You’ve got just a few hours – maybe a day – to discover Los Angeles? Here’s the page for you! “The perfect day in…LA” provides information about THE things to see and do in a day.
LA is huge – and certainly difficult to discover within a few hours. Nevertheless, try the schedule below and you’ll catch the spirit!
07:00 – 08:00
If you should happen to stay in the Hollywood Hills, then get up early for a morning run at the Runyon Canyon Park – and meet the movie stars that do the same (provided they came back early from the party and don’t sleep in)
08:00 – 09:30
Breakfast at the Rose Café, Venice Beach: an iconic place for decades. Enjoy the great food and – with a little bit of luck – spot some famous people.
09:30 – 12:00
Rent a bike and visit Venice Beach and Santa Monica:
There are several places in Venice beach that rent out bikes. And with bikes it’s really easy to get around.
And if you’re lucky, you’ll drop into a movie set:
There’s a nice path, shared by bikers and skaters, next to the beach, all the way from Santa Monica (visit the famous pier)…
…to Marina del Rey – perfect to see and get seen.
12:00 – 14:00
Drop off the bike at Venice, drive to Westwood and have lunch with the students from UCLA. Westwood is almost a village – including nice small shops and restaurants. And lots of students: the UCLA campus is just a stone’s throw away. My personal favourite: Mongolian Barbeque: pretty basic, but delicious.
14:00 – 16:00
If you can’t live a day without serious culture, then you’ll have to drive a little bit. Because the two places to see in LA are the new Ghetty Museum, a spectacular building with spectacular content:
but it’s pretty far away, or you’ll have to dedicate the entire afternoon to it. Thus, my suggestions is the MOCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is a bit closer and more convenient to reach.
However, if you’d like to avoid another hour in the car and on the streets of LA, then skip the culture and had instead for Beverly Hills. Shopping there might prove a bit “above our purse”, but just roaming around doesn’t cost too much.
16:00 – 17:00
Time for a break – and why not a coffee at Beverly Hills? There’s a nice place with outside seating at the Rodeo Drive Steps.
17:00 – 18:30
Hopefully refreshed? Anyway, the next part of the day is dealt with by car. You shouldn’t leave LA without having had a glimpse at the places of the rich and famous. To be prepared, you can either google who lives where. Or you just by one of the ancient maps that are still sold in Beverly Hills. From there, it’s not too far to the “walk of fame”. Just have a quick stop at the Hollywood Boulevard and see the stars (at least those on the sidewalk).
18:30 – 20:00
Well known before but a must-see since La La Land: the Griffith Observatory. The daylight view is nice, but the view at night is magic:
Unfortunately, it closes at 10 p.m., so you’ll have to be there the latest around 9!
20:00 – 22:00
There are so many great Dinner places in LA that it’s difficult to name just one. Therefore, I’ll give you a choice of four very different places: Lawry’s Prime rib – the perfect prime rib – and my favorite dinner place:
or Yamashiro – excellent Japanese food and a view almost as great as from Griffith Observatory:
or Spago (the place to have dinner next to a movie star) or the Musso and Frank Grill (legendary steaks!). For all these dinner places you’ll have to reserve table months in advance!
Tired? Then just have a relaxing cocktail at the Bar Nineteen 12 at the famous Beverly Hills Hotel (https://www.dorchestercollection.com/en/los-angeles/the-beverly-hills-hotel/restaurants-bars/bar-nineteen12/ ) – feel the history and imagine who had had a Manhatten
Or more up to some action? Then go Clubbing in West LA, still THE place for the clubs. There are several great clubs – just check out websites like https://travelaway.me/coolest-nightclubs-in-la/
And finally, some general hints for your visit to Los Angeles
1. Where to stay?
For my suggested “perfect day”, staying at West LA or Hollywood would be most convenient. Of course, there are hundreds – no, thousands of hotels, motels, apartments.Here are just a few recommendations:
Kimpton Everly Hotel: nice rooftop pool with great view of LA, walking distance to the Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Roosevelt: a ture landmark in Hollywood
more expensive, but nice and famous:
Hotel Casa del Mar, directly on the Beach of Santa Monica
Hotel ChateauMarmont: many movie stars have stayed here – breathe the history!
Two very nice and famous hotels, both belonging to the “Dorchester Collection”, are currently discussed controversely, as they are owned by the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), an arm of the Ministry of Finance of Brunei. Due to the Sultan of Brunei policy of implementing a Sharia law penal code, many famous people (including George Clooney) ask for a boycott of these hotels. Good idea, but decide for yourself.
Hotel Bel Air: very luxury hideaway in Bel Air – meet the rich and famous…
Beverly Hills Hotel: see above
Personally, I prefer rental apartments over hotels – you’ve got a lot more space and do not necessarily go out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Last time in LA, we were extremely lucky and got an extremely nice apartment in the Hollywood Hills (see the blog post about LA and the West Coast: https://part-time-travel.com/usa-west-coast ). Unfortunately, this apartment is not for rent any longer. However, there are lots of others, just check out Tripadvisor, airbnb or vrbo.
2. Best travel time:
In winter, there might be days without sunshine. Sometimes, it even rains in Southern California. If you don’t mind, then it’s of course less crowded in winter. During the summer months, it might get too hot to have fun biking and walking around. So, spring or autumn might be more comfortable.
3. Transfer from the airport:
LAX is located pretty centrally. Of course – despite a central location distances in LA are huge. And public transport in LA is… a bit less developed than in other metropolises. There are bus lines. And taxis, as mentioned. Sorry, in LA you need a car – just pick it up and drop it off at the airport.
4. Further Reading: Lonely Planet Los Angeles, San Diego & Southern California travel guide
*According to a German Court decision, all texts containing links to commercial pages (e.g. links to Tripadvisor, Airline, hotel or restaurant websites) have to be identified as “commercial” (in German “Anzeige”). As my texts do contain links like that, I therefore identify each post and page containing a link as “Anzeige”. However (and referring to the “About Me” page) I would like to point out that I do NOT post any sponsored content in my texts; I pay for all my trips myself.