For anyone traveling from San Diego to Los Angeles or vice versa, I would highly recommend Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner service. Especially if you'd rather eat feces than sit in traffic (sorry for the graphic, but I know you know the feeling) or anticipate some sort of hangover on at least one leg of your trip. Allowing someone else to focus on the driving is always best in this scenario. In my opinion, it is a logical and affordable alternative to driving. Of course prices are subject to change, but when I rode, it was $29 each way. I would have spent at least that amount on gas each way.. I'm assuming.. as well as an unquantifiable amount on stress and anxiety. It makes quite a few stops, but still gets you to LA in about 2 and 1/2 hours. Plus, it offers alcoholic beverages, snacks, sandwiches, and stunning coastal views for much of the ride. If you hit the nail on the head, then you'll have the pleasure of riding under the leadership of a hilarious conductor. This helped to cure my hangover on the way home. Well, that and Dominos.
Anyway, my friend lives in West Hollywood. I was sort of mesmerized by just the idea of being in LA as I'd never been.. we could have stayed in her apartment the entire time and I still would have been star-struck. My one touristy request was to see the Hollywood sign.. I mean, why not?
What? You can't see it? It's close to the top of the hill - almost blends in with the clouds. We took the photo from Mulholland Drive. Weather wasn't the best that weekend, but I was quite intrigued by the clouds. It doesn't take much..
If you've never been to the Los Angeles area, then I would highly recommend brunch at Hamburger Mary's. While it's not unique to Los Angeles, the mimosas, Bloody Marys, atmosphere, and wait staff were top-notch. I'd also suggest a stroll along Venice Beach. They've both changed my life forever. You'll understand once you've experienced for yourself.