La La Land Inspired Roadtrip

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There’s no doubt that you’ve probably heard of the movie La La Land by now. It’s been all over social media, with people either loving it or hating it. I am one of those people who fell quickly in love with it, making it one of my favorite movies. I recently took a weekend trip to Los Angeles and decided to make a few La La Land inspired stops along the way. If you’re anything like me, it’s pretty cool to geek out seeing where they filmed a lot of the scenes.

The Griffith Observatory

Regardless of whether or not you’re a La La Land fan, the Griffith Observatory is a must see spot. I had been to California numerous times and just visited this gem for the first time and I must say, I want to spend all my afternoons taking in this view. Overlooking downtown LA, you really get to see all of the city, including the Hollywood sign. If you’re looking to get even more of the true experience, buy a ticket to watch the show at the planetarium. Eight shows are shown daily, starting at 10:45 (weekends) / 12:45 (weekdays) and ending at 8:45. If possible, watch the sunset from the top. It’ll have you moving to LA in no time.

La La Land Mural

Although this mural is not in the movie, it pays homage to the film and makes for a pretty cool instagram backdrop. It’s right across from the famous pink wall at Paul Smith located on Melrose and Harper, on the wall of Carrera Cafe. It’s no surprise that the wall has been hyped up a bit so you might have to wait a bit to get a picture depending on the day. But stopping by Alfred and picking up a coffee or tea makes the wait a bit more painless 😉

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Lighthouse Cafe

Okay, so this is a pretty fun spot to visit without being a fan of the movie. I have to say, it was definitely not what I expected when I first saw it. It’s right off the Hermosa Beach pier alongside a strip of other restaurants. We did not go in unfortunately because there was a cover charge and it was on our way back home but they did film the movie inside as well so if you have the chance to stop by and eat/drink and listen to the music, do so. They’ve been hosting jazz artists since 1949 and have a a great happy hour menu. If you’re interested in seeing some live music, they have a calendar of the performers on their site.

Lighthouse Cafe

Hermosa Beach Pier

Anyone else religiously listen to this album still? Just me? Okay. Well if you fell in love with City of Stars the way I did, then this stop is for you. When you’re done eating dinner at Lighthouse Cafe, take a stroll down the Hermosa Beach pier (and make sure you grab the random fedora off the ground while you’re at it). Here you’ll be able to enjoy the sound of the waves and the view of the coast. The only thing that’s missing is Ryan Gosling.

Mt. Hollywood Drive

If you manage to make it to the observatory that I mentioned earlier, then you might be able to swing by Mt. Hollywood Drive, west of the observatory. Here they shot the scene for “A Lovely Night” where Mia and Sebastian begin to fall in love. Super aww, am I right? The scene itself was filmed on a corner known as “Cathy’s Corner” however it might not look too familiar because producers brought in the bench and the streetlight. Fun fact: that scene was shot in one take. Impressive.

Chateau Marmont

I’ll be honest. We did not stop by here because of La La Land. In fact, we stopped here because we wanted to stop by the hotel that hosts all the A list celebrities (I think I saw someone from the cast of How to Get Away with Murder but that’s besides the point..) and it wasn’t until I got home that I realized that it made a small cameo. Rooms here go for about $415+ a night so if you can afford to spring for a room, go for it. It’s right on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of LA, making it easy (or I should say easier, it is LA after all) to get around. If you’re not the movie star like Mia, stop by and see what they have to offer. And who knows, you might see one of your favorite celebs.

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Honorable Mentions I was unable to visit:

  • The Warner Bros Lot (you will have to sign up for a tour) – where Mia works
  • Dan Tana’s – where Ryan Gosling is seen playing Mia and Sebastian’s theme for the very first time
  • Jar Restaurant – the restaurant where Mia ditches Greg to go be with her true love, Sebastian
  • The Rialto Theater – unfortunately this theater is closed but you can drive by and picture Mia and Sebastian on their first date and cry to yourself, I won’t judge

Are there any other La La Land fans out there that don’t think I’m a loon and understand my love? What’d you think of the movie? Would love to hear. XO


8 thoughts on “La La Land Inspired Roadtrip

  1. Ania says:

    I love planning road trips around famous shows/movies. I’m currently on the quest to visit as many Game of Thrones locations as possible 🙂 I would also love to pop by the Chateau Marmon sometime.


  2. Val says:

    What hie come I never heard of it lol ?!? I looove LA and am a huge fan ! Trying to relocate there ! Loved your pics .., did the Hollywood sign but not the observatory … cooool post !


  3. Sissi Korhonen (@strangerless) says:

    Hi Riley! I’ve never been to LA nor have I seen La La Land yet, but as you say, it doesn’t matter in order to enjoy these sights! I’d love to visit the Lighthouse Café and the Griffith Observatory, as to first get an overview of the city, then to discover a little piece of the LA music scene. Aaah, but that will have to wait some more time. As for now, let’s first see the movie 😀


  4. Vrithi Pushkar says:

    I’m going to be totally honest with you! I haven’t watched La LaLand yet!! I know I know . I need to get to it soon. But looks like you enjoyed the movie a lot .


  5. Jewels says:

    I need to see La La Land, I’ve heard great things. This is a useful guide. I’ve been to LA years ago, but I definitely want to return to try out your list.


  6. Sam Sparrow says:

    I’ve not seen the movie yet but this is such a cool idea for a roadtrip – I’ve done something similar Sherlock inspired in London! Love the sound of the Lighthouse Cafe, as I’m a big jazz fan. One for the bucket list.


  7. Melissa - Parenthood and Passports says:

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’ve done a similar road trip in Austria finding all of the Sound of Music sites. It’s really cool to see places where a favorite or iconic movie was filmed. And the views from the observatory would be awesome regardless!


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