Ready to get off your couch and hit the streets of the city you see on TV where the sun is always shining? If you’re turning to look out the window at the snow blowing by and thinking, ‘Damn right’ then this guide is for you.
I lived in Los Angeles for a few years and while I was there I learned that the city is best experienced in a week or less. It is the perfect place for a quick weekend vacation. Now I know you’re thinking that that is not nearly enough time but trust me it is. Yes, you won’t be able to see everything but that is what keeps it exciting and always wanting to go back. So book a flight, create a California playlist, grab some shades, and get ready for a quick weekend in the City of Angels.
Step into another era at Cole’s – First opened in 1908 they are what I would call an American original. Order yourself one of their classic French Dip sandwiches. As you enjoy every savory bite you’ll notice smiling people walking past to an unlabeled back door. This is where you’ll find The Varnish, a speakeasy bar right out of the prohibition era with lighting to match. It doesn’t hurt to drinks are amazing either.
This bar is a great next stop in Downtown. It has dancing, food, and fun. This is the perfect kind of bar for all you 20-somethings out there. You’ll get your night really going and may not even make it to another bar but that’s okay – The #DNOBar has everything you’ll need.
If you’ve still got some time in the night, wind down at The Onyx. This candle-lit lounge will give you and your friends time to chat about how much fun you’re having. Also a great place if you’re ready for a midnight snack before calling it a night.
Now that you’ve gotten the going out bug out of your system spend your first day in LA relaxing and enjoying some sun.
Start your morning with some coffee and a bite. Urth Cafe offers a variety of organic drinks and tasty treats. With several locations in the greater LA area you’ll be happy you picked Urth’s relaxing atmosphere.
After you’re fully caffeinated head down to Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade to shop at your favorite stores and ones you can’t find anywhere else. You’ll be surprised by the deals you find.
No need to walk to far from The Promenade to be amazed by an amazing view. Located only a few blocks down on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Coast Highway, this park has breathless views of the ocean, beach, and pier. Take a stroll before heading on down to the pier – It will leave you in awe.
A trip to Santa Monica is not complete without a walk down to The Pier. Enjoy some shops, food, and even arcade games. If you have some extra cash get a ticket for the Ferris Wheel for another great view of the ocean and the city. Don’t forget to snap a pic of you with the “End of the Trail” sign for Route 66 if you can fight the crowds.
If you still got some time walk down (or rent a bike from a vendor) to Venice Beach. You’ll be amazed how different the boardwalk is from Santa Monica. Grab some cheap souvenirs and take-in the free street performer shows.
LA has so many amazing choices for night-life. Not matter if you want to stay at the beach or try something new, here are two options I suggest you give a try:
If you’re looking to stay on the beach for the night, book a table at this amazing rooftop bar. You’ll be able to lounge about before heading back down to one of the corner cantinas on the boardwalk.
I suggest you spend your night taking-in a film in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Organized by Cinespia, you can bring your picnic and blanket to enjoy a movie under the stars. BONUS: a great view of the Hollywood sign and the Paramount Pictures tower during the daylight hours.
Spend your last day going farther East. LA is a completely new place only 10 or so smiles away. Plus you’ll love the money you save.
I would vote this the best view of LA. I love the ocean and the beach but this view wins all awards for me. You’ll be able to enjoy nature right in the middle of the city at the park, and you’ll be surprised how clean it is. Sit down on the bench farther in the park to see how beautiful the city really can be.
Spend the rest of your day walking around The San Gabriel Mission grounds and checking out the museum. First founded in 1771, The Mission has a beautiful chapel, historical artifacts from the area, and even a living grape vine for 1861. If you’re a history buff this stop is a must see!
Right next to The Mission grounds you’ll find a small little coffee shop perfect for a quick speciality coffee drink and dessert before you head back to LAX. Their cute little treats will leave a smile on your face as you leave LA.