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The Perfect 3 Days In Los Angeles Itinerary (2024 Guide)

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  • Last Updated: April 29, 2024

Trying to find great activities and attractions in the City of Angels? Our Los Angeles itinerary is all you need to plan the perfect trip!

The world’s entertainment capital, Los Angeles, is a world-famous city that offers a wide range of activities and attractions in Southern California . 

Empowered by its robust variety of gorgeous beaches, movie industries, Hollywood stars, outdoor activities, historic landmarks, and famous theme parks, Los Angeles has loads of fun activities waiting to be experienced. 

There’s a reason this city is known across the world and why visiting Los Angeles is a top bucket list option for many.

Its famous tourist spots like Venice Beach, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood are joined by its many attractions like museums, theme parks, and historical landmarks. Really, who wouldn’t be tempted to visit?

Our article features the top activities to participate in, encompassing outdoor and indoor activities. Just a weekend (or 3 days during the week to beat the crowds) is a great amount of time for an intro to LA. 

You can explore the beaches and see the highlights like Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach boardwalk.

You can also explore downtown LA, hike Runyon Canyon, visit Griffith Observatory, see the Hollywood sign, and more. 

Los Angeles is also a convenient location for road-tripping or just traveling around California. A road trip to San Diego is 2 hours away along the Pacific Coast Highway . San Francisco is a 1.5-hour flight away. 

Combine this 3 days in Los Angeles itinerary with the other California highlights and you’re sure to have an unforgettable trip. 

Read Next: Looking for more activities to add to your LA itinerary? Check out all of these great things to do in Los Angeles !

Table of Contents

Day 1 Morning – Sightseeing in Downtown LA

Day 1 afternoon – explore santa monica pier & venice on an electric bike tour, day 1 evening – hike at runyon canyon park , day 2 morning – grab fresh produce at the downtown santa monica farmer’s market, day 2 afternoon – peer through a telescope at the griffith observatory, day 2 evening – grab tickets to the tcl chinese theatre, day 3 morning – browse the grand central market, day 3 afternoon – explore the los angeles zoo & botanical gardens, day 3 evening – paddle on echo park lake and/or see a show at walt disney concert hall, when is the best time to visit los angeles, getting around los angeles, best hostel in los angeles, best mid-range hotel in los angeles, best luxury hotel in los angeles, how to spend 3 days in los angeles itinerary.

The perfect destination for a range of outdoor and indoor activities, we’ve created the ideal three-day Los Angeles itinerary for a productive and stimulating time exploring the city. 

Prepare yourself for an array of activities, from hiking the famous trails at Runyon Canyon Park to biking down the historic Santa Monica Pier. Let’s get started!

Los Angles Skyline

Day 1 in Los Angeles

Let’s start your three-day weekend in Los Angeles by exploring the grand outdoors of the magnetic city! Start with some good old-fashioned sightseeing in the heart of LA.

Then, spend the afternoon exploring Santa Monica & Venice on an Electric Bike Tour. And end the day with a relaxing hike at Runyon Canyon Park, a popular spot to see your favorite celebrities! when you visit LA.

The first day of your Los Angeles itinerary should start with the basics. Put on your walking shoes, grab your camera, and head to downtown LA. 

Your first stop should be the famous Hollywood Boulevard. This long street runs east to west through downtown LA and is the heart and soul of the tourism and entertainment industries. 

Stop by the Hollywood Walk of Fame and see all the famous stars on the pavement. It can be a bit crowded and touristy around the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but it’s an iconic spot in the city nonetheless. 

Hollywood Boulevard is home to some major Los Angeles museums as well. Stop in the Hollywood Museum, Wax Museum, Guinness World Records Museum, Museum of Selfies, Medieval Torture Museum, or whatever else sparks your interest. 

Consider walking down Sunset Boulevard, aka the Sunset Strip, though this spot is at its prime when the sun goes down. If you’re itching to experience nightlife during your LA itinerary, Sunset Strip is the place to be. 

If you’d like to continue exploring the famous spots in downtown LA, hop on the local bus and continue down Hollywood Boulevard toward Beverly Hills. Walk down the classic, palm-tree-studded streets and admire all the mansions. 

Read Next: Be sure to check out the best day trips from Los Angeles !

Next, head to the coast on an  Electric Bike Guided Tour  of Santa Monica and Venice.

With more than 7 million visitors a year, Santa Monica is a famous beach city that boasts some of the best sunsets on the West Coast. 

Honing 3.5 miles of coastline and the pedestrian-friendly Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica boasts a laid-back atmosphere combined with high-class refinement. 

The famous Santa Monia Pier is the area’s most well-known spot. With its own amusement park and Ferris wheel, as well as amazing viewpoints and fishing spots, the Santa Monica Pier is a must-see. 

On the other hand, Venice Beach is known for its canals, beach, and the Venice Beach boardwalk, a two-and-a-half-mile pedestrian promenade often speckled with street performers and vendors. It’s also known for Muscle Beach outdoor gym and its skate park. 

Exploring these magnetic Los Angeles locations by electric bike is a fun and enjoyable way to cover some ground without getting too tired. The electric bike removes the physical effort, allowing riders to bask in sunshine and refreshing views of Los Angeles’ top sunny tourist attractions. 

During the tour, riders will ride down Santa Monica’s award-winning beach to the Marion Davies Guest House, under the Santa Monica Pier, and through Venice Beach, past the free-spirited Venice boardwalk to the Venice Canals. 

  • Hours : 10 AM, 2 PM
  • Admission : $79/person
  • Address : 214 Pier Avenue

Santa Monica Beach

After a late lunch, get away from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood and step on over to  Runyon Canyon Park.

A relaxing outdoor activity to settle down after a glorious day of exploring Los Angeles, Runyon Canyon Park is a relatively short hike. 

This 160-acre park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains is a popular hub spot for celebrities, locals, and tourists, whether they be looking for a challenging run, to take their energetic dogs for some much-needed exercise, or to bask in the outdoors on a peaceful hike. 

We highly recommend taking a hike to embrace the outdoors of Los Angeles. The spectacular city views are breathtaking, and you can see all the way to the Hollywood Sign up in Hollywood Hills. 

Depending on your patience level, we recommend not going to Runyon Canyon Park on the weekends. The trails are a popular spot and can get a bit overcrowded on the weekends, and parking can be tight. 

There are three entrances to Runyon Canyon Park. The park’s southern end entrances are Fuller Avenue and Vista Street. The third entrance is on the northern end, located on Mulholland Drive. 

Only street parking is available in the local neighborhood to hike at Runyon Canyon Park. Always pay attention to parking restriction signs, so you don’t come back to a hefty parking ticket. We recommend getting an Uber or Lyft to drop you off to avoid dealing with the issue of finding parking. 

Try visiting on a weekday, and you’ll be able to experience the glory of this popular hiking trail! 

  • Opening Hours : 6 AM-6 PM Daily 
  • Admission : Free
  • Address : 2000 N Fuller Ave

Read next: The Ultimate 3 Days in San Francisco Itinerary

Day 2 in Los Angeles

To continue this optimal three-day Los Angeles itinerary for visiting LA, start day two by feasting your senses and taste buds on freshly sourced produce and products at the Downtown Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. 

Next, explore the galaxy at the Griffith Observatory and its stunning city panoramic views. Finally, end the day at the movie palace of TCL Chinese Theatre, surrounded by signature marks of famous celebrities like Marilyn Monroe. 

A feast for the senses, start your morning at the Downtown Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. Grab a fresh-baked muffin and juice for a quick delicious breakfast as you explore the vibrant market full of produce, vendors, and lively people. 

As California boasts rich agricultural land, we highly recommend investing in some of the fresh local produce at this famous farmer’s market. Feel like a local as you take part in the Southern California lifestyle! 

Many A-list celebrities and big-time chefs, like Niki Nakayama and Michael Cimarusti, investigate the day’s fresh produce at this hit Santa Monica market. 

However, you’re likelier to see chefs right as the farmer’s market opens at 8 AM when they can grab the freshest catch of the day. At this hit farmer’s market, unique items to splurge on include emu eggs, sea urchin, black truffles, and bergamot. 

So join the club and pick out a fresh batch of produce, flowers, and other insanely delicious goods at Santa Monica’s Farmers Market! 

  • Opening Hours : Wednesday & Saturday, 8 AM-1 PM
  • Address : Arizona Avenue (between 4th & 2nd)

READ NEXT: Check out our post on all the other great things to do in Santa Monica !

Zone in on the stars and planets during this  guided tour  of the Griffith Observatory!

A magical place to visit, the Griffith Observatory allows visitors to witness unbelievable sights of the stars, moon, and planets outside our atmosphere.

It also boasts the best vantage point to observe the famous Hollywood Sign. So it’s no wonder the Griffith Observatory welcomes over 85 million visitors annually! 

Fondly dubbed the “hood ornament” of Los Angeles, the Griffith Observatory is settled in a prime location… but the parking is not ideal.

We recommend getting dropped off by an Uber or Lyft or getting dropped off at a walking distance from a nearby location to avoid the dreadful parking struggles. To avoid a crowd and lack of parking spots, visit the Griffith Observatory during the day. 

During your visit to the Griffith Observatory, check out the moon landing and space debris in the Edge of Space exhibition. Then, walk the impressive scale model of the store system. Next, experience a live show in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. 

Finally, bask in the empowering and stunning views of Mount Wilson, Los Angeles Griffith Park, the Pacific Ocean, and the world-famous Hollywood Sign. 

  • Opening Hours : 12 PM-10 PM (Friday), 10 AM-10 PM (Saturday-Sunday)
  • Address : 2800 E Observatory Rd

Griffith Observatory Los Angeles

With a collection of around 200 handprints, autographs, and footprints of famous stars, the TCL Chinese Theatre is not your average theater. 

First opened in 1927, this theatre is the most renowned Hollywood cinematic icon. It boasts the largest IMAX auditorium in the world! It has cemented its place on the Historic Hollywood Walk of Fame. It also hosted the Academy Awards from 1944-1946.

And yes, you can watch movies at this exceptional movie palace! And, if you’re interested in learning more about the history of this famous theatre, there are 30-minute  walking tours  available for all the curious guests wanting to explore its magnificent structure. 

During one of the tours, guests can explore the women’s dressing room featuring a 14-mirror wrap-around wall where Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe once stood in 1953. 

Then, investigate the iron grate that once concealed the tunnel that leads to the Roosevelt Hotel. 

Finally, at the TCL Chinese Theatre, guests can gaze at Marilyn Monroe’s gold dress in  Gentleman Prefer Blondes , Judy Garland’s dress from  The Wizard of Oz , and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s costume from the famous  Terminator 2: Judgment Day  movies, along with Grace Kelly’s enchanting beaded gown from the premiere of  To Catch A Thief . 

Learn more about the history of this astounding theatre during your trip, before or after you watch a movie in this magnificent structure! 

  • Opening Hours : Saturday, 10:15 AM-7 PM
  • Admission : $14/Child, $15/Military/Senior/Student, $16/Adult
  • Address : 6925 Hollywood Boulevard

Heading east? Check out our guide to the best things to do in Las Vegas !

Day 3 in Los Angeles

Get ready for a fun day of exploring Los Angeles! First, start day three by exploring the impactful landmark emporium of the Grand Central Market. 

Next, witness the multitudinous animal and plant species at the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens. Finally, end your last day in Los Angeles with a romantic trip on the signature swan pedal boats on Echo Park Lake. 

Initially called “Wonder Market” upon its opening, it is now known as the Grand Central Market. This impactful downtown Los Angeles landmark emporium has been known as the “largest and finest public market on the Pacific Coast” since its founding in 1917. 

Hosting over 50 privately owned and operated vending stalls, this impressive market features florists, game nights, prepared food vendors, and movies. 

At the  Grand Central Market , Los Angeles cuisines and cultures are empowered to be expressed and experienced through its vendors and visitors. Vendors promote only the highest quality ingredients and products. 

In downtown Los Angeles and only a short walk from the Pershing Square stop on the Metro Red/Purple Line subway, the Grand Central Market can be a great stop if you want to avoid driving downtown. It’s an accessible stop, only two stops from the Union Station.

Experience this national-caliber eating experience as you embark on an adventure of the 30,000-square-foot retail marketplace and food emporium for the ultimate downtown gathering place. 

Afterward, we recommend stopping by The Last Bookstore, an airy book and record store that features local art only a few blocks away. 

  • Opening Hours : 8 AM-9 PM
  • Address : 317 S Broadway

Grand Central Market

Hosting more than 2,200 types of animals, including 270 species of animals, 60 endangered species, and highlighting over 800 different plant species and 7,400 individual plants, the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens is a worthwhile Los Angeles attraction to visit. 

Founded in 1966, the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens boasts an array of specific biomes for the habitat exhibits, including New World tropics and African grasslands. 

In the zoo’s 133 acres, the zoo dedicates this space to educating the public on its conservation efforts of the beautiful creatures and the habitats they live in. 

Explore the stunning assortment of plant species, like the Hong Kong orchid trees and Mexican fan palms, at the Botanical Gardens. Then, soak in the sights of endangered species like the Addax and Okapi at the Los Angeles Zoo. 

Check out the impressive collection of plants and notorious animal species at the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens! 

  • Opening Hours : 10 AM-5 PM Daily 
  • Admission : $17/Child, $19/Senior, $22/Adult, Free/Infants
  • Address : 5333 Zoo Drive

Read Next: Check out this great 3-day San Diego itinerary !

End your last day in Los Angeles on a romantic note via  swan pedal boat rental  at Echo Park Lake! 

A staple landmark of East Los Angeles since 1895, Echo Park Lake is surrounded by expansive lotus flower beds, an array of fluttering wild geese and swans, and dense greenery. 

A top-rated Los Angeles activity, many have cruised along Echo Park Lake’s glistened waters for the ultimate romantic date, a short secluded getaway on a stunning waterfront scene surrounded by native flora and fauna. 

At this East LA park, popular local events and festivals, like the Dragon Boat Race and Lotus Festival, are annually held at this historic Los Angeles landmark. 

So take a stroll as you take in the generous art scene, people watch Echo Park Lake’s daily visitors, and embrace this one-of-a-kind Los Angeles haven. 

Your swan pedal boat rental encapsulates a refreshing experience paired with a mobile trivia game that shares the rich history of Echo Park Lake. Bask in the panoramic views of the Los Angeles skyline on this top-rated Los Angeles activity!  

  • Opening Hours : 9 AM-7 PM Daily 
  • Admission : $11/Adult
  • Address : 751 Echo Park Ave

If you still have time and energy after this, head over to the Walt Disney Concert Hall which is just a 5-minute drive away. This sophisticated and modern concert hall has incredible, world-class concerts every week. 

End your LA itinerary with an enchanting night of music at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.  See the website  for schedules. Hours and prices vary depending on the performance. 

  • Address : 111 S Grand Ave

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Los Angeles Travel Guide

Of course, there are lots more attractions in LA, like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Universal Studios Hollywood, La Brea Tar Pits, Long Beach, Santa Barbara , and more. 

But 3 days in Los Angeles is enough to see some of the highlights that we mentioned, and you’ll just have to come back to LA to see everything else! And if you have some free time, feel free to fit more stuff into this 3 days in Los Angeles itinerary. This is just a guideline!

Now that you have the best LA itinerary to guide you, here is some information that will help you know the best time to visit, how to get around, and where to stay when you visit.

