Ahead of the release of the new Greta Gerwig-directed Barbie movie, Visit California has revealed local “Limelight Locations” for lovers of kitsch. Jenny Southan reports
As the new live-action Barbie film featuring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling is set to premiere in the UK on July 21, 2023, “Barbiebcore” is taking the internet by storm.
This movie-inspired trend celebrates the joy of pink and is by no means limited to clothing. Now, tourist board Visit California is jumping on the Barbie band-wagon by showcasing locations that embody this picture perfect aesthetic, and are ideal stop-offs for a road trip.
Greater Palm Springs
In California’s resort oasis of Palm Springs, Les Cactus and Sands Hotel and Spa offer beautiful pink exteriors. At the Sands, be sure to dine at the Pink Cabana, designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard. For those looking for a new spot to check out, Trixie Motel is a must. Designed by legendary drag queen Trixie Mattel and featured on an HGTV series, this newly renovated property is an ode to Trixie’s style – vibrant and of course, extremely pink. Fleur Noire Hotel, which opened in autumn 2021, is a boldly re-imagined historic boutique hotel that features exteriors with giant-sized pink California flower hand-painted murals and interiors featuring floral wallpaper. The property also recently opened a guests-only speakeasy champagne rosé bar – La Boisson – which serves a curated collection of rosé wines, sparkling wines and beer in a very Barbie-like setting.
Lastly, the Saguaro Hotel is not only an iconic spot due to its colourful exteriors, but it even features an eccentric Barbie display case in the lobby.
The “American Riviera” of Santa Barbara is the perfect place for a Barbie fanatic. In addition to the Barbie lifestyle, spent lounging on the beach or shopping on State Street, visitors can head to Lotusland, which is one of the world’s top gardens, featuring over 3,000 plants from all over the world. Set on the grounds is a beautiful pink Mediterranean estate, Cuesta Linda.When it’s time to eat, don’t miss the renowned Andersen’s Bakery, a family-owned bakery that’s operated in Santa Barbara for over 40 years and features pink interior walls with black and white chequered floors, perfect for brunch or tea.
With picturesque Barbie backdrops like the pink monochromatic wall at Pigment or the pastel pink and floral mural outside of Native Poppy, the city is filled with the perfect spots for a Barbie-inspired photo opportunity.For the Barbie lover looking to relax and unwind, the luxurious La Valencia Hotel, known as the Pink Lady of La Jolla, offers a vintage pink exterior with romantic courtyards, breathtaking views of the ocean and is an homage to the timeless elegance of the 1920s.
For the working Barbie, what better way to start your day than at The Pink Rose Cafe. Adorned with rose-coloured coffees, teas and lemonades, the cafe is also lined from wall-to-wall with pink chairs, flowers and decor to complete the ultimate pink paradise. Don’t miss brunch at the iconic Morning Glory, with its bright pink booths and tables, decor and more, paired with an eclectic menu of breakfast offerings.
San Luis Obispo County
This dramatic pink inn is the perfect historical palace for all Barbie fans. Located in the hills of San Luis Obispo, the Madonna Inn is known for its exuberant decor and 110 elaborate themed rooms. A true Barbie fanatic can embrace the Fashion Fairytale moments in the fairytale-like Old Mill Room, while “Show ‘n Ride Equestrian” Barbies can climb aboard a carousel steed in the Pony Room.While all the themed rooms present photo opportunities, it is room 218 that is peak Barbiecore. Dubbed the “Carin” room as a Swiss Expression for “endearment,” this enchanting room is adorned with wall-to-wall bright pink hues, two private balconies, and lovebirds nesting on the tiles in the shower.Step into the Bakery at Madonna Inn for the famous pink champagne cake. Then head outside to channel Barbie’s athletic side on the ideal Barbie and Ken tennis court – she’s stylish and sporty.
Follow in Margot and Ryan’s footsteps in LA and live your ultimate Barbie dreams. Roller skate like Barbie and Ken down the Venice Beach Boardwalk, picking up roller skate rentals from Perry’s Café and Beach Rentals’. No Barbie day is complete without some sunbathing on your “dream house” rooftop which can be done just a few miles from the heart of Venice Beach at Hotel June West LA. The breezy Caravan Swim Club is a poolside gathering place perfect for soaking up the sun with cabanas. For some Instagram-worthy shots try iconic, family-run Pink’s Hot Dogs, and check out their signature franks amidst a backdrop of signed celebrity headshots and – of course – bright pink walls.
For dessert head to Trejo’s Coffee and Donuts, whose fabulously pink paint job is matched with equally vibrant doughnuts. A visit to LA is not complete without a selfie at the iconic Pink Wall at the Paul Smith flagship store on Melrose Ave.