California Diaries:Climbing for a view and stair-stepping for rainbows

posted on: Saturday, 2 June 2018

|Written in collaboration with Visit California and Air New Zealand|

Hike to the top of Griffith Park they said. It will be fun, they said. The weather is always sunny in LA, it was thought. Only the one day I was set to work my bod into shape with a scenic view at the end, Los Angeles decided to open her skies and let loose on the city. In all my years of coming to Los Angeles, I've never seen rain like this, or grey skies either. But, you won't here one complaint from me. A quick change of clothes in the car and a stop for an iced vanilla latte and I was back on my feet as a woman on a mission. As the clouds parted and the sun began to creep through the clouds, I did eventually get my iconic view of the Los Angeles skyline from the top of Griffith Park, and I ran down as fast as my legs could take me before the weather changed its mind again. This was the start of day three! 

Of course hiking to the Observatory is a must do while in Los Angeles. If you want to feel like a local, this is just what's done. And I was doing as Meghan Markle would do, so I strapped on the Nikes, pulled up the Lululemons and put on massive sunglasses, even though that was the last thing I ended up needing. As my legs started to warm up with the steady incline, the city stretched before me on my right, revealing its incredible size and endless potential. I can see why this would be a hike for Hollywood types. It's easy to be seduced by the beauty of Los Angeles and it's almost impossible not to look out into that great big city and see a future with your name in lights. I hear there's an open spot on Suits :)

Of course most people hike to stay active and enjoy the great outdoors. I exercise so I can eat. So very un-Hollywood of me. After my hike, I headed over to Silver Lake (think Shoreditch meets Los Angeles) and met my best friend and her family at Home for breakfast. Yes, a hike comes in handy when you decide that chicken and waffles are the name of the game for your starting meal of the day. Worth every single calorie! 

This was like stepping back in time. It's been three years since I've been in Silver Lake and in an instant it felt like I had never left at all. Of course for most tourists, this is still a hidden secret in the Los Angeles must see spots. Although the rainbow stairs, the wall murals, chic coffee spots and insanely amazing stores such as Night Palm (one of my personal favs), are bringing in the instagrammers in droves. I wouldn't be surprised to see one Duke and Duchess of Cambridge scouting around this area to escape the hustle and bustle of LA. 

The end to my day scurrying around town was one I'll never forget. I can't tell you how many times, over the years, I've walked past the Disney Concert Hall in Downtown LA. It's an architectural dream and standing in front of it feels like an out of body experience all in itself. But, having the chance to go inside and enjoy the outstanding acoustics as the LA Philharmonic Orchestra play is a another realm entirely. A concert here is a must for any visitor. It is the perfect end to the day and the perfect pre-dinner treat!

Speaking of dinner. You didn't really think I'd come all the way to Los Angeles and not have an In'n'Out burger, did you? I'm pretty sure this is the first thing Meghan Markle eats when she gets off the plane, surely. And it took me a whole three days to get stuck in. I know, shame on me. My only regret? Thinking I didn't have enough room for Animal Style fries. I want to go back and do it all again! More tomorrow....

Discover a better way to fly to Los Angeles - Air New Zealand flies daily from London Heathrow to LA. Return flights start from £407 in Economy, £851 in Premium Economy and £2,843 in Business Premier. For the most up to date fares please visit https://www.airnewzealand.co.uk/cheap-flights-to-los-angeles

To find out more about what to do in California, go to Visit California