A Few Days in L.A.: Hiking, Healthy Foods Spots, & Beach Time

los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free

A Few Days in L.A.: Hiking, Healthy Foods Spots, & Beach Time


Hi, everyone.

It’s crazy to think that last year at this time I was traveling the coast of California. Where does the time go? It truly feels like I blinked, and a year had passed. I wanted to share the final few days of the trip spent in L.A. because even though it was a very chill visit, we ate at a few good places that I think you’d like if you’re ever in the L.A. area. I’ve had the travel bug these past few months, so writing this blog helped me relive a little of the California trip.
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free

After Caitlin and I spent the past week traveling the coast, we were pretty exhausted by the time we arrived at my brothers in Los Angelos. We were excited about spending a few days relaxing at the beach, going on a few hikes, and eating delicious food.
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy freeWhen we first arrived at my brother’s, we took some wine and snacks down to the beach to catch the sunset. It was one of the most relaxing parts of the trip. That’s one thing I’d love if I lived near the water. There’s nothing like ending the day with sounds of the ocean, a beautiful sunset, and that fresh breeze.
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
The next morning, we headed to Bondi Harvest, which is now called Blueys Cafe & Market, for breakfast. This spot is super casual, and you’ll get the California surf vibe you’ve always dreamed of ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bluey’s Cafe & Marketlos angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy freelos angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free

los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy freeFor breakfast, I had their gluten-free avocado toast with eggs on top. This was the perfect pre-hike breakfast.

Of course, the coffee was the icing on top of it all.
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free

 

The Hollywood Hike

After breakfast, we headed out for our Hollywood sign hike.

We did the Canyon Drive Trail Hike, which is about four miles round-trip and takes about two and a half hours to complete.

I’ve done this hike a few times, and you’ll want to bring water since it’s dusty and sunny, bug spray, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a leash for your dog. We saw several coyotes out running around.
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy freeThe views are so gorgeous!
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
It’s crazy to think my hair was blonde this time last year. It was fun, but I’m sticking with brunette from now on.
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy freeMade it to Hollywood!
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
Cafe Gratitude

One of the best moments of my life was at Cafe Gratitude after our hike. It wasn’t because of the food, oh, and the food was amazing, it was because of who sat down next to us. My brother and I grew up watching the movie Major Payne every night for years. I’m not joking when I say that we can quote every single line of that film. I spent every Wednesday night watching My Wife and Kids. It was one of the best shows on television, and sometimes I’ll catch the reruns on t.v. to this day. So when Damon Wayans sat down at the table next to us, my brother and I looked at each other and just lost all the color in our faces. Caitlin was confused as to why we were being so weird. Literally, I didn’t know “starstruck” was a real thing. He asked us how our appetizer was, and my brother literally picked it up and offered it to him (the waitress had just set it down, and we hadn’t even tried it.) We never blew our super fan cover because we didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable. Do you ever hear those Hollywood stories where people saying, “oh, that guy is a real jerk in real life?” Well, I can honestly say Damon Wayans is a real-life sweetheart. He was personable, friendly, and down to earth. We didn’t want to be “those” people and ask him for a photo, so we just let him know we were big fans as he got up and left. This may mean nothing to you, but it was probably the best moment of 2019 for my brother and I. I mean, getting engaged and building a home was amazing, too ๐Ÿ˜‚
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
Oh, and if you’re wondering…

I ordered the tomato bisque soup with the caesar salad & coconut bacon and a ginger and kale lemonade. The food was delicious. My brother ordered the black bean burger but said he couldn’t remember how it tasted because he ate it too fast. He was still in starstruck mode ๐Ÿ˜† But, I did have a bite, and I can, in fact, confirm that it tasted amazing!ย los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
We all split a slice of vegan key lime pie. The sugar spike was needed after our moment of weakness.

I don’t know how they make their desserts so good, but wow! I’m not even a big key lime fan, but I’d eat this over again.

Rise-n-Grind Coffee & Juice Bar

After lunch, we stopped on Hollywood Blvd for coffee and a stroll. This was Caitlin’s first time in downtown L.A., so it was neat to see the stars and walk around some of the shops. I want to go on one fo those Hollywood tour buses next time I’m in L.A.!
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy freeAfter a much-needed nap, we got dressed and ready to go out with T.C. and his girlfriend for dinner.ย los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
We had dinner at the Blue Plate Oysterette.

Abby picked this place out, and she was spot on when she said we’d love it. The spot was so cozy out on the patio, and they gave us cute blankets and sat us by the heaters.