Like anywhere in the world, there’s always a recommended time to visit, whether it be to avoid poor weather or oppressive crowds. 

When looking to visit Los Angeles, we recommend planning your trip to this world-famous city either from March to May or September to November. 

During these recommended months, the air is more breathable as you’ll be avoiding the oppressive heat of summer. The crowds are also less packed, which can drastically take away from an otherwise invigorating experience. 

As a tourist, getting around Los Angeles isn’t as difficult as you might think. Los Angeles has a  metro rail system  that is easy to use and that many locals use to get around the vast metropolis. 

The  bus  public transport system is also reliable, you just have to deal with the LA traffic which the metro avoids. 

However, we do recommend car rentals to get around Los Angeles. You can find all major car rental companies in LA. If you want to drive along the Pacific Coast Highway or take a day trip to nature like Joshua Tree National Park, having a car is ideal. 

Uber  or  Lyft  are great options if you’re looking to invest in infrequent trips that are not near your stay in Los Angeles. 

Otherwise, invest in this Private One-Way Transfer to Los Angeles  for a stress-free one-way transfer from the Los Angeles International Airport to your destination in Los Angeles. 

Los Angeles is well connected to other big cities by plane, so it’s easy to find affordable flights into the city. Particularly from San Francisco, Las Vegas, and other west coast metropolises, getting into LA is easy. 

Downtown Los Angeles

Where to Stay in Los Angeles

If you’re wondering where to stay during your LA itinerary, our recommendations for the best accommodation in Los Angeles will help you choose the top spot for your budget!

The  Banana Bungalow  is a hot spot hostel in West Hollywood near Sunset, Hollywood, and the Melrose strip. 

The hostel offers free BBQ on the terrace, free Wi-Fi, large $5 dinners, and shuttles to Disneyland, Venice Beach, Santa Monica Beach, and more big-time Los Angeles attractions! There’s no better place to stay for an LA itinerary if you’re traveling on a budget. 

Located in Venice Beach,  STAY OPEN  is only a minute walk from the beach! 

With featured accommodations like free bikes, concierge service, and free WiFi, STAY OPEN boasts seaside views in its optimal location near big beach spots like Venice Beach, the famous Santa Monica Pier and Beach, and Marina Del Rey Beach. 

In addition, the Los Angeles International Airport is only six miles away from your stay!  

At the  Peninsula Beverly Hills , guests are only a 12-minute walk from Rodeo Drive, a popular shopping spot in Beverly Hills. 

Featuring world-class dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this luxury hotel in Los Angeles offers enigmatic accommodations like its large rooftop outdoor pool, modern gym with available personal coaches, full-service spa, and gourmet on-site dining options! 

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products that ourselves or our fantastic editorial team have personally experienced, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

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Go Metro Transit

Go Metro subsidized transit passes give UCLA riders the convenience of unlimited rides on  Metro bus and rail lines  and the  Metro Micro on-demand rideshare service . Metro stations are always around the corner at UCLA, making it easy to get from campus to museums, nightlife, restaurants, and more around the Los Angeles area.

As an additional incentive to purchase a Go Metro pass, UCLA Transportation will include a  free   BruinGO! pass automatically loaded onto your TAP card!

Due to new Federal guidelines regarding subsidized transit passes, all UCLA students and employees purchasing a Go Metro pass are required to take a short one-time survey prior to making their purchase.

Fare-free access to Metro is included in the  Bruin U-Pass  for undergraduates and  Bruin Grad Pass  for eligible graduate students.    

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Campus Tours

Explore UCLA’s beautiful campus, tradition of academic excellence, vibrant student body and vast array of resources and opportunities.

We offer on-campus tours and online webinars hosted by UCLA students. 

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A tour narrated by current UCLA student tour guides is offered online and on-campus. These tours are designed for students in 9th grade and above.

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Spanish Language Tour

A tour narrated in Spanish by current UCLA student tour guides is offered online and on-campus.

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Cub tours are for groups of students in kindergarten all the way up to 8th grade. 

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Virtual tours are immersive experiences complete with panoramic photos, videos and in-depth audio narration.

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The following schools provide their own information sessions and tours, highlighting specific programs, facilities and opportunities.

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The World Was Here First

The Perfect 3, 4 or 5 Days in Los Angeles Itinerary

Last Updated on February 13, 2024

by Maggie Turansky

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. That means if you click a link and make a purchase, we may make a small commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see our privacy policy.

ucla trip planner

Planning the perfect Los Angeles itinerary can be quite a difficult task. For such a large and iconic city — the second-largest in the entirety of the USA — LA lacks a lot of traditional tourist sites and can be incredibly difficult to navigate. Despite this, there is so much to do in the city that you can very easily fill 3, 4 or 5 days in Los Angeles and still feel as if you’ve barely scratched the surface.

Known for the film industry and its beautiful beaches, Los Angeles is also a dynamic and multi-cultural city with a lot of character. It can be hard to get to know a city like LA in just a few days, however, you can definitely get a good feel for this city over the course of this itinerary.

Table of Contents

How Many Days in Los Angeles?

When determining how many days to spend in Los Angeles a better question may be to ask yourself how much time you have. LA has an infinite amount of activities and things to do so visitors could easily spend weeks and not get bored.

However, if you’re not the kind of person with unlimited time, planning to spend 3 days in LA is a good minimum if you want to get a good feel for the city and its top neighbourhoods and sites. Seeing Los Angeles in 3 days may feel kind of rushed, but you’ll still be able to cover a lot of ground and experience quite a lot.

If you have 4 days in LA, then this is a great amount of time to explore the city even deeper and spend a bit more time seeing some other neighbourhoods. And if you’re fortunate enough to have 5 days, you can use that final day to go on a day trip!

There are lots of places within easy reach of LA and it’s a great opportunity to explore more of Southern California.

In general, you’re going to want to allow for more than a weekend in Los Angeles and it’s safe to plan for at least 3 days in Los Angeles to really to the city justice.

Los Angeles Skyline

Getting To & Around Los Angeles

Los Angeles is home to LAX – its own international airport that connects the city to innumerable destinations throughout USA and worldwide.

However, that is not the only airport that serves the city and if you’re flying from within the US, there’s a chance that you could arrive into Burbank or Long Beach airport, as well.

LA is even relatively accessible from John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana or Ontario Airport in San Bernardino County, however, it isn’t the closest option and you have to be willing to drive about an hour (or more, depending on the traffic) to reach the actual city of Los Angeles. You can also take a pre-booked transfer from the airport.

If you’re not flying, it is possible to arrive into LA via train – there are trains that connect Los Angeles to other cities in California. For instance, the train from San Diego takes about three hours and offers beautiful views of the Southern California coast. Trains arrive into Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles. You can view train schedules here.

Los Angeles is also a perfect stop on any California coastal road trip and a good jumping-off point if you’re driving north to San Francisco or south to San Diego .

Getting around LA can be a bit of a headache no matter how you plan to do it. An incredibly car-centric city, planning to rely on public transportation while visiting LA isn’t the best idea. There is a public transport system in the city, however, it isn’t that broad or reliable and can be tricky to navigate.

Los Angeles is very spread out and not super walkable, so if you don’t plan on driving yourself, then your best bet is going to be to rely on ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft to get around the city.

The itinerary below does concentrate on different neighbourhoods each day, however, it is still going to be easiest to get around LA if you have a car. Driving in Los Angeles can seem a bit daunting — especially considering that Angelenos have a reputation for being aggressive drivers — but it is the most convenient and easiest way to get around the city.

Keep in mind that LA also gets terrible traffic and it’s hard to really convey just how gridlocked the city can be until you’ve experienced it yourself.

So even though something looks close on a map, you may spend a lot of time getting to your destination because of the traffic conditions. The nature of visiting Los Angeles is that you will likely be spending a fair amount of time in the car in transit.

If you want to rent a car while in Los Angeles, consider browsing in order to find deals across a number of major rental companies.

Downtown Los Angeles

3, 4 or 5-Day Los Angeles Itinerary

Whether you have 3, 4 or 5 days to explore LA, this itinerary builds upon each day. This itinerary will take you through some of the most iconic sites and neighbourhoods in the City of Angels.

If you plan on visiting many of the paid attractions listed below, consider purchasing a Los Angeles Go City Pass to save money on entrance fees!

Day 1 – Hollywood

Being our time in LA by exploring Hollywood – the heart of the film industry. You can spend your morning taking in some views before heading down to enjoy the sites on Hollywood Boulevard and, if you’re interested, take a studio tour!

Griffith Park & the Hollywood Sign

There are few attractions in Los Angeles (and really in the entirety of US cities) as iconic as the famed Hollywood Sign on Mount Lee. Originally erected in 1923 to advertise a new housing development, it has become a focal point of the area ever since.

If you want to get some of the best views of the Hollywood sign, it’s a great idea to head to the Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park.

From here, you can get a good view of Mount Lee and a panorama of Los Angeles below. And, if you’re looking to get even more active, there are also countless hiking trails within Griffith Park where you can get even better views and end up closer to the sign. You can also take a guided hike .

I recommend getting here early – especially if you plan to hike as it can get pretty hot in LA depending on the season you’re visiting.

If you want to hike to the Hollywood Sign itself instead of simply viewing it from Griffith Observatory, then there are a few trails you can choose from that range in difficulty — the Mount Hollywood Trail, the Brush Canyon Trail and the Cahuenga Peak Trail. There are also guided walking tours that take you to the top.

Make sure to set aside a couple of hours to dedicate to these hikes if that’s what you choose. In general, going out for a hike is one of the best things to do in LA.

Griffith Observatory

Hollywood Boulevard & Walk of Fame

From Griffith Observatory, it’s only about a 10-minute drive to Hollywood Boulevard, home to countless iconic sites such as the Walk of Fame and the TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman’s Chinese Theatre).

Hollywood Boulevard is incredibly touristy and is pretty much always packed with visitors, but is an essential stop on any first-timer’s trip to LA.

Make sure to take the time to walk along the Walk of Fame and scope out the stars of your favourite artists and celebrities. You can also take in all of the handprints in front of the Chinese Theatre.

There are plenty of other sites to take in here, as well, and it’s the perfect place for film fans and Hollywood history buffs.

Explore Hollywood or Take a Studio Tour

After hanging out on Hollywood Boulevard and seeing the sights there, you have a couple of options on what to do next.

You could opt to venture a bit further from the Walk of Fame and explore more of Hollywood on your own. Famous Sunset Boulevard is only one block south and you can also even mosy your way to Melrose Avenue.

Another very popular thing to do while in Hollywood is to go on a Studio Tour. If you want to both take in some cinema history and to see what film sets are like, there are a number of different studios in Hollywood that offer tours.

Some of the most famous include Warner Brothers , Paramount and even Universal Studios (the latter may be better to dedicate an entire day and include the theme park).

Famous Hollywood Sign

Day 2 – Venice & Santa Monica

If your first day in Los Angeles was dedicated to all of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, plan to spend your second day taking in two of the city’s most popular beach areas – Venice and Santa Monica.

Venice Canals

Begin your day in the Venice neighbourhood in west Lost Angeles – so-called because the canals were designed to resemble the Italian city of the same name.

Venice was originally conceived as a development for a beach resort and several miles of canals were built in order to drain the marshes that originally inhabited the area.

Over the years, Venice has come to have a reputation of being a bohemian beach town with its own independent spirit, however, in more recent times it has become quite a coveted and expensive area of the city.

Before heading over to the iconic Venice Beach, make sure to take some time wandering around the Venice Canals. It’s a really beautiful area and a unique spot in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles.

Vibrant Venice Beach in Los Angeles

Venice Beach

Mosy away from the canals and you will find the true draw of this neighbourhood – Venice Beach. This gorgeous stretch of soft, golden sand is one of the city’s top beaches but it is also well known for its iconic boardwalk.

Stretching for miles along the beach, the Venice Boardwalk is an expansive promenade that makes for some of the best people-watching you can find in the great Los Angeles area.

There is a lot to take in and explore in this area such as taking a food tour , however, you could also use this time to simply lounge on a beautiful Southern California beach.

Santa Monica

After enjoying Venice, it’s time to drive just a bit north to LA’s other incredibly famous beach neighbourhood – Santa Monica.

This upmarket area is well-known for the iconic Santa Monica Pier, a classic beach boardwalk amusement park that is filled with old-school carnival games, rides and a classic wooden roller coaster.

For those who don’t want to play at the pier, you can also opt to lounge on lovely Santa Monica Beach or take a surfing lesson . This is a beautiful soft sand beach that is perfect for sunbathing.

Away from the Pacific, the neighbourhood of Santa Monica itself is a great place to explore with plenty of great cafes, restaurants, bars and shops to browse.

Iconic Santa Monica Pier

Day 3 – Downtown LA

By this point, you’ve spent time in both Hollywood and exploring some of LA’s best beaches.

Now, on your third day, it’s time to head downtown and explore the urban centre of Los Angeles. If you love food, then you’re sure to love this day in LA. You can take a walking tour or a food tour of this area to learn more from a guide.

Arts District

Located on the edge of Downtown Los Angeles, the Arts District is a neighbourhood well worth exploring if you want to take in a bit of culture while visiting this Southern California city.

In a metropolis often derided in the US for lacking in culture, this is a neighbourhood that very much celebrates the incredible artistic nature of this city.

Whether you’re interested in taking in some incredible street art or murals or want to visit some museums, spend a few hours exploring the Arts District of LA. Not surprisingly, there are a number of galleries where you can explore some incredible art done by local artists, but there is more here than just that.

The Arts District is also home to some incredible restaurants, coffee shops and lots of craft breweries for those who fancy an artisan microbrew while on the trip to LA.

Grand Park in downtown LA

Little Tokyo

Located right on the cusp of the Arts District lies Little Tokyo, the historic heart of the Japanese-American community in LA. Home to what is actually the largest Japanese-American community in the entirety of the USA, this is a fascinating, historic neighbourhood to explore in Los Angeles and really outlines just how multicultural this incredible city is.

Those who want to learn more about this area and about Japanese Americans in general, then consider visiting the Japanese American National Museum.

And, if you’re looking for a more food-centric experience, then you’re certain to find some incredible food in this neighbourhood, as well. You may want to save some of your appetite for our next stop, however.

Grand Central Market

No time spent in Downtown Los Angeles is complete without visiting the Grand Central Market. First opened in 1917, this market hall is a foodie’s paradise.

Home to both fresh produce vendors and a range of different food stalls, you can get everything here from ramen to Berlin-style currywurst to barbecue to tostadas to wood-fired pizza and so much more.

Though this entire day really celebrates just how vibrant and multicultural LA is, you can really see it very tangibly for yourself just by browsing all of the stalls in the market.

End your day at the other side of Downtown LA in the Koreatown neighbourhood. Known locally as simply “K-Town,” this is the heart of the Korean-American population in the city and is actually one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in the entirety of the USA.

K-Town has it all and if you’re a fan of Korean cuisine, you’re sure to find something great to eat here. It can also be a great idea to learn a little bit about the history of this ethnically diverse neighbourhood, especially considering it was the epicentre of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots and it very much shaped the neighbourhood today.

There is a lot to offer in this neighbourhood and it is the perfect place to end your third day in LA.

Day 4 – Beverly Hills, Westwood & the Getty Center

If your visions of Los Angeles have to do with high-end homes and designer shopping, then you’re sure to love day four of this itinerary. And, if you’re looking to learn a bit, this day also includes a visit at one of the area’s top museums.

