Travel Guide: Los Angeles, California

California-Lifeguard-Stand

I’ve had SO many visitors since moving to Los Angeles, I decided it might be helpful to all my travel-loving readers to create a no-frills easy travel guide for your next visit to California. Here’s what I suggest based on any number of time frames:

Santa Monica – 1 Day

  • See our Local’s Guide to Santa Monica
  • Santa Monica Pier + Ride the Ferris Wheel
  • Third Street Promenade (shopping)
  • Rent bikes and bike The Strand path along the ocean
  • Have Breakfast @ The Annenberg Beach House, Back on the Beach Cafe
  • Lunch or Dinner @ Border Grill (tacos), The Water Grill (Michelin-rated) or True Food Kitchen. You could also re-create my taco crawl.
  • Drinks @ The Bungalow (Fairmont Hotel) or Hotel Erwin (Rooftop, call ahead) for sunset

 

Venice-Sign

Venice – 1/2 Day

  • Visit the Venice Boardwalk + Skate Park
  • Go see the Venice Sign
  • Shop Abbot Kinney (GQ named it the hippest street in America)
  • Dinner at Gjelina Restaurant (Book NOW)
  • Bike or stroll around the Venice Canals

 

Reel-inn-malibu

Malibu – 1/2 Day

  • Drive up the coast on Highway 1 to Zuma Beach with photo stops along the way
  • Stop in at The Getty Villa + Museum for lunch or Tea by the Sea and the amazing views
  • OR grab lunch on the way back at The Reel Inn (seafood shack)
  • Shop Malibu Country Mart (it’s an outdoor mall)
  • Dinner at Nobu Malibu (book NOW)

 

Pink's-Hot-Dog

Hollywood – 2 Days

  • See my 72 Hour Guide to Hollywood
  • Shop/wander around The Grove
  • Lunch @ The Original Farmers’ Market
  • Do the TMZ Tour (2 hours – cheesy, but actually really fun)
  • Go to the Chinese Theatre, walk sunset strip and see the walk of fame
  • Drive to see The Capitol Records Building
  • Dinner/Drinks at The Chateau Marmont or Sky Bar
  • Drinks at The Roosevelt Library Bar
  • Drive to Griffith Park Observatory for an amazing view of LA, stop in to see the astronomy exhibits
  • Hike/workout Runyon Canyon
  • Catch an Improv Show @ The Groundlings or Upright Citizens Brigade or stand-up at The Laugh Factory or Comedy Store
  • Eat a Pink’s Hot Dog, just like Orson Welles
  • Do the WB Studio Tour ($40, 2 hours)
  • Shop Melrose Ave & hit up the Melrose Flea on a Sunday

 

Walt-Disney-Concert-Hall

Downtown – 1 Day

  • See Chinatown
  • See the Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • Go to Little Tokyo for Ramen or Sushi
  • Drinks at The Standard Downtown (rooftop)
  • Lunch or dinner at Bottega Louie
  • Stop by the Science Centre to see the Space Shuttle

 

LACMA-los-angeles

LACMA + The Broad – 1 Day

  • Modern art museum that I think is even better then the MOMA!
  • Book tickets ahead of time to get into The Broad, a brand new modern art museum in DTLA

 

Questions about visiting Los Angeles? Ask me in the comments! And YES, you do need a car when you are visiting as Los Angeles is quite spread out and public transit can eat up a lot of your time. Now this is just scratching the surface – there is SO much more to do here.