A West Coast winter vacation

My favorite thing about the West Coast? The air. It might sound crazy to people from other parts of the U.S. or people who have never ventured west — but the air is so much fresher. I just got back from Los Angeles, visiting my family for the the holidays, and the smell of palm trees was simply intoxicating each time I stepped outside. I grew up in California, and it’s been that way since I can remember.

My trip back home was everything I wanted and more. One of my first stops was to Universal Studios CityWalk, which if you haven’t heard is a restaurant and shopping area attached to the famous film studio and theme park that is Universal Studios. My dad and I strolled throughout CityWalk, looking at all the fun attractions along the way. I’ve been to Universal many, many times, but the beauty of CityWalk is that not much changes over time, so each trip feels like home.

My boyfriend arrived in LA a few days after me, and that’s when the real adventure began as it was only his third time in California and he wanted to see everything possible.

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Since Los Angeles is known for its famous hiking trails, we always go hiking each time we’re in town. This time, we ventured up the lovely trail of Will Rogers State Park in Malibu. The hike is one of the easier trails in Los Angeles, with a distance of around three miles. At a very relaxing pace, it took us about 25 minutes to get to the top, which is by far, the best part. Called “Inspiration Point,” the tippy top of Will Rogers Park is filled with a breathtaking view of Downtown Los Angeles and Malibu Beach.

We perched up on one of the benches on the hill and couldn’t help feeling in complete awe of what surrounded us. The many greens and blues we overlooked took our breath away and we were more relaxed than ever.

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Afterwards, we headed over to a delicious little restaurant in Malibu called Gladstones. It’s undeniably one of my favorite seafood spots in the Bu. Our table was outside, with the most gorgeous view of the ocean next to us. I ordered a chicken wrap and Tim ordered the tastiest shrimp I’ve ever tried in my entire life. Later, we took a stroll next to the water and enjoyed more of the lovely weather.

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That same week, the weather hit close to 80 degrees, so naturally we had to head to the beach. One of our favorite beaches in LA is Santa Monica beach. It’s home to one of the most famous piers in the world and is really just an overall lovely town. We grabbed some mangos, a spot near the water and chilled out to the point of almost falling asleep. The sun hitting our faces, the cool breeze of the ocean and the sound of the waves made for a perfect day.

Since we adore Santa Monica so much, we also decided to get some exercise while in the area. I rented a bike and Tim rented roller blades from a quaint little shop on the boardwalk and off we rode along the trail by the water. Trust me when I say, there’s absolutely nothing like a run, bike ride, stroll, etc. along a beach boardwalk.

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The last few days in Cali were magical, of course. We spent time with my parents, experienced more classic LA things like Westwood Village, the Santa Monica Promenade and of course, those famous Los Angeles sunsets. It was an overall flawless trip.

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If you’re thinking about taking a trip in 2017, I recommend somewhere in California. If not LA — San Diego or San Fransisco are also fabulous options. Have any other vacation ideas? Drop em’ in the comments below, we’d love a new adventure for the new year! xx ❤

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