The Best Weekend in Los Angeles
So..you’re taking a weekend trip to the City of Angels- you book your flight and hotel, but now what? You have to decide which sights to see, in what order you should visit them, and, most importantly, what food to eat. It all seems like a big hassle, right? Wrong. I’ve created the perfect weekend getaway to LA itinerary for you. Even though you could spend a year in Los Angeles and not see everything there is to see, here is a three day weekend itinerary!
If you arrive at lunch time, start your LA experience with lunch at the In N Out beside LAX (9149 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045). If you’re new to In N Out, be sure to order a “double double animal style with animal style fries well done.” I’m usually not a chain restaurant person, but when in LA, it is a must. And, you have a chance of spotting some celebrities, if you’re into that kind of thing.
After indulging in some In N Out, head to Hollywood. If you’re in LA, you have to see Hollywood at least once. The Walk of Fame is extremely crowded and very…uhm…interesting. There are people dressed up trying to “make it big time” in the land of fame. Do some research and see where your favorite celebrity’s star is and get a picture with it. Then, tour the rest of the area. You can stop by Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, if you’re into that sort of thing; take some pictures of the TCL Chinese Theatre; shop at Hollywood and Highland; see the Capitol Records Building; and walk along the palm tree-lined Sunset Boulevard.
Next, go a couple miles south and visit the La Brea Tar Pits and the Urban Light display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Stay as long as you like; for me, it is just something to see for an hour or less and head on, but you may want to go through LACMA.
After this, head to the hotel and get cleaned up for night of fine-dining. Then, head to Beverly Hills. Search for celebrities along Rodeo Drive and, if you want, treat yourself to some designer clothing! If you’re a Pretty Woman fanatic, like me, walk through the lobby of the Beverly Wilshire and search for Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. For dinner, head to Spago Beverly Hills, Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant [Reservations are highly recommended]. See my review of Spago here.
Before leaving Beverly Hills, be sure to grab a Sprinkles cupcake (or 12) from the cupcake ATM or the store itself. I love the red velvet, but they’re all good [Yes, I know this is a chain, too, but they are GOOD!]
Finally, head back to the hotel after a long day.
Wake up! I highly recommend taking a hike this morning to see the Hollywood Sign. The easiest hike offering the best view, in my opinion, is the one beginning on Mulholland Highway. First, park somewhere LEGALLY and don’t block any driveways! Then, begin walking up Mulholland Hwy; the road will split into two separate roads, one lower and one upper. There will be multiple houses on either side of the road. Continue going up the upper road. You’ll come to a gate of a house, but don’t worry. Go to the left of the gate, there is a walkway that leads to a trail. Follow that trail [and all the other tourists] and you’ll arrive at a viewing point for the Hollywood Sign! I’ve provided a wonderful picture of the Hollywood sign below.
Alright, so after hiking, head back to the car. There are tons of options for you, but here’s what I would recommend. If it is around lunch time, head to Koreatown and eat at Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong for some AMAZING Korean BBQ (KBBQ). I always order the beef, but the pork is good, too. They will give you a ton of sides: kimchi, soup, bean sprout salad, other salad, kimchi pancake, and more.
After you’ve stuffed yourself full of KBBQ, head to downtown LA (DTLA). If you’re wanting to “see all the sights,” stop by the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the LAPD building (hopefully you’re visiting voluntarily). There’s a lot of stuff to do in DTLA, but I think there is much more to see in other places. Stop by Valerie Confections and get a rose petal petit four, and any others that appeal to you. These little cakes are packed with flavor, incredibly moist, and just plain delicious!
Now that you’ve eaten a lot, go eat some more. Drop by Hinoki & the Bird (I recommend reservations) for some great Asian-American Fusion. Eat whatever your heart desire- I would definitely order the beef tartare and the lobster roll. You can see my review of Hinoki & the Bird here
After eating dinner, head to Griffith Observatory. Park, walk to the observatory, and be in awe of the city at night. The lights all throughout the city are absolutely beautiful. This is a great way to end the day.
The last day of your weekend trip…so sad. But, don’t worry, there are some great things to see today! Wake up early, head to Santa Monica. I highly recommend eating at The Penthouse for breakfast. Get the french toast, it is out of this world!! The view is killer, too! [If you don’t eat at The Penthouse for breakfast, go to Venice first and eat at Eggslut. Their egg-centric breakfasts are delicious!] After breakfast, see the Santa Monica Pier, walk down Third Street Promenade, take in the beautiful Pacific ocean; then go to Venice and see the canals and Muscle Beach. If you’re still in Santa Monica at lunchtime, go to Sugarfish for some crazy good sushi. They serve you a tasting menu called “trust me,” it is phenomenal.
After starting the day in Venice and Santa Monica, head up the coast toward Malibu. Take your time and drive up Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). It is one of the most beautiful drives in the United States. Though you won’t have enough time to drive up too far, you’ll still get to see some beautiful scenery. Point Dume Beach and Park is a great stop to make, take a short hike to have a great view. You can go to Calabasas to catch a glimpse of the Kardashians, or drive through some of the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains. I then recommend eating at Duke’s in Malibu for a great view and some great seafood.
For the best part of this day, head to El Matador Beach and arrive 30 minutes to an hour before sunset. Walk around the beach, see some pretty sights, then sit down on the sand or on a rock and wait. The sunsets over the Pacific are some of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever see. Sit and watch the magic happen.
Watch the sunset to end a wonderful trip!
If you have more time or want to substitute certain things I’ve named, here is a list of some other great places to eat and things to do:
- Visit the Getty Museum for tons of artwork and great view
- Stay in Beverly Hills longer
- Visit Long Beach
- Visit Marina Del Rey
- Eat at Animal – meat-centric restaurant
- Eat at Carbon Fiber Beach Club in Malibu for brunch
- Eat at Nobu Malibu – beautiful view
- Eat at CUT by Wolfgang Puck for a pricey, delicious steak
- Eat at Bru’s Wiffle a Waffle Joint for an incredibly rich breakfast
- Eat THE BEST Bread Pudding at B Sweet