Blue Plate Oysterette

I will not do oysters, but everyone at the table raved about them. There’s your review. ๐Ÿ˜†
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
I ordered their mahi-mahi fish tacos with guacamole, tartar sauce, and french fries for the table. I don’t know what has gotten into me the past few years, but I’ve turned into a fish taco lover. I would 100% come back to this place again! When all of the restrictions are lifted, and the world is safe again, Kyle and I are making a trip out there.
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
After dinner, we walked over to Elephante to sit out on the balcony and have a drink. Santa Monica is a cool spot.

Elephante
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy freeStill, on a jetlag schedule, I was up at 5 am with my coffee and book.

Caitlin and I went on a small run (when I was on a really good running schedule ๐Ÿ˜ข) the early morning before having breakfast and going to the beach.
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy freeAfter filling up on oats, we all headed down to the beach to play sand volleyball with my brother’s friends. Luckily, we were fresh out of our sand volleyball league, so we weren’t too rusty.

Beach Volleyball
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
The water was still pretty cold, but it felt good after playing in the hot sand for hours.
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy freeย los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy freeI never fail to bring cookies to the beach.
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free

los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy freeCaitlin and I got cleaned up and headed to True Food Kitchen before her flight.

True Food Kitchen
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
I started with a skinny margarita๐Ÿ˜‹ย ย los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
We split the arugula, asparagus, and strawberry salad with almond ricotta.
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy freeOne of the BEST meals I’ve had…

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the spaghetti squash casserole! I even ordered it in D.C., and it tasted just as good. It comes with crushed organic DiNapoli tomato, caramelized onion, zucchini, and almond ricotta cheese.

I totally forgot to take photos (but I did film it in our California vlog) our vegan ice cream and espresso shots to end the dinner!

After dropping Caitlin off at the airport, I headed straight for a nap, and then woke up to my brother singing into my vlog camera after a few rum and cokes. It’s on the vlog, and it’s pretty funny. After jamming out, I went straight to bed!ย ย los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
The next evening, we had dinner with Abby!

We made salmon with aioli, vegan broccoli salad, and roasted vegetables. ๐Ÿ˜‹ย los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
The next morning, I got up and had coffee, ate some yogurt, and packed my bags for my flight later that evening.ย los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy freeMy brother and I ended up doing a 4-mile run on the boardwalk, which was awesome! He’s an incredible runner, but he stayed at my pace, which was nice. I needed that workout before my red-eye flight back home.

Manhattan Beachย los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
On our way back, we stopped at Java Jo’s for coffee.ย los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
We stopped into the Source Cafe to pick up a few quick bites after our run. We were HUNGRY and needed something to hold us over until lunch.
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
We had their almond balls with almond, almond butter, flax, nibs, maple, vanilla, rolled in granola. OMGOOOODNESS.

SO GOOD.
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
My brother and I headed to Sage Plant Bistro for a late lunch. I’m glad we went for a run in the morning because we were ready to stuff our faces!
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy freeWe started with the three cauliflower wing platter. It had gluten-free tempura spicy buffalo, sweet and sour, and bbq wings. Just WOW! It reminded me of the time my brother, and I had the best cauliflower wings in Colorado!

Sage Plant-Based Bistroย 

We also had their chili ‘cheese’ fries. These were OK compared to the wings. They had fresh cut fries topped with house-made black bean chili, ‘cheese,’ garlic aioli, & habanero cream ‘cheese.’los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free

Just when we thought we were full, we had our pizza come out! It as a gluten-free buckwheat pizza with marinara and vegan cheese.
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free

Kreation

We stopped at Kreation on the way back so I could get a couple of snacks to bring to the airport since I had ten-hour travel ahead of me. Luckily it was the red-eye, so I slept most of the time.
los angelos, healthy eats in l.a., where to eat travel guide, los Angelous, la travel, vegan, gluten free, california, hike, dairy free
The plane ride home was smooth, and I spent most of the tie reflecting on one of the most amazing trips of my life.

If youย haven’t checked out my other blogs from California, make sure to do so! ๐Ÿ˜Š


Questions for you

  1. Where do you want to travel to?
  2. How do you like to ‘relax’ when you’re on vacation?
  3. What is one food you’ve been loving lately that you used to dislike?

