3 Days in Los Angeles: Everything You Should Know
Los Angeles is California's largest metropolitan area and a very vibrant and lively city. This big town is situated off the coast of the Pacific Ocean and has a pleasant climate all year round. In LA you can find world class museums, pristine beaches, theme parks and more exciting attractions. You will have no problem finding something fun to do at any time of day or night, since LA has an active nightlife with lots of clubs and bars that stay open all night. If you are lucky enough to take a vacation to Los Angeles then you will need to plan out your vacation.
If you are only in town for a few days and want to make the most of your time, you have come to the right place. We can help you make the perfect itinerary so you can do as much as possible while you are in LA. Remember to find a place for luggage storage in Los Angeles so you won't have to worry about carrying around shopping purchases or souvenirs you may pick up throughout the day.
Los Angeles Itinerary - Day 1
Morning at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Why don't we begin our vacation in Los Angeles by stopping by one of the city's great museums? The Los Angeles Museum of Art houses an impressive collection of artwork spread out through different exhibits and displays. Some of the artists shown here include Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Fun fact; this is the biggest art museum in the Western USA!
The museum only opens at 11 am most days, so you have more than enough time for a healthy breakfast before beginning your day in LA. If you are looking for a spot to eat, try Cafe Fresco which is just a short walk away from the museum.
If you finish eating early you can head straight to the museum and admire the Urban Light exhibit. It is a display of 202 street lamps from the 1920s and 1930s that have all been restored and is actually one of LA's top attractions because it has been featured in lots of movies. The display is open all day and can be amazing to see at night when the lamps are all lit up, so consider passing by again at the end of the day.
Afternoon Stroll and Shopping on Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood Boulevard is one of the places that you absolutely have to visit while you are in Los Angeles. The tradition of putting the names of actors, musicians, performers and other celebrities on stars lining this street and Vine Street began back in 1960. Today, you can see about 2600 stars all dedicated to talented people and celebrities.
If you want to find some specific Hollywood Stars, you should probably search up their locations, since there are so many of them and it can be hard to find a specific one. However, there is no need to rush on the Hollywood Walk since there are many cute cafes, souvenir shops and vintage stores lining the area. Take a break to do some shopping!
When it is time for lunch you won't have much trouble finding somewhere to eat. We recommend stopping by the Hard Rock Cafe for some tasty burgers in this rock n' roll themed restaurant chain. You will find the restaurant right next to the TCL Chinese Theatre, so if you have enough time after eating you can stop in for a movie showing.
Evening at Venice Beach
After spending a day in the city center you might want to spend your evening relaxing outside by the ocean. Enjoy the fresh air on the beautiful Venice Beach or the nearby Muscle Beach, which won't take long to get to by foot.
While you are in the area you can also stop by the Skate Park and even rent roller blades if you want to try some tricks. The perfect way to end the evening is to walk along the Venice Beach Boardwalk and watch the sun set slowly over the water. If you want to rent kayaks or paddleboards, head to Marina Del Rey just south of the beach.
For supper, treat yourself to a nice meal at one of the many amazing restaurants around the free spirited Venice Boardwalk. If you don't know where to go we suggest you try Barrique Venice, a high-end restaurant serving delicious pastas, meats and seafood. It is situated in an old house lit by candlelight and is the perfect place for a romantic date night.
Los Angeles Itinerary - Day 2
Morning Exploring Rodeo Drive
On your second day of visiting Los Angeles, you can explore the area around Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. This is arguably one of the most famous streets in the world and also an iconic place to go when you visit Los Angeles.
Here you will find some of the most prestigious boutique shops, fancy restaurants and a luxury hotel or two. Lots of the stores are expensive and out of budget for most visitors, but it can still be a great place to do some window shopping or people watching.
Once you've seen enough stop by one of the restaurants for breakfast or brunch in Beverly Hills. One of the more affordable options is The Farm of Beverly Hills, a welcoming restaurant serving classic American food and cocktails.
Afternoon Hike in Hollywood Hills
Begin your second afternoon of vacation with a scenic trek into the Hollywood Hills, which are full of hiking trails and viewpoints. Start by heading to the Griffith Observatory prepared with snacks, lots of water, and proper footwear. At this point in the day it might be getting hot, depending on what time of year you chose to visit, so prepare accordingly to the weather. To learn about LA weather, read our guide on the best time to visit.
