Day 1 - 2 Jan 2018
Content: We reached Los Angeles International Airport 4 hour’s journey from Chicago. It was one of the busiest airports in the US. When we landed there was a heavy crowd at the airport. We finished the security check quickly. The airport was less maintained. We booked a car for the Ace Hotel DTLA. Los Angeles is the second-largest city in California. Los Angeles is known for many things such as the Hollywood industry, beaches, and impressive art and culture.
Content: We checked into the hotel, the staff at the entrance welcomed us very kindly. The rooms are good and spacious. We spend some time to relax. After lunch, we headed to Griffith Observatory.
Content: Griffith Observatory is the most interesting experience-based attraction in the city. The Griffith Observatory is the first and foremost planetarium and astronomy museum in California. The best time to visit the Observatory is late afternoon. The place was so beautiful featuring some terraces from where you get a birds-eye view of the entire valley. On the opposite hill from the Observatory, there is an unobstructed view of the Hollywood Sign. It was the most iconic sight in Los Angeles. We looked through the Zeiss telescope which is used to view the moon and planets. We enjoyed the beauty of nature and landscape. We moved back to the hotel.
Content: We started our hike towards the Hollywood sign from Griffith Park. There are three main routes to reach the Hollywood sign. We chose an easy one that is the Mt. Hollywood trail from Griffith Park. We walked through Berlin forest which is planted to commemorate Los Angles and Berlin becoming sister cities. We found a bench area in the round of the last hill set up by Tiffany Co. We stopped at Dantes's view which is a very small area with a lot of benches to take rest. From the last bend, we could see Bee Rock. We reached the summit where we could see the amazing view of the sunset. There are dozens of people enjoying this beautiful view of the sunset. We came down with the help of touches and lamps. It was a very safe and comfortable hike.
Content: We stopped at Messhall for dinner on the way back to the hotel. The restaurant was filled with good ambience. The place was clean and neat. The staff was good and polite. We ordered roaster chicken and summer salad. The roasted chicken was presented impressively. The army green juice was very unique in its name as well as in its taste. The combination of apple, celery, and cucumber made it a refreshing one. Even our kids loved this drink.
Day 2 - 3 Jan 2018
Content: We set this day for Downtown Los Angeles. After breakfast from the hotel, we rent a private car and headed towards DTLA. It was a big area with trendy restaurants, cultural attractions, and budget-friendly shopping. It was a perfect hangout place.
Content: Our first stop was the Bradbury Building which was the oldest building and one of Los Angeles’ unique treasures. The building was featured in several films. It was famous for its architecture. This building still retains the original design- the open-caged elevator and exquisite ironwork that gave this place its fame. It was a well-known shooting location.
Content: Next, we moved to The Last Bookstore. It was located just a block away from Bradbury Building. It was known as an international tourist spot. At first glance, we thought as a normal bookstall but when we look close it has a wondrous collection of book-themed art hidden throughout the shelves. It was an extraordinary location for readers. The marble pillars and mile-high ceiling gave the structure of an old bank. The entire second floor was equipped with book-themed works of art as well as a handful of small art galleries and shops. There was a book tunnel which was a perfect place to take photos. My children loved this place, they enjoyed each part of the store. We could saw several vaults installed throughout the store. One of the places that attracted my eyes was a Rainbow-colored shelf. We kept our eyes busy with everything going on above and below. There was a vault downstairs in the children's section, with kid-size benches for reading. My children were busy in this section they enjoyed the place.
Content: We moved to Grand Central Market & Angel’s Flight Railway located right around the corner from Bradbury Building and The Last Bookstore. We checked out Eggslut located at Grand Central Market. It was famous for the LA Egg sandwich. The Grand Central Market was equipped with vendors of the new generation of food and drink. We saw Angel’s Flight Railway right across the street. It was a short, cable railway built on an inclined surface. It took us for a short ride between Hill Street and Grand Avenue on Bunker Hill. Then we moved to The Broad.
Content: We make our way to The Broad. It was a contemporary art museum. The entry was free but parking will cost. It was a 3- story building with impressive architecture. There were several attractive things are exhibited. On the first floor, the most impressive thing was Therien's Plates. It was a giant stack of plates arranged. There was an escalator ride up to the third-floor galleries at The Broad. That provided us to view of the rooftop portion of "The Veil." Another one of the most highlighted parts in the museum is Yayoi Kusama's "Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away." To visit inside the room we took an appointment in advance. Each visitor got some seconds alone in the room. Inside a mirrored room we stood alone with your many reflections and a galaxy of lights reflecting infinity. Robert Therien's "Under the Table" attracted my children. It was a huge table and chairs and big enough to walk under the table. The other major attractions in The Broad are Jeff Koons' "Tulips", Blue Balloon Dog, etc.
Content: We walked around the building and pay a visit to Disney Concert Hall. It was known for its unique appearance. There were both self-guided tours as well as guided tours available. We spend some time exploring the architecture of the building. The stairs and walkways allowed climbing up around the sweeping stainless steel sails to get really unique views of the structure and the downtown landscape.
