a house! Honestly, there is no better way in this hyper-local community to experience local life than staying in a local home! You can find a wide range of options, from small bungalows to sprawling multi-story properties. Almost all of the properties are beautifully designed, and include indoor-outdoor spaces that maximize the perfect year-round weather and make it hard to leave home.

    One final reason to stay in Venice: you don’t need a car!! Seriously. Grab a shared ride from LAX and arrive to Venice within 15 minutes. Then, don’t worry about a car again. Everything you need is in walking distance .... everything! If not, grab a scooter or electric bike on a nearby street corner. Can a summer vacation get more perfect? There’s something about unplugging from cars and traffic that made us happy.

    2. Santa Monica

    Santa Monica BeachSanta Monica PromenadeSanta Monica Boardwalk

    Sure, everyone talks about Santa Monica... you may have even heard it’s overrated. But, we want to urge you to give it a serious second look and consideration for your next trip. Granted, you can find some tourist “cheese” if you look for it. But there is a lot to really enjoy about Santa Monica. A whole lot.

    For starters, let’s talk about the food. Some of the best restaurants (and chefs) in all of the Los Angeles area ca be found in Santa Monica, representing a variety of different cuisines. Oh, and most of them come with sweepings, sunny ocean views and delightful outdoor spaces to dine al fresca! ((Pro Tip: Pack a sweatshirt or long sleeved shirt from our City Shirt Co Los Angeles Collection for to give you style and readiness for the cool night time breezes!) There are very few places in the country where you can find so much quality cuisine packed into such a compact walking area. (Check out our blog post on “Best Restaurants in LA” for one two of our favorites!).

    Second, the shopping. We could spend many afternoons strolling up and down the shops of Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade. With a great mix of upscale national brands, local boutiques, and larger retail stores, the promenade offers a little something for everyone. (Pro Tip: Wear one of our stylish City Shirt Co Los Angeles Collection items. We got stopped and asked about our Los Angeles Urban Dweller hoodie.... it stands out in the crowd in all the best ways!)

    Third, great local finds. Outside of the promenade, you can find amazing shopping and local spots all throughout the Santa Monica area. Want to know our favorite? Within a 10-15 minute walk south from the pier, you can find Main Street. Here, the most quaint, curated shops can be found. (Pro Tip: Plan half a day for this stroll, as you will love it so much that you will not want to return quickly. Dress trendy in one of our City Shirt Co Los Angeles Collection long-sleeved shirts).

    Lastly, great accommodations! Really. There have been a lot of new additions and renovations here in the last few years, which has really elevated Santa Monica on our list.). OK, Where to stay in Santa Monica? We recommend staying in an AirBnB / rented condo along Ocean Avenue (ocean views!), or in one of the more newly-renovated hotels in the heart of the city:

    • Most accessible & affordable: Viceroy Hotel, right on Ocean Avenue. Trendy. Affordable. Magnificent views. Swanky and private pool area that you need to see to believe! If you want a nice stay but plan to spend most of your time outside your room & hotel, this is a great option for you.
    • Best overall experience (but most expensive): Santa Monica Proper Hotel, a Member of Design Hotels. Stunning luxury property with impeccable architecture and the finest interior design and finishes. A constant feeling of elevated exclusivity. Oh, and did we mention they have a rooftop pool and bar? If you like investing in accommodations, this is your spot. 
    • Discover more about our recommendations for outdoor bars to enjoy your trip in the evenings.

    3. Huntington Beach

    Huntington Beach Huntington Beach Trip

    If you’re looking for a classic California beach vacation, make your way straight to this perfect beach town. You will be amazed (perhaps overwhelmed!) by the quality of the beaches here.
    • Wide, spacious beaches (thousands of people can be present and there will still be ample room for you and your friends/family!)
    • Perfectly white, fine-grained sand
    • Beautiful, clear water (think the turquoise color of Hawaiian shores!)
    • Long, well-kept ocean pier that provides great viewing, fishing, and shopping options
    • Tall, perfect palm trees hug the beach line, providing amazing views and photo spots
    • Great, steady waves for surfing (a good spot for surfers of all skill levels!)
    • (Pro Tip: Put on a City Shirt Co hat from our Los Angeles Collection before heading out..... the sun will be less fierce on your face.... and you will get a lot of compliments!) 

