A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I took a 10 day trip to sunny California for a break from this rainy and gloomy non-existent Spring in Toronto. Fortunately, we were able to get away for some warm ocean breeze, sunshine, and my favorite, the desert! This week’s post is the first one in my California series that I’ll be doing over the next few weeks. We had the most amazing time experiencing all that LA had to offer from the gorgeous hikes that take you to the best scenic overlooks of the city, to the beautiful beaches, INSANE vintage shopping and flea markets, and of course the best food! I could eat from a taco food truck there everyday and I wouldn’t be mad about it haha.
To start it all off, this week I’m gonna spill one of my favorite non-touristy spots for you to get one of the best views of LA, all atop a giant swing! I’m sure you’ve seen those infamous swing pictures over the Bali rice fields, and this spot is pretty similar, but instead of the rice fields, you get a stunning view of the city. Situated in Elysian Park which is pretty much right in downtown LA, simply search up “Swing on Top of Elysian Park” on Google Maps and it will take you right there. There is a parking lot at the bottom and a big open green field on either side of it, but once you arrive, you’ll want to walk up the sloping road to your right. After about a minute, you’ll reach a huge, steep dirt hill and you’ll wonder if this is where the swing is. Of course, the swing is at the top because great things come to those who work for it. Don’t worry though, the hike is a very short 5 minutes, albeit, a very steep one. Just make sure you have proper footwear on and you’ll be fine! I went up in my Doc Martens and I was fine.
Once I got to the top, I was quite surprised by how small it actually was up there. The swing is attached to a tree at the top, but there’s not much space up there for anything else. Luckily, there was no one else there when we went, so we were able to take our time on the swing to enjoy the view and take some pictures. Since the view here overlooks downtown LA and there is a highway right underneath, you won’t get the same views of the city and the mansions nestled in the hills as you would if you were hiking Runyon Canyon or one of the trails in Griffith Park. The elevation here is also not as high and so some may think the view is not as grand, but I think for a very short hike and no crowd, it’s still pretty great! I highly recommend the Swing on Elysian Park if you’re looking for a less crowded place to still get a decent city view.
Now if you’re wondering if I hiked up there in this little dress, the answer is yes! Like I said, the hike is really short, so it wasn’t a problem at all. I got this For Love & Lemons dress last year, but never had the chance to wear it since it’s always cold in Toronto, so I knew I had to wear it in LA. I was so excited to wear it that I wore it on our first full day in LA and the day we went to Elysian Park. This exact dress is currently sold out, but For Love & Lemons has some similar dresses with the polka dot and floral mixed patterns. I’ve linked them above for you guys to shop! To balance out the girliness of the dress and for lack of a better hiking boot, I paired the dress with my new Doc Marten platform chelsea boots. I know the platform Docs have been everywhere lately, but I actually haven’t seen the chelsea boot version as much, so that’s why I got them. They’re actually so comfortable to walk in after breaking them in, and make the perfect hiking boot because of their huge soles and their durability.
After enjoying Elysian park in the morning, we later stopped by the famous Amoeba record store on Sunset Boulevard. My boyfriend and I were SOOOO excited because the night before while I was going through my Instagram feed, my favorite band Local Natives posted that they would be doing a free in-store show at Amoeba!!! This was to promote their new album Violet Street which came out that week and all we had to do was purchase the record in store and we would be guaranteed spots to the show. Now if you guys have been following my blog for a while, you’ll know how much I love Local Natives. I’ve featured them quite a few times on here, and have always been a fan of any of the band member’s work. So despite this being a super last minute idea, we knew we HAD to go to this! It ended up being hands down one of the highlights of our trip as we were also able to meet the band afterwards! All the members were super nice and were very grateful that we came to see them. Of course their live performance was amazing as usual. The set list was pretty short but they played a mix of some of their popular older tunes along with several new ones as well. They are also currently on the first leg of their tour, so you can catch them on the road as well! You know where to find us.
Since we got to see our favourite band and meet them, it only makes sense that this week I feature one of their songs from their new album. And it just so happens that there’s a song called Garden of Elysian on there – how fitting! This song also happens to be one of my favourites off the album. It is super mellow and laid back, making it the perfect song to listen to while getting ready in the morning. Definitely give it a listen below, and if you enjoy it, give their entire new album Violet Street a listen.
Well this concludes day 1 of our LA adventures. Stay tuned because in the next few weeks I’m so excited to share with you more LA content and of course our desert adventures!