Rodeo Drive

Begin your day at Beverly Hills’ most iconic shopping street – Rodeo Drive. Whether you’re simply looking at doing some window shopping or are keen to splash the cash at the area’s countless designer shops, there is no doubt that this is a perfect place for an opulent LA experience.

You’ll notice a distinct change in atmosphere here compared to the other neighbourhoods you’ve explored and even if you’re not interested in the lives of the rich and famous of Beverly Hills, it can be worth having a stroll down Rodeo Drive just to experience the sheer diversity of LA neighbourhoods.

Rodeo Drive

Explore Westwood

Not far from Beverly Hills and Bel Air lies the hip and cool Westwood neighbourhood. This is a young and vibrant area that is a fun place to explore. It has an especially youthful vibe as it is home to the UCLA campus.

There are lots of great cafes, restaurants, bars and shops to explore in this neighbourhood and, again, it can give you a bit of a different perspective on the city. And if you want to really see what this area is like, consider hopping in the car and driving through the winding streets of nearby Bel Air, where you can see some of the most opulent, giant houses in the city.

After spending the morning around Beverly Hills, it’s only a short hop over to the Getty — one of the top museums in Los Angeles. If you’re a fine arts fan, you will delight in visiting the countless exhibits in this beautiful museum.

The museum itself is worth visiting just for the incredible architecture and the great views you can get from there. The Getty is quite sizeable, so plan to spend a fair amount of time here really taking in all of the different exhibits of American and European art.

The Getty Center

Day 5 – Day Trip or Universal Studios

If you’re spending 5 days in LA, then you can spend your final day on a day trip or, if you’re interested, enjoying all of the highlights at Universal Studios. There are countless options open for you depending on what exactly you’re after.

Universal Studios

If you want to head to a theme park but don’t want to leave LA proper, then make sure to head to Universal Studios. Here, you not only can go on a classic studio tour but you can also enjoy the sprawling theme park and have a blast on all of the rides and areas based on your favourite movies!

You need a whole day (at least) to devote to Universal Studios, so this is an excellent way to spend your final day exploring LA.

Santa Barbara

If you’re up for a bit of a drive, then consider heading to Santa Barbara , which is located about 2 hours from the centre of Los Angeles.

This lovely town is a perfect day trip destination an it has a lot to offer visitors. You can wander along the beach, explore the Funk Zone (the cool, downtown area) or enjoy the Urban Wine Trails.

Santa Barbara is the limit of where Southern California can merge into the Central Coast and it has a much more laid-back and relaxed culture when compared to Los Angeles. It is an excellent day trip option for LA.

The lovely Santa Barbara waterfront

If you want to head out to the beach once more, then you really cannot go wrong with driving out to Malibu. Located just north of Los Angeles proper, Malibu is home to several incredible beaches that are not quite as built up and a bit wilder than the beaches you will find within LA itself.

Malibu is also home to the Getty Villa, an offshoot of the Getty Museum in Beverly Hills. Here, you can view a wonderful collection of antiquities that were in the possession of oil tycoon J Paul Getty.

Orange County

If you’re keen to head south, then consider visiting Orange County. Now famous for the popular 2000s-era TV show The OC , Orange County is home to countless lovely beach towns and interesting places to visit. Huntington Beach is the closest to Los Angeles and is a perfect place to observe surfers catching the waves (or to try your hand at it yourself).

Other options in Orange County include swish Newport Beach – which is a great option for kids as you could also visit the classic theme park on Balboa Island.

And just a bit further south and about 1.5 hours from LA itself is Laguna Beach. This is a relaxed beach town with a ton of beautiful beaches to explore and wonderful shops and restaurants.

Catalina Island

Finally, if you’re looking for a unique day trip from LA, then consider heading to Catalina Island . Located off the coast of Southern California, Catalina is a lovely destination and it’s accessible via high-speed ferry from Long Beach or San Pedro, just south of the LA city centre.

Once in Catalina, you can spend your day wandering around the charming city of Avalon, touring the iconic Casino, hiking in the hills or, if you’d like simply lounging on the beach. Catalina is also a haven for those who like snorkelling, SCUBA diving or other watersports.

The historic Avalon Casino on Santa Catalina Island

Where to Stay in Los Angeles

Hollywood Inn Suites Hotel – If you’re wondering where to stay in LA and are travelling on a mid-range budget then this modern hotel is a great choice. They have a number of rooms to choose from that are suitable for couples or families and there is a swimming pool for guests to enjoy.

Hotel Per La – This cool hotel located in downtown LA is the perfect place to stay if you’re after a bit of luxury when visiting the City of Angels. They have a central location and guests can enjoy a rooftop swimming pool with fantastic views of the surrounding area.

Freehand Los Angeles – If you’re travelling solo or prefer to save some money, then this hostel is a fantastic option Located in downtown Los Angeles, they have a range of both private rooms and dorms with facilities that you would typically only find in hotels such as a rooftop pool and fitness centre.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Los Angeles hotels!

Planning the perfect trip to Los Angeles is no easy task as this large and spread-out city has a lot to offer. Whether you’re looking to spot Hollywood stars, lounge on the beach or experience incredible world cuisine, you’re sure to find something to love about California’s largest city!

Are you planning to visit Los Angeles? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

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About Maggie Turansky

Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

Hey Maggie I appreciate all the information you shared on here! My husband and I are headed to California from Canada here on Saturday and had no plans other then a rental car, hope to do some hiking, trying all the food and taking in all that California has to offer. We are starting in Los Angeles and were thinking of making our way up to Yosemite and Maybe San Francisco. We have 10 days so we will definitely be spending a good portion in Los Angeles because of the information you’ve given us here. If you have any other suggestions for our adventure around the state we are all ears!

I’m so happy you found this helpful! We have a lot of other great articles on California that should hopefully help you plan out your trip:

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Home » North America » Los Angeles


Los Angeles is a vibrant, diverse, and creative city. Boasting the perfect balance of scenery, activities, and attractions, there’s something for everyone.

Nicknamed the ‘city of angels’ due to its Spanish roots, this multicultural city has many unique layers and caters to a diversity of tastes, preferences, people, and budgets.

Located in the southern region of California, LA is the epicenter of fame, fortune, and showbiz. There are plenty of other attractions that draw people to this destination each year.

The sprawling metropolis offers something for everyone. From stylish shopping boutiques to massive amusement parks and picturesque beaches, LA is sure to make for a memorable vacation!

Whether you’re spending two days in the city of angels or more, our Los Angeles Itinerary will guarantee the perfect getaway.

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Best Time To Visit Los Angeles

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LA is alive with tourism all year! This city doesn’t experience extreme high or low temperatures – the weather stays comfortable year-round. No matter the season, there’s always something to do in LA.

The summer months (June – August) produce the warmest temperatures. This is a great time to travel to LA to enjoy the beaches and long summer days!

when to visit Los Angeles

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Fall (September – November) is also a great time to plan a trip to Los Angeles. The crowds thin out and the weather is still very enjoyable.

You’ll want a jacket during the winter months (December – February). Although temperatures never get too cold, the air does get a bit chilly. LA’s limited rainfall is generally seen in the winter months, but it’s rarely intense enough to inconvenience, and the cityscape looks beautiful in the rain!

Spring (March – May) produces warm days and blue skies. If you’re trying to decide when to visit Los Angeles, this is another great time! Really, you can’t go wrong.

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With a Los Angeles City Pass , you can experience the best of Los Angeles at the CHEAPEST prices. Discounts, attractions, tickets, and even public transport are all standards in any good city pass – be sure invest now and save them $$$ when you arrive!

where to stay in Los Angeles

If you’re planning a trip to LA, you’re going to want to stay in a location that will make your Los Angeles itinerary as accessible as possible. This sprawling city is full of culturally rich neighborhoods, and there are plenty of great areas to stay in!

If you want to be close to all the action, Hollywood is the place to stay . The symbol of entertainment, this area houses many of the city’s iconic landmarks. From the Hollywood walk-of-fame to the Dolby Theatre, this is the postcard city of LA!

There are also plenty of retro-cool bars, shopping venues, and vibrant night-clubs. This larger-than-life district is perfect for first-time travelers, especially. Here, you’ll find plenty of vacation rentals to suit all budgets!

Venice Beach is another great area of the city to stay in. Buzzing with bohemian spirit, this beach town has everything from funky shops to stylish boutiques. If you’re looking for cool and unique things to do in LA, Venice offers a vibrant mix of activities and attractions.

Spend a day exploring Venice’s iconic beach and boardwalk. Marvel at colorful murals and interesting street performers, or hit up one of many outdoor farmer’s markets. If you’re spending a weekend in Los Angeles make sure to check out the drum circle at the end of the Venice Beach Boardwalk by Brooks Avenue.

You could easily spend a week or more in LA, which is why I always recommend looking at vacation rentals such as VRBO in LA, because they come with all the facilities you would need to make your accommodation a home away from home.

Best Hostel in Los Angeles – USA Hostels Hollywood

los angeles itinerary

USA Hostels Hollywood has all the components to make your stay in LA as memorable as possible! Enjoy a real hostelling experience and community lifestyle when you stay here.

From the friendly staff to the regularly scheduled hostel events, you’ll feel right at home! Ideally located between Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Strip, it’s close to all the main attractions.

If you prefer hostels, explore even more LA hostel options here.

Best Airbnb in Los Angeles: Private Studio near the Hollywood Sign

Private Studio near the Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles

If location is your top priority, then this Airbnb is a winner. Adjacent to Griffith Park where you can hike to see the Hollywood Sign and Thai Town, where you can taste various authentic Thai cuisine. This studio apartment is conveniently located near the 101 highway, just a 10-minute drive to Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, Walk of Fame and a few blocks from Franklin Village.

Best Budget Hotel in Los Angeles – Ramada by Wyndham Marina del Rey

los angeles itinerary

Located in Venice Beach,  just a five-minute drive to the beach and the Boardwalk, this hotel is perfect for travelers wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the city center.

All rooms feature a coffee/tea maker, cable TV, and free toiletries. Guests will also enjoy free WIFI, parking, and a continental breakfast served daily! It’s great value for money!  

If you need some more inspiration for places to stay, check out these awesome motels in Los Angeles .

Los Angeles itinerary

No matter how many days you’re spending in Los Angeles, you’re going to need to figure out how to get around! Luckily, this city has a few transportation options to choose from, and they’re all relatively easy and convenient.

The easiest way to get around LA is by car. Fortunately, car rentals in the city are well-priced. Major car rental companies can be found at the airports and can easily be reserved ahead of time.

The Los Angeles Metro is affordable, relatively easy to use, and services most of Los Angeles.  It consists of Metro Buses, DASH Buses, and Metro Rail Trains. Use the metro trip planner to help you plan your route around the city.

Uber and Lyft are popular ride-sharing services and offer travelers an easy and convenient form of transportation. Simply plug-in where you want to go and a driver will pick you up right at your door-step. This app will make getting to every point on your Los Angeles itinerary as convenient as possible! Just don’t forget to tip your driver.

If you want to head offshore and stay in Catalina Island , there are great ferry connections from Long Beach and San Pedro.

Walking in Los Angeles is also a great option in certain areas. There are lots of walkable shopping and beach areas in Hollywood, Downtown LA, Venice Beach, Santa Monica.

Hollywood Walk of Fame | TCL Chinese Theatre | Griffith Park | Griffith Observatory | The Getty Museum | Sunset Boulevard

Spend your first day in Los Angeles checking out the city’s most iconic sights and cultural attractions!

Day 1 / Stop 1 – Hollywood Walk of Fame

  • Why it’s awesome: This is one of the most famous sidewalks in the world! Walk along the sidewalk and see if you can spot your favorite celebrity.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Food recommendations: Check out Hollywood Burger for a quick bite to eat. This gastropub mainly serves gourmet burgers, sandwiches, milkshakes, and beer. Fast service, affordable prices, and large portions. Vegetarian options are available too!

This iconic Los Angeles attraction is a must-see when visiting the city. Walk along the sidewalk stars and check out the names of Hollywood’s elite, past and present. You’ll see everyone from Elvis to The Beatles. Great for a one-of-a-kind LA photo opportunity!

Hollywood Walk of Fame

There are more than 2,600 stars embedded in the sidewalks.  The stars are spread throughout fifteen blocks on Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks on Vine Street in Hollywood. This free attraction has been around since the 1960s. Spend as much time as you’d like exploring the stars and taking pictures!

The long strip of stars is complemented by malls, cafes, restaurants, and an endless number of souvenir shops. It’s also bustling with street vendors and performers.

You’ll find plenty of tour companies on this street covering everything Hollywood related. Cruise Hollywood in comfort on a guided tour, see where celebrities live, and find out more Hollywood history and scandal. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is the perfect place to start your Los Angeles itinerary!

Day 1 / Stop 2 – TCL Chinese Theatre

  • Why it’s awesome: Iconic and historic movie-theatre located on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • Cost: $25.00 USD
  • Food recommendations: Pokinometry offers fresh and healthy Japanese and Asian inspired meals. They serve build-your-own style poke bowls. Customize your poke-bowl with your favorite veggies, rice, and seafood! This casual eatery delivers the highest quality of ingredients possible and is perfect for a quick and healthy meal!

The TCL Chinese Theatre is a historic Los Angeles attraction. This impressive movie-palace theatre is styled in Chinese design, gorgeous from the inside out. It opened in 1927 and is steeped in Hollywood history. Today, you can watch a show or take a tour of the theatre.

The theatre has hosted countless premieres, including the 1977 original Star Wars film premiere! It has also hosted the Academy Awards from 1944 – 1946.

hollywood sign road trip in southern california

Learn the theatre’s fascinating history on a guided tour. Hear fun facts about all things Hollywood, including celebrity stories. See the nearly 200 handprints, footprints, and autographs of famous movie stars. The most popular handprint being that of Marilyn Monroe!

This old theatre has converted to modern times. Today, it possesses the world’s largest IMAX auditorium as well as state-of-the-art IMAX laser projection. Watch modern movies while enjoying the sharpest, brightest, and most vivid digital movie experience possible!

A fun experience for all ages! Experience old Hollywood by taking a trip to the TCL Chinese Theatre.

Day 1 / Stop 3 – Griffith Park

  • Why it’s awesome: A beautiful park in Los Angeles offering a break from the busy city. There are lots of activities to choose from and fun for all ages!
  • Cost: It is free to enter the park, and prices vary depending on attractions selected.
  • Food recommendations: Pine and Crane is a trendy Taiwanese restaurant. They specialize in tapas-style Taiwanese food in a casual environment. There are lots of menu options including alcohol and beer.

Perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, Griffith Park is a large municipal park located in Los Angeles. There’s so much to see and do in this spacious outdoor area.  

Watch a show in the open-air at the Greek Theatre. This outdoor venue features a number of live musical performances, comedy shows, and plays throughout the year.

Griffith Park

Visit the LA Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Perfect for families traveling with children, check out the native plant species and exotic wildlife, including elephants, tigers, and hippopotamus!

Griffith Park also offers fifty-three miles worth of hiking trails! One of the most popular hikes starts at the Griffith Observatory (our next stop) and summits Mount Hollywood. Take this hike for spectacular views of the LA basin and the Hollywood sign!

Alternatively you can just relax and have a picnic. There are loads of grassy areas in this park, perfect for enjoying the peaceful ambiance of nature. Grab a blanket and enjoy a quiet reprieve from the busy city.