    In addition to the pristine beaches, you will love the shopping and dining district that hugs the shoreline and forms the city center of this community. On Main Street, you will find great surf shops, boutiques, dining options, massage / nail shops, coffee shops, and more. Try our Los Angeles Urban Dweller design when going out and about in the city!

    While there are several great hotel options in Huntington Beach, we recommend looking into a house rental near the city center. The homes are so quaint, tucked into safe neighborhoods in walking distance to everything you’ll need. You’ll end up with more space, privacy, and sense of local life.

    4. Marina del Ray

    Marina Del Ray BoatsRitz Carlton Marina Del Ray

    OK, this is an unconventional recommendation for a summer start in Los Angeles, but we would not have put it on our list without trying it first. We can tell you from our experience.... you should try this neighborhood too. Here are some reasons why:


    • Close and convenient to LAX without ever knowing you’re near once you’ve arrived (15 minute drive to/from the airport.... saves money and time!)
    • Captivating Marina Views. Marina del Ray is the country’s largest man-made marina. There are hundreds (if not thousands) or yachts, sailboats, and other water vessels. You can sit on your balcony or walk the sidewalks on the edge of the marina and watch as boat owners and crews work their magic to bring their vessels to life!
    • Great hotel options! You can find basic accommodations all the way to luxury accommodations
    • “Off the beaten path” - If you are the type that likes “retreating” from the feel of the hustle and bustle of city center areas, Marina del Ray would be a great option for you. It’s surprisingly quiet and peaceful. While it’s only a few minutes drive from a lot of high-energy spots, it is far enough away from the main districts to give you the feeling of solitude and rest. 

    Where to stay? We recommend the Ritz Carlton Marina del Ray, a beautiful and well-appointed property right on the edge of the marina with sweeping views from room balconies. While the property has a lot of rooms, it feels incredibly exclusive once inside. The entrance from the main road is barely noticeable. Inside, you will be welcomed into upscale, but very comfortable common spaces. The spa and outdoor pool area (including fire pits, full bar/restaurant, and up-close marina views) are worth the price of the room (sip on a chilled beverage brought to your exclusive pool side sitting area under a palm tree while enjoying views of multi-million dollar yachts and sail boats!)

    Pro Tip: The cool sea breeze follows the water right up into the edges of the marina at night and the early mornings, often accompanied by a magical fog. You will want to prepare for cool mornings/evenings and sunny, warm afternoons. Think layers when planning your outfits!

    5. Anaheim

    Walt Disney Land Anaheim FireworksAnaheim Weston Convention Center Hotel

    If you’re looking for a beautiful, family-friendly location near world-renowned amusement parks, you’ve got to put Anaheim on your list!  Be prepared... it’s further from LAX / downtown LA than you might expect (45 minutes- 1 hour drive).

    Anaheim is a good mix of classic California and classically familiar. Like much of Southern California, you’ll be greeted by perfect temperatures, sunny days, picturesque palm trees, tropical flowers, and more. However, because of the presence of the amusement parks and large amounts of tourists in this area, you’ll also find very familiar and family-friendly areas, including ample shopping & restaurant districts (including Downtown Disney) with well-loved national brands.

    Where should you stay? Try the Westin Anaheim. We stayed there and we loved it! Here’s why we recommend it: 


    • It has been recently and beautifully renovated.
    • The rooms are spacious, modern, and offer luxurious amenities.
    • The hotel is conveniently located.... literally across the street from Disneyland . This location offers unique views of the parks from the large windows and balconies in the room (PS - It’s worth the upgrade for Park View.... you can watch Disney’s nighttime fireworks shows right from your room!).
    • Amazing dining options: lobby bar, fantastic California-inspired lobby restaurant, all-day coffee & treats shop, upscale Mexican & steak restaurants also on property
    • Private, intimate pool area surrounded by tropical plants, a full bar/restaurant, and poolside wait staff (Pro TiP: a trendy City Shirt Co t-shirt would be a perfect pairing with your bathing suit of choice)
    • Fun & quality bars: lobby bar, rooftop bar (live music at night!), and a beautiful Westin club (for Marriott BonVoy members with club benefits). Pro Tip: Grab your favorite City Shirt Co Los Angeles Collection sweatshirt or hoodie before you head outdoors at night.... there is a steady breeze and a bit of a chill most nights (yes, even in the summer.... #perfection! ) 

     Discover more great things to do as a local or tourist in LA!

    We create premium quality clothing that Los Angeles residents and visitors love.

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