#FOMO California- How to try and see as much of it and not go totally fomo mad
Updated: May 20, 2020
What I missed out on and what I managed to see to keep me California dreaming even when the leaves are not brown!
There is a reason why every other song is about California. This astonishing state is packed with world famous landmarks, breath-taking nature, and golden beaches.
Hollywood, The O.C., Beverly Hills, Malibu, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, San Diego, San Francisco, Route 101! You have heard about them in the songs, seen them in the TV shows and proudly wear at least one T-shirt with a California logo or slogan. Everything is a must-see and it is practically impossible for your #fomo not to kick in.
And the nature! Even if you don't step your food in a city, you just can't physically visit all the natural parks in California unless you spend a month or so there.
I failed! I couldn't see even half of what I wanted to in the two weeks I spent in California and would certainly go back if I get the chance to. Here is what I managed to see though.
"I am an actor but currently only doing minor roles so I need a second job," says the taxi driver and I know straight away I've just had the ultimate L.A. encounter.
"There are a lot of people like him here", later says my cousin who's lived in L.A. many years now, "taxi drivers, waiters, bar tenders".
On the next day as we are having our morning coffee, a group of teenage girls start shouting hysterically and taking photos with this dude I am apparently too old to recognise.
It is all feeling very La La Land and I am happy I get to see that side of L.A. - the aspiring actors, the celebrity culture.
Visually though the city is way less glamorous than I pictured it but I suspect it looks very different from the beach villa of a millionaire movie star.
Looking for all the glamour, naturally the first couple of stops are all Hollywood related.
Hollywood Walk of Fame & Boulevard
A landmark that you cannot miss once you are in L.A. but certainly not the most impressive place in the city.
It is crowded and, frankly, there is nothing else to do apart from take a photo with a star or two and move on.
Griffith Park & Observatory
With great exhibits and spectacular views of the city, this is the ultimate place to casually learn interesting facts, while getting that photo of the HOLLYWOOD sign you just can't leave L.A without.
It definitely lifts your spirit once you have been slightly left down by the Walk of Fame :)
Naturally, once you have done your Hollywood sign selfie, the next thing to do is go check out those California beaches everyone is on about.
This vibrant place makes you feel like you are in a Flo Rida video - palm trees, blue ocean, street performers, topless volleyball players, tanned girls in denim shorts sipping cocktails. I am pretty sure some of then were also roller skating or maybe my mind made that up?!
Anyway, r'n'b video vibe aside, the place has history of being artistic and bohemian and you can see a lot of hippies still, which adds extra colour to the area :)
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica beach and the very famour pier are within walking distance of Venice beach (almost nothing in L.A. is within walking distance!)
It also great, though different vibe from Venice beach. It is much more upscale and offers stunning postcard views.
If you failed to get infected with the Hollywood vibe during your L.A. stay, a visit at the Universal Studios will do it for you.
The theme park is massive and has so much to offer, so again your #fomo is certain to be activated. The nearly endless list of attractions includes behind-the-scenes shows, a amazing tour around familiar film sets and multiple themed area, such as The Simpsons' Springfield , Jurassic World and of course The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (click here for a post on Harry Potter-themed activities).
Dubbed the "American Riviera", Santa Barbara is only a two - hour drive from L.A. (that's evidently nothing in the US!) And if a short drive is not tempting enough, the fact that it is the start of the stunning Route 101 should do the work!
It is where some top celebrities and very lucky students go to enjoy the long sandy beaches and an occasional party in the USA!
A Rodeo Drive walk offers a great opportunity for people- watching and windows- shopping.
Definitely not the place to find those discount outlet stores people get so excited about visiting in the U.S. I went to one of those too, as everyone was telling me I should and you know, fomo!
I also visited San Francisco but this city is truly amazing and therefore deserves a post of its own (coming soon!)