Los Angeles is one of my favorite cities in America. It gets a bad rap: superficial, smog, traffic…but, if I find it to be somewhat of a paradise. Los Angeles is spread out and yes, you do have to drive, but if you plan your visit here correctly you can really minimize the headache. I love how Los Angeles has different neighborhoods with completely different vibes. You have the Hollywoods Hills, Beverly Hills, Silver Lake, Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice Beach and even Downtown L.A. It’s a great place to be outdoors and in nature–surf, paddle board, hike, snowboard, but also has some of the best restaurants and museums in the world. Here’s my suggested itinerary to explore all of that!
Thanks to my JetBlue American Express card and frequent Virgin Airways flights from Fort Lauderdale, getting to California, especially Los Angeles is easy and relatively inexpensive. I highly recommend following both of them on Twitter to get the most up to date sales information. You can find out more about my thoughts on Credit Cards for travel perks here too. Outside of using free points, usually it should only cost around $350 to get from the East Cost to the West Coast. Not too shabby!
There are many great hotels in Los Angeles, but they can get very pricey so usually I stay in an AirBnB. The Hollywood Hills is my favorite area to stay in since it is pretty central to everything, but if you have only a few days and want to spend them closer to the beach go for Venice or Santa Monica. Here are some hotels that I frequent for their lounges and amenities and if your budget can afford to stay there, go for it!
Intelligensia Coffee, 1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice
The Everleigh, 8752 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
Sugarfish, 1345 2nd Street, Santa Monica
Red O, 8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles
Tavern, 11648 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles
Urth Caffe, 2327 Main Street, Santa Monica
Tasting Kitchen, 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice
James’ Beach, 60 N Venice Blvd, Venice
Philippe the Original, 1001 N Alameda St, Chinatown, Los Angeles
Soho House, 9200 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood
High Rooftop Lounge, (Hotel Erwin), 1697 Pacific Ave, Venice Beach
Bar Covell, 4628 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles
Club Bar, (Peninsula Beverly Hills), 9882 S Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills
Los Angeles is one of those places that I keep returning to and discover new things every time. I have split up the itineraries according to location. You can choose to do as much as you want in a day or mix and match things. Enjoy!
Disney Concert Hall
Los Angeles Conservancy Downtown Walking Tours
Staples Center at L.A. Live
Hollywood Sign Hike
Case Study House no 22
26 Mile Bike Path
Hike Santa Monica Mountains
LA Derby Dolls
Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Public Art Walls
Salk Institute, La Jolla
When Los Angeles was founded in 1781, 44 people (14 families) lived in El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de la Porciuncula (Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angeles of the Small Portion). The population grew, but the name shrank to simply “Los Angeles.”
The Los Angeles five-county area has a population of almost 20 million. It includes Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. If the five-county Los Angeles area were a state, it would be the fourth largest in the United States.
Los Angeles has more than 80 stage theaters and 300 museums, more than any other U.S. city.
The diverse, multiethnic population of Los Angeles today distinguishes the city as the cultural hub of the Pacific Rim. In fact, Los Angeles is one of only two U.S. cities without a majority population. People from 140 countries, speaking approximately 86 different languages, currently call Los Angeles home.