Comments

  • Harriet

    Oh this was just the blog I need to read today, I can not wait to travel again! I am biting at the bit to hit the road. we have had all our internal travel restrictions lifted which is nice, and I am now only working 4 days a week so I can go road trips. My next place to visit within new Zealand will be Raglan, its this cute little hippy surf town. Plus I am planning a family trip to the cook islands for later in the year. I am one of those people that love to hike, swim etc. to relax on vacation, but I always do book in a spa day.
    I use to hate avocado’s now I cannot get enough of them! I also now have a avocado tree growing in my garden, its become an addiction! Hope you have a fantastic weekend.

    Reply to Harriet
  • Stacie

    Where is your polka dot outfit from – it’s adorable!!

    Reply to Stacie
  • Milena

    Hi Taralynn!

    You make me wanna go to California right now! We were planning holidays in USA this Autumn but due to the circumstances I think we will postpone it for next year. This year we would like to explore Spain! We’ve been living here for years and there are still many places on our list to visit! ๐Ÿ™‚

    When I’m on vacation I like to walk as much as possible and take my breaks in small, hidden spots like coffee shops etc. I like to find the beauty in small thinks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a nice week and can’t wait to see your recaps again!

    Reply to Milena
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Milena!

      โ™ฅ๏ธ That sounds like a pretty good silver lining. I’m sure Spain is endlessly beautiful!

      I agree ๐Ÿ˜Š the best way to spend a vacation!

      xo โ™ฅ๏ธ

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Miranda

    Rise N Grind is in Hollywood, not downtown LA. Downtown LA is a totally different neighborhood (about 8-9 miles southeast). DTLA is cool but a VERY different vibe from all areas of Hollywood ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Miranda
  • Madeline

    Oh my gosh all of that food looked delicious! I got halfway through before texting my husband that I miss traveling. Thanks for sharing that today! It was fun to relive a very different time in our world.

    Where do you want to travel to? Literally anywhere HAHA but under normal circumstances, we had plans to spend about a week in San Diego so I’m really missing that trip. Our next big trip is Italy.

    How do you like to โ€˜relaxโ€™ when youโ€™re on vacation? Take a nap after a busy morning of exploring/hiking and before a late-night dinner. I never take naps at home so it feels like a luxury.

    What is one food youโ€™ve been loving lately that you used to dislike? Hard to say because I think I am the least-picky eater. I’m seriously a garbage disposal and always have been.

    Reply to Madeline
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Madeline!

      I felt the same while writing it up! I keep getting that itch.

      Wow your upcoming trips are going to be amazing! โ™ฅ๏ธ Can’t wait to hear all about your Italy trip.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cassie

    I honestly can’t wait to travel. I have never been to Cali but my fiance has and he added it to the list. I’m not mad haha. We have a few trips planned this year already when things start opening back up so hopefully next year we will get there! I will def be using your blog as a reference. I already have for the camping trip next month haha. Enjoy your day bbe!

    Reply to Cassie
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Looks like you’re living the life, Taralynn! I’m so jealous! Meanwhile, I’m stuck in the office working a 9-5… sigh! โค๏ธโœจ

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Ashton Jury

    As a girl from Southern California I definitely appreciated this post! I hope you’ll come back soon, and check more stuff out when we open up a bit more. Our last trip was to London, so I’d really love to go tropical like either back to Maui or maybe Key West Florida. One of my favorite things to do on vacation is to walk to a local coffee shop and just relax in the morning while my husband sleeps in and then I’ll bring him back breakfast. I used to HATE bell peppers (i’m still not a fan of the green ones) but I love the red and orange ones and I have been making my own sheet pan fajitas or mexican style burrito bowls, they are delicious! Can’t wait for your recaps to come back!

    Reply to Ashton Jury
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Ashton!

      I will 100% come back soon.

      That’s my favorite way to relax on a vacation too ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Ohhhhh they’re so good in fajitas!!! Maybe that’s what I’ll make for dinner! ๐Ÿ˜‹

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    Where do I begin ๐Ÿ˜† my honeymoon will likely be the next place I travel (unless I use an airfare credit to go see my friend out in DC before it expires Dec 9), and I really really REALLY want to go to Hawaii! If the world isn’t quite ready for that yet, we may do FL since it’s warm down there in December. That way we can always just do the airbnb and beach if all else fails!

    I’m a huge beach person. So for me it’s sitting at the beach and/or pool and reading, taking photos, and trying new restaurants! Super chill and some of my fav things ๐Ÿฅฐ

    Pickles lol but as of now I will only eat the tiny whole pickles! We’ll see how long this lasts…

    Reply to Jennifer
  • Stephanie

    Your polka dot dress is so cute! Reminds me of the one Julia Roberts wears in pretty woman !!

    Reply to Stephanie

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