Los Angeles is one of the most sought-after holiday destinations that feature in the travel list of many tourists. From the beaches of Santa Monica to its shopping districts of Rodeo Drive, the city has so much to offer. You could be surfing on the beaches in the morning and gazing at the stars in the Griffith Observatory by the evening, and there’s just so much to experience here. Which is why it was a bewildering time for us to squeeze all these sightseeing attractions into just three days. But we did our best.
Here’s a comprehensive guide for fellow travel enthusiasts looking for a short trip to Los Angeles.
THINGS TO DO:
- Start your trip by visiting the widely popular Runyon Canyon Park sprawled across 160 acres of land. If you are an adventure junkie, this is where you can enjoy scenic hiking trails. It is a great place to view the Hollywood Sign ( in the distance ). The trails are not very long and doable for all levels. It should not take you more than 2 hours for the longest trail and you will get lots of sweeping views. The park is also officially a dog park so you can find plenty of furry friends running around free.
- If you are travelling with your kids, score some brownie points by taking them to the Universal Studios Hollywood. From classic movie sets to immersive experiences like Jurassic Park and Harry Potter, there’s much fun to be had here.
- Your trip to Los Angeles is incomplete without clicking pictures of your favourite stars at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The complete walk runs for about 1.3 miles in total and is home to more than 2,600 brass and terrazzo stars.
- End your day star gazing from the Griffith Observatory. The vista from the hilltop is spectacular at the nights with the entire city twinkling below in bright lights.
- Visit one of the most iconic landmarks of Los Angeles, Santa Monica Pier, which is home to Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, amusement parks, movie screenings, concerts and much more. It is also where the historic road 66 ends, that crooses 8 states with the starting point in Chicago.
- On a hillside above Brentwood, the Getty Center is another famous attraction that draws a lot of crowds. The museum is known to leave its visitors speechless with its architectural brilliance and jaw-dropping exhibitions.
- End your day with the magnificent Sunset Boulevard, an epic thoroughfare of Los Angeles. The street is 22 miles long with the most famous part of it being The Sunset Strip. The palm-lined street is world-famous for its cinematic appeal and nightlife scenes.
- Visit the breath-taking masterpiece, Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry, which has become the signature of the modern metropolis. Catch one of the Los Angeles Philharmonic performances at the 2,265-seater Disney Hall.
- Don’t forget to include a stroll down the amazing Venice Boardwalk which offers its visitors mesmerising ocean views, eclectic street performers and some great eatery options.
- Lastly, if you are an art lover, definitely include The Broad in your Los Angeles itinerary. With over 2,000 pieces of contemporary art to marvel at, this museum is every art fan’s heaven.
WHERE TO EAT:
Opened in 1935, Clifton’s Republic is a stunning theme restaurant that’s out to impress with its ambience as much as its food. From its Gothic Bar and Redwood themed environments to its much-loved Pacific Seas Bar it leaves you in awe. We loved the Salisbury steak and sliced turkey here.
If you are looking to try something out of the ordinary, this is the restaurant to visit. From tender octopus chunks to lamb cooked under pine the menu here is limitless and leaves you craving for more.
The Grand Central Market is home to a lot of eatery joints and classy restaurants. We visited the Kismet Falafel for its variety of sandwiches and Moroccan Salad featuring a spicy orange vinaigrette and marinated olives.
WHERE TO SHOP:
The Grove is no less than a paradise for every shopaholic ever. From clothing and cosmetics to accessories, this shopping destination is your one-stop-shop to hoard everything. Plus, there are plenty of gourmet restaurants to refuel your energy after all the shopping and resume again.
Don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of a celebrity or two here as this posh location in Beverly Hills is where they come to shop. The humongous size of the shopping area spread across three blocks is home to more than 100 world-class stores. You can find all the high-end brands here from Jimmy Choo to Versace and Tiffany & Co.
If you are on a shoe-string budget but can’t resist the shopping bug, hit this flea market of Los Angeles, also known as the Fashion District. Shop for cosmetic supplies, apparels, footwear, accessories and much more at low prices. Remember to put your negotiation skills to use as the sellers hike the prices once they realise you are a tourist.
Exploring a completely different city can be quite challenging, especially if you are on your own or a first-time visitor. Here are some travel tips that can come handy on your trip.
- The best time to visit Los Angeles is between March and May or mid-September and November. During these months the temperatures are ideal for outdoor sightseeing and relaxing strolls to explore the city.
- The most convenient way to explore Los Angeles is by car. There are plenty of renting agencies available from where you can hire a car. The public transportation routes are quite limited compared to the size of the city so that it can be a deterrent in your travel plans.
- Avoid the 405 freeway as it tends to be gridlocked all the time, especially between Long Beach and US 101. If you plan to take this freeway, plan well in advance as you are bound to be stuck in a traffic jam for quite a while.
- If your itinerary includes several points of interest with admission fees, consider purchasing a multi-attraction discount pack. The Southern California City Pass includes discounts on major theme parks such as Universal Studios and Disneyland. But before you do that ensure you will be using the pass to make it worthwhile.
Do share your trip experiences with us. We would love to hear them!