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LA: Your Place for Vacation and Carnival

Published:Friday | July 17, 2015 | 12:00 AMJerome Reynolds
A Jamaican among the hundreds of carnival lovers who took part in the recently held Hollywood Carnival in Los Angeles, California.
A fresh bowl of nachos and salsa dips at an ocean-side restaurant in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Rosarito is 10 miles south of the United States border.

Are you a regular vacationer as well as a soca lover and a carnival enthusiast and you are looking for the next destination for your travel bucket list? Then Hollywood Carnival in Los Angeles, California, is the place for you.The destination offers a pleasing mix of food, entertainment and carnival vibe that will satisfy most, if not all, tastes of the adventurous traveller.

Here are some reasons why you should plan for 2016.

1. Entertainment

The carnival energy in Los Angeles is pure niceness. While the soca parties are limited, Hollywood Carnival offers a satisfying mix of events. Outside of the carnival scene there is a lot to enjoy in the beautiful city. There are a range of clubs, parks, and museums that offer fun and excitement. The carnival weekend falls during the same timeframe as the BET Awards, so fiters and masqueraders can attend numerous entertainment events. Some of the shows and concerts are free of cost.

Sightseeing is easy in Los Angeles as there are plenty of tourist bus tours, and public transport is cheap and convenient. Best of all, free Wi-Fi is almost everywhere so you can post to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter while enjoying the city.

2. Seeing celebrities

While attending Hollywood Carnival you are sure to see stars of all sorts. Whether on the road, eating dinner, shopping in the mall or buying groceries in the supermarkets, one will run into someone famous. So make sure to have your camera and autograph book ready.

3. Costumes are reasonable

Unlike other big carnivals, costume prices at Hollywood Carnival are good on the pocket. Even though the carnival is still growing in popularity, costumes are of a decent quality, diverse design, colourful, and reflect the beauty soca lovers would expect 'on the road'. There are several bands to choose from and each offer different packages. Some of the bands include Epic Mas Band (Machel Montano) Hollywood Massive (Hollywood actor and reality TV star Robert Christopher Riley) Colours Mas Band (Giselle 'the wassi one' Blanche and DJ Stephen - Machel Montano and Lyrikal official tour DJ)

4. Going to Mexico

Probably one of the best advantages of attending Hollywood Carnival is that you have the chance to visit another country; that of Mexico. Just an easy two-hour drive and you will be south of the border enjoying beautiful ocean views, warm hospitality and delectable food. Jamaicans do not need a visa to visit Mexico, so one can take a day in-between fÍtes to enjoy few hours in Spanish-speaking, and English-friendly country.

5. Food

The culinary palate of Los Angeles is as diverse as its population. There are loads of restaurants, cafés, bars, coffee shops and street eats to choose from. There is something for every taste and every pocket. Be prepared for a fruition of cultures on your plate that will excite your taste buds.

6. Good shopping

If you want to add a few items to your suitcase for your trip back home, Los Angeles surely has a multitude of retail offerings to satisfy any shopper. Whether it's a new pair of sunglasses for a day fête, the latest trends and styles, or one-of-a-kind pieces, LA has a store to meet that need. From the economically- friendly aisles of 99 cents stores; the reasonable racks of Ross for Less, Marshalls, Old Navy, Forever 21 and H&M, to the exclusive and posh bouquets and designer stores that line the world-famous Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, shopping in LA is a good experience.