Fun Things to do in LA – A Quick Trip


Fun Things to do in LA - Hollywood sign, hollywood walk of fame, santa monica pier, beverly hills sign

There are so many fun things to do in LA, it’s hard to know where to begin. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I took a short trip to sunny Los Angeles, CA last week. If you don’t follow me, check out 3 Olives and a Twist  for a look at pretty things, yummy things, thoughtful things and happy things – I’m a little obsessed with Instagram lately!

In the short time I was there with Tony, Julia and Ally, the LA attractions we experienced left us wanting more. So much so, Ally reported she’d like to go to college in LA. Gulp, oh no! Too far, my girl, too far!

But I get it. The energy in LA is intoxicating and the weather quite nice. During our stay, the days were warm while the nights a bit cooler than expected.  We didn’t quite pack appropriately, but nothing a quick shop at LA’s cool outdoor mall, The Grove, couldn’t solve. Note to self – if ever I go back in fall, remember that Southern Californians wear boots and sweaters just like we do in the Northeast.  I can leave the flip flops at home.

Fun Things to do in LA

While living the LA life, we took in classic Los Angeles sightseeing destinations like the Hollywood Sign, the Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive, the Santa Monica Pier and, yes, I dragged my whole family to Sur Restaurant for my second visit there.

SUR Restaurant

Sur is the West Hollywood hot spot where my guilty pleasure reality show “Vanderpump Rules” takes place. I know I’m way too old to watch this show, but I’m hooked – I’m sorry, I just can’t look away! To be expected, I saw no “big names” but I did spy a few second and third tier characters who’ve had recurring appearances. Sur’s co-owner Guillermo was there, Lisa Vanderpump’s son Max was busy bussing tables and Stassi’s frequently featured friend, Christine was waiting tables as usual.

A quick ask of our waitress about her desire to be on the show and she replied, “No way – I have no interest in all that drama.” So why the heck work there? I wondered. While I do think the scene at Sur was a little mature for my girls, it was an interesting experience and the food was actually good.

The Ivy Restaurant

Not as good as The Ivy Restaurant where we ate the night before, but good nonetheless. The Ivy came highly recommended by our hotel concierge. Considered an LA landmark, it’s a buzzing and beautiful little spot, also in West Hollywood, where the ambiance actually outdid the food. We were greeted by gracious waiters wearing brightly colored floral neck ties who handed us flutes of champagne (strawberry spritzers for the girls) as we entered. We were seated at an outdoor table with a big bouquet of beautiful pink and yellow roses that matched the staff’s neckties and the colorful lights that surrounded the entryway. Everything about the place was so pretty, charming and cheery. If we were going to see a celebrity it was going to happen here for sure…it didn’t! Despite the fact that The Ivy is a known celebrity hangout we somehow managed to, again, see no one.

Go See a Lakers Game


A Lakers Game is a fun thing to do in LA
The Lakers vs. The Bulls at the Staples Center


We did, however, manage to see one celebrity when we attended The Lakers game.  While we were hoping for Jack Nicholson, Ashton and Mila or Rihanna, we ended up with Jay Mohr. Although, Julia and Ally had no idea who he was, I was happy enough to at least see someone I knew from the small screen.  Oddly, just before we left for LA I had randomly watched Suicide Kings starring Mohr. Weird, seeing that’s not something I would typically watch.

Jay Mohr aside – The Lakers game was a highlight of our trip. I never would have thought to go to a sporting event, but it turned out to be a great time. We had good seats, it was a good game and even the Laker Girls were entertaining.

Walk the Malibu Pier

In addition to the Santa Monica Pier, we also stopped off at the Malibu Pier. I was glad we strolled to the end because there we found the cutest gift shop called the Malibu Beach Supply Co. With not much else to do, I could have poked around this little shop for hours.

Malibu Beach Supply Co. - plants, oranges, mini VW buses, home decor
The Malibu Beach Supply Co. had so many great things from toys to home decor

Fun Things to Do in LA – Instagram Inspirations

While in Santa Monica, Ally suggested we track down a restaurant where pasta is prepared in a hollowed out wheel of cheese. I had just seen a video for this on Instagram – I was excited to see it firsthand. Forma Restaurant and Cheese Bar was located in a quaint, bustling downtown area. Side streets were full of adorable homes with distinct architecture, sidewalk cafes were full and we thoroughly enjoyed this little stop off our beaten path.  Both the pasta and the jaunt through the shops were a treat.

Forma Restaurant and Cheese Bar, a Santa Monica home, I got my wings! CottonHi
Forma Restaurant and Cheese Bar, and a unique Santa Monica home. I got my wings!… and Tiramisu ice cream with chocolate cotton candy from CottonHi.


Also seen on Instagram, Julia had us find one of several locations throughout the City of Angels where artful wings are painted on sides of buildings – perfect for picture taking purposes. We also found a specialty dessert spot, as seen on Instagram, in Koreatown and enjoyed cool cotton candy confections courtesy of CottonHi. Yum!

I loved discovering these unexpected spots on our own.

Tour Warner Brother’s Studio

And the last of our many fun things to do in LA was a tour of Warner Brother’s Studio. This was fun on so many levels. We got to see sets, backlots, soundstages, the most enormous prop house imaginable and sit on the Friends couch at Central Perk. I asked the girls if seeing how television shows and movies are actually made behind the scenes took away from the “magic” that is Hollywood. Gladly, they said no and felt the inside scoop made it all even more appealing.

set of friends' central perk
Ally, Julia and Me on the Friends couch in Central Perk


This was a great time of year to get away before the craziness of the holiday season. In just four short days, we saw so much – I couldn’t even chronicle all of it in one post.  I’m so glad we did it and can’t wait for my next chance to go back to explore even more fun things to do in LA. Fingers crossed it won’t be for a college tour.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! It’s good to be back and looking forward to the excitement of the holiday season.

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7 years ago

Awe so happy you guys had fun! I love LA! It’s sobbing and there is so much todo and see! I love vanderpumo rules too haha

Rachel | The Confused Millennial

7 years ago

I have never wanted to go to LA; but your account of LA. Makes me want include it sometime!

7 years ago
Reply to  Carolyn

It really is a fun place to visit. Especially if you like television like I do; you can’t help but feel immersed in that world. I find it exciting there.

7 years ago

Looks like everyone had a good time!