USA Week 2: Los Angeles the city with many faces
Week 2 - USA
Just last week we were in beautiful San Diego. This week we arrived in the City of Angels Los Angeles. Wondering how we experienced this famous city? Read all about it!
Most beautiful train journey of our lives
Last week we were already hoping that the trip from San Diegoto Los Angeleswould be a little smoother than the trip from Los Angeles to San Diego. The original plan was to use the rental car to cover this distance. But after chatting with a San Diego resident, we decided to take the train (Amtrak) anyway. She discouraged driving to Los Angeles by car during the day. The traffic jams are huge and it can take up to an extra three hours to arrive at your destination. That would mean our trip up to Los Angeles would take about five hours. That’s just too much.
We chose to take the train and it was an excellent choice! The train was luxurious, had a small restaurant on board and had free wifi. On top of that, the train ran along the coast the whole way and we had a magnificent view of the ocean. This was the best train ride of our lives and a magnificent experience!
Arriving in Los Angeles, the crowds again overwhelmed us. Tall buildings, dirty streets and hardly any restaurants were our first impressions of Los Angeles. The city is big. And by big we mean huge! The first few days we decided to buy a GO pass online which gave us three days of access to various sights and museums. This is without doubt the cheapest solution to see a lot in a short time.
We spent our first full day visiting the impressive Universal Studios. This theme park is where (originally) movies from Universal Studios were made. Now there are still movie sets to visit and all kinds of themed attractions. We were very much looking forward to this visit and it did not disappoint us! We experienced the best 4D attractions ever and got a behind-the-scenes look at famous movies and TV series. A unique experience we can totally recommend!
For the next few days, we went from museum to museum with our entrance pass. First, we visited the famous statues of Madame Tussauds. his museum was small but a lot of fun! We do have to admit that Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam and London are more impressive.
Afterwards, we went down Hollywood Boulevard in search of our favorite celebrities who have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We also expected this to be larger. Hollywood is small in real life. All known museums concerning celebrities, can be found around this boulevard.
We also visited the Hollywood Museum, which features the world-famous white dress of Marilyn Monroe. Then we paid a visit to the Dolby Theatre. This is better known as the theater where the Oscars are awarded each year. This visit was very special. Thus, we stood in the same place where all the world-famous movie stars have already made their way. This is where Leonardo DiCaprio, for example, finally won his well-deserved first Oscar two years ago. A special place to visit!
Furthermore, we also visited the Grammy Museum, which was very amusing! As a true music lover, this is a real must-see with lots of interaction. Finally, we did a Celebrity Homes Tour. This was a long tour through Beverly Hills and surrounding areas in search of the homes of famous celebrities. We passed the home of Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Beyoncé and Jay-Z and even one of Michael Jackson’s homes. We have never seen such impressive houses in all our lives! You just have to see it for yourself because you really can’t imagine it. This tour is definitely recommended when in Hollywood!
With this access pass we walked in and out everywhere and so we saw a lot in three days. So we definitely got value for money!
Other than these three fantastic days thanks to the access pass, Los Angeles was a disappointment for us. Because the city is so large, it is difficult to discover fine and cozy places. After all, you don’t “suddenly” walk past a fine place.
Our trip to Santa Monica, for example, couldn’t have been more disappointing. This seaside town is known for its long pier on the water with an amusement park. In reality, it was disappointing for us. It was very crowded and not even as beautiful as we imagined it to be. The attractions were pricey and not great in our opinion. For us, this is definitely not a recommended thing to do when in Los Angeles.
Another, admittedly smaller, disappointment was Venice Beach. It’s also a bespoken thing but for us it was a bit disappointing. We understand that some people may like this seaside town. There is a long promenade along the beach, several souvenir stores, a beautiful stretched beach and of course the cozy canals reminiscent of Venice. Still, this place was far too crowded for us, anything but easily accessible and not very impressive. We prefer quiet and smaller beaches.
A city with many faces
Los Angeles is a city of many faces. There are so many different places that are supposedly really worth visiting, but they are not. We liked Hollywood for one day. Just as Beverly Hills. The glamour that this place exudes is just unique in the world. You must have been there once.
Downtown Los Angeles left us with anything but a strong impression. You’ll find mostly multinationals and other companies. On top of that, you see a huge number of homeless people here and that doesn’t make the picture any better. There is little coziness or uniqueness to this part of town.
Besides the fun museums and theme parks Los Angeles has to offer, we think this city is a bit overrated. There is much to see and do, but after a few days it’s more than enough. From the City of Angels, we really expected more. In addition, we were saddened to see how one side of this city belongs to the richest people in the world and another part of the city lives on the streets. This doesn’t make us happy. The City of Angels is rather the City of Many Faces.
From Los Angeles to Las Vegas
This was our week in Los Angeles, hopefully you find it helpful. Be sure to let us know what you think of los Angeles. We are now traveling on to Las Vegas and we are looking forward to that immensely! Can’t wait until then? Then you can follow us on Facebook or on Instagram. You can find our travel guide about America here.