Where we have been

Los Angeles: stunning weather, people and landscape

Travel Spotlight


Rimowa Salsa Air cabin case


Car hire via Avis


Total travel time 2.5 hours from Vancouver



May 2016
Pleasant, 20c

Los Angeles (LA for short), is the USA’s second most-populous city and is often regarded as the location where all the Hollywood movies are made. Whilst this is the case, there is so much more to do in this city. especially if you head out towards Santa Monica or further. There are a wide range of quality restaurants, well-maintained parks, shops and beaches. The city is vast, which can be a bit daunting, although if you get a rental car and master the highway system and you can easily secure yourself a varied vacation.

Our trip started out in Santa Monica at the stunning Palihouse. The Palihouse blends naturally with Santa Monica’s beach-town ambience. In a colonial style building with beautifully landscaped gardens and a great front courtyard with its own boules court. Our room (one-bedroom suite) was huge and consisted of a large bedroom, bathroom, powder room, living room and a fully kitted kitchen. It’s worth noting that there was no air conditioning in the room but, during our stay, it was breezy enough for not to be necessary. LA can certainly get warm, but it’s consistently pleasant rather than unbearably hot. There is a continental light breakfast included in the mornings and you can eat your breakfast in the small sunny courtyard.

During our stay in Santa Monica we utilised the location of the Palihouse and visited the shops which were within biking or walking distance, plus it was close to tourist hotspots like the famous farmers market and Santa Monica pier, the 100+ year old pier, which has plenty of stalls and attractions to keep you entertained. Less enjoyable, but rewarding in other ways, was the visit to the Santa Monica stairs. There are two sets of stairs, the wooden wider ones which are straight up and down and the rock ones which are narrow. We set out to use the wooden ones,  which are great for a quick workout. The only issue was that this spot has become very popular and can be extremely busy, which can take the ‘fun’ out of your workouts. This was partly offset by some of the characters we met on these stairs on a Sunday morning. Very entertaining, very LA, rather unexpected – but if you want find some famous old locals, this is something we’d recommend.

You know by now that we at Short Motivation love to keep our fitness levels at a high whilst we’re visiting another city. Within this in mind, and continue the training theme in stunning California weather, we headed to the (in)famous ‘Muscle Beach’, in Venice. Complete with a full outdoor gym there’s also rope climb, pull-up bars and rings, so plenty of options for exercise. Closer to Palihouse, is also the original Muscle Beach, just off Santa Monica pier, it is a lot smaller than the Venice muscle beach. We expected both to be busy, but were pleasantly  surprised to find only a handful of people working out.

After enjoying the Santa Monica beach, it was time to get in the car and to explore more of what Los Angeles had to offer. It is difficult to say that you have been to Los Angeles, and not stayed in Beverly Hills, so next stop was the famous SLS.  Set band in the middle of Beverly Hills, located within walking distance (but does anyone walk in LA?) to all the famous brands on Rodeo Drive this hotel consists of 297 rooms great designs the famous Bazaar restaurant and bar. On the rooftop there is a swimming pool which hosts rather bonkers daytime parties, along with a foam pool party, where you can enjoy a drink and rather loud music.

Whilst staying in Beverly Hills we decided to take a trip to a couple of the great coffee shops in the area which included our favourite in West Hollywood, Verve Coffee. With it’s own roastery on the spacious well designed premises, this promises to provide you with the caffeine hit you need, catering a wide variety of coffees including cold press.

We made a special effort one more to head downtown LA to visit Eggslut, in Grand Central Market. The sandwiches are served in amazing brioche buns with a variety of egg versions in between. It is a little pricey, perhaps a tiny bit too small, but it is definitely an experience. We had to go back for seconds! With limited time, we also tried to enjoy a variety of places for dinner. Two of which we regarded as great were Messhall Kitchen and Red Bird. We attended Messhall on their Barbeque night, with large platters and three meats of your choice, southern style. On the finer end of the restaurant spectrum, we went to Red Bird in Downtown. Housed in the old rectory of the Cardinal of Los Angeles (hence the name), Red Bird serves up decadent dishes, including fresh seafood and 36 ounce porterhouse steaks.

All this eating would make you think you’d put on the holiday pounds, but Los Angeles provides ample opportunities to exercise off the unwanted gains. In addition to the already mentioned muscle beaches. There are plenty and we attended Easton Gym Co on Beverly Blvd, with decent short term deals, a welcoming vibe, old school but  well maintained machines, a rooftop workout space and most importantly great clientele, the gym is one of our favourites anywhere we’ve been!

Finally, during our time there we decided to run in Griffith Park (Runyon was sadly closed) near the observatory, which is really a must while you are in Los Angeles, the views are vast and as usual the weather doesn’t disappoint.

A rather short visit to LA, but we’ll be back. After LA we were on our way to Palm Springs, which although just under 2 hours drive from LA, was very different experience altogether. Read our Palm Springs destination write-up for more.

Have you visited LA? If so, what did you think of the city? Any recommendations you can share with others? If so, add your thoughts to the comments below.

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About Author

Alex is the co-founder of Short Motivation and currently resides in Texas, heading up the US part of the website. He's busy with his PT qualifications and in the planning stages of Short Motivation events across the US later this year.