Travel Nurse Guide to Los Angeles
Hollywood Hike. I mean come on, it’s an LA must. Opt for a sunny day so you can catch the 360 views of the valley and downtown as you climb the mountains of Santa Monica. Really feeling ambitious? Catch the sunrise at the top. Plan for 6.5 miles roundtrip if you are starting from the Canyon Drive Trail (our personal fave). For a shorter 3 mile loop you can start at Griffith Observatory. Speaking of observatories, you’ll want to add this to your list. Leave it to the telescopes here to let you gaze at the real Hollywood stars.
Abbot Kinney Blvd. Call us biased, but this favorite street of ours is dubbed “the coolest block in America.” Right in the heart of Venice you can find anything and everything along this trendy strip. Shops range from Rag & Bone (a girl can dream) to smaller boutiques and succulent loaded gift shops. For a healthy bite or juice flight check out The Butcher’s Daughter, if you’re a donut doer Blue Star Donuts has you covered. Ice cream? No prob. Don’t run from the line at Salt and Straw. It’s worth the wait for honey lavender, or salted, malted, chocolate chip cookie dough. Yup, we’re drooling too. It won’t take you long to realize the street art will make for some fabulous Instagram content. If you’re into brunching, hit up The Tasting Kitchen for delicious cocktails and a menu that won’t disappoint. Savory waffles, say whaaat? Gjelina Take Away will suffice for your upscale pizza and sandwich cravings. You could really spend an entire afternoon taking in all this boulevard has to offer.
Urban Light. You can find these iconic lamp posts at the entrance to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. They’re picturesque to say the least. Can’t make it during the day? No problemo. The posts are lit up at night and it is quite the scene.
Gjusta. A hidden gem. Go hungry, you won’t know where to start. Order at the counter and step out back to the glorious outside seating area. Or, sit at the bar and watch the non-stop action in the open kitchen and the baristas whipping up their matcha and coffee concoctions. Think: Freshly baked breads and pastries. Sandwiches out of this world. House smoked meats and fish. Charcuterie. Smoothies, juices and gourmet toasts. Yup, this is a total one stop shop.
Kreation Organic Kafe. If you’re indecisive you may be here all day choosing your smoothie flavor. From Berryatric to Chai-licious you really can’t go wrong. Plus the walls are lined with salads, wraps, tonics, fresh juices, desserts and superfoods galore.
Malibu Wines. Wine? Malibu? You heard it here first. If you’re feeling fancy take a wine safari through the Saddlerock Ranch & vineyard and get up close and personal with Stanley the giraffe, wine in hand. Not for you? Pack your cheese and crackers and enjoy an afternoon on the outdoor lawn in the hills of Malibu.
The Grove. Shop ’til you drop. An outdoor mall so big they offer trolley rides through it. Whether it’s dinner and a movie or a full day of shopping, the grove has it all.
Blue Bottle Coffee. Need some pep in your step? Pop into this northern Cali based coffee spot for a pour over or cold brew that will have you jazzed for your 12 hr shift or your day off frolicking the city.
Venice Beach. Pack your backpack and throw on your gym shoes. Take a day to rent city bikes (or for you brave folks, roller blades) and ride the never ending path from Venice to Santa Monica. Warning: you may have a hard time keeping your eyes on the path with the glorious ocean views. Stop at the Santa Monica Pier for a ferris wheel ride, check out the scene at Muscle Beach, or catch the sunset on the rooftop at Hotel Erwin.
The Bungalow. Home of surf boards and sangria. This Santa Monica boho-style bar has some seriously cool vibes. Not to mention, you can sip your drink and gaze at the Pacific (ahem, another great sunset spot). Saturday’s are often shoulder to shoulder, aka it’s a darty. If that’s not your scene, go during the week for a more of a lounge atmosphere. Ps. The bar menu has tacos, chips and guac, need I say more?
Malibu Farm. Foodies with a view don’t get much better than this. On a sunny day expect to wait for a table outside. Trust us though, you won’t be mad you stuck around for a farm fresh meal right on the Malibu Pier. We’re talking blue skies, surfers catching the waves below you, wind blown hair, sunnies on… Are you liking the sound of this? Malibu for ya!
Don't forget to check out our guide to Highway 101!