Content: OUE SkySpace was the perfect spot to end the day. It was formerly known as the US Bank Tower. It is the tallest open-air observation deck. It is a must-see destination for panoramic, 360-degree views of Los Angeles. The highlighted thing was Skyslide. We could glide from the 70th to the 69th floor of the U.S. Bank Tower to get an incredible view of Los Angeles
Content: We had dinner from Umami Burger. It was a great option to try burgers in Los Angeles. We ate a classic burger and sweet potato fries. Both are excellent in taste. There Umami House Chopped Salad was tastier. The combination of grilled chicken with fresh vegetables made its uniqueness. Then we returned to the hotel.
Day 3 - 4 Jan 2018
Content: We reached Santa Barbara at 8 am after 2 hours journey. We prepared for one day around Santa Barbara. We started our day from a coffee shop. We found many cool cafes in the area known as Funk Zone. After coffee, we took a leisurely walk along Santa Barbara's beautiful beaches. We started from the harbour and walk along with the attractive palm tree-lined pathway. It was one of the most glamorous towns in California. Stearns wharf offered a mind-blowing view of the harbour and beaches.
Content: Santa Barbara Zoo was located at the hilltop facing the Pacific Ocean. It was a huge open space with a lush garden that gave the feel of a botanical garden. We saw snow leopard, elephant, giraffes, flamingos, and gorillas. There are vast species of animals. We hired the zoo train which was the best way to explore the zoo.
Content: After lunch, we reached Mission Santa Barbara which is located in the downtown area. It is called the "Queen of Missions" and very beautiful. We saw La Huerta Historic Garden which is amazing with some beautiful plants. There was a museum with art pieces from the colonial period. We enjoyed the place.
Content: We tasted the most famous wines in the city. The tasting rooms are the most ultimate place for wine lovers. We enjoyed the wine and headed back to Los Angeles.
Day 4 - 5 Jan 2018
Content: After breakfast, we started our third day with full of energy. The food was simple and good. We planned our day to Disney California Adventure which was a favourite for my children. We booked a cab to Disney California Adventure. We took about 45 minutes to reach.
Content: We reached Disney California Adventure which is the second park at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. We spend half a day enjoying the rides. It was home to eight themed areas, we started at Buena Vista Street and move clockwise through the park. There are many rides we could select and enjoy with kids. There was a statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse where Buena Vista Street meets Carthay Circle. The Red Car Trolley ride was available here. Then we moved to Grizzly Peak through which we reached Pixar Pier. It was divided into four neighborhoods that include Incredibles Park, Toy Story Boardwalk, Pixar Promenade, and Inside Out Headquarters. We headed toward the Pixar Pal-A-Round wheel with Mickey Mouse in the center. In Paradise Gardens Park, we saw rides such as Jumping’ Jellyfish, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, etc. We stopped at Cars Land and took some pictures. Then headed toward Hollywood Land where Disney Junior Dance Party happened. Hollywood Land’s buildings reflect the Golden Age of Hollywood. The most attractive part for kids was the Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. It was quite exciting and perfect for young kids.
Content: We stopped at Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land to take a break. It was one of the two main places to grab a bite in Disney California Adventure Park. The special was Adorable Snowman, a non-dairy lemon soft serve with a snow-cap of white chocolate.
Content: We returned to the hotel for fresh up. Then after checking out we booked a car for our journey to the next destination.
Day 4 - 5 Jan 2018
Content: We reached San Diego which is a famous city in Southern California. It was known for its golden beaches, perfect weather, and easy-going vibes. We planned for 3 days trip. It was a large city made up of a lot of neighbourhood. We checked in to Hampton Inn San Diego, located in Mission Valley along the famed Hotel Circle. It was an ideal place to stay for easy access around the city. The rooms are modern as well as well furnished. The room was equipped with a refrigerator and a bathtub. We had dinner from the dining area.
Day 5 - 6 Jan 2018
Content: We took half day to wander around Balboa Park. It was a large open grassy space where people can relax with their family or friends. The park was filled with museums, impressive architecture, gardens, and walkways. The park was formerly known as El Prado. We started walking from the Balboa Park Visitors Center. Inside the visitor’s centre, there was a charming gift shop where some handmade crafts of park artists were exhibited.
Content: Our first stop was the California Building and Tower which is an icon of San Diego. It attracted the eyes of visitors with its appearance in gold and blue colour. There are 15 museums in the park. Among them The Museum of Man, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego History Center, Comic-Con Museum, and Fleet Science Center are topmost. Some other attractions include Palm Canyon, The Desert Garden, Botanical Building, and Lily Pond, etc. Botanical Building and Lily Pond was an excellent place for photography. At the Japanese Friendship Garden we saw bonsai collection, koi ponds, and an exhibit house. The Old Globe was a theatre inspired by Shakespeare's Old Globe in London.
Content: We had lunch from Panama 66 located in The San Diego Museum of Art’s Sculpture Garden. They arranged seating outdoor so that we could enjoy the beauty of nature along with food. We started with tomato soup with Ceaser salad. They recommended us to choose a 4-sides plate. That is they allowed us to choose 4 dishes from the list. The Goddess was an excellent mixture of raw veggies with sunflower seeds. The dishes were fresh and delicious.
