From the golden shores of Venice Beach to Hollywood Sign day hikes and Michelin-starred restaurants, this three-day itinerary takes you on a journey through the best Los Angeles has to offer.
Sandy beaches, star-studded streets, historic speakeasies and a thriving art scene...Los Angeles has certainly earned its nickname as the City of Angels. While it’s tempting to spend your days looking for celebrities in the Hollywood Hills or wandering in and out of the high-end Beverly Hills shops on Rodeo Drive, a true taste of LA takes you beyond the ordinary and into the extraordinary.
Read on for a three-day itinerary that will immerse you in the iconic sights, historic locations and laidback LA vibes.
Looking to explore LA and beyond? Check out our handpicked LA escapes here. Insider tip: our top picks include Conrad Los Angeles, W Hollywood, W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills and Sheraton Universal Hotel.
LA Travel Guide: Day 1
Start your day on the right note
Whether you’re based on the Westside, close to Venice Beach and its foam-tipped waves, or you’ve booked a stay like the W Hollywood, sunny LA is waiting to be explored.
But first, coffee – that's the motto of trendy café Alfred Coffee. With locations scattered across the city – including Venice’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard and the OG shop on Melrose Place – this staple destination for locals and tourists alike promises a steaming cup of caffeinated goodness for even the most discerning of coffee enthusiasts.
Grab breakfast alongside your morning cup or visit the laidback Urth Caffe for filling burritos, breakfast paninis, huevos rancheros with sunny-side-up eggs and healthy acai bowls.
Hike to the Hollywood Sign
Today is dedicated to the sights that have made LA a world-famous travel destination. First up – the iconic Hollywood Sign, which celebrates its 100th birthday in 2023. Bordering Hollywood is the expansive Griffith Park; head down and choose your direction. The Mt. Hollywood Trail and Brush Canyon Trail each require about 2.5 hours of easy hiking, while the Cahuenga Peak Trail is a more challenging option that will have you at your destination in under two hours.
While the Hollywood sign itself isn’t open to the public, the hikes allow you to stand behind the towering white letters and take in expansive views over the city of Los Angeles.
Visit the Griffith Observatory
Before you leave Griffith Park, be sure to stop at the Griffith Observatory. A recognisable filming location for movies like Rebel Without a Cause and La La Land, the 1935 observatory is the most-visited public observatory in the world. Enter the Samuel Oschin Planetarium and ponder the mysteries of the cosmos, or simply pretend you’re Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling slowly falling in love.
Wander the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Descend from the slopes of Mt. Hollywood and find yourself on Hollywood Boulevard, home to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Look for the names of your favourite celebrities immortalised in the pink stars that line the sidewalks and compare your handprints and footprints to the famous casts outside the TCL Chinese Theatre.
By this time, you’ve surely worked up an appetite. Thankfully, you’re in luck – In-N-Out Burger can be found just around the corner from the Walk of Fame. Treat yourself to a truly addictive hamburger alongside a milkshake. Take advantage of the secret menu and order your meal ‘animal style’ for an extra serving of this burger joint’s famous sauce.
If you’re not yet ready to rejoin the masses, stop at nearby Mama Shelter for an afternoon drink. While you can explore the downstairs restaurant or even choose to stay in the hotel, the jewel of this destination is the rooftop bar. Lounge on pillow-strewn daybeds and sip on a Word Is Bond cocktail (whiskey bonded with honey and mint). If you choose to stay at the likes of W Hollywood, you're only a 10-minute walk back to your glamorous accommodation.
Take advantage of the city’s entertainment options
Check out the schedule of events at the Hollywood Bowl and listen to music under the twinkling stars in this unforgettable open-air forum. If none of the performances available tickle your fancy, see if the offerings at Walt Disney Concert Hall are more your speed.
Sports enthusiast? Coordinate a visit to Dodger Stadium during baseball season, watch the Lakers dominate at the Crypto.com Arena (FKA Staples Center) or experience the thrill of an NFL game by supporting the LA Rams or Chargers at SoFi Stadium.
Enjoy a nightcap with panoramic views
Before your evening comes to an end, treat yourself to an elevated nightcap on the 16th floor of the Pershing Square Building. Here, you’ll find Perch, an open-air rooftop bar and lounge set between the imposing buildings of DTLA. Be sure to order the Penicillin with famous Grous scotch, agave nectar and ginger liqueur.
If you choose to stay at Conrad Los Angeles – a sleek sanctuary designed by legendary architect, Frank Gehry – you'll be just a five-minute drive away.
LA Travel Guide: Day 2
Merge heritage style with French-inspired bites
Take the morning to sleep in and when you’re ready to hit the town once again, head to the Miracle Mile neighbourhood for breakfast at the ultra-popular République. Originally built in 1929 as Charlie Chaplin’s office, this historic restaurant maintains its quaint Spanish-style history alongside French-inspired bites including lobster omelettes and rich croque madame with gruyère cheese. Top it off with a pear highball or elderflower spritz – the perfect brunch tipple.
