by Clara Yetter
When people typically talk about visiting the Pacific coast, tourists on vacation are looking for a relaxing, picturesque place to unwind and get away. Of all the many places to stay on the California coast, Los Angeles is not the first city that comes to mind. Maybe it’s because LA is always so bustling and busy; it’s full of Hollywood movie stars, ocean views, and (our least favorite) overcrowded highways. No one wants to sit in traffic for hours, figure out street parking, and finally arrive at the beach only to discover that it is completely packed with people!
So, scratch that—our Rosedale Travel founder, Kirsten Billhardt, has some insider tips from a local! Take it from digital nomad, Coach Moe Ghias, a travel-savvy entrepreneur who began his online fitness training business while living in sunny Los Angeles. Kirsten first got to know Moe through their shared alma mater, Kettering University in Flint, Michigan. After losing over 15 pounds through his 5-month fitness program, she experienced his transformative fitness coaching firsthand, with incredibly successful results!
Ghias was initially drawn to California to learn more about the health and fitness field and further enrich his knowledge, passion, and career goals. What better way to broaden your horizons than by visiting historical sites in-person, like the iconic Gold’s Gym Venice, the original Mecca of body building? With insights from our local guide Moe Ghias, we’ll take you through an exclusive 3-day LA travel itinerary that combines the classic tourist routes with a mix of wellness-focused activities and meditative spaces. Let’s get started!
Day One: You’ve arrived at LAX!
First thing’s first—it’s time to check in to your hotel. We recommend the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills for the resort-style pool and the consistently wonderful Four Seasons quality and service. This hotel features a wellness floor, with a private fitness suite and ‘well office.’ We also love Terranea Resort for the amazing Pacific ocean views, world-class spa and unique experiences such whale watching and falconry.
- Adventure out into the borough you’re staying in and map out any “must-see” items nearest you to cross them off your to-do list.
- Depending on the time of day, stop for a coffee at Tanner’s, an authentic, family-run coffee shop right next to Playa Del Ray beach.
- Have lunch at Playa Provision, a favorite nearby restaurant that’s known for its friendly service & delicious lobster rolls.
- If there’s time, walk around Marina Del Ray, and cross over to Venice Beach. Whether you watch the sunset at Playa del Rey or Venice Beach, the view is spectacular!
Day Two: It’s time for some touristy excursions!
Drive to the Griffith Park to see the ever-so-popular Hollywood sign. This activity is perfect for the sporty, fitness-lover types as it involves a decent hike with a breathtaking mountaintop view overlooking the entire city of LA. Along the way, however, is the Griffith Observatory, an art deco masterpiece with fascinating science exhibits suitable for both adults and kids. Plus, on the northern side of the park lies the Los Angeles Zoo which is perfect for bigger travel groups or families that have small children. Trek back down the mountain to stop by the Hollywood Walk of Fame before rounding out the day shopping at the trendiest high-end retailers in Beverly Hills!
- Traverse Griffith Park to get a close-up shot with the Hollywood sign in the background! Hike as little or as much as you’d like, but typically this endeavor takes around 3 hours total.
- After your morning exercise, take respite at The Sidewalk Grill on N Vermont Avenue for a delicious lunch (they have the best grilled salmon dish!).
- Visit Rodeo Drive to see the Beverly Hills sign and shop all your favorite upscale fashion brands like Hermes, Gucci, Cartier, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, and more!
- To blend in with the locals, go shopping at The Grove next to Pan Pacific Park. Enjoy access to a greater diversity of stores, restaurants, movie theatres, and more in this family-friendly outdoor shopping mall.
Day Three: Hit the gym, then relax on the beach.
It wouldn’t be southern Californian without the lovely weather, towering palm trees, and comforting sound of ocean waves hitting the sandy shore. For those focused on health and wellness, there are dozens of early-morning yoga classes on the beach. Plus, there’s always the famous body building hub, Gold’s Gym, which is centrally located along Venice Beach. It’s not only a historical landmark that is the best place for gym inspiration, but there’s also a high probability for celebrity sightings! Don’t worry—there’s still time to hit the beach to cool off, get a relaxing massage, or sunbathe. Walk the entire coastline as it sprawls north toward Santa Monica Pier, stopping for a tropical drink or smoothie along the way!
- Pick up a coffee at Blue Bottle café, just blocks from Venice Beach, and then head to Gold’s Gym for an unforgettable workout session. Continue along the ocean-front boardwalk to take a jog, enjoy the sunshine, or simply people-watch.
- Families and larger travel groups can spend the day swimming, playing beach volleyball, or taking surfing lessons at Santa Monica State Beach.
- For the best food and dessert options, visit pedestrian-only 3rd Street Promenade, a few minutes’ walk from the beach. Carlo’s Bake Shop, from popular TV show “Cake Boss,” is a must to try some of the tastiest cakes, cookies, cannoli, and more.
- Downtown Santa Monica is fun to explore at night, since so many high-end restaurants, clubs, and bars are within walking distance. Dine at the Blue Plate Taco restaurant for unparalleled Mexican cuisine and toast the evening with a drink at Onyx Rooftop Bar, while enjoying an idyllic view of the sun setting over the Pacific.
Every day, residents and tourists alike are inspired to look inward and ask the harder, existential questions thanks to the scenic landscapes and stunning sunsets of LA. As our guide Moe Ghias so eloquently puts it, Los Angeles can be summed up in one philosophical phrase: “You know what they say…New York is hard on the body, but LA is hard on the soul.”
From the beginning, it’s easy to let your heart fall in love with the “City of Angels.” With gorgeous weather, renowned landmarks, iconic neighborhoods, fine dining and shopping, cultural activities, and exquisite beaches, LA is an exciting, yet laidback coastal city that’s full of endless opportunities. If you’re feeling California-bound, let Rosedale Travel put together a luxury travel itinerary that matches your budget and accommodation preferences while appealing to your personal interests.
And if you’re looking for a way to reduce your weight and keep the fat off permanently, certified trainer Moe Ghias has guaranteed results! His coaching style is perfect for busy professionals who don’t have time to create their own regimented workouts. Ghias’ popular Training With The Titans program is a flexible, yet structured balance between 3 key principles: nutrition, training, and accountability. With this winning combination, he’s helped hundreds of people achieve the weight loss goals and healthy lifestyles they’ve always dreamed of!