Los Angeles is a huge sprawling city that runs for miles along California’s Pacific coastline. LAX is the largest airport serving the city, and as it is also both a domestic and international hub, it is not uncommon to find oneself there for long layovers. If tackled correctly, this can actually be turned into an opportunity to explore rather than a dull interlude trapped in an airport.
One of the first things you are going to want to do is to store your baggage at a convenient Los Angeles luggage storage service. This will leave you free to enjoy your visit without needing to constantly haul unwieldy suitcases.
Whether you are on a Los Angeles overnight layover or a short stopover, the wide availability of transport options from LAX means that some form of an expedition to the city should be possible if you prepare your itinerary in advance.
6 hour layover in Los Angeles
Six hours is cutting it fine for a city adventure, especially when you have to include collecting your bags, clearing customs, and then storing your luggage. Thankfully, if you jump the Metro green line to the Douglas stop and then catch a 109 bus, you can be at Manhattan Beach in just over twenty minutes.
This cool oceanside suburb offers plenty for the traveler with a limited amount of time to play with. The whole town is fronted by a cycle track running along the coast. Overlooking that are some fabulous beachfront homes, so simply strolling and admiring the houses is going to be a pleasant way to pass some time.
In addition to that, there is the Manhattan Pier to walk down. Finally, the local center offers quaint shops and coffee bars as well as some nice restaurants and a couple of pubs.
- On a short Los Angeles layover like this, don’t forget to allow time for clearing security when you get back to the airport. At LAX it is notoriously slow.
- Manhattan Beach has enough to fill your time and is easily accessible.
- Even on a short stop, you will want to free yourself from having to look after suitcases, so use a Los Angeles luggage storage service.
10 hour layover in Los Angeles
With a few extra hours to play with before you make your connection, you can think about traveling further afield after storing your bags. Santa Monica can easily be reached by taxi and was recently rated by National Geographic as one of the top ten beach cities in the world.
There is plenty to do on the beach including dining and a visit to the pier which has one of the few surviving pier-based amusement parks in the US. If the beach isn’t your thing, or the generally reliable weather turns against you, there is still plenty to keep you occupied in this lovely city.
If you are an art enthusiast, consider dropping in at the Bergamot where you will find more than thirty galleries to browse. Most of them contain contemporary art by local artists.
Third Street Promenade is popular for shoppers but you would be better off heading to Montana Avenue if you are looking for something more unique than the usual chain store offerings. This street is filled with small boutiques offering high-end shopping and plenty of eateries.
- Don’t let that extra couple of hours lull you into thinking you have a lot of time on your hands, and remember to allow for rush hour traffic.
- Santa Monica offers something for everyone, so it makes a great destination even if you are traveling with kids.
12 hour layover in Los Angeles
Hollywood is so renowned that you will regret not visiting if you are in the vicinity and have some time on your hands. It is 17 miles from LAX to Hollywood and you have all of the transport options available, including tram, metro, and bus. Any combination of these will normally take you no more than an hour and a half.
Once in Hollywood, you will be spoiled for choice and so you should consider in advance what your priorities are. You will almost definitely want to walk along at least some of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, even if just to say that you have been there.
With the amount of time you have on your hands, you will not be able to do everything, but here are some of the options to consider. Universal Studios tours are famous for showing visitors behind the scenes of some of the most well-known blockbuster films. The Museum of Illusions offers some unusual photo opportunities, while Madame Tussauds in Hollywood claims to be the only wax museum featuring only celebrities.
- The full extent of what is on offer in Hollywood is almost endless, so do some research before visiting.
- Even if you opt for a tour, be sure to check what time you will be dropped off so that you can get back to LAX without any stress.
24 hour layover in Los Angeles
With an overnight layover in the City of Angels, you can start to think about exploring LA more deeply. Don’t forget to choose both your hotel and the sites you wish to visit around your connecting flight. LA is an enormous city and it can be easy to find yourself a long way from LAX.
Venice Beach is one of the most iconic beaches in LA and a great place to grab an early morning coffee and a bagel. Wander along to Muscle Beach to watch the fitness fanatics shamelessly pumping iron or hire a bike and cruise up the coast.
The city teems with museums but if you are an art buff, you will want to visit the Los Angeles County Art Museum which is the largest museum in the western United States. It contains a broad spectrum of exhibits ranging from ancient art through to modern and including photographic halls.
For a very different museum visit, you might prefer to do a tour of the USS Iowa now moored at the Port of Los Angeles. Launched in 1942, this battleship saw service in WW II, Korea and the Cold War before being turned into a museum.
- Without a doubt, there is more to do in LA than you will have time for. Do your research and pick the visits that most suit your taste and time restrictions.
- Always allow plenty of time to clear LAX security when departing.
- Don’t try to do too much in one layover. Click save