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Amy
Kansas City (Missouri)

Los Angeles

LA in a day (or two)- what are the must sees?

My husband and I are planning a quick weekend in LA here in a few weeks. I've travelled there for work, but have never really seen the 'sights'; he hasn't ever been. We are staying Friday night downtown, and Saturday night in Venice Beach. Can you suggest an itinerary that would help us see the 'musts' in a short period of time. We'd planned on using Uber or cabbing it, but could rent a car if need be. 

 

Thanks!


6 Answers

top answer by
Valerie from Los Angeles

If you're staying downtown, I recommend going and catching the sunset at the Griffith Observatory, it's beautiful! 

Downtown has an awesome brewery in the arts district called Angel City Brewery that's a fun spot during the day. Right around the corner is a super good pie spot called The Pie Hole (earl grey pie, anyone?). I love walking around Little Tokyo, especially around dusk, I love the way the lights hang. 

If you're looking for an awesome Mexican food restaurant, Mexicali Taco is amazing! Some of the best chorizo I've ever had. If you're not into Mexican, check out Mo-Chica

Ok for Venice Beach,

Catch the sunset happy hour on the rooftop of Hotel Erwin (get there around 4-5 the line gets long!)

Walking down Abbot Kinney is always fun if you're in the mood for some shopping, you might even see a celebrity! I always see them down there. 

I always like renting bikes and just riding down the strand, maybe stop in Manhattan Beach and grab some burgers at Simmzy's then bike back! That could take a chunk of the day, but it's a pretty ride! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Griffith Observatory (attraction)
  2. Angel City Brewery (attraction)
  3. The Pie Hole (restaurant)
  4. Little Tokyo (neighborhood)
  5. Mexicali Taco (restaurant)
  6. Mo-Chica (restaurant)
  7. Venice Beach (city)
  8. Hotel Erwin (hotel)
  9. Abbot Kinney (attraction)
  10. Manhattan Beach (city)
  11. Simmzy's (restaurant)
5 thanks


answered by
Maria from Dublin

Hi Amy,

Some great ideas from Valerie and Phil. Griffith Observatory is a big must-see! I also loved LACMA  The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA and the The Getty Center We rented bikes and cycled from Venice Beach Boardwalk to Santa Monica which was fab. Drinks and Jazz on the rooftop at Perch in Downtown as the sun is setting is unforgettable. We stayed near  Sunset Blvd and Melrose Ave and would recommend the following eateries, if you're up that way:  

Mercado Los Angeles  great for early evening cocktails, Chips & Guac and Prawns Pil Pil

Joan's on Third Cafe Sublime sandwiches

Umami Burger Arts District Yummy burgers

Toast Bakery Cafe Great breakfast

Birch The BEST brunch and Bloody Mary, also great dinner. 

On Sunday morning you could take in the Hollywood Farmers' Market and brunch at Birch.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Griffith Observatory (attraction)
  2. LACMA (attraction)
  3. The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (attraction)
  4. The Getty Center (attraction)
  5. Venice Beach Boardwalk (attraction)
  6. Santa Monica (city)
  7. Perch (restaurant)
  8. Sunset Blvd (attraction)
  9. Melrose Ave (attraction)
  10. Mercado Los Angeles (restaurant)
  11. Joan's on Third Cafe (restaurant)
  12. Umami Burger Arts District (restaurant)
  13. Toast Bakery Cafe (restaurant)
  14. Birch (restaurant)
4 thanks


answered by
Winifred from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

If you go downtown, walk the area on Grand where you can see the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and then walk across the street to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  Go to Walt Disney Concert Hall and see if you can take a peek inside.  Next to that is the new Broad Contemporary Art Museum.  It is fantastic and doesn't take long.  Admission is Free.  Try getting tickets online. If you don't have tickets, you can still stand in the General Admission line and I'm told it usually doesn't take long to get in.  Then walk across the street to Museum of Contemporary Art and check out more modern art.  Then treat yourself to a delicious and reasonably priced meal at the Grand central market just a couple of blocks over-- a giant Mexican style food court with all kinds of foods from the many ethnic groups in Los Angeles. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (attraction)
  2. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (attraction)
  3. Walt Disney Concert Hall (attraction)
  4. Broad Contemporary Art Museum (attraction)
  5. Museum of Contemporary Art (attraction)
  6. Grand central market (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Jillian from Los Angeles

Hi Amy,

I absolutely love downtown and I happen to live in Venice, so hopefully I can help you out! I love food so my recommendations might be a little food forward :)

Downtown

Breakfast: Eggslut - get the breakfast sandwich (mine pictured below). It really is as good as it looks. Plus it's located in the Grand central market which is a fun food market to walk through.

