IHG Rewards Club recently hosted me on a trip to Los Angeles to help kick off and promote their #PricelessExperiences promotion. I was super excited about the assignment because:

  1. I love Los Angeles.
  2. The IHG Rewards Club member event included incredible food, great swag, and a private concert from triple platinum recording artist, Andy Grammar.
  3. The #PricelessExperiences promotion offers members a chance to win some awesome prizes including a three night stay at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, a $600 prepaid master card, a VIP helicopter tour of the city, a spa treatment, wine, and a culinary experience with celebrity chef, Graham Elliot.

Since I arrived a day early and since the member event wasn’t until the next evening, I decided to rent a car and explore some of the more famous landmarks in the Los Angeles area. Here are some of my favorite photos from my adventure.

Venice Beach

Colorful, artsy Venice Beach (also known as Muscle Beach) is one of the world’s best places for people watching. I arrived just as the shops were beginning to open up so there weren’t that many people to watch:) Below the photo is a short video we shot in Venice a few years ago to give you a better feel of it.

Manhattan Beach

Perhaps my favorite photo from this trip to Los Angeles is the one of the bicycle at the Manhattan Beach pier. There seems to be hundreds of volleyball nets set up along either side of the pier for residents to enjoy.  

Santa Monica

The Santa Monica Pier is a fun destination with lots of shops and restaurants. One of the most nostalgic road trips you’ll ever take is down historic Route 66. It begins in Chicago and ends right here on the Santa Monica Pier.


The Pacific Coast Highway is one of my favorite road trips in the United States. Malibu has been a popular filming location and setting for numerous movies and TV shows, including the sitcom Two and a Half Men.  

The Grove

The Grove is a popular retail and entertainment complex in Los Angeles near some of the production studios. TMZ likes to hang out here to catch celebrities. I was fortunate enough to see The Grove all decked out for the holidays. 

Hollywood Walk of Fame

There are over 2500 brass stars along a mile and a half stretch of Hollywood Boulevard that comprise the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Scores of celebrity handprints and footprints can be found in front of the TLC Chinese Theatre.  

Hollywood Sign

I wanted to get a close up shot of the the famous Hollywood Sign. My GPS led me up Beachwood Drive until it dead ended at the gate of Sunset Ranch. A security guard let me park on the street then hike about a half mile along a dirt trail to a vista that overlooked the valley and where I got a pretty good view of the sign. 

Pink’s Hot Dogs

When visiting the LA area you must eat at the famous Pink’s Hot Dogs. Prince Andrew and Kate did when they visited. In addition to tons of celebrity pictures on the walls, Pink’s serves up some unique and delicious hot dogs. Below the picture is a short video Midlife Road Trip made at Pinks a few years ago when we did our Pacific Coast Highway road trip. 

Andy Grammar 

Here are a few photos from the incredible IHG Rewards Club member event. It was so cool meeting Andy Grammer and listening to him perform while enjoying some spectacular food and adult beverages. 

Crowne Plaza LAX

I was welcomed with a swag bag full of cool stuff, some chocolates, macaroons, fresh berries and a towel animal upon checking into the Crowne Plaza LAX (where the #PricelessExperiences kickoff event took place)

What are your favorite things to experience in Los Angeles? 

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