Day 1 / Stop 4 – Griffith Observatory

  • Why it’s awesome: Great for photo opportunities and scenery, you’ll see wonderful views of the Hollywood Sign, Downtown Los Angeles, and the Pacific ocean!  
  • Food recommendations: The Trail’s Cafe is nestled inside Griffith Park. The location offers scenic views and a relaxed vibe. They have a simple menu mainly featuring sandwiches, pastries, and coffee. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available.

This facility sits on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park. It provides some of the best views you can find in LA. The Griffith Observatory is a fun place to go and learn about the planets and the solar system; it’s California’s gateway to the cosmos!

Griffith Observatory

This popular tourist attraction has an extensive array of space and science-related displays. Look through telescopes, explore the exhibits, and enjoy panoramic views of LA!

You can check out a Planetarium show in their state-of-the-art dome theater. Take a cosmic journey of exploration and discovery! Tickets to watch a show are $7.00 USD for adults and $3.00 USD for children. They can be purchased at the main box office inside the Observatory.

Day 1 / Stop 5 – The Getty Museum

  • Why it’s awesome: A gem in the heart of Los Angeles. The Getty is one of the premier art museums in the world with a vast collection of precious artifacts curated from around the globe!
  • Food recommendations: Restaurant at The Getty Center offers American style dishes in an elegant dining space adjoining the museum. At this restaurant, you’ll receive top-level service, artfully presented meals, and fabulous views! Their menu does lean toward the pricey side, but the portions are plentiful and the food comes highly rated!

A cultural highlight of LA, the Getty Museum houses a fabulous collection of paintings, photographs, sculptures, and much more! The permanent exhibits at this museum include European and American art from medieval times to present.

See Van Gogh’s Irises , and Rembrandt’s An Old Man in Military Costume . There are rotating special exhibitions on display throughout the museum. The architecture of the building is impressive and the museum’s layout is very well curated. A must-see when touring Los Angeles.

The Getty Museum

Self-guided audio tours are available for free, just submit a form of ID at the front desk in exchange for your device. Walk around the museum at your leisure and enjoy the artwork, sculptures, and artifacts.

This museum also has a large picturesque garden, which is a work of art in itself. Symmetric and well-manicured lawns and flowerbeds form patterns and designs that compliment the masterpieces found inside the museum.

Step outside and you’ll be greeted with relaxing scenery and beautiful panoramic views of Los Angeles.

Day 1 / Stop 6 – Sunset Boulevard

  • Why it’s awesome: This iconic street is full of great places to eat, shop, listen to live music, and people-watch.
  • Food recommendations: For old Hollywood glamour make sure to check out Chateau Marmont. Movie-stars are known to frequent this intimate restaurant. This is the place to go for fine dining and top-notch service. Just make sure to book a reservation before-hand, this place is always busy!

This twenty-two-mile-long road stretches from Hollywood to Malibu, while winding past Beverly Hills and Bel Air. Sunset Boulevard is one of the most famous stretches of pavement in the world, and the options for entertainment along this strip are in abundance!

If you’re in the mood for live music make sure to check out the Roxy Theater. The iconic venue is small and intimate. It has amazing acoustics and has hosted several legends including Frank Zappa and Bob Marley.

Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles

Today, you can catch a performance from some of the top indie rock bands! This is the perfect place to go for some instrumental delight and a memorable night.

Or swap a concert for some comedy and check out a show at The Comedy Store. Famous alumni include Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, and Dave Chappelle! See up-and-coming comedians at this historic comedy club, open every day.

For shopping make sure to check out the area of Sunset Boulevard called the Sunset Strip. You’ll find options to suit all budgets and styles.

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Warner Brothers Studio Tour | Los Angeles County Museum of Art | The Groove and Original Farmers Market | Venice Beach Boardwalk | Santa Monica Pier

Spend day two of your Los Angeles itinerary checking out a few more iconic Hollywood attractions before making your way to the coast!

Day 2 / Stop 1 – Warner Brothers Studio Tour Hollywood

  • Why it’s awesome: Get a behind-the-scenes look into how your favorite movies and TV shows are made, a unique Hollywood experience.
  • Cost: $69.00 USD to $79.00 USD
  • Food recommendations: Head to Don Cuco for fresh and authentic Mexican food. This colorful and upbeat family-run restaurant is great for a casual sit-down meal. The service is friendly, the portions are large, and the margaritas are divine!

For a one-of-a-kind Hollywood experience, take a Warner Brother Studios Tour . Glimpse behind the scenes of one of the oldest and most popular film studios in the world!

Tours are guided by knowledgeable and entertaining guides. Most tours last approximately three-hours and run every half hour from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm.

If you’re a fan of the sitcom Friends , you’ll be able to get up close and personal with the Central Perk Set, including the Friends couch! Fans of Harry Potter will love seeing authentic props used in the movies, including the sorting hat and Dobby the House Elf.

Warner Brothers Studio Tour Hollywood

Experience the golden age of cinema by booking a Classic Tour. This tour focuses on classic-themed Film and TV, from the early days of the studio up to the 1970s.

Walk around the different sets and prop rooms as your favorite movies and TV shows are brought to life! Get the full Hollywood experience by taking a Warner Brothers Studio Tour, a great addition to your Los Angeles itinerary.

Day 2 / Stop 2 – Los Angeles County Museum of Art

  • Why it’s awesome: This museum houses modern and ancient works of art. It is well organized and has an eclectic range of artwork.
  • Cost: $25.00 USD for adults, children 17 and under are free!
  • Food recommendations: Ray’s and Stark Bar is located on LACMA premise and offers Mediterranean fine dining and handcrafted drinks. They have happy hour specials, outdoor seating, and are kid-friendly.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the western United States! There are lots of different exhibits to check out, including several interactive exhibits.

This museum houses more than 150,000 works of art spanning the history of ancient times to present. There are permanent installations as well as temporary exhibits, so you can see something new each time you visit.


See famous paintings from Pablo Picasso and Diego Rivera. The museum itself has five different buildings. You could easily spend half a day admiring each piece and reading the information shown next to each piece.

Before you enter the museum you’ll see the Urban Light exhibit at the entrance. This is arguably the most popular exhibit on display. The large-scale assemblage consists of restored street lamps from the 1920s and 1930s. Many of these street lamps were once used to light the streets of Southern California. Great for a unique photo-op!

Day 2 / Stop 3 – The Groove and Original Farmers Market

  • Why it’s awesome: Large retail complex with endless options for shopping, food, and entertainment.
  • Food recommendations: Be sure to stop at See’s Candy and Sprinkles Cupcakes. Both of these sweet shops were founded in Los Angeles and have gone on to franchise across the United States.

This large outdoor mall and farmers-market has endless options for entertainment. It features high-end and budget shops as well as fine and casual dining options. Its modern and artistic architecture ties in perfectly with its pedestrian-friendly atmosphere.

You’ll find all major clothing outlets here, from H&M to Nordstrom. There are ever-changing pop-up shops offering even more shopping options. This is your one-stop destination for clothing, jewelry, souvenirs, and beauty products!

The Grove features a large fourteen-screen movie theater. Enjoy a comfortable movie experience with wall-to-wall oversize screens and immersive surround sound. Check out the full-service bar located in the theatre lobby to enjoy a pre or post-movie cocktail, beer, or wine.

The Groove and Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles

You’ll find varying events at the Grove including fitness workshops and family activities. Check out their summer concert series where you can enjoy live music outside in the warm afternoon air.

If you’re hungry, you’ll find a wide range of options to choose from. There’s everything from chocolate shops to cafes to sit-down eateries. Your dining options will be as diverse as your cravings!

The Farmers Market is located directly next to the Grove. This area has food stalls, sit-down eateries, prepared food vendors, and fresh local produce. You’ll find everything from seafood, to wine, to sweets! It has a lively atmosphere and options for everyone.

First opened in July 1934, it is a permanent installation and is open every day of the week. Featuring more than 100 vendors, this is a historic Los Angeles landmark and a big tourist attraction!

This massive complex feels like a city within a city! It’s fun for all ages and has options to keep everyone entertained.

Day 2 / Stop 4 – The Venice Beach Boardwalk

  • Why it’s awesome: This lively boardwalk is filled with performers, vendors, and storefronts. It has an upbeat vibe with lots of activities to keep you entertained.
  • Food recommendations: Venice Ale House is the place to go for great views and great food. They specialize in organic American fare and craft beers. There are options for everyone, from meat-eaters to vegans! The outdoor seating makes it the perfect place to soak up the Venice ambiance.

There’s never a dull moment at this iconic Los Angeles landmark. The Venice Beach Boardwalk is quintessential California.

The beach offers a 1-mile stretch that runs parallel to the ocean. Peruse this path for the full Venice Beach Boardwalk experience. Walk or rent a bike and cruise down the coastline. Electric bikes and scooters are available too!

Make sure to check out Muscle Beach Gym while you’re there. People of all skill levels frequent this iconic ocean-side gym. Back in the day, Arnold Schwarzenegger himself used to pump iron here. People-watch or partake in a gym-sesh. A day-pass to workout is $10.00 USD.

The Venice Beach Boardwalk, Los Angeles

If you want to pick up a unique California keepsake the Venice Beach Boardwalk is filled with anything and everything you could imagine. From clothing to jewelry to recycled trash turned into art, you’ll find it all here.

Watch the most eclectic range of street performers you could image. From singing and breakdancing to performers eating fire and juggling knives, this is an awe-inspiring kind of place.

Make sure to bring an appetite when you visit. From roof-top bars to sidewalk cafes to ice cream stands, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

Insider Tip: You can walk from Venice Beach to the Santa Monica Pier and vice versa. Just follow the two and a half mile Ocean Front Walk and you’ll be there in roughly fifty minutes!

Day 2 / Stop 5 – The Santa Monica Pier

  • Why it’s awesome: Located right on the beach, this lively Pier has everything from amusement rides to an aquarium. Soak up the sun and stunning views at one of the most popular Los Angeles landmarks!
  • Food recommendations: Head to Big Dean’s Ocean Front Cafe for a casual beach-side dining experience. This sports bar has a long history of providing seafood pub-grub and cold beer. The prices are reasonable and there’s plenty of outdoor patio seating!

The historic Santa Monica Pier is entertaining in so many ways. From the amazing views of the ocean to the Pacific Park amusement park, to the street entertainers, it’s a non-stop show!

The Pier itself is free to walk across and you’ll find stunning panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and sandy coastline. Take a towel and lay out on the beach, or have a dip in the cool Pacific water. A little beach time is, after all, a must for any Los Angeles itinerary.

Pacific Park is an amusement park located on the Santa Monica Pier and looks directly out to the Pacific Ocean. The park rides are pay-as-you-go, so you can ride as many, or as few as you’d like. Check out the iconic Ferris wheel for stunning views of Santa Monica in every direction. This oceanfront amusement park is vibrant and full of life!

The Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is located directly under the Pier. This public aquarium operates nonprofit and charges $5.00 USD for admission, kids 12 and under are free!

There are countless restaurants and food stands in and around the Pier. Dine at a restaurant on the beach or grab some fair-food and people-watch. At any time of day you’ll find the air buzzing with live music and lively crowds!

Head to the Santa Monica Pier for some fun in the sun, or watch as the sun sets and the amusement park rides light up the night! This stop is a must if you’re planning a trip or are backpacking through Los Angeles . The views are beautiful any time of day and the open-air activities are fun for all ages!

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Los Angeles Itinerary: Day 3 and Beyond

Disneyland Park | Universal Studios Hollywood | Hollywood Bowl | The Queen Mary | Paradise Cove Beach

If you’re spending three days or more in Los Angeles, you’re going to want to check out a few more of the city’s main attractions! Here are a few extra things we think are great additions to your Los Angeles itinerary:

Disneyland Park

  • The original Disney Theme Park, built under the construction of Walt Disney himself.
  • Open long hours and every day of the year.
  • Firework shows Friday- Sunday night, or every night during summer.

A trip to Disneyland Park is a truly magical experience. It has something for everyone, young and old. From rides to fun-themed eateries, to parades with all your favorite characters, a trip to Disney will make for a nostalgic and spellbinding experience.

Disneyland Park, Los Angeles

There are numerous rides to choose from that combine stimulation with visualization. Each ride tells a story and the attention to detail in every aspect of the park is impressive and enchanting.

This is one of the most popular Los Angeles points of interest and it’s recommended to spend at least a whole day here to get the full experience.

Insider Tip: Download the Disneyland app to see the wait times for all the rides!

Universal Studios Hollywood

  • World-famous film studio and theme park.
  • Perfect for families, thrill-seekers, and movie-lovers.
  • This theme park has state-of-the-art special effects on every ride, show, and attraction!

A trip to Universal Studios is sure to make for an action-packed day full of fun and entertainment. From rides and shows to dining and shopping, this theme park has something for everyone.

Enjoy a world-famous studio tour where you’ll go behind the scenes of iconic Hollywood sets . This sixty-minute narrated tram ride goes through four acres of historic studio lots. Check out the Bates Motel from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho , see the plane crash-site from Stephen Spielberg’s War of the Worlds , and look out for more from your favorite films.

Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles

Immerse yourself in the wizarding world of Harry Potter! Visit Hogsmeade and have a butter-beer, soar over the castle grounds of Hogwarts, and visit the room of requirements!

Insider Tip: Make sure to check out Citywalk Universal, located next door to the park, right before the entrance. Here you’ll find even more shopping, dining, and entertainment options!

Hollywood Bowl

  • Outdoor amphitheater in the Hollywood Hills.
  • Watch a live performance or concert!
  • Wine and dine as you enjoy great acoustics and lively entertainment.

The Hollywood Bowl is a great place to watch a live performance or concert. This outdoor venue has lots of seating options and wonderful views of the Hollywood Hills.

There are many food and drink stands inside the venue to choose from. Pre-order a picnic basket and wine. Hit-up a street food vendor for an easy meal to take back to your seat, 0r simply pack your own snacks to bring along.

Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles

This casual venue is the perfect place to go for entertainment and a laid-back vibe, especially in summer. Spend a few hours watching a show and enjoying the wonderful LA weather!

If you don’t have time to catch a show, it is free to go inside and walk around the amphitheater during certain hours of the day.

The Queen Mary

  • Beautiful retired British ocean liner from the 1930s.
  • This large vessel is now open for tourism.
  • Rumored to be haunted, there is a large number of recorded incidents of paranormal activity in the ship’s logs!

The Queen Mary is an iconic vessel stationed on Long Beach, California, twenty-six miles from Downtown Los Angeles. Once an active sailing vessel, today it is permanently docked and open for tourism. The beauty and grandeur of the ship have been well maintained. It invites guests aboard in several capacities.

You can book a room onboard this historic vessel! There are several hotel options to choose from, each offering modern amenities with original 1930s designs. Enjoy casual or fine dining at one of the ship’s restaurants, or have a drink at the Observation Bar, styled in sophisticated 1930s fashion.

The Queen Mary

You can take a guided tour and hear more about this magnificent ship’s history and a few ghost stories. There are several tour options to choose from that cover everything from the ship’s mechanics to haunted encounters.

The Queen Mary is full of history and mystery, paranormal-enthusiasts and history-lovers will especially love this addition to their Los Angeles itinerary!

Paradise Cove Beach

  • Small public beach located beneath the cliffs of Malibu.
  • Rentable private terraces, beach beds, and loungers.
  • You are allowed to bring in your own alcohol, but only beer, wine, and champagne.

