You know what you just gotta do sometimes? Go on a little getaway to California. Being in Arkansas, I find myself usually exploring this half of the country, but man-oh-man is it worth it to branch out a every once in a while. I’ve been to the west coast quite a bit, but usually it’s for work and the journeys I’ve taken for fun were years ago. Recently though, we had the the opportunity to hop on a plane and be treated to a long weekend at the Loews Hollywood Hotel.
We spent three glorious nights right in the heart of La La Land. As we left the hotel, the stars of the Hollywood Walk of Fame were under our feet and inside the Hollywood sign was in perfect view from our (two!) king beds. When we arrived, we were greeted with an early check-in along with some major goodies in our room.
Our first day we were a little tired from the early morning flight, so after a bite to eat we all took some much needed naps. Waking up refreshed, we took a little trip to the rooftop swimming pool and then ventured out to dinner. We hopped in a Lyft and explored a part of Hollywood with two dining spots I’ve been admiring from afar for quite a while: Au Fudge (Jessica Biel’s restaurant) for a little dessert before dinner and Lisa Vanderpump’s SUR (featured in my guilty pleasure, Vanderpump Rules). Checking those items off my bucket list, we headed back for a good night’s sleep at Loews.
The next day we woke up and explored the area around the hotel. There are shops, restaurants, world-famous theaters, and other excitement surrounding the property. Loews Hollywood is actually a preferred hotel partnered with Universal Studios, so after breakfast at a retro diner around the corner, we were off to spend the day riding rides and drinking Butterbeer!
Universal Studios exceeded our expectations by far. Iris is on the small, but brave side so I was afraid there would be things that she wanted to do, but wouldn’t be big enough for. Thankfully, she could ride almost everything. We were pleasantly surprised that the wait times weren’t bad at all, and of course the California weather was perfection. I had forgotten that so many of the rides were 3-D, which was such a cool, unique experience.
Of course we had to stop by The Simpson’s Krusty Burger for lunch (and a Duff Beer!) and take the studio tour, but the main attraction for Iris was Harry Potter World. She has recently gotten into the movies, so our very first stop was for a Butterbeer, while our last stop of the day was for a wand at Ollivanders. One of the coolest things in Harry Potter world is that there is some legit magic in these wands. There are certain spots where you can stand, do a spell and actually make things move. After a very magical day, we headed back to the home at Loews where we had dinner in the hotel lounge, H2 Kitchen & Bar. It was exactly what we needed – a relaxing, yet delicious ending to our busy day.
The next morning after we slept in a bit, we grabbed coffee and breakfast from Bodega (the cutest little hotel shop, fully stocked with everything from wine to fresh fruit). From there, we headed over to the Santa Monica Pier because you can’t go to California without seeing the ocean! It was another gorgeous day so we explored the pier and dipped our toes in the pacific. From there, we made a spur of the moment decision to rent bikes and ride along the boardwalk to Venice Beach. I got quite a sunburn, which I’m still nursing, but it was well worth it.
On our last night, we wanted to stay around and enjoy the luxury of our hotel. We had an early morning flight and wanted to soak in the last hours in the comfort of our home for the weekend. There is so much to do, to see, to eat, to drink, to play, and so on – all right there. I only wish we had more time. Guess that means we’ll just have to venture back that way sometime soon..
Special thanks to the Loews Hollywood Hotel for hosting our stay! While our experience was sponsored, all opinions are my own.