By Monique Mauser, Customer Service Executive

The itinerary I got chosen to go on was LA Neighbourhoods which included destinations such as  LA Downtown, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Oakland and a day trip to San Francisco. I enjoyed every single part of my trip, however the main highlights were Universal Studios in Hollywood, the boat tour we had around San Francisco, Alcatraz, and my whole time in Santa Monica.

I feel so lucky to have experienced such an amazing opportunity thanks to Visit California and    British Airways. Below I have highlighted what we did on each day of this amazing trip!




  • On our first day in Downtown LA we visited OUE Skyspace which is California’s tallest open-air observation deck with a panoramic 360-degree view of Los Angeles.

  • During the afternoon/evening we had an LA Beer Hop where we enjoyed tasting of all different types of locally brewed craft beer. Here, we also learnt how beer goes from grain to glass which was very interesting to see.

  • The following day we went to Universal Studios Hollywood and had a morning of leisure time at the theme park. After this we had lunch at the VIP Dining Room at Moulin Rouge and then had more free time to explore Universal for ourselves. Here we went on rides, browsed the gift shops, and also went on a Hollywood Studio Tour where we got to see where some of the most famous movies were filmed.

 

  • Our first evening in Santa Monica we were treated by our hotel, Shangri-La, to appetisers and drinks on the rooftop bar overlooking the most beautiful sunset over the sea.

  • We had a walking tour around Santa Monica and stopped off at different restaurants throughout to try different food such as Asian, Australian and Thai.

  • We visited the local Farmer’s Market which gave us the chance to experience local culture in Santa Monica where we got to buy fresh fruit, freshly squeezed lemonade, and had the chance to look at some handmade jewellery made by the locals.

  • We spent our final day in Santa Monica doing a little bit of shopping and then headed to the beach to visit the original Muscle Beach! We then spent the rest of the afternoon on the theme park on the pier.

 

 

  • Here we checked into the most amazing hotel, The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills where we were greeted by two English Bulldog puppies, Winston and Churchill, and also got the keys to our very own suites.

  • After we had time to enjoy the suites, we headed up to enjoy appetisers and drinks on the rooftop of the Vivienne Westwood penthouse and again experienced another beautiful sunset.

  • We experienced part of the night life in West Hollywood and got dined at a restaurant called E.P & L.P which was an amazing Asian restaurant. Then we headed out to The Abbey, the most popular gay bar in the United States

  • On our final day we had a guided bike tour around West Hollywood and Beverly Hills and saw amazing houses (even the house where Elvis Presley used to live and filmed the music video Blue Hawaii) and also heard the story and learnt about the history of Greystone Mansion.

 

  • All 100 agents from the ten itineraries that Visit California had organised for us met up for the 2 night finale in Oakland.

  • We had a boat trip around San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz for our final full day and where saw Seals, Sea Lions and Harbour Porpoises.

  • The grand finale night was held at Oakland Zoo and there were different drink stations where you could try different kinds of alcohol. We then took a cable car up to the restaurant which boasted views of the zoo and the city. Each group gave a small presentation about their weeks and shared them with the rest of the groups.

  • The day of departure from California we had leisure time and took a boat into San Francisco and spent some final time exploring the city before heading to San Jose airport to catch our flight home.