No trip to Los Angeles is complete without some beach time, and Paradise Cove Beach is our pick for the best beach in LA! The seclusion of this beach combined with the ability to rent out beach terraces and bring your own alcohol makes for the perfect beach day.

The beach has lifeguards on duty, clean facilities, and a private pier. Paradise Cove sits in front of a privately-owned restaurant, Paradise Cove Beach Cafe, where you can enjoy tropical drinks and American fare. The sandy coastline and pristine ocean waters make this beach perfect for your vacation in Los Angeles.

Paradise Cove Beach, Los Angeles

A trip to Paradise Cove can be pricey, especially if you plan to rent out beach amenities. However, if you are willing to spend a little extra to feel some vacation vibes, this is the place to do it!  

Insider Tip: The beach is public, but you have to pay for parking. Parking price Monday – Friday is $35.00 USD and weekends and holidays $50.00 USD. If you eat at the Paradise Cove Beach Cafe, located next to the beach, most of your parking-fee is comped.

Whether you’re exploring Los Angeles in three days or more, safety is an important thing to keep in mind. Generally speaking, most of Los Angeles is considered safe , especially tourist areas and places on the western and northern sides of the city.

The areas of LA that are not considered safe are Skid Row, South Central, and Compton. Not to worry, no places mentioned in your LA itinerary are located in these areas.

Like any big city, crime does occur. Watch out for pickpockets, who are skillfully experienced in taking things undetected. Keep your valuables hidden and try to travel with bags and purses that you can securely close.

If you are traveling solo, make sure to keep to the tourist areas. Try to blend in as much as possible, especially if you’re going out at night. Don’t wear anything that looks expensive (jewelry, cameras, handbags) and again, keep your valuables hidden.

If you are traveling with a car in Los Angeles, never leave valuables in plain sight in your vehicle. Keep them locked in your trunk, or even better, in your accommodation. Car break-ins are known to happen, especially if things are left in view.

Follow these simple guidelines and you should have nothing to worry about. Keep your wits about you and enjoy your time in LA!

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance for Los Angeles

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

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SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

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Day trips from Los Angeles are a great way to pack even more action into your vacation. These trips are a great addition to your Los Angeles itinerary, and there are lots of options to choose from!

Palm Springs Day Tour and Outlet Shopping from Los Angeles

On this full-day tour, you’ll visit the desert oasis of Palm Springs! Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway 5,000 feet up the cliffs of Chino Canyon. At the top, you’ll be greeted with spectacular views of the Palm Springs Valley.

Palm Springs Day Tour and Outlet Shopping from Los Angeles

Visit the Living Desert Zoo where you’ll learn all about the desert ecosystem! Enjoy lunch in El Paseo, where you’ll have a break to eat, shop, and relax.

Next, enjoy a bus-tour where you can see the homes of Hollywood stars! Finish up with a trip to Desert Hills Premium Outlets before being transferred back to LA.

California Coast Day Tour from LA: Santa Barbara & Solvang

On this fourteen-hour trip, you’ll discover the coastal town of Santa Barbara and the Danish town of Solvang. You’ll drive north as you expand your Los Angeles itinerary. Witness the stunning California coast and enjoy the spread-out scenery as you leave the city.

California Coast Day Tour from LA Santa Barbara & Solvang

Walk along Santa Barbara’s harbor and visit a Spanish Mission Station. Explore charming Solvang, filled with unique European architecture and quaint local shops and bakeries.

Lastly, you’ll visit Hearst Castle, built by newspaper baron William Randolph Heart. Tour this grand and extravagant mansion, a truly magnificent and unique residence.

San Diego Zoo Tickets and Transfer from LA

On this nine-hour tour, you’ll visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo! Discover some of the most exotic creatures from around the globe.

San Diego Zoo

Home to over 4,000 animals, the San Diego Zoo has one of the largest collections of exotic wild animals found anywhere in the world. Check out a show, featuring various species found in the zoo. Take a leisurely guided bus tour or ride the Skysafari tram for aerial views of the animals.

This trip offers convenient round-trip transportation from Los Angeles to the Zoo’s entrance.

Round-trip Transportation to SeaWorld San Diego From L.A.

On this nine-hour day trip, you’ll explore the underwater world of SeaWorld San Diego! Experience a full-day of endless entertainment as you see and learn about underwater creatures.

Round-trip Transportation to SeaWorld San Diego From L.A.

SeaWorld makes learning fun and engaging. Get close enough to touch a dolphin’s fin, watch the penguins play, and stare down a fearsome shark. Watch a theatrical aquatic show where you’ll be mesmerized as you watch Orcas flip through the air and perform high-energy tricks.

Enjoy round-trip transportation from Los Angeles to SeaWorld San Diego. Sit back and relax as your professional driver takes you from LA straight to SeaWorld’s entrance!

Santa Barbara: Wine Country Tour with Picnic Lunch

On this seven-hour tour, you’ll enjoy a relaxing wine country experience. Travel by air-conditioned bus to the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County.

You’ll visit three wineries and enjoy a private wine tasting at each. Learn about the different wineries and wine from the friendly staff. You’ll enjoy a picnic lunch from a private chef at one of the wineries. Cold beverages are also included.

Santa Barbara Wine Country Tour with Picnic Lunch

Before heading back, explore the small towns of either Los Olivos or Solvang. Wine-lovers especially should make sure to add this day-trip to their Los Angeles itinerary!

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Find out what people want to know when planning their Los Angeles itinerary.

How many days do I need in Los Angeles?

Exploring Los Angeles can be done in two full days, but we’d recommend adding at least 1-2 more to your trip. That way, you get to see the city without any stress or fear of missing out, plus you can add half a day of just chilling to your itinerary.

What are the most popular attractions in Los Angeles?

The Hollywood sign and the Hollywood Walk of Fame are probably the most popular attractions in Los Angeles, but if you ask us, also totally overrated. We’d recommend seeing the Venice Beach Boardwalk instead.

What should I not miss when visiting Los Angeles?

Don’t miss out on these attractions in Los Angeles: – The Venice Beach Boardwalk – Santa Monica Pier – Los Angeles County Museum of Art

What is the best family itinerary for Los Angeles?

Families will love these attractions in Los Angeles: – Warner Brothers Studio Tour Hollywood – The Groove and Original Farmers Market – The Santa Monica Pier

Los Angeles is a popular vacation destination offering the best mix of entertainment, good weather, and iconic attractions. Pulsing with style and energy, it’s a gathering place where people from around the world spend whole days shopping, dining, relaxing, and thrill-seeking.

LA is a coming-together of cultures, cuisines, and scenery. There’s nothing quite like it.  There are so many places to visit in Los Angeles and each one is filled with plenty of sunshine and excitement!

From world-class museums to trendy shopping malls, to quirky beaches, to Hollywood hallmarks, there’s something for everyone. If you’re backpacking California , make sure LA is on your itinerary!

Blessed by an endless coastline and infused with a seductive spirit, it’s no wonder thousands of people travel to Los Angeles every year. Whether you’re spending three days in LA, or more, this itinerary will make sure you make the most of your trip!

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Ashley Ryan

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Los Angeles Tourist Information, Sightseeing, Pictures and Tourism Links

L.A. Metro Buses and Trains

Metro Rapid Bus in Santa Monica. [Photo Credit:]

Metro Routes and Schedules

You can use the Trip Planner on Metro's website to find routes and schedules. You can also use the Trip Planner in conjunction with your search for accommodations, to find out if a hotel has convenient access to a Metro bus or train that goes directly to the attractions you want to visit. Easy access to a B (Red) Line train station is especially important for tourists, since the train will take you to/from Hollywood, Universal Studios and downtown Los Angeles. The Metro Trip Planner includes Metro buses and trains as well as DASH, Metrolink, Santa Monica Blue Bus, Culver City and other local municipal bus lines.

How to Use L.A. Metro's Trip Planner

Metro's Trip Planner is a valuable tool that lets you plan your public transportation routes in advance, before you arrive in Los Angeles.

  • Visit the Metro website home page ( and find the Trip Planner on the right side.
  • Enter your starting and ending points, for example:
  • Starting Point: LAX
  • Destination: Hollywood and Highland
  • Starting Point: 6801 Hollywood Blvd
  • Destination: Universal Studios
  • Click "Get Directions" (if applicable)
  • The Trip Planner will then show you various possible routes to your destination. Click on a radio button to select the route and view the schedule.

Metro Trip Planner Tips

  • You can find the Metro Trip Planner at
  • If there are no results, you might need to click the "BACK" link and set a longer maximum walking distance.
  • You can use street addresses or words to describe your origin and/or destination. For example, "6801 Hollywood Blvd" or "Hollywood and Highland"
  • If you allow to access your location, it will use your current position as the Starting Point.
  • Metro offers free guided tours on B (Red), D (Purple) and E (Expo) Line Trains ! Click the link below for details or visit

Free Guided Tours on Metro Red, D (Purple) and E (Expo) Line Trains - Daily tours are available. This service is offered by Metro and tours are free, although riders must provide their own TAP card and fare. Spaces are limited. Visit the link for details, or to reserve a spot on a tour.

Metro Trip Planner Destinations

  • For the Convention Center in downtown L.A., use "LA Convention Center" in the Metro Trip Planner.
  • Santa Monica Beach : Take the Metro Rail E (Expo) Line train from downtown L.A. to destinations in Santa Monica. (Example Trip Planner destinations are: "Santa Monica Beach," "Santa Monica Pier," and "Santa Monica Promenade"). The E (Expo) Line has a terminus at 7th Street Metro Station in downtown L.A. - this station is easy to reach from Hollywood using the B (Red) Line train).

L.A. Metro Rapid Line 460 - Disneyland Express. [Photo Credit:]

  • Hollywood Boulevard : Take the B (Red) Line train to Hollywood and Highland station (use "Hollywood/Highland" in the Metro Trip Planner), or Hollywood and Vine station ("Hollywood/Vine St").
  • Universal Studios : At the B (Red) Line Universal Station, go up to the street level and cross Lankershim Blvd to the free shuttle that takes you up the hill to CityWalk and Universal Studios. (Use "Universal Studios" or "Universal Station" in the Trip Planner)
  • Disneyland : The Disneyland Express - Metro Express Line 460 - travels from downtown L.A. to Disneyland and back. For routes and schedule, type "Disneyland" the Destination field of the Trip Planner.

Metro Line Letters

  • A Line (Blue) - [rail] Downtown L.A. to Long Beach
  • B Line (Red) - [rail] Downtown L.A. to Hollywood
  • C Line (Green) - [rail] Redondo Beach to Norwalk (crosses paths with the A Line)
  • D Line (Purple) - [rail] Downtown L.A. to Mid-Wilshire [expansion: Miracle Mile (2023), Beverly Hills (2025) and Westwood (TBD)]
  • E Line (Expo) - [rail] Downtown L.A. to USC, Culver City and Santa Monica
  • G Line (Orange) - [bus] B Line terminus to destinations in the San Fernando Valley
  • J Line (Silver) - [bus] Downtown L.A. to San Pedro
  • L Line (Gold) - [rail] Downtown L.A. (Union Station, Little Tokyo) to Pasadena

Metro Local Bus at Chinese Theater in Hollywood. [Photo Credit:]

Metro Vehicles and Other Agencies

Metro operates buses and trains throughout various areas of Los Angeles:

  •  Trains and Light Rail Cars  - Metro operates underground subway trains, as well as light rail cars that run at the street level. Metro trains mostly service the L.A. metropolitan basin.
  •  Red Buses  - Metro Rapid buses take less time to reach the destination, but they service less bus stops, meaning you might have to walk farther to reach your intended destination.
  •  Orange Buses  - Metro Local buses take longer to reach the destination, but they service more bus stops, allowing you to get closer to your intended destination. (Note: During peak hours, orange buses might be used for Metro Rapid)
  •  Silver Buses  - Metro J (Silver) Line buses service a route that connects El Monte in East L.A. to San Pedro in the South Bay. This bus line is more of a commuter route that passes through tourist destinations in Downtown L.A. and Exposition Park. However most other bus lines cost less and are more flexible for tourists.
  •  More Silver Buses  - Metro G (Orange) Line buses service routes that connects points in the San Fernando Valley to the Metro B (Red) Line station in North Hollywood. This bus line is a commuter route and tourists might never see it.

Other Agencies (not Metro)

The L.A. Bus Services page has links to these, and more bus agencies:

  •  Green Buses  - Culver City bus lines service destinations to and from Culver City.
  •  Blue Buses  - Santa Monica bus lines service destinations to and from Santa Monica.
  •  White/Blue Buses  - DASH bus lines (by L.A. DOT) connect popular destinations within Los Angeles. Rather than travel on a single street like most bus lines, these buses make circuits of a local area.
  •  Light Blue Buses  - FlyAway bus lines connect popular destinations with LAX airport. For one or two travelers, this is an economical solution (compared to taxi) to get from LAX to downtown L.A.

Ticket Vending Machine at a Metro Train Station. [Photo Credit:]

How to Pay Bus or Train Fare

  • Buses - you can pay cash, or scan a TAP card at the fare box. Try to have the exact fare handy, because bus drivers do not give change if you overpay.
  • Trains - scan a TAP card at the gate. You can buy a TAP card and load it at vending machines outside of the gate. *NOTE* Some of the light rail train platforms do not have vending machines.
  • Click here for more info about Metro Fares at Metro's website.

How to Buy a TAP Card

  • Visit to locate a Metro Customer Center that sells TAP cards, or buy one online and the card will be sent to you in the mail.
  • Trains - At vending machines outside of gates at Metro Rail stations. *NOTE* Some of the light rail train platforms do not have vending machines.
  • Buses - You can buy a TAP card that includes a Metro Day Pass.
  • Click here for more info about Metro TAP Cards at Metro's website.

Bicycle Lockers at  Metro Civic Center Train Station. [Photo Credit:]

Bicycles on Metro Buses and Trains

  • Taking a Bicycle - There is room to store your bicycle, or stand with it, on Metro buses and trains. The procedure varies, but only two-wheeled pedal-powered bicycles are allowed. See the Bike Metro website for rules and tips for taking bicycles on the bus or train.
  • Locking a Bicycle - Many bus and train station offer bike racks for locking and leaving your bicycle at the station while you ride.
  • Storing a Bicycle - Metro offers a limited number of bicycle storage lockers on a first-come-first-served basis. Lockers are rented six months at a time, and the locker needs to be reserved by mailing in a form.
  • Bike Metro - rules, tips and more information about taking bicycles on Metro buses and trains.

Metro Bike Share - rent a bicycle at one of dozens of stations in downtown L.A. This is a new program offered by Metro. See the website for details, rates and locations.

Metro Accessibility

  • Most train stations are accessible via elevator or ramp. The trains can be boarded without a ramp. .
  • Metro buses have ramps and can lean. Some buses offer enhanced anchors and more room to navigate.
  • Metro Riders with Disabilities - More information about Metro accessibility.

Los Angeles Hotel Reservations

Best Time to Visit

Weather & Climate

Los Angeles Airports

Neighborhoods to Know

Driving in Los Angeles

Public Transportation

48-Hour Itinerary

Day Trips From Los Angeles

Top Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Things to Do With Kids

Best Beaches

Top Museums

Theater Guide

Where to Camp

Skiing Near Los Angeles

Food to Try

Most Iconic Restaurants

Nightlife in LA

Top Breweries

Your Trip to Los Angeles: The Complete Guide

Los Angeles: Planning Your Trip

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La-La Land, City of Angels, Tinseltown, Southland—it’s fitting that a city as diverse, as exciting, as sprawling, as mercurial, and often as misunderstood and misjudged as Los Angeles has so many nicknames. (It’s also apt, given it’s home to Hollywood, that most of those monikers are also past film and TV titles.) It offers visitors movie magic and melting pot menus, pro sports and palm trees, rooftop bars and big city bluster, distilleries and dispensaries, shopping and self-care, fitness fanaticism and family fun, high-end hospitality and a hippie underbelly, and even nearby nature when you’re done nurturing your brain with architecture, history, and culture.  