Content: In the evening we headed towards the Gaslamp Quarter of the city. It was famous for nightlife. It was the historical heart of the city. This place was surrounded by restaurants, lounges, shops, theatres, galleries, and nightclubs. We wandered along the streets to explore various art galleries and shops. When we walked through the 5th Avenue, the beautiful Victorian-era buildings that line the street attracted our eyes.
Content: We went to the Osetra Fish House for dinner. We ate Shrimp & Crab Macaroni. It was a good and excellent flavor of cheese dominated. The fresh was perfectly cooked. The wedge salad was another excellent dish with hard-boiled egg, and crispy bacon. After enjoying DJ from a lounge we headed back to the hotel.
Day 6 - 7 Jan 2018
Content: La Jolla Shores was our first destination of the day. The place was surrounded by a beautiful beach. Our kids really enjoyed the place. It was a part of La Jolla Village. We enjoyed activities such as Surfing, Stand-up Paddle boarding, Sea Kayaking, etc. There is a The Children's Pool close to downtown La Jolla and walking distance from La Jolla. It was a small pool surrounded by a concrete breakwater wall. Then we pay way to the Museum of Contemporary Art. We went to Birch Aquarium, part of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. The aquarium offered exhibitions as well as live shows to entertain kids.
Content: We had lunch on the way back from birch aquarium at Barbarella. We had smoked Salmon Benedict and Italian sausage. The food was delicious. Our kids really liked the food.
Content: Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve offered the best hiking in San Diego. We hiked along with expansive views over the Pacific ocean. There are three popular trails such as Beach Trail, Razor Point trail, and high point trail. We went for beach trail which was a three-quarter-mile trail through the upper reserve to the beach. We enjoyed the trail with the family. It was a photographic place, we got the most beautiful snaps on the backdrop of the beach. Then we returned to hotel.
Day 7 - 8 Jan 2018
Content: After a healthy breakfast, we headed to North Park. This day was dedicated to a relaxed trip. We decided to wander around the streets for shopping as well as to taste some dishes. The entire place was filled with creative boutiques, galleries, and hipster coffee shops. The Holy Matcha was a perfect start to brighten up our day. It was a perfect place for beautiful photos in the background of a decorated cafe. The Pigment shop was our next destination where we bought some plants and garden accessories. We enjoyed every part of North Park.
Content: We had our lunch from Dunedin located at North Park. It is a New Zealand–themed restaurant with amazing decorations. We tried Bombay Chicken which News Zealand special dish. The grilled chicken was accompanied by cucumber, yogurt, and mango chutney. The combination of chicken and chutney was superb.
Content: After lunch, we headed towards Coronado Beach. It was popular for sunbath and calm waves. Because of calm waves, kids can enjoy and play. The beach was located on the backdrop of the iconic Hotel Del Coronado. There are many local as well as travellers spending their time with family.
Content: We reached Sunset Cliffs after 30 minutes of travel. It was an extraordinary place to get pictures of a unique coastal landscape. We spend some time enjoying the view of the sunset. Then we return to the hotel and had dinner from the dining.
Day 8 - 9 Jan 2018
Content: We had a healthy breakfast from the hotel. The food was tasty and healthy. The staff was very polite and friendly.
Content: We dedicated this day to spend at the San Diego Zoo which was a favorite spot for all aged people. We booked San Diego Zoo bus tour to explore the entire within a short time. Our kids enjoyed the zoo sitting on the top of the double-decker bus. We could see lots of flamingos near the entrance of the zoo. Then we saw Otters which are very active and playful. Kids enjoyed penguins swimming in the pond. We got opportunities to learn about the training of different species. The Discovery Playground provided great space for kids to run around. Unlike other zoo experiences in San Diego Zoo, We had an entirely different experience. The wildlife preserve and the botanical garden offered a lot of adventure. We went for Caravan Safari that offered a great view of Asian as well as some African mammals and birds. We really enjoyed day with animals and nature.
Content: It was one of the most popular eateries in the park. The special kid's meal was available. The food was nice and well presented but taste not up to our expectation.
Content: We reached our hotel and packed our belongings. We had dinner from the restaurant nearby.
Day 9 - 10 Jan 2018
Content: Our final destination at San Diego was SeaWorld. The marine place offered an incredible view of many animals. We visited Sesame Street Bay of play which is full of rides. It was a perfect spot to enjoy with family. We booked our tickets in advance so that we could avoid long queues. We got only a short time to spend so that we quickly wind up our trip. The tank in front of the park was amazing with lots of tiny fishes that sucked our hands. We visited the animal care centre which was the kid's favourite place. The most important thing kid learned how to garage and plastics out of the ocean. There are so many things to see and do. It is better to spend the whole day in the park.
Content: We returned back to the hotel. We packed our belongings and headed to airport. We reached the San Diego airport. It was a small airport with all the necessary needs. We got early morning flight.