Our Personal Tour Around California

Last Updated on April 29, 2021

While we were on our LA, California beach tour, we started chatting with the shuttle bus driver about other tour options available. We came to the conclusion that the most cost-effective method was to take him up on his offer of showing us around himself. He seemed like a cool enough guy, and he couldn’t be that bad of a person if he is already giving tours around the area, right?

We ended up learning more about his life story than we ever would have wanted to, but at the end of the day, he turned out to be a really awesome guy and we arrived back at our hotel safe and sound and unharmed. We had a great day driving around and saw more sights than we would have otherwise been able to see.

Highlights of our day included:

Santa Monica

The busy, bustling Santa Monica Pier felt like it was “the place to be” with so many tacky shops, eateries, entertainment options and views of the bay and mountains. Activities at the Pier are rather expensive, but if you walk all the way to the end of the pier , you’ll feel like you’re standing on the water; It’s like going out to sea without leaving the shore.

The beach itself is a favorite among television and movie producers. It is a beautiful, clean,  long sandy beach with plenty of room for romping around, even on a busy day. It was great for people watching and we never felt unsafe.

Beautiful Beach
The Beach Was So Clean and Inviting
“The Place To Be”
There Seemed To Be A LOT Going On At The Pier


Venice Beach

Venice Beach felt a lot sketchier, but was a lot more interesting to walk around and observe the happenings because of the interesting people in the area. Seeing Muscle beach, the outdoor workout area, was interesting. It was enjoyable to experience a place where everyone can be themselves, but it did get really over-stimulating as you wandered around the shady shops and characters.

The beach and sea were beautiful, and definitely worth a stroll, but don’t expect to see Venice Beach as it is portrayed in the movies with beautiful roller-blading youngsters and chic people.


There Was A Lot Of Interesting Art
How Many More Times Can He Repair That Guitar?


Beverley Hills

Driving around Beverly Hill, Sunset Blvd, and Rodeo Drive and seeing the sights was incredible. It was interesting to see the lives of the “rich and famous” as we drove around the streets.


Downtown LA

Downtown LA reminded us a lot of Vancouver, or as Debbie describes it, downtown felt like Vancouver, BC with the addition of Palm Trees.


The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a Hollywood Boulevard that serves as a tribute to over 2000 artists who have made significant contributions to film, radio, television. It is fun to go down the walk of fame and see your favorite stars recognized for their works with a star.

The stars in isolation are nice to look at, but once you see it all with the surrounding area, you’ll realize that it really is nothing more than a sidewalk through a myriad of tacky souvenir shops and fast food outlets.

The area itself had quite a few crazies was pretty dirty, but nothing that you wouldn’t expect to be happening around such a tourist hot-spot. Overall, we’re glad we stopped to take a look, but were a bit disappointed our expectations were not met.



Amoeba Music

With Record Stores a quickly dying breed, it is refreshing that there are still a few Independent music stores that still appear to thrive, like Amoeba Music. We could have easily spent more time in the record store, but did not want to waste any sunny more vacation time indoors.

The store is like a giant warehouse filled with CD’s  and Vinyl in what appears to be every possible genre. The variety is enormous and the staff all experts and super friendly. You can find a lot of old gems that you would not find at your local Future Shop or Best Buy, including items that you once loved and totally forgot existed.


Have you ever gotten in a car with a totally random person for a tour somewhere?