When you think of Los Angeles, the Hollywood sign and palm trees may come to mind first. That's an accurate vision, but for me, LA is just my home. I've lived here for over three years now, and I'm starting to feel like a local rather than a recent transplant. I've gotten so used to LA life that things like traffic are just an everyday norm. In getting adjusted, the city and I lost a bit of our spark together. That's why I lived like a tourist in my city for a day, and it truly reminded me why I fell in love with it.
I've settled into a great apartment in a neighborhood I love, and find myself frequenting the same cafes and restaurants every single day. Don't get me wrong: I love it all, but sometimes, you just need to switch things up.
I knew I wanted to move to LA after I experienced it as a tourist on my last spring break in college. That week allowed me to embrace all of that Hollywood magic you see in movies and TV shows, and it was what encouraged me to make the move.
So, for a little pick-me-up, I decided to be a complete tourist in my own town. I experienced the magic once again.
I used this day as an excuse to visit an iconic site.
Iconic sites are always a good place to start when you want to be a tourist in your own city. When I lived in New York City, I kept telling myself that eventually, I'd take a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, but I kept putting it off.
When you live in a tourist hotspot, you have the mentality that you have all the time in the world to see the iconic sites. But alas, that typically means you end up putting them off.
Since living in LA, I knew I wanted to hike to the Hollywood Sign. Of course, I had seen the sign everywhere — it's pretty hard to miss — but I never actually got super close. This was my chance, and it did not disappoint.
I went on a studio tour.
It wouldn't be a tourist day in LA without doing a studio tour. Out of all the tours in Hollywood, I have to say, Warner Brothers Studio Tour is my personal favorite. I loved being able to see the backlot where they shot Gilmore Girls, and so many other TV shows and movies I love. I honestly felt like I jumped into my TV screen and was a Stars Hollow local casually walking around town.
Studio tours are a perfect way for you to get a little bit of that Hollywood magic you've always dreamed about. You also never know what amazing things you might see, as all tours are different. I was looking to fall in love again, and this tour had me leaving with heart eyes for my city.
I tried out a cafe in a different part of town.
Sometimes I forget just how big LA is, because I tend to stay in my own little area without venturing out to new places. That's especially true when it comes to coffee shops. I love finding cute little spots that serve Instagrammable treats and delicious lattes. However, I have plenty of adorable spots near my apartment, and I just end up rotating between them.
I haven't tried a different cafe in so long, so I used this tourist day to do just that. I made a pitstop at Carrera Cafe, which is an incredibly Insta-worthy spot with different flavored doughnuts and lattes. Though, the best part is, you can order any kind of foam art in your latte. Obviously, I had to do this for my Instagram feed.
I usually avoid the touristy parts of town because of the crowds and corniness of seeing Batman and Marilyn Monroe walking down Hollywood Blvd. But, on this day, I was reminded that it really is nice to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. I've loved my time in Los Angeles thus far, but a moment to pause is always necessary to remember why I moved here and why I love it so much.