Beer: Angel City Brewery - get a taste of beer, take a picture by the angel wings, and play some of their board games. It's just fun.

Dessert: The Pie Hole because one should always enjoy a piece of pie in a hipster art neighborhood when in Los Angeles. After, I'd recommend walking off the pie and checking out some street art. My favorite artist is Kim West. Below is one of my favorites of hers located on the More Media building on Mateo St. between 7th and Violet. Another beautiful one is a 10 minute walk on Mill Street.

Rooftop city cocktails: Perch - they have live music almost every day.. it's fun during the day or for sunset! Lately I've been into the Lolita cocktail. Oh, and they have truffle mac and cheese. Uh huh.

Dinner: Bestia - make reservations now. It's one of my favorites and the pasta (um they have ricotta dumplings) is just insane. I personally like sitting at the bar if you can't get reservations. Go early when they open at 5pm for a good chance. Another option is to try this new app called "Reserve" for reservations, I know people that have had luck going this route. Plus it's owned by a husband and wife (not to mention Top 10 Best New Restaurants from LA Mag) and that's just cute.

Dinner option 2: Bar Ama - delicious Mexican. order the off menu puffy tacos. :) Chef Josep Centeno is not messing around.

Museums: There's a brand new art museum called The Broad that I haven't been to yet, but have heard amazing things! I'd check it out.

West Hollywood, Hollywood, Los Feliz

You could walk: Avenue of the Stars but it's super touristy... I'd say drive past it, maybe jump out for a picture by one of the stars and keep moving! Instead head to the Griffith Observatory for some city views and the Hollywood Sign close up.

Lunch: Joan's on Third Cafe just a classic. Sit outside. People watch. 

Dinner for adventurous meat lovers: Animal. Get the foie gras w. biscuit and the rabbit legs. Just had it last week. WOW.

Dinner for vegans: Gracias Madre - I always see a celeb here (last time it was Steve Martin, what up!). Give me a mezcal marg and some fresh guac and I'm sold! Love the atmosphere as well. It's likely the Kardashians will be eating at Craig's across the street. 

My favorite restaurant: Son of A Gun Restaurant - oysters and crispy chicken sandwich. that's. all. you. need. to. know.

I've heard amazing things about: Toca Madera West Hollywood for Mexican but haven't been yet so can't say for sure! My friends keep raving about it though, so it's worth a mention.

Dinner or Brunch that wins for overall vibe and food: Eveleigh. It's just a little part of magical garden and deliciousness all wrapped up in one. And of course fancy cocktails. The patatas bravas and french fries (some kind of truffle madness on those fries) are really good. Healthy...maybe not so much. #YOLO

Trendy drinks: The Nice Guy or Bar Marmont. Nice guy might be hard to get into..paparazzi live outside. Laurel Hardware is fun too...ask for & try the dandelion flowers for a mouth watering experience!

Museums: LACMA is by far the best museum to check out in this area. You can't miss the lights! OK, that's as far as I've gotten... but if you are museum couple then def go!

More street art: all up and down Melrose. I like the "Made In LA" sign on Cisco Home Melrose as it's fun to snap a pic in front of it for instagram! Another classic spot is "Angel Wings" by Colette Miller located at St Regis Liquors. Yes, another opportunity to get your L.A. wings!

Not to forget: Little Dom's in Los Feliz. You could stop here on the way back from Griffith. Honestly, the best italian in Los Angeles. More classic than Bestia. And get the rice balls, FTW!

Venice & West Side!

Hopefully you're still reading this looonngg answer! This is my favorite area, hence why I live there.

In Venice, walk Abbot Kinney for boutique shops and amazing eats. Here's a shot I took while walking home at sunset. 

Make sure to shop and pop in: Principessa for some Venice inspired boho sheik dresses and hats, and Burro for something to take home with you from Venice. I mean, who is kidding who, I'd just walk the whole street and shop (if your husband will be cool with it!).

Must eat when in Venice for dinner (or brunch): Gjelina. It will be busy, so plan on waiting or make a res. Get pizza of any kind. If you don't make it there, you can still try the yummy food next door from their takeaway spot, Gjelina Take Away OR Gjusta Bakery. Both are amazing, Gjusta is newer, and larger. You can't go wrong with anything you order... 

Another top nom nom spot: Tasting Kitchen. Best cocktail they have is the undertaker. And you HAVE TO GET the gnocco frito with buratta. Game changer. Any pasta is a winner. Make reservations, or you might be able to snag a spot at the