Seeing LA in a day
We spent a very short time in LA-less than 2 days before our road trip and two days after. We did some things that we loved and some things that weren’t worth doing. So having learnt from these experiences we thought we’d give you what we consider to be the perfect itinerary for a day in LA.
One- Breakfast! We were lucky enough to be in Hollywood on a Sunday, the day when the local markets occur on Ivar avenue. These markets offer a sprawling selection of local, unique and home made food and drinks. The choices seem endless- from fresh organic produce to vegan cheeses to authentic Thai food, we knew we were going to get a breakfast worth writing about. These markets are a cool way to jump in to LA’s laid back life style. The stall owners aren’t aiming their wares at tourists, it’s all catered towards the Los Angeles residents who come out every Sunday morning to get their weeks worth of fruit and veg, artisan bread, and fresh fruit juice. I really love markets so I was in my element walking up and down these bustling Hollywood streets. (TIP: If you’re not visiting on a Sunday Santa Monica have markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays)
Two- Follow your market breakfast with a quick walk around the Hollywood walk of fame. Most people (including us) will find this over rated, but it’s still a must see even if it’s just to say you saw it. Take a look at the Chinese theatre and keep an eye out for your favourite stars’s names.
Three- Make the trek to Venice beach and walk down the famous board walk. Have a look at the fitness fanatics at the famous muscle beach gym, fight off the would be musicians offering you their mix tape, and take the time to people watch-you’ll find all sorts here. After your time on the beach head to Abbot Kinney boulevard, a famous street filled with hipster-esque clothing stores and organic restaurants. We had lunch at Kreation Kafe and Juicery. The prices here are more reasonable than we expected and the food is good, but the real attraction here is the atmosphere. AstroTurf flooring, water with chlorophyll and metal straws, and juice shots that come in fake syringes- this place is the ultimate yuppy LA experience and it’s definitely worth trying.
Four- Take a quick trip to the Le Brea tar pits. This is a group of tar pits sitting in the middle of LA full of ancient fossils. They’re still excavating some of the pits and you can actually see them working on them. The pits bubble like something out of prehistoric movie and there are patches of grass and foot path where the tar is pushing up from the ground. Admission to the museum is $12 but you can wander around the grounds for free. They also do free admission on Tuesdays. Parking is available on site for $10.
Five- Head to Griffith park and see their famous observatory. Admission here is free and there are many interesting exhibits. From here you get a great view over LA (even if the smog obscures it) and a view of the Hollywood sign! The observatory has a planetarium where they do several shows. Tickets are only $7 an adult and are so worth it!
Six- Head back to Hollywood for dinner and drinks. There are plenty of options to choose from but we ate at Loteria Grill on Hollywood boulevard. This place is a Los Angeles institution and while I usually hate eating at chain restaurants this place feels very much like a stand alone. The Mexican cuisine is divine (no seriously-divine), the Margaritas were perfection, and the happy hour prices weren’t too shabby either! We sat in the alfresco area and the view out onto the walk of fame was great! Lots of interesting passersby- if you’re into people watching you’ll be thrilled. Afterwards head to one of LA’s best bars. Good Times at Davey Wayne’s is a popular option- a speak easy style bar with a 70s vibe where you enter through a fridge door! No Vacancy is another Hollywood bar with a grand entrance- here you enter through a trap door that opens by pulling a lever! Wherever you choose, end your perfect LA day with some drinks before stumbling back to wherever you’re staying- we chose USA Hostels Hollywood.