Dear Los Angeles,

I am so sorry I misjudged you all those years.  Too much traffic.  Very superficial.  While those things may be a part of your world, they in no way define you; and I was wrong, I can admit it now.  

Now I see it — you are definitely, without question and without dispute the most magical place in the US. And the perfect spot for the ultimate summer trip. Yeah, I said it.  My friends would never believe me, and I barely believe it myself — but it’s true.  Where else on earth is it a breezy 80 degrees with the best cuisine in the world, the most dense global diversity, the most talented artists in every genre wherever you look and miles and miles of white sand beaches!?  Nowhere else, that’s where, I get it now.

LA Beach

Photo via Morgan Shidler

This summer trip really swept me off my feet — I’m lucky because I got to travel for a $20 ticket on fabulously well-connected Megabus that picks up about 10 minutes from my house.  I left at 12:30pm and was at your gorgeous Union Station by 7:30pm.  Having done that drive myself about 8 billion times, it was beyond relaxing to sit back and catch up on endless photo editing without having to pay attention to the roads or pay for gas or add to the traffic!  The skylights on the roof of the bus and windows all around made a beautiful way to view the sun soaked summer spectacle of California – and see the fun windmills and roller coasters along the way.

Los Angeles Union Square

Photo via Morgan Shidler

The staff were super helpful too, and it was fun to share space with fellow travelers enjoying their summer getaway.  I just couldn’t believe I’d never taken advantage of this form of travel before! Megabus was convenient, safe and better for the environment than my gas guzzling car. After a short ride over to Redondo Beach, I was having margaritas by 8:30pm.

LA Megabus

Photo via Morgan Shidler

I’m so lucky because some of my absolute favorite people in the world live in LA and I always have a home there.  If I didn’t, I would stay at the Petit Ermitage every time because a the experience of a all year round 24 hour rooftop pool only happens with you.

LA Beach 2

Photo via Morgan Shidler

I’ve learned to plan ahead, and as long as I do the experiences have been priceless.  For example, my favorite hip hop artist right now, Kendrick Lamar, was in town while we were there.  While we could’ve made our whole day about that, we chose instead to tour your many rooftop bars and neighborhoods surrounding the Staples Center beforehand.  We regretted not getting to the Ace Hotel sooner with bathing suits, but we’d chosen the beach for the sunshine that afternoon.  These kinds of decisions are what you are all about.  

Los Angeles

Photo via Morgan Shindler

We watched the full moon rise at sunset over downtown with some of the best cocktails we’ve ever had.  Then we saw Kendrick perform a show I’ll never forget, just a few rows behind Beyonce.  Anywhere else the night might’ve ended there; but instead it continued after wandering through some street art along a walk to another neighborhood, and landed at a whiskey bar with a live jazz band. This bar was packed on a Sunday night, seemingly in the middle of a quiet street.  These are the nights you — the most magical summer escape in the US —  are made of.

Los Angeles Beach

Photo via Morgan Shidler

It’s funny because there’s something about your air — cynics would blame it on the smog, but I think it’s the people and their energy — that I wake up more energized than anywhere else.  New York may be the only place that rivals you in this.  I can’t wait to explore all you have to offer, and there are so many options sometimes I am spoilt for choice!  Do I want to get $5 tickets for some of the best comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater any day of the week or do I want to tour the Venice Canals or head up to Malibu and watch the sunset?  Do I want to catch a show with the cool kids at the Echoplex or spend my credit limit on shopping in the fashion district?  Do I want to ride my bike all day passing all my favorite 90210 landmarks along the way or do I want to hop on a boat to Catalina Island?  Do I want to see some of the best art curated at the LACMA or The Broad, or do I want to hunt for street art?  

Los Angeles Beach

Photo via Morgan Shidler

As a photographer and general creative, I can tell you that I want to do ALL OF IT every single visit.  And this trip brought me close with the cost and time savings on the journey with Megabus.

LA, you have brought me magical experiences, moments at mansion parties or watching a movie with Natalie Portman a couple seats over or seeing a free concert at the famous Santa Monica Pier or getting into a nightclub with a password and a hidden doorway.  

Los Angeles Beach

Photo via Morgan Shidler

The possibilities are endless, and that is why you win the title of the ultimate summer trip.  

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Bay Area and there’s a reason I’ve chosen to live here (for now), but I am not too proud to give credit where credit is due.  I have been to many corners of the Earth from Malaysia to Brazil to Europe to Central America to Alaska — and when asked recently where my favorite vacation spot was I couldn’t help but tell them about you.  From Redondo to Hermosa to Echo Park to Venice and Santa Monica and beyond, you have more to offer a traveler than anywhere else; and I want to tell my fellow travelers all about you.

Los Angeles Beach

Photo via Morgan Shidler

The nice thing is, there are more ways than ever to get to you and I will be back with my new bestie, Megabus, again soon to chase that magic.  With those fares as low as $10, I can’t think of a better way anyone to catch up on work or some z’s while heading to their favorite vacation spot.  And since there are so many seats headed there almost everyday, anyone can make those decisions last minute (like I usually do!). I already have tickets to another show at the infamous Hollywood Bowl in October, so I know how I’ll be getting there then.  

See you soon, friend, see you soon.

Sincerely humbled,

Morgan

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of megabus.com. The opinions and text are all mine.

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