Thursday, July 22, 2010

want to plan a virtual vacation?

My cousin Deb is coming to the US in a few days, and is going to be in New York, Chicago, Orlando, Nashville, Dallas, Vegas and San Francisco. She'll be spending just over a month touring round and has been asking me for months for ideas, and me being very lame am only just getting around to it (yeah, I know - I suck)... anyhoo, I was thinking that we could have some fun and plan a virtual roadtrip to these places and come up with some ideas of cool things she could do (making up for my lack of planning ahead) what do you think???
so here is where you guys come in - I need recommendations on fun things to do in all these cities, then I'll post (over the next few days) some of the things I have come up with and we can add it altogether.

Here is her rough itinerary:
New York - 1 to 9 August
Chicago - 9 to 14 August
Orlando - 14 to 18 August
Nashville - 18 to 21 August
Dallas - 21 to 24 August
Las Vegas - 24 to 28 August
San Francisco - 28 August
Depart Los Angeles - 5 September

and technically it's not a road trip because she is flying from city to city, but that gives extra time in each place :)


  1. Ohhh, ok, I have to run to the gym in a few, but when I get back I'll give you Chicago suggestions!

  2. Alright...the great thing about Los Angeles is there are TONS of things to do. The bad thing about Los Angeles is there are TONS of things to do, and you have to drive forever to get anywhere. Gaa!

    -Santa Monica Pier & 3rd Street Promenade: The weather won't be as picture perfect early September, but it will still be hot. What's nice is you can do the beach parking for $10 all day, and then walk up to the promenade and spend the whole day hanging out. I HIGHLY recommend renting bikes and taking the bike path from Santa Monica through Venice, and you can even go further to Marina Del Rey. In Venice you can lock your bikes up and people watch - there are always awesome acts and cool things to see going on there. It's a little dirty, but super fun to walk around. You can easily spend an entire day just exploring Venice. And the bike path is right in the sand, so the views are beautiful.

    -See a show at the Hollywood Bowl: My boyfriend works for them (seasonally) and we get to go to a lot of awesome shows. It's pretty darn wonderful! The Los Angeles Philharmonic puts on some amazing shows on Tuesdays & Thursdays there, and on September 3rd and 4th Earth Wind and Fire are playing! The venue is amazing - there really isn't a bad seat in the house.

    -Visit the Getty Villa: Besides being one of the prettiest places ever, the architecture is amazing and the museum is stuffed with amazing finds. It's smaller and you have to make reservations, but it's super easy to do so. It's free to get in (!!) and I HIGHLY recommend visiting. It's just so feels like you're in Europe or somewhere amazing.

    -Go on a hike!! There are so many beautiful places to hike in Los Angeles, from short ones to long ones. We love hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains right past Pasadena or in Malibu Creek State Park, but a quick little impromptu hike is nice as well. Runyon Canyon is a great place to take a quick little hike, but it's super crowded and very short - if the weather is nice the views are lovely.
    Grant and I have been on TONS of hikes in the area. If your sister is interested, let me know! I can probably pinpoint a good hike for her, depending on what she's looking for. :)

    -Garment District: In downtown LOs Angeles, I just went here for my first time about a month ago. It was INSANE and we weren't prepared for it at all...If you are looking for cool clothes, or some amazing fabric it's definitely the place to go. It's super crowded (we went on the weekend) but a fun experience

  3. OMG I'm so crushed - I just wrote a NOVEL of things to do and sent it and it said it was too large, and it all went away :(

    I might just cry.

  4. (oh!! It worked! Here's the second half)

    1. At the beach: there's a cool little fish & chips place with an awesome outside seating area right in the beginning of Malibu. (we've eaten here when biking past Santa Monica, and it's also right north of the Getty Villa). It's called 'The Reel Inn'...soo good.
    2. In Hollywood: If you like Thai food, I've got two recommendations: Jitlada and Galanga. Jitlada is a little more expensive but SO worth it. It's super tiny and crowded and you would never expect it to be good, but aren't those places always the best? It's worth a trip. YUMM. Galanga is actually a block away from our apartment and we eat here at least once a week. It's super cheap (lunch specials are $5.95!) and very tasty. I could eat here every day. Grant's favorite is the pad thai, I love the spicy eggplant.

    El Compadre is also a really good mexican food restaraunt, coincidentally it's a block away from us too :) A lot of celebrity sightings here as well. The atmosphere is cool and the flaming margaritas pack a mean punch
    El Compadre:

    If they want to drive to Irvine Disneyland's there. It's about 40 minutes from Downtown...I haven't been since I was 12 (pathetic, I know) but I've wanted to go back forever now.

    Oh my. that was a lot. And the only reason I stopped was because I have to get back to work! But seriously, I've got loads more recommendations for food, hikes and places to go and things to see. If she needs any more ideas or clarification, just shoot me an email!! :)

  5. NY Correspondent here :)
    let's see..

    Rooftop bars are the place to be for summer so she should try:
    230 Fifth
    Plunge @ Hotel Gansevoort
    Dream Hotel

    Secret/Prohibition Bars:
    The Back Room
    Little Branch
    PDT (Please Don't Tell) - you go to a hot dog cafe and then step into a london phone booth and a door will open:)

    Good Eats
    Ariba Ariba

    There's a gazillion things..I have to add some more.. just ask


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