But for the uninitiated, it can also quickly become a beast based on its behemoth size, sometimes soul-crushing traffic and smog, confusing parking rules, and budget-busting prices. Read on for help planning your visit including where to stay, when to go, and what to eat, drink, and do.

Planning Your Trip

• Best Time To Visit: Southern California’s Mediterranean climate   results in mild winters, low humidity, and an abundance of sunshine so there isn’t really a bad time to visit, but spring brings super blooms and fresh strawberry donuts and warm autumns extend rosé and rooftop season. 

• Language: English although Spanish is widely spoken 

• Currency: US Dollar

• Getting Around: Home to the West's first freeway   (now Highway 110, which has connected Pasadena to downtown since 1940), LA is and has always been a driving town. The easiest way to get around is to rent a car at the airport. (By 2023, LAX’s new consolidated rental car center and the people mover to get there should be completed.) If you choose to take the wheel, do as Angelenos do and accept traffic as your brutal bedfellow and know that almost all drive times are longer than the mileage would suggest and whatever you do, do not drive slow in the far left or carpool lanes. Read this for more tips on blending in when behind the wheel .

If you don’t want to deal with that anxiety, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are available and reliable. And if your starting point and destination are near a light rail/subway stop, purchase a TAP card and go Metro. Read more about using public transportation here.

• Travel Tip: Unless seeing celebrities is your raison d’etre, avoid awards season (typically January through the beginning of March) as the best hotels and spas are taken by folks who will most definitely get better service than you, hot restaurants and clubs are rented out for private celebrations and company parties, and street closures make getting around complicated. Hotel prices near venues tend to be higher. They are bumped up on summer/holiday weekends as well especially if they're near the beach.

Things To Do

If you’re bored in LA, you aren’t trying hard enough. Because no matter what your ideal vacation day looks like—whether it consists of a taco crawl and an NBA game, photographing street art and buying designer clothes, going to the mountains and the beach in the same day, drinking a locally brewed beer and wandering around a Japanese garden, or riding roller coasters and attending a TV show taping—you can likely accomplish it here. Whatever you decide to do, don’t miss the following:

• As the Entertainment Capital Of The World, even casual fans will appreciate going behind the scenes on studio lot tours, attending a taping, taking selfies in front of cinema landmarks like the Walk Of Fame, celebrity homes, or real-life locations used in movie shoots like these as seen in  Once Upon A Time In Hollywood , hiking to the Hollywood Sign, touring the famous graves , and seeing what’s playing in a historic movie palace like the TCL Chinese Theatre, downtown’s Million Dollar Theatre (the one from  Blade Runner ), or Disney’s El Capitan. 

• Fun fact: LA has more museums and performing arts venues than any other U.S. city   . Peruse collections of high art (literally in the case of the hilltop Getty Center!), fast cars, dinosaur bones, photography, space race artifacts including an actual shuttle, neon, anti-psychiatry evidence, Wild West history, bunnies , and serial killers’ possessions . Add more culture to the calendar with plays, live music, galleries, libraries, street art tours, and poetry readings. There also always seems to be at least one experiential pop-up “museum” happening like Flutter or Sneakertopia .

• There are endless ways to enjoy LA’s 75 miles of coastline . Drive along scenic PCH. Walk Venice’s eclectic boardwalk with its iron pumpers and body piercers. Ride the world’s only solar-powered Ferris Wheel and go to free concerts on the pier in Santa Monica. Learn to surf in Malibu. Play volleyball in the sand in Manhattan Beach.

But wait, there’s more including winter sports , best hikes , and outdoor screenings .

What To Eat and Drink

If you came to eat, you came to the right place. LA has one of the world’s most dynamic food scenes as it runs the gamut from street vendors’ bacon-wrapped danger dogs to Michelin-starred restaurants. Always start with brunch , knowing that LA is both an early (before 10 a.m.) and all-day breakfast kind of town. Next, there’s the things the city’s known for that you need to check off the list: food trucks, tacos , In-N-Out burgers, avocado toast, French dip sammies, hard kombucha. Then, the rest of your meals should be spent sending your stomach around the U.S. and the world without checking out of your hotel. The pizza scene now gives New York and Italy a run for their money and co-opted Nashville hot chicken. 

LA is made up of pocket neighborhoods defined by the majority ethnic group that lives there and, in cases like Thai Town and Koreatown, it’s the largest population living outside their respective motherlands. You’ll hear their native tongue, see cultural and religious festivals, can buy authentic ingredients in specialty markets, and be able to eat their regional delicacies. Do not miss Korean BBQ , fancy sushi , the growing Filipino food scene, Armenian bakeries in Glendale, Jewish delis in Fairfax or along Pico, Chinese in the San Gabriel Valley, or burn-your-face off Thai dishes ( Jitlada !). And if you have joined the growing movement to go meat-free, don’t fret. LA’s vegan and vegetarian options are just as globally inspired.

As is the drinking scene, with all genres of bars , from tiki rooms and hidden speakeasies to Bukowski–approved dives and alfresco patios, trying to lift your spirits. In the last five years, craft breweries, distilleries and even wineries have popped up all over town adding their tasting rooms to the night-out pool. There’s a growing mocktail movement and a strong café culture if you abstain from alcohol.

Where To Stay

The hotel scene is about as diverse as LA’s population in terms of luxury level, amenities, price, size, and style. There’s also a pretty wide selection of Airbnbs and rental properties. The best advice we can give is to pick the neighborhood where you need to be or would like to spend the most time in order to minimize commuting and maximize vacationing and then find lodging. 

Downtown is undeniably having a moment with lots of new accommodations, often in old converted buildings. Many of the edgiest boutiques are transplants from other trend-setting cities like Nomad and The Hoxton. There's also high-end options like the Ritz-Carlton. Either way, you’re within walking distance of award-winning restaurants, stadiums and stages, bars, and museums. 

Look into West Hollywood and Hollywood—places like The Kimpton Everly, Chateau Marmont, or The W—if you seek an immersion in cinematic history, have Hollywood Bowl or Pantages tickets, or want to lose yourself in the music or the moment in the Boys’ Town nightlife scene.

Beverly Hills properties like the Waldorf Astoria, the Peninsula, or the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons are about as posh as they come and offer decadent spas, silky sheets, superior service, and walkability to Rodeo Drive.

If it isn’t a vacation until you feel sand between your toes, limit your search to Santa Monica, Venice, Malibu, or the South Bay cities. 

Check out this neighborhood guide to narrow the field.

Getting There

While it’s a popular road trip from other parts of the Golden State, Arizona, or Las Vegas, most visitors arrive via airplane and that usually means your time in the Southland will start and end at Los Angeles International Airport , or as it’s commonly know, LAX. The fourth busiest passenger airport in the world generally offers the cheapest fairs and most flights, but it isn’t the only option.   Other regional airports include: 

• Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR): It’s small, the security line is a breeze, and is a better option if you’re staying in the valleys, on the Eastside, in Pasadena, or making your way to Ventura. 

• John Wayne Airport (SNA): This option in Orange County is much closer to Disneyland, but a long slog to LA.

• Long Beach Airport (LGB): Another smaller, smoother airport that gets you closer to Disneyland and The OC. It is a perfect choice if you are headed out on a cruise from San Pedro.

More transportation options like taking Amtrak or Greyhound can be explored in this guide.

Money Saving Tips

• Cushion the blow of the final bill by scheduling your trip to coincide with dineL.A. Restaurant Week , which technically lasts a couple of weeks and happens twice a year. Fantastic three-course prix fixe feasts can be found all over town at much reduced rates.

• It’s easy to do the great outdoors on a budget. Try these 12 fantastic hikes . Select a beach for surfing, sunbathing, or sandcastle building from our comprehensive guide . And despite the enduring concrete jungle stigma, LA has quite a bit of green space within city limits, including the 4,200-acre Griffith Park, and many host free concert series, movie screenings, or theater when the weather is warm.

• While many of LA’s best museums like The Broad , Getty Villa , and the California Science Center are always free, others that charge admission offer select gratis days as well. Descanso Gardens offers free entry on the third Tuesday of every month. The Skirball Cultural Center is free every Thursday while Sundays are the day to pop into the Museum of Latin American Art . This comprehensive Discover LA list can help you determine when and where you can get cultured free of charge.

• See if you belong to a group that can score you discounts. Active AAA and Costco members have access to discounts with rental cars and attractions. Local warehouses have area-specific offers as well. Some attractions have profession-based freebies. For Instance, the Autry Museum of the American West is free for active military, veterans, peace officers, and park rangers with a current ID card.

•  Go City and CityPASS offer multiple-day passes that give discounted entry or tickets to a variety of attractions, tours, and theme parks. 

Learn more ways to have fun on the cheap by reading up on 25 awesome free things to do in LA.

California Coastal Commission. "Atlas of the Biodiversity of California: Climate and Topography."

National Park Service. "Arroyo Seco Parkway."

Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. "Facts About LA."

Airport Review. " The top 20 busiest airports in the world by aircraft movements ."

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Los Angeles Travel Guide

Last Updated: April 18, 2024

city lights in LA

Los Angeles takes some getting used to. It’s a love/hate city for most people. When I first visited Los Angeles, I hated it . The city was too big, too vapid, and too expensive.

But, the more I came here, the more I saw that this isn’t a city for tourists — it’s a city for residents. With only a few tourist attractions spread out over a vast distance, it’s hard to “see” LA the way you can easily see NYC, Paris, or London, especially if you don’t rent a car. But this is a city where you come to enjoy life the way the locals do: eat healthy food, go to the beach, go for a run, see a concert, and relax. It’s a city for living .

Once you take the pressure of trying to fit Los Angeles into the tourist box, you see the magic of the city and easygoing lifestyle of the locals. That’s when you fall in love with LA.

This travel guide to Los Angeles will help you plan your trip, save money, and make the most of your time in this iconic destination.

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Los Angeles

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Los Angeles

The white and sandy Venice beach in los Angeles, USA

1. Take a day trip to Disneyland

Visit the “Happiest Place on Earth” in nearby Anaheim. I love the rides — like Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain — and just feeling like a kid. Don’t miss the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, with its popular Rise of the Resistance ride (it’s worth the price). Other popular rides include the Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, and Indiana Jones’ Adventure. It’s a magical place! A one-day/one-park ticket starts $104 USD.

2. See Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood Boulevard has recently gone through some urban renewal and renovation. See the sidewalk street performers and enjoy the Walk of Fame (with over 2,700 celebrities’ handprints and footprints), Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (now known as TCL Chinese Theatre, which features one of the largest movie screens in the country), and much more. You can also hop on a tourist bus to see where the rich and famous live and work.

3. Tour the Getty Museum

The Getty Museum is amazing for four reasons: its impressive art collection, its dramatic Richard Meier architecture, its ever-changing gardens, and the sweeping views of the city. Opened in 1997, the museum focuses on pre-20th-century European art as well as and 19th- and 20th-century American and European photographs. It features work by Van Gogh, Gauguin, and other masters. Visiting here was a highlight of my time in LA. It’s one of the best spots in the city and, if you only see one museum, make it this one. It’s free to enter, however, you have to pay to park ($25 USD). It’s closed on Mondays.

4. Explore Griffith Park

This place is fantastic for hiking, picnics, and hanging around with friends. The hiking trails lead up to Mulholland Drive and provide great views of the city. Griffith Park has many activities, including the LA Zoo, the Autry Western Museum, pony rides, a golf course, a driving range, and an observatory. Think of it like Central Park in New York City but much larger (it spans 4,310 acres versus Central Park’s 843 acres) and much more rugged. There’s also plenty of wildlife here, including mountain lions, rattlesnakes, and coyotes. Guided hikes are available too if you prefer to go with a group.

5. Relax at Venice Beach

Besides the sand and waves, Venice Beach has street performers, surfers, skaters, and intense basketball games (some of the best streetball players in the world can be found here). Wander around, take in the street art, and eat and drink at many of the restaurants that line the beach. Avoid the weekends if you’re heading to the beach as it gets crowded. It’s just one of the best places to hang out in the city.

Other Things to See and Do in Los Angeles

1. tour universal studios hollywood.

Universal Studios Hollywood is the only working movie studio and theme park in the world. Their studio tour lasts one hour and gives you a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood, including a visit to the plane crash scene from War of the Worlds, Peter Jackson’s King Kong, the Bates Hotel from Psycho, and cars from Fast & Furious (the tour is hosted by Jimmy Fallon on video). The theme park is home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic World, The Simpsons ride, special effects shows, and a soon to open Nintendo World. A one-day ticket costs $109 USD while a two-day pass starts at $159 USD. Get your tickets in advance here.

2. Party on Sunset Boulevard

Perhaps one of the world’s most famous streets in the world, Sunset Blvd began as a route between the stars’ posh neighborhoods and the Hollywood studios. It runs from downtown to the ocean, passing through the “Sunset Strip” with its beaches and movie studios on its way. You’ll find a lot of high end clubs, restaurants, and bars here.

3. Explore Old Town Pasadena

Historic downtown Pasadena is located just ten minutes from Los Angeles. Its pedestrian-friendly zone is designated as a National Register Historic District and stretches for twenty-two blocks. It’s filled with boutique shops and restaurants and is also a popular nightspot for all of you party animals out there. It’s an eclectic area where people of all ages come to hang out. The Caltech campus is a nice place to explore with its turtle pond and lush gardens. Eaton Canyon Natural Area is nearby and you can learn about the native landscape, plants, and wildlife as you walk through more than 3.5 miles of trails.

4. Shop at the Farmers Market & The Grove

There’s a great farmer’s market here with loads of fresh bread, fruit, veggies, and a delicious food court. Nearby is an outdoor shopping area featuring all the major brands as well as a movie theater. It’s a nice place to spend an afternoon. You can also learn the history of the farmers market while sampling some of its food with Melting Pot Tours (tours are $89 USD). The tour is 2.5 hours and gives you a chance to sample food from nine different vendors.

5. Take a walk on the beach

Los Angeles beaches are a great place to go for a walk, people-watch, or just lounge in the sun. Venice Beach and Santa Monica are two of the most famous beaches. The Santa Monica Pier, built in 1909, is also a fun way to spend an afternoon thanks to its carnival-like atmosphere right on the beach (it has several rides, greasy food stalls, and carnival games). Huntington Beach, Redondo Beach, and Playa del Rey are some of the other popular beaches around the city as well.

6. Visit the Huntington Library

This beautifully-designed library in nearby Pasadena includes a Chinese and Japanese garden. Additionally, the library has some incredibly rare and valuable books, including a copy of The Canterbury Tales from the 15th century and a 14th-century Gutenberg Bible (which you can see on display in the Main Exhibition Hall). It’s open 10am-5pm Wednesday-Monday (closed Tuesdays) and tickets are $25 USD during the week and $29 USD on weekends.

