Photography by Kara Coleen | @karacoleen

It is no surprise that LA is one of the hottest cities in the world. I recently headed down to the sunshine for work, and the number of recommendations for restaurants/shops/hotels I received was endless. Because my trip to LA was shorter than planned I didn’t have as much time to adventure as much as I would have wanted, but I did hit some amazing places! I put together a list of my favorites below :)

Where to Stay: (If you aren't staying with a family or friend, these are the top hotels I would look into)

The Beverly Hills - Such a classic of course! Their restaurant is to die for, and is also a few celebrities’ favorites. Its location is perfect for anyone who wants to go shopping on Rodeo Dr., being just a mile away! Don’t forget to check out their pool area!

Petit Ermitage - The bohemian chic vibe this hotel has to offer makes it feel like a quick getaway from the big city. They also have the cutest rooftop, perfect to catch up with friends.

Shutters - pIf you are looking to stay in the Santa Monica area, this one is steps away from the beach, and the views are truly insane. It's so fun to rent bikes from the hotel, and go run on the board walk. 

Where to Eat:


Joan's on Third - My favorite breakfast place in all the land! The egg burrito is fantastic. Why don't we have this in NYC?

Urth Caffé -  Perfect for a hearty meal. Casual and cool vibe!

Backyard Bowls - Delicious healthy options! Their cocoa acai bowl is a must!


The Polo Lounge - This historic hotel has a lovely Sunday brunch with live entertainment. The ambiance is elegant but sweet. DO not ignore their truffle fries!

The Ivy - Perfect option for a sunny day to sit out on the patio, and observe the beautiful vines and flowers. The ambiance is cozy and friendly. Their red velvet cake is WOW!

Nobu Malibu - This one is always a safe choice. Their consistency is out of this world, but I must admit that their Malibu location might be one of my favorites. If you are a first timer; the hamachi jalapeño, black cod, spicy tuna crispy rice and beef tenderloin will all make your taste buds happy!


Carrera Cafe - The vintage ambiance of this coffee shop is the cutest. They also have the coolest latte art!

Moon Juice - This place is so fun with such a cool concept! Their ingredients are groovy (no pun intended) but entirely worth the try!

Alfred Tea - I have probably never seen so many tea options in my life! There are a few locations, but the Melrose one is my fav! 


Gjelina - The food here is beyond fresh and delicious. GET THE PIZZA!!! I would suggest walking around Abbot Kinney area while waiting to be seated. The seating outside is charming and beautiful.

Pace  - This Is the perfect option for a romantic dinner. This little hideaway serves one of the most delicious Italian dinners of all time. 

Son of a Gun  - The potions are tiny, but you cant go wrong with anything on the menu ! They are famous for their fried chicken sandwich, so I wouldn't miss out on it!


 Hollywood Hills - So many amazing and beautiful hikes in the hills. Take a car to the bottom of Runyon Canyon and hike up! It's by far the best!

Mount Hollywood - Visit the Griffith Observatory !!! You can even hike up to it :)

Downtown LA - MUST go to the Broad Museum (Get tickets in advance)

Santa Monica - Rent bikes on a sunny day and bike down the Santa Monica boardwalk.

Malibu  - Go paddle boarding, or if you’re feeling adventurous get on a surfboard!

- See the historic Getty Villa!!

Where to Shop:

Abbot Kinney - Right on Venice beach, and has by far the best shopping in all of Southern Cali. Guild, Aviator Nation, The Piece Collective are some of my favorite stores to hit when there!

Melrose Trading Post - Best vintage shopping, but it's only open on Sundays.

X kt