You will find the beginning of the paths into Griffith Park at the back of the parking lot. The area has some shorter trails that won't take long but if you don't mind walking for a couple of hours you can go all the way to the famous Hollywood Sign.
Those who decide to journey all the way to the sign will want to bring their camera since the views of the Downtown Los Angeles area from there are amazing! After your return to the observatory, spend some time learning about the stars (admission is free!) and then grab lunch at the Café at the End of the Universe which is found inside the observatory itself.
Evening Show at the Walt Disney Concert Hall
After hiking all afternoon through Los Angeles's Hollywood Hills you will want to spend some time indoors. Or maybe you want something to do on a rainy day in Los Angeles. Why not catch a show at the Walt Disney Concert Hall? There are shows going on most nights so check their schedule to see what is happening while you are in town.
The building was designed by an architect named Frank Gehry and since its founding, it has become an architectural landmark known around the world. It also has state-of-the-art acoustics so watching performances here can be incredible.
Either before or after the show you can get food at one of the prepared food vendors nearby, or grab something to eat in the concert hall's very own restaurant. The Concert Hall Cafe offers self-serve salads, sandwiches or entrees as well as a selection of wine and beers.
Los Angeles Itinerary - Day 3
Morning Bike Ride Along Santa Monica Beach
The coastal city west of Downtown LA called Santa Monica is a beautiful place to spend the morning. Enjoy the sunshine and a nice breeze from the ocean, and if you stop by Perry's Beach Café and Rentals you can hire a bike for a few hours. This shop has all sorts of items and gear that you can use for a fun morning on the beach.
We recommend renting a bike or some rollerblades and taking a ride down the beach boardwalk. Rentals last all day so feel free to keep your bike around and use it to get around the area, but if you want to get more done on your last day of vacation in Los Angeles then you might want to give it back after a few hours!
This is the perfect activity for early in the morning before it gets too hot, but if you ever need to cool off, take a dip in the water or relax by the famous Santa Monica Pier. If you want to have some fun head to the Pacific Park located on the pier. After you are done exploring the beach town, grab a tasty breakfast from Perry's Beach Café before continuing on with your activities. Don't tire yourself out too much; we have a full day planned ahead.
Afternoon at Universal Studios Hollywood
Of course, no trip to Los Angeles would be complete without stopping by the Universal Studios theme park. There is so much to do in this park with lots of activities that are fun for everyone, making it the perfect outing for families, couples or friends of all ages.
Some of the activities that you can do include a guided tour of the filming sets and movie studios, which are all fully functional, or amusement park rides themed after your favorite Universal movies. Taste some delicious butterbeer from the Harry Potter universe or try the Walking Dead activity if you want to get your heart racing.
During your journey around the park, you will be transported into your best-loved Universal movies and you can see awesome street performers too. There are more than enough stores to shop at and restaurants to try as well, so you won't even need to leave the park when you get hungry. Grab a magical lunch at the Three Broomsticks or head to the Universal City Walk mall for a meal at Karl Strauss.
Evening Walk on Sunset Boulevard
After a busy day of biking in the morning and an exciting day at Universal Studios, you will definitely be ready to take a break for the evening and relax. A beautiful spot to end your last day in Los Angeles is the famous Sunset Boulevard. After admiring the street lined with palm trees you can either walk or, if you took a vehicle from one of the major car rental companies, drive along the Sunset Strip.
The strip is a nice 1.5 mile long road that will take you through the most luxurious part of West Hollywood. This is one of the trendiest areas in the city and there is so much to see, including the Chateau Marmont. You will be amazed at the size and extravagance of the houses on the Sunset Strip! If you are interested, take a tour to see the celebrity houses in the area.
Finding somewhere to get dinner will be easy, and you will be treated to delicious food no matter where you go on the strip. If you want to go somewhere unique try Rainbow Bar & Grill. This place is unlike no other both inside and out and serves some great meals as well. They are open until 2 am every day, so feel free to stay out late and grab a couple of drinks.
Discovering Southern California and Los Angeles
From the historic Santa Monica Pier, numerous amusement parks, beautiful beach boardwalks and an iconic film industry, Los Angeles really is an incredible place. This city has been an important force in Hollywood history and is also home to the Academy Awards which have made it a popular location for tourists.
It can be hard to see the entire city in just a few days and there will always be more to discover including activities that we didn't mention; like the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, the Greek Theatre or the Getty Center museum. This is why most people decide to visit LA more than once!