I left New York at the perfect time a couple weeks ago (in the middle of one of the coldest weeks in February) and landed in sunny California. I’m not usually one to rave about Los Angeles, but I think this trip might’ve changed my mind 🙃I couldn’t have asked for better weather, I loved the hotel I stayed at, and every day we explored a new part of the LA area. The warm weather got me excited for spring 🙏🏻
Alicia and I had a heyday shooting in so many of California’s beautiful locations. There’s nothing better than shooting in warm weather – it gives us so much more time to play around with lighting and colors/outfits without freezing like we do in Chicago and New York most months of the year. Conner flew in to meet me over the weekend and it we had the best time!! We received so many great recommendations of things to do & places to eat, so I wanted to share all of our spots with you guys:
Where I stayed:
Everything about this hotel was perfect. I loved the boutique feel of it and the service was amazing. The lobby was big and beautiful and such a great place to sit and work / hang out. Every morning they had fresh matcha, tea, and coffee in the lobby. The best part of the hotel was the location. It’s in the heart of West Hollywood (right between Melrose and Sunset Blvd) and so close to the best restaurants and shopping in the area. We loved the beautiful pool bar so much that Conner and I spent an entire night down there drinking prosecco and had oysters and truffle fries for dinner 😂The pool was quiet and relaxing – I spent a couple afternoons just reading and drinking iced tea down there. Definitely recommend this area & hotel if you’re thinking about a California trip because it so central. Malibu, Santa Monica, and Venice were just a quick day trip away.
I went here every morning, it was right next to my hotel. Every day I ordered the usual – decaf coffee with heavy cream and the steel cut oatmeal (creature of habit, lol). The oatmeal was incredible!! Not usually wow’d by oatmeal, but it was topped with fruit, brûlée (the best part), and almond milk. They have a really cute front/side patio with shady areas to sit. The inside is warm and cozy – the big windows let in a ton of sunshine.
Where I shot the pink sweater pics in this post 💕Such a cute little spot to stop in to get a lemonade, matcha, coffee, or ‘purple drink’ (idk, it’s a LA thing I think?). It’s all pink and green inside and the patio outside is such a cute spot to sit and hang in the sun.
Cute but crowded – definitely worth stopping in to see it! We got iced coffees then walked around the area and window shopped.
Where To Grab A Drink:
The best rooftop view in Hollywood. Conner and I had pre-dinner drinks up here on Friday night and had the best view of the sunset over the entire city. The twinkle lights, dark green and white striped decor, wax candles, and panoramic views of LA are hard to beat. We hard this place is a great after-dinner hang out spot on the weekends. If you like spicy tequila drinks, get the Spicy Siena 🌶️
This place is iconic! The vintage Hollywood inspired decor is so elegant and charming. The poolside dining is the quintessential Los Angeles experience and the views of the view of the city is amazing.
If you love seafood, you HAVE to eat here. Order the brussel sprouts, cold peel and eat shrimp, and the chicken sandwich – some of the best food I’ve ever had!
In the heart of Beverly Hills – this is celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s buzzy, sleek bistro that serves locally sourced Californian cuisine. Definitely a splurge experience!
This place was directly next door to our hotel so I went here twice! Delicious organic, farm-fresh Mexican food and a really cute outdoor patio.
Catch – it was right next to our hotel, so we went here one morning for brunch. We got there early so it was quiet and such a beautifully sunny day so it was the most peaceful experience! The fruit plate is amazing. Also – the entryway upstairs is so beautiful, definitely a pretty place for a picture!
The Henry – a good lunch spot! We sat at the bar and had a quick lunch here.
Other things we did…
Point Dume State Beach is made up of cliffs, rocky coves and the beach. We climbed up the cliffs that were covered in yellow wildflowers and butterflies were everywhere – it was surreal! We climbed to the top of the cliff that overlooked the ocean and watched the whales swimming in the ocean. It was amazing and not crowded at all.
Malibu was probably my favorite part about this trip. The ocean right up against the hills covered and wildflowers was so beautiful and peaceful. We drove to El Matador Beach to explore and take pictures at sunset. There are lots of rock formations and caves for exploring. Absolutely recommend!
One of our good friend’s in town – Brett (John’s boyfriend!) lives in West Hollywood so he invited us to Soho House Malibu (Little Beach House) one day and it was truly an unforgettable experience. It’s a small, oceanfront club for the creative community of Malibu and the surrounding coastal areas.
Conner and I had been wanting to eat at Nobu Malibu for a while because his Mom always says it’s her favorite! But we didn’t think we’d have time before leaving for the airport so we didn’t make reservations. Last minute we decided to stop by to see if we could get in after leaving Soho House and somehow we got a table for two! It was one of the most amazing dining experiences. Definitely recommend if you’re headed to Malibu.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art- the largest art museum in the western United States. We shot my Steve Madden campaign in front of the Urban Light sculpture, it was so fun!