Take a break from the cold!
Reasons to do a quick winter weekend escape from NY to LA
Don’t get me wrong, I heart NY but in the winter when she’s chilling to the bone, there’s nothing like some vitamin D from California sunshine to bust a nut in my NY winter blues.
The NY-LA flight sounds like a horrific schlep to most, but if your trip is short enough, it’ll be too fast for your body to realize it’s in a different time zone. Plus, a day of sun is enough - if you’re anything like me, you’ve got to get back to NY ASAP - cuz as New Yorkers, we’ve got things to do.
Do a Friday night flight out of JFK or LGA (like 9pm) and a Sunday afternoon return (these tickets are cheaper and 1.5 days in LA should be enough to rejuvenate you). Be sure to check out weekend specials from different airlines for the weekend you’re going.
Still not convinced? Here’s a sample NY-LA itinerary so you can visualize it.
Day 1 (Friday)
Depart from JFK at 9pm (flights are cheaper at this time) and arrive at midnight (3am EST). You’ll be so exhausted from the journey that you’ll definitely get a good night’s sleep. The flight is about 5 to 6 hours, so bring your work with you. The more work you do on the plane is less work that you do when you get back to NY on Monday. Also, a pair of Bose noise cancelling headphones helps drown out the noises of crying brats.
Where to stay:
I like boutique hotels and I’m a big fan of the Joie de Vivre chain. Offbeat and funky, you’re sure to get a creative experience. For an up close and personal encounter with Venice Beach, stay at Hotel Erwin - right smack dab in the middle of the trendy tattooed and the beach. A short walk from the cool shops and dining options on Abbott Kinney, you can also grab breakfast from the hotel’s restaurant Barlo and sit on Hotel Erwin’s roofdeck and enjoy your coffee with a spectacular 360 degree view of the beach.
If you’re the neurotic sort who’ll be freaked out come Sunday about missing your flight back to the Big Apple for that really important meeting on Monday, why not stay right by the airport? Custom Hotel (another Joie de Vivre hotel) offers a hip alternative to the normal airport hotel, with a fun 1960’s mod theme with simple lines and great hospitality. You can walk across the street and easily grab a bus to the beach and free yourself from the burden of finding parking.
Day 2 (Saturday)
Wake up early (6am PST is 9am EST), New Yorkers don’t sleep anyway so why not make the most of California. I’d say the things that Cali has over NY is the great weather and the fresh produce, so get yourself outdoors to a Farmer’s Market. Try Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.
After pecking at all of the Farmer Market’s offerings (vegan wraps, spanish omelettes, raw pudding, freshly pressed juices, a petting zoo complete with baby goats and furry chicken(?) - someone please explain that to me - and more), rent a bike from Perry’s Cafe just down the beach off Ocean Blvd and bike along the beach towards the Pacific Palisades. When you get to a sleepy stretch of beach, hop off that bike and lay on the sand for a minute. And not a NY minute. Try for an LA minute - which usually runs about 15 minutes real time.
After a day on the beach, drive up the PCH for an early dinner at Reel Inn for some real Malibu style dining - fresh fish (cod, salmon, tilapia, shrimps, crabs, etc) right across the beach - you can sit inside this wooden seafood shack or on it’s large outdoor patio. Bring a sweater because despite the sunny days, it gets chilly at night.
For a slightly fancier Malibu dining experience or just a place to grab some drinks, try Moonshadows - a bar and restaurant that hangs right over the beach. You’ll feel like you’re dining right on top the water, minus that bobbling boat feeling. There’s great marine bird watching after the sun sets.
Day 3 (Sunday)
Your flight leaves at 4:30pm so use the morning to explore the shops on Abbott Kinney and grab a bite at Gjelina before you endure terrible plane food. In fact, you should get food FOR the plane from Gjelina’s new take out counter because ANYTHING tastes better than airplane peanuts and pretzels.
Another idea is to grab some Mexican fare - guacamole tastes WAAY better in LA than it does in NY - from a spot called Baja Cantina in Marina del Rey. They’ve got AMAZING warm chips and salsa and the ambience is as laid back as it gets.
Even if you can’t bring back the weather, hopefully you’ll still have the warm memories to get you through the rest of the NY winter.