Immerse yourself in LA’s art and history
Walk just 20 minutes from République up Wilshire Boulevard and arrive at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Best known for the rows of lampposts at the entrance – seen in popular movies like No Strings Attached — LACMA is also the largest art museum in the western United States. Wander through exhibitions of nearly 149,000 objects.
Right next door to LACMA, you’ll find the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, a brand new museum dedicated to the history and art of moviemaking.
Engage in some retail therapy
From LACMA and the Academy Museum, you’re just a 25-minute walk from The Grove, a shopping haven brimming with high-end stores, pop-up shops and fashion-forward retailers alongside bars, restaurants and a movie theatre. There’s a lot to see, but don’t worry, there’s a double-decker trolley that travels the length of the outdoor mall.
While you’re here, take a break from retail therapy for lunch at The Original Farmers Market. First opened in 1934 as a spot for farmers to sell fresh produce, it’s now full of food stalls selling aromatic bites, all set in the shadow of the original 1948 Clock Tower. Be sure to visit Nonna’s Empanadas for savoury, freshly baked treats or dig into Texas-style BBQ at Bryan’s Pit Barbeque.
While The Grove offers has stores sure to satisfy your every want, your day of shopping isn’t over just yet. Head north to Melrose Avenue and its huge collection of vintage boutiques for unique finds at shockingly low prices. On Sundays, be sure to stop at Melrose Trading Post, a flea market and veritable treasure trove of antique goods and one-of-a-kind riches.
Savour a Michelin-starred feast
Tonight, treat yourself to dinner at one of LA’s 26 (and counting) Michelin-starred restaurants. Drive up Pico Boulevard to Manzke and dine on a 10-course tasting menu celebrating the blended influences that create Los Angeles’ vibrant culture. Or, venture to DTLA’s unique Arts District to sample Camphor's classic French flavours. 715 is a triumph for Chef Seigo Tamura and the ultimate place to savour truly unforgettable sushi. With one Michelin star for each restaurant, this evening’s dinner is guaranteed to be a culinary journey you’ll be talking about for years to come.
Dance the night away
Your Michelin-starred dinner simply must be followed by a night on the town with plenty of drinks and dancing. Thankfully, LA’s nightlife scene does not disappoint. Head to the swanky No Vacancy in Hollywood for a genuine speakeasy experience (if you can find your way inside, that is). If you’d rather stay at one location all evening, Clifton’s Republic in DTLA is your spot. This multi-level venue features a swing dancing floor, a tiki bar and a huge redwood tree in the heart of it all.
Alternatively, make your way to the neon lights and palm tree-lined streets of the Sunset Strip. In this playground for Hollywood’s elite for the decades, dip into hotspots like The Viper Room or the cosy, leather-accented Bar 1200.
LA Travel Guide: Day 3
Embark on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood
This morning, head to Burbank on the other side of the Hollywood Hills for the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood. On the way, make a quick detour to Olive & Thyme for breakfast, digging into the short rib hash with bacon and roasted potatoes or an egg white scramble with pico de gallo and white cheddar on sourdough.
After, make the 10-minute walk or two-minute drive to Warner Bros., where you’ll go behind the scenes of this legendary studio that celebrates its 100th birthday in 2023. The tour takes roughly three hours, allowing you to explore the back lot — including sets from Friends and The Big Bang Theory — before wandering through recreated sets and props from the DC Universe and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As a working studio, there’s even a chance of celebrity sightings during your visit — keep your eyes peeled.
Marvel at the exhibitions of The Getty Museum
Once the studio tour is done, head to the Westside and its golden shores. Make a pitstop at The Getty Museum, perched above the Brentwood neighbourhood off Sunset Boulevard and visit the onsite restaurant for lunch and Santa Monica Mountain vistas.
Lounge on Venice Beach
Once you’ve had your fill of The Getty, make your way to the iconic Venice Beach. The site of filming for movies like Barbie and Baywatch, Venice Beach is a world unto itself. Throngs of people wander the boardwalk, lined on one side by eclectic shops selling kitschy souvenirs and calming crystals, and towering palm trees on the other. Choose to spend your final few hours in LA lounging on the sand and people-watching, or head up the street to Abbot Kinney, where boutique shops and fabulous food await.
As evening approaches, grab a spot upstairs at the beachfront rooftop bar The High Lounge at Hotel Erwin and enjoy a beer or fruity cocktail as you watch the sun set on your last night in this angelic city.
Looking to explore more of Los Angeles? Check out Luxury Escapes Guide to Los Angeles.