Actor Mayen Mehta shares his favourite places in America.
Kiwi actor Mayen Mehta has just completed a month-long holiday in North America. Here are his must-see destinations for Kiwi travellers, and what to do when you get there.
If you love the heat, LA is the place to be with a yearly average of 284 days of sunshine.
For outdoor adventurers, hiking one of the trails at Griffith Park is a great way to get panoramic views of the city.
If you like sun, surf and sand I would recommend exploring Santa Monica and Venice beach on bicycle. The buzz and vibrancy of these beaches is unlike anything you've seen. En route you're bound to come across live performances, sports tournaments, dogs dressed in superhero outfits and much more. I enjoy training in calisthenics so Venice Muscle Beach was a playground for me.
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For more relaxed beach vibes, I would suggest Laguna Beach or walking the pier on Newport Beach. If you're in Laguna Beach, go to Slice Pizza and Beer. They really do serve the best pizza possible, with plenty of beer choices on tap.
If you want to shop at discount rates, Citadel Outlets is where you want to head.
Visiting Pike Place Market is a must (where the first Starbucks was established). There are plenty of cuisine options to indulge from including, in my opinion, the best mac n cheese in the world (from Beecher's Handmade Cheese).
I also recommend popping over to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to try at least one variation of a cheesecake caramel apple. That's what we need here in NZ: more places that associate monumental natural structures like mountains with guilty pleasure foods like chocolate and cheese.
Downtown Seattle is an architecture enthusiast's dream. The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) which has exhibitions on the biggest musicians, filmmakers, and game-changers of our time is as fascinating on the outside as it is on the inside. I'm a big Jimi Hendrix fan so the exhibitions they had were right up my alley.
Aviation enthusiasts should make a visit to the largest factory in the world, the Boeing Everett Factory. Here you can witness the monumental process of a 787 Dreamliner aircraft being assembled.
Nature lovers need only drive 2.5 hours north of Seattle and you're in the emerald province of British Columbia, Canada. We did a day trip to Capilano Suspension Bridge. Canyon lovers will appreciate the thrilling bridge, cliff walk and treetop adventures this park has to offer.
Hawaii is a great destination to break your trip up before heading back home. With a 23-hour time difference it means you don't really experience jet lag when you arrive home in NZ.
For snorkelling I would recommend the pristine waters of Hanauma Bay.
Waikiki Strip has a huge variety of shops and the beach is popular for swimmers and budding surfers.
The annual Aloha Festival transforms the strip into a hub of cultural celebrations with Hawaiian cuisine, music, and hula.
For early birds, Diamond Head trail is a great hike for sunrises and sweeping views of the island and city.
If you're a history buff, the Pearl Harbor National Memorial is a poignant experience. You will feel truly enriched when walking through the USS Bowfin submarine, and understanding the impressive role submarines had in winning the War in the Pacific.
Mayen Mehta stars in My Heart Goes Thadak Thadak, at Auckland's Q Theatre from November 21 to December 14. qtheatre.co.nz