I had the opportunity to visit California while I was in college. I attended a week long Honor’s Institute at Chapman University in Orange, California. The campus was beautiful and I had fun exploring it in my spare time. Full of palm trees, gardens, waterfalls, and even a piece of the Berlin Wall was displayed on campus.
We had one day to explore California so we fit as much in as possible. We visited Los Angeles first. Many people dislike graffiti, but to be honest, some of it was quite beautiful and artistic. I couldn’t help but wonder who did it, how long it took them, and how long would it be there. Beyond the graffiti filled smaller buildings were the towering sky scrapers, which always seem to amaze me coming from a small town.
A trip to California wouldn’t be complete without visiting Beverly Hills and Hollywood. We checked out the shops on Rodeo Drive (we didn’t actually go in, because who has money for that while they’re in college 😉 ).
We had lunch on Hollywood Boulevard and checked out the Walk of Fame and a wax museum. We also wanted to get a good view of the Hollywood sign, but if you’re ever planning to do this, plan ahead! The hills are like a maze of narrow, winding roads that seem to lead to even narrower, winding roads. Even if we would’ve found Griffith Observatory (google will lead you here if you do a search for directions to the Hollywood sign), we would’ve had to do some hiking to get there. Apparently there are “better” ways to view the sign; however, there is still hiking involved and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you do your research and have plenty of water packed for the hike. I personally want to do this in the future, so if I do, I’ll be sure to post updates.
Our next stop was Santa Monica. If you ever have the chance, be sure to check out the Third Street Promenade and the Santa Monica Pier. The Third Street Promenade is full of shopping boutiques, street performers, and plenty of dining options. We spent a good amount of time site seeing here, stopping in some of the unique shops, and listening to live street performers.
The Santa Monica Pier was another fascinating stop. How often do you see a Ferris wheel on a pier?! You can visit the shops, rent bikes and boogie boards, and visit the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. There’s plenty to do in Santa Monica and this is a trip you don’t have to do a lot of planning for.
California was one of the best trips I’ve been on and I can’t wait to go back. With so much to see and so many places to visit, how could I not?!