7. Explore the California Science Center

This kid-friendly attraction has a variety of educational exhibits on topics ranging from ecosystems (complete with forest, river, and island habitats) to space and aviation. The biggest highlight is the American space shuttle, Endeavor, which ran 25 space missions between 1992-2011 for NASA. It’s free to visit but parking costs $15-18 USD and you have to pay extra for special exhibits and IMAX movies (usually $10-20 USD).

8. Go for a hike

Los Angeles has a lot of wonderful hiking and running trails, the most famous being Runyon Canyon. There are some well-marked routes, including a 1.9-mile (3-kilometer) loop and a 2.6-mile (4-kilometer) loop (with higher elevation gain). There’s also a more strenuous 3.3-mile (5-kilometer) hike to the top of the park too. Caballero Canyon (3.4 miles), Fryman Canyon Park (2.5 miles), and Los Liones Trail (3.5 miles) are three other easy trails around the city you can hike too.

9. See the iconic Hollywood Sign

You can hike up to the famous Hollywood sign using trails that are open from sunrise until sunset in Griffith Park. From the sign, you get a sweeping view of Hollywood (which is especially beautiful at sunset with the city lights spread out in front of you). The three trails to get here (from easiest to hardest) are the Mt Hollywood Trail, the Brush Canyon Trail, and the Cahuenga Peak Trail. Expect to spend at least a couple of hours hiking. If you’d rather go with a group, guided hikes from Get Your Guide last 2.5 hours and cost $25 USD.

10. Visit the Grammy Museum

With exhibits, interactive experiences, artifacts and costumes, and numerous films, this museum walks you through the entire music industry and its history as well as the careers of previous Grammy winners. One exhibition showcases some of the most outrageous outfits worn on the Grammy’s red carpet and another houses costumes worn by Michael Jackson. The museum also has regularly rotating special exhibitions about different genres of music and various artists in the industry. It’s not a highlight of the city, but if you’re a music aficionado, it’s one of the best things to do. Admission is $18 USD.

11. Browse The Last Bookstore

This is one of my favorite bookstores in the country (and one of the few remaining big independent ones). They sell books and music records, have art displays, and there’s a cool upstairs area too with books for as little as $1 USD. Located downtown, this space is huge, and you can get lost browsing the shelves for hours. Come here, get a coffee, and buy some books! It’s a must see.

12. Visit LACMA

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the largest museum in the western United States. It boasts a massive collection of artwork including works by Rembrandt, Cézanne, Ansel Adams, and Magritte. There’s also ancient artwork from around the world, including Egyptian, Greek, and Roman sculptures. There’s modern art here too, including Michael Heizer’s 340-ton boulder which is wedged over a narrow walkway. Tickets are $28 USD.

13. See La Brea Tar Pits

These natural tar pits are in Hancock Park, where the tar has been trapping and fossilizing animals since the Ice Age. More than 3.5 million fossils have been found here, ranging from small honeybees to giant mammoths. This includes thousands of dire wolves! And scientists are still uncovering fossils here nearly every day of the year. It’s right next to LACMA too so you can do both together. Admission is $15 USD (closed Tuesdays).

14. Explore downtown

Downtown has experienced a complete revitalization in recent years, including a brand-new pedestrian center with museums, concert halls, theaters, and dining options. If you do just one thing here, visit the Grand Central Market. It’s home to 40+ of downtown’s best food vendors, including the original Eggslut. You can find literally any type of food here. I love it. Moreover, the Broad contemporary art museum is free and houses works from famous artists like Andy Warhol. Check out Pershing Square, a five-acre park with statues, monuments, fountains, and incredible views of the area’s architecture.

15. Walk Abbot Kinney Blvd.

Near Venice Beach, this boulevard is chock full of diverse shops, galleries, restaurants, and bars. There are all kinds of quirky businesses to pop into and on First Friday (the first Friday of each month), the street gets taken over by live music and food trucks. This is one of the hippest spots in the city. There’s a ton of things going on here and it’s filled with locals at all hours of the day.

16. Visit the Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center

This center is one of the most successful literary arts incubators in the country, with alumni like Tom Waits and Wanda Coleman. It’s housed in Venice’s original city hall and was turned into an art center in 1958. The center is surrounded by a community garden that’s focused on providing an engaging outdoor space for the community. There’s also regular programming here like readings, workshops, and musical performances, as well as a bookstore and archive with over 40,000 books. If you’re a book nerd like me, you’ll love this place!

17. Hang out in Palisades Park

Palisades Park in Santa Monica is a eucalyptus-filled park between the beach area and Ocean Avenue, where you get scenic views over the ocean and of the Santa Monica Mountains. It’s a chill spot to relax and explore. Make sure you stop by the Camera Obscura, an antiquated camera that offers a unique view of the world outside. It’s free to visit and closed on Sundays.

18. Admire Greystone Mansion

Located in Beverly Hills, this is a Tudor Revival surrounded by landscaped English gardens. Also known as Doheny Mansion, the mansion was built in the 1900s as a gift from oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny to his son (the film There Will Be Blood is loosely based on Doheny). It eventually became a public park in the 1970s and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The mansion has a whopping 55 rooms and cost around 70 million dollars (adjusted for inflation), making it the most expensive home in California at the time. The mansion is open to the public on the first Sunday of every month but the grounds are free to visit anytime. It’s a beautiful, relaxing place to go for a stroll or sit with a book when the sun is shining.

19. Enjoy Koreatown

This is one of the most fun spots to enjoy the city’s nightlife. There are tons of tasty BBQ restaurants, lively bars and clubs, and fun karaoke places. It’s a must for foodies though, with over 500 restaurants in the area. The neighborhood was established in the early 1900s by Korean immigrants and has grown into a vibrant part of town that spans over 150 blocks. Don’t miss Dawooljung, the first traditional Korean monument built in the city, and be sure to feast on mouth-watering Korean BBQ while you’re here.

20. Explore Silver Lake

This hip neighborhood is home to cool cafes, trendy shops, vegan restaurants, and boutique galleries. It’s essentially the Brooklyn of LA, named after the Silver Lake Reservoir, which offers a nice 2.25-mile loop where locals walk and jog. You’ll get incredible views of the San Gabriel Mountains along the way. It’s a laid-back spot that most people skip so you won’t be surrounded by tourists! There are live music venues, like Zebulon, where you can catch a show and Sunset Junction is a walkable area along Sunset Boulevard with plenty of interesting shops to check out.

21. Do a Studio Tour

Warner Bros., Universal, Sony, and Paramount all offer studio tours where you can see famous sound stages like the one used in The Wizard of Oz , props from hit movies (like the bench from Forrest Gump ), and so much more. Most tours last 1-2 hours and either involve walking or riding a tram/bus. Prices vary but start around $70 USD per person. Tickets sell out fast so be sure to book in advance. You can get tickets for Warner Bros. here and tickets for Universal here .

Los Angeles Travel Costs

Los Angeles at sunset, featuring towering buildings in the background and palms trees in the foreground

Hostel prices – Prices here vary widely depending on where you stay in the city, though the prices are fairly consistent year-round. Unfortunately, prices aren’t cheap. Dorm rooms start around $30-50 USD per night and go as high as $80 USD. A basic private room with an ensuite bathroom starts around $110 USD per night. Free Wi-Fi is standard and most hostels also have self-catering facilities. Only a couple of hostels offer free breakfast.

Budget hotel prices Budget two-star hotels start around $110 USD per night, though most are closer to $150 USD. Expect basic amenities like Wi-Fi, AC, TV, and a tea/coffee maker. Three-star hotels start around $135 USD but most comfortable, nice spots cost between $160-200 USD per night. These generally include free breakfast too.

There are also lots of Airbnb options in Los Angeles. A private room starts around $100 USD per night (but averages double that) while entire homes/apartments start around $165 USD per night.

Food – Los Angeles has lots of food trucks and fast-food options for under $10-15 USD. It’s the city of food trucks and anything and everything can be found here. You can get a hearty crepe or sandwich for around $10-12 USD while tacos go for about $3-5 USD each.

At casual restaurants, most main dishes cost around $25 USD. If you want to splash out on a three-course meal, expect to pay at least $50-60 USD.

For fast food (think McDonald’s), a combo meal is around $12 USD. A large pizza starts around $10-15 USD while Chinese food is $11-13 USD.

Beer is around $8-$10 USD while a latte/cappuccino costs around $5.50 USD. Bottled water is $2 USD.

Some of my favorite places to eat are Jitlada, Cafe Los Feliz, The Butcher’s Daughter, Uzumaki Sushi, Frank & Musso’s, Dan Tana’s, Bay Cities Italian Deli, and Meals by Genet. For drinks, check out No Vacancy, Hotel Cafe, Roosterfish, Firestone Water Brewery, and Good Times at Davey Wayne’s.

If you cook your own food, expect to pay $50-75 USD per week for groceries. This gets you basic staples like pasta, rice, vegetables, and some meat.

Backpacking Los Angeles Suggested Budgets

If you’re backpacking Los Angeles, expect to spend around $75 USD per day. This budget covers a hostel dorm, using public transportation, cooking your own meals, and free attractions like the beaches and hiking. If you plan on drinking, add $10-20 USD more per day.

On a mid-range budget of $220 USD per day, you can stay in a private room, eat out for most of your meals, enjoy a couple drinks, take the occasional taxi to get around, and do more paid activities like visiting some museums or going to Disneyland for a day.

On a “luxury” budget of $410 USD or more per day, you can stay in a hotel, eat out anywhere you want, drink as much as you’d like, rent a car to get around or take more taxis, and do as many tours and activities as you want. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!

Los Angeles Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Los Angeles can be super expensive. After all, some of the country’s wealthiest people live here! But, thanks to all the food trucks and starving artists, you don’t have to be rich to visit. Here are some ways to save money in Los Angeles:

  • Purchase a Go City Los Angeles Card – If you are going to do lots of sightseeing, this card provides discounts to 40 museums, tours, and attractions. It’s priced to save you money when compared to buying separate tickets. A two-day unlimited pass is $264 USD while the three-day unlimited pass is $309 USD. You can also build your own pass, with one-day/two-attraction passes starting at $104 USD.
  • Get a TAP card for public transit – The TAP card lets you get a one-day pass on the Metro and bus systems for $5 or a seven-day pass for $18. There are several ways to get a TAP card. You can download the app on your phone, get one from a TAP machine in the Metro stations, or buy one of the hundreds of TAP vendors around the city.
  • Avoid celebrity hangouts – Hollywood and Beverly Hills are the two areas you can see the most celebrities but also the two areas where you can spend the most money. While they’re fun to explore, avoid shopping and eating there!
  • Redeem hotel points – Be sure to sign up for hotel credit cards before you go and use those points when you travel. This is especially helpful in big cities like LA, where accommodation is expensive. If you have lots of points, use them here and get free rooms! Be aware that most hotels charge parking fees if you have a car. This post has more information on how to get started with points and miles .
  • Stay with a local – There are plenty of Couchsurfing hosts throughout the city who can show you around and let you stay for free. In an expensive and ever-changing city like LA, having a local guide can be extremely helpful! Just make sure to send your requests early since it’s a popular destination.
  • Take a free walking tour – This is a great way to learn the history behind the places you are seeing and to avoid missing any must-see stops. Free Tours By Foot has a few interesting walking tours that can show you what the city has to offer. Just make sure to tip your guide!
  • Save money on rideshares – Uber and Lyft are cheaper than taxis and are the best way to get around a city if you don’t want to take a bus or pay for a taxi. The shared/pool option (where you share a ride with other people) offers the best savings.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle – The tap water here is safe to drink so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your single-use plastic consumption. LifeStraw makes a reusable bottle with a built-in filter that ensures your water is always safe and clean.

Where to Stay in Los Angeles

Accommodation is expensive in Los Angeles. Since the city is so spread out, before you book, make sure you have a spot in the location where you want to spend most of your time. Otherwise, you’ll be driving a lot. Here are some recommended places to stay in Los Angeles:

  • Freehand Los Angeles
  • HI Los Angeles Santa Monica
  • Banana Bungalow Hollywood
  • Samesun Venice Beach

For more hostel suggestions, check out my complete list of the best hostels in Los Angeles.

How to Get Around Los Angeles

A palm-tree lined road in bustling Los Angeles, USA

Public Transportation – The Los Angeles Metro involves both rail and bus service. It’s the most accessible and affordable way to get around the city, with tickets costing just $1.75 USD each way.

Get a TAP Card (you can find them at TAP machines within bus or train stations) so you can load a preset cash value onto the card to be used on all buses and trains. You can get a day pass for $5 USD or a seven-day pass for $18 USD. The subway is kind of sketchy though but super convenient if you are staying downtown or in Hollywood. The line from downtown to Santa Monica takes as long as driving because of all the stops.

Flyaway buses go from LAX to downtown and Hollywood for $9.75 USD one-way.

Taxis – Taxis can be hard to flag down, but you can download the Curb app to request one in advance. Everything is meter-based, starting at $3.10 USD and then $2.97 USD per mile.

Ridesharing – Uber and Lyft are way cheaper than taxis and are the best way to get around a city if you don’t want to take a bus or pay for a taxi.

Bike rental – While I wouldn’t recommend renting a bike if you’re in the middle of the city (traffic is terrible), once you get out to the coast then renting a bike might be a fun way to explore. Expect to pay around $30 USD per day for a rental. There is also a bike share program called Metro Bike Share that offers $5 USD daily rentals as long as each ride is less than 30 minutes.

When to Go to Los Angeles

Summer is the peak season for tourism in LA, with temperatures soaring to 85°F (30°C). Everybody wants to be outside during this time so they head to the beaches, which can get very busy. Attractions get crowded during the summer, especially at family-friendly attractions like Disneyland. Accommodation prices increase, so be sure to book early. On the plus side, it hardly ever rains during the summer.

March-May and September-November (the shoulder seasons) are my favorite times to visit Los Angeles. It’s warm, but there’s no sticky heat and the crowds are less oppressive. Temperatures during these months are between 69-80°F (21-27°C), with very little rain. These are great times to get outside. There are plenty of hiking trails around the area, if you want to get out of the busy city.

December is the coldest month overall, but it’s much cheaper for accommodation if you want to save some cash. Just pack some rain gear if you’re coming in the winter. Expect daily highs around 68°F (21°C).

How to Stay Safe in Los Angeles

Overall, Los Angeles is a safe place to visit. If you stick to touristy areas like Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills, you’ll be fine. There are some questionable areas downtown (like Skid Row) as well as nearby South Central, which should be avoided. Avoid Compton too.

Your biggest issue is going to petty crime, like theft and bag snatching. Petty crime has been on the rise over the last couple of years and it’s something you definitely want to watch out for. As a general rule, don’t wear flashy jewelry, wave around cash, and just keep your valuables secure and hidden when you are eating outside. Don’t bring anything valuable to the beach just in case as theft can occur.

Make sure to keep your personal items closed and near you at all times. Hold your purse or backpack in front of you or close to your body. If you’re out at night, keep to well-lit and well-traveled places. If you have a vehicle, keep it locked at all times and don’t leave any valuables in it overnight. There’s a lot of car break-ins around the city.

Solo female travelers should feel safe here. However, the standard precautions apply (don’t leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk around at night intoxicated, etc.). For specific tips, I would read one of the many incredible solo female travel blogs on the web. They’ll give you tips and advice that I can’t.

Los Angeles also has some pretty unique scams. For example, if you’re approached by someone who says they’re a Hollywood producer, director, or casting agent, they could be legit. However, chances are they’re just trying to scam you into paying fees upfront. Ask for a business card and do your due diligence. Additionally, be wary of people offering Hollywood tours or discounts on open-air bus tours. Do your research and stick to well-known providers to avoid getting ripped off.

To avoid getting ripped off, read about common travel scams to avoid here .

If you experience an emergency, dial 911 for assistance.

Always trust your gut instinct. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Los Angeles Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!

Los Angeles Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on United States travel and continue planning your trip:

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The 5 best day trips from Los Angeles

Feb 16, 2024 • 8 min read

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Get out of LA and explore more of Southern California on one of these day trips © Mint Images / Getty Images

From sprawling panoramic mountain views to breathtaking blue oceans, there's a reason why Los Angeles holds a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. But things get even better when venturing out of the urban landscape and into the surrounding area, a treasure trove filled with endless opportunities.

Food and wine enthusiasts will come alive in Santa Barbara, while lovers of small-town Europe will feel at home in Solvang. Just a short drive out of La-La Land will transport you to another world. 

Whether you're a local seeking a break from the bustling city or a visitor hoping to soak in the surroundings of Los Angeles, these unique Southern California day trips guarantee memorable and one-of-a-kind experiences that promise to rejuvenate your spirit.

Women friends on holiday are sightseeing in Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara.

1. Discover the Spanish colonial beauty of Santa Barbara 

Travel time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Santa Barbara is full of natural beauty and cultural richness wrapped in a relaxed coastal lifestyle. The town reflects its Spanish colonial heritage with Mediterranean-style buildings and red-tile roofs – the perfect complement to the Santa Ynez Mountains in the background. 

Foodies and wine enthusiasts will love a trip to Santa Barbara for its near-limitless offerings. Start your day visiting Cajé Coffee Roasters and order one of the signature (and very Instagrammable) drinks, such as the Sugar Wood or Belarosa. The tacos at La Super-Rica are another must-taste – there's a reason why Julia Child called this her favorite taco joint – and Bibi Ji is a local go-to for its friendly atmosphere and delicious twist on modern Indian cuisine.

You also can't miss a wine tasting while in Santa Barbara . If you're not venturing past downtown, visit Grassini Family Vineyards' tasting room for a $25 estate flight, and Salt Cave next door, home to the largest Himalayan salt cave in North America. A 45-minute meditation session is held at the latter each hour, guaranteed to leave you feeling relaxed and renewed.

A stroll down State St will see you end at Funk Zone to explore more tasting rooms, cafes, galleries and shops. For culture and architecture lovers, spend some time at the Old Mission , where you can picnic in the beautiful rose garden. The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is also close by. 

If you're spending the night or leaving later in the evening, try to catch a show at the Santa Barbara Bowl . The spectacular outdoor amphitheater was built in 1936 and has panoramic ocean sunset views.

How to get to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles:  With no traffic, it takes 90 minutes on US 101-N to travel the 95 miles from Santa Barbara from Los Angeles. Alternatively, opt for the Amtrak train. The gorgeous coastal ride starts from Union Station in Los Angeles and takes just over two-and-a-half hours to arrive in downtown Santa Barbara. 

Old Windmill and building at Solvang in the Santa Ynez Valley. Solvang is a Danish Village with typical architecture.

2. Indulge in Solvang's rich Danish wine country 

Travel time: 2 hours and 10 minutes

Looking for a local European-style getaway? Visit Solvang, the Danish capital of America. Start by strolling or biking along Copenhagen Dr and indulge in Danish delicacies, like aebleskiver  (pancake balls), while sampling wine. On the corner of Copenhagen Dr and Alisal Rd is Solvang Bakery . While the name may not be familiar, their work is. This is the bakery responsible annually for the Kardashian family's lavish gingerbread houses. In keeping with the holiday theme, if the idea of year-round Christmas is exciting, stop by Jule Hus and stock up on some handcrafted Scandinavian ornaments. 

While a day trip is doable, you may want to spend more time in Solvang to get a feel for its 120 vineyards and 20 downtown tasting rooms. Royal Oaks is a favorite, or for something a little more upbeat, head to Cali Love for karaoke and DJ sets during your tasting. Visit the Hans Christian Anderson Museum , dedicated to The Little Mermaid  author, if you're a fan, and definitely take advantage of the town's trolley tour. 

How to get to Solvang from Los Angeles:  Leave early to avoid traffic and make the most of your day. Follow US 101-N toward Santa Barbara for 90 minutes before veering off to CA-154 W/San Marcos Pas Rd for the rest of the way. Driving the 130-mile journey is necessary as public transport will take more than five hours. 

Looking straight on to the auto ferry, near Balboa Island

3. Explore the beauty of Newport Beach's coastal delights

Travel time: 1 hour

Newport Beach boasts extensive water and land activities as well as entertainment for singles, couples and families. With 10 miles of coastline, Newport Beach is known for being one of the United States' largest small-craft harbors, boasting approximately 9000 privately owned yachts and sailboats. 

When visiting Newport Beach, allocate some time to visit Balboa Island , a manmade island built between 1905 and 1913. To get there, catch the ferry on foot or stay in your car for the short three-minute ride. Ticket prices range between $0.50 and $2.50 each way, and the ferry runs until midnight. While there, a Balboa bar or frozen banana from the iconic Sugar 'n Spice is a must. 

Back in Newport Beach, relax by the ocean at Crystal Cove State Park . The entrance is down a flight of stairs past Shake Shack , an iconic 1940s-style diner (not to be confused with the fast-food chain). Order your shake, burger and fries to go and eat down on the beach or, for a more hearty feed, enjoy upscale Mexican at Javier's or Italian classics at Mama D's – there will be a line, but it's worth the wait.

To get a better view of the ocean, consider hiking the Back Bay Loop Trail. The one-hour, 2.8-mile hike starts at University Dr and is open to all furry friends as long as they're leashed.

How to get to Newport Beach from Los Angeles:  With no traffic, Newport Beach is a quick 50-minute (45-mile)   drive from Los Angeles. Heading down 101-S, merge onto I-5 S and continue straight. Taking public transport is not advisable as it requires multiple modes of transportation and will take more than three hours.

The pool area at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in autumn, with empty sun loungers and a mountain range in the distance

4. Restore your spirit and get grounded in Ojai

Travel time: 1 hour and 30 minutes 

Ojai ("OH-hi") is found in a small valley north of Ventura and east of Santa Barbara. The Ojai Valley lies in a geometric vortex zone, described by Native Americans as an energy field rising from the earth's core due to the pull from the Topa Topa Mountains. The name is derived from the Chumash word for "moon nest" and has bountiful amounts of culture, history, farm-to-table restaurants, bakeries, breweries and wineries. 

Ojai's calming energy makes it a great place for those looking to reconnect with themselves and others in a relaxing environment. To treat yourself, visit the Garden Spa at the Lavender Inn and opt for a massage, foot bath and customized herbal exfoliation. They even do prayers and use sacred oils. 

After the spa, head downtown for lunch at Harvest Moon or Ojai Rotie (order the chicken). Continue your grounding day at Bart's Books , which claims to be the largest outdoor bookstore in the world, and soak in the culture at Dan Schultz Fine Art Gallery . The Ojai Olive Oil Company's $10 tasting is also a must-do. Sunday is a great day to visit Ojai to enjoy the weekly farmer's market .

How to get to Ojai from Los Angeles:  The 80-mile journey should take 90 minutes along US 101 N and CA-33 N without traffic. Public transport is possible via Amtrak from Union Station and a changeover to a bus in Ventura, a journey that takes approximately three hours.

5. Eat your way through Torrance, the ramen capital of Southern California 

Travel time: 35 minutes

Torrance is part of the South Bay region of Los Angeles County and prides itself on being a city of hidden gems. The area is a haven for food lovers, particularly those partial to huge flavors and international cuisines.

Outside of Honolulu, Torrance is the home to the largest concentration of Japanese residents in the US, and it's been dubbed the ramen capital of Southern California. Local ramen favorites include Matsui , Hakata Ikkousha Ramen , Ko-Ryu Ramen (take the spicy challenge if you dare) and the Shin-Sen-Gumi drive-thru . When you're all ramen-ed out, Torrance has more than 400 other eateries, including the popular Rascals Teriyaki Grill , King's Hawaiian Bakery and Restaurant and Piccini Italian Takeout . 

Beyond food, community is at the forefront for Torrance locals. The city hosts an annual Summer Nights festival with musicals, movies, and live music playing at the Wilson Park Amphitheater between June and September. A visit to the Torrance Art Museum is also a must for contemporary art lovers. Admission is free, and the galleries and displays are frequently updated. 

Being only 20 minutes from both LAX and SoFi Stadium, Torrance is the perfect central location for those looking to spend a few hours before a flight or stadium event. Torrance Beach is also nearby with a 1.5-mile stretch of uncrowded coastline, nestled between Redondo Beach and Malaga Cove.

How to get to Torrance from Los Angeles:  Getting to Torrance is a quick 30 minutes from Los Angeles (20 miles) via I-110 S. Alternatively, hop on the J-Line Metro from downtown and change for a bus at the Harbor Gateway Transit Center. The trip should take a little less than 90 minutes. 

Keep planning your trip to Los Angeles:

Discover the best neighborhood to fit your vibe Ready to hit the beach? Here are our 9 favorites It’s not all city - these 8 hikes will show you LA’s natural beauty No pay LA: save these 7 free things to do in LA

This article was first published May 30, 2018 and updated Feb 16, 2024.

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News | 5 things to know before Trump and Biden touch…

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News | 5 things to know before Trump and Biden touch down in Los Angeles

Both candidates are coming to socal to seek donations from fans, but are likely to also face angry protesters.

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In Trump’s case that includes his new classification as a convicted felon , which could result in a particularly angry reception in the Democratic stronghold of Los Angeles. That’s not to say Biden will be warmly welcomed either, after pro-Palestine protests and mass arrests roiled SoCal’s campuses where he is now often referred to as “Genocide Joe.”

Both presidential hopefuls will be seeking to sidestep this negative attention and play up their positive attributes as they pull in campaign cash from wealthy families.

Trump will be kicking off the fundraising efforts with a private campaign reception in Beverly Hills on Friday, June 7, before heading to Newport Beach for an event hosted by virtual reality entrepreneur Palmer Luckey. The following weekend, Biden will headline a star-studded fundraiser at the Peacock Theater in downtown Los Angeles where speakers will include George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Barack Obama.

Here are the five things to know before the pair touch down:

Protests are to be expected for both candidates

Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and First Lady Jill Biden have been consistently confronted by pro-Palestine protests during their recent trips to Los Angeles, and Biden’s upcoming visit is unlikely to pass without some sort of outcry.

Pro-Palestinian sentiment has grown considerably since Biden’s last L.A. stop in February , fueled by outrage over the mass arrest of protesters at USC, UCLA and UC Irvine as well as Israel’s invasion of Rafah. Because the location of Biden’s fundraiser is public knowledge, it is highly likely that protesters will mobilize near the event.

Trump is also likely to confront a crowd or two of angry protesters, especially given the 34 felony counts he was just found guilty of during his hush money trial.

But at the same time, people shouldn’t be surprised if pro-Trump rallies reappear on the streets of Los Angeles, or most likely Beverly Hills, where rallies were routinely held at the intersection of Beverly and Santa Monica boulevards during the 2020 election.

“This verdict could definitely galvanize supporters, who maybe weren’t as enthusiastic but now are very angry,” said Mindy Romero, director of the USC Center for Inclusive Democracy. “He’s certainly spent a lot of time trying to inoculate his supporters on the results of any of these cases, by saying that they’re a witch hunt or a politically motivated attempt to keep him from becoming president.”

Tony Strickland, Huntington Beach City Councilmember and spokesperson for the Trump campaign in Orange County, said that the verdict has reignited the passion of Trump supporters in the OC.

“I think President Trump is stronger today than he was yesterday because people inherently see what it is,” said Strickland. “What the American people see is not equal justice, and people fundamentally don’t like injustice.”

For now, Trump needs the money the most

Between the high cost of his legal battles and the fact that he faced multiple opponents in the Republican primary, Trump is currently more cash-strapped than Biden.

In the first quarter of 2024, the Biden campaign reported bringing in $187 million, almost double the $93 million reported by the Trump campaign.

However, there are signs that the financial tides are turning in Trump’s favor.

His campaign announced a whopping $34.8 million haul following his felony conviction, the greatest amount ever raised by a Republican candidate in a single day. However, this figure will not be verifiable until the campaign files its contribution report to the Federal Elections Commission at the end of the month.

In April, the Trump campaign and Republican National Party reported raising $76.2 million, while Biden’s campaign and the Democratic National Party reported raising $51 million. That was the first month Trump outraised Biden on the campaign trail thus far.

Both candidates already have a lot of money behind them and are expected to depart the Southland with their pockets full.

Biden needs public support the most

Although Biden has been leading in the fundraising so far, his performance has been much weaker in the court of public opinion.

His approval ratings are languishing around 38% and a recent Emerson College/The Hill poll showed him trailing Trump in all seven key swing states .

While Biden has little to worry about when it comes to votes in deep Blue California, Los Angeles remains a strategic stop for both candidates on the campaign trail.

“California, as we all know, is not a particularly competitive state in the presidential election,” said Pepperdine political science adjunct professor Joel Fox. “They’re here to collect the money that they will go use to influence voters in other parts of the country.”

The results of this election will hinge on the opinion on the roughly 3% of America’s voters who are undecided, said Romero. This means that every dollar spent on advertising efforts to influence swing voters is a dollar well spent.

Trump’s legal woes are far from over

While the court reached a verdict in Trump’s hush money case , his legal battles and the drain they put on his campaign cash are far from over.

“The verdict is clearly unprecedented, but it’s hard to know exactly what the ramifications will be,” said USC political science professor Jeffrey Alan Jenkins. “Trump is unlikely to serve jail time, but he’s also almost certainly going to appeal and will stretch this out well beyond the November elections.”

Trump is still facing charges in two cases brought in federal courts in South Florida and Washington, D.C. and one prosecution in state court led by Fulton County, Georgia. His sentencing in the New York case is set for July 11.

In South Florida, Trump is charged with 40 felony counts stemming from his alleged mishandling of government records after leaving the White House. In D.C., he faces four felony charges for allegedly trying to subvert the peaceful transfer of power in 2020, and in Fulton County he faces ten counts for efforts to have their 2020 election results overturned.

Biden will be bringing out the stars

When Biden speaks in Los Angeles, he will be surrounded by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Leveraging the fame of celebrities to appeal to voters is a long-time campaign tactic for the Democratic Party and one Biden will be tapping into full force during this election cycle.

At the Peacock Theatre fundraiser he’ll be banking on the appeal of Julia Roberts and George Clooney, who are not only speaking at the event but also lending their names to his campaign’s fundraising emails and social media content. He’ll also be bringing out his former running mate Barack Obama to encourage Angelenos to be extra generous in their donations.

The celebrity strategy has proven results when it comes to fundraising. In March, Obama and former President Bill Clinton headlined a New York fundraiser that raised over $26 million for Biden in a single night.

However, UC Irvine political science professor Matthew Beckmann cautions against over-estimating the influence of celebrity endorsements and campaign cash in swaying the results of elections.

“Political science research shows that presidential elections tend to turn on national conditions — especially the economy,” he said. “Both candidates will be well-known, and millions of dollars here or there will not make a difference, nor will celebrity events and endorsements.”

Editor’s note: This version of the story corrects an error — Trump was found guilty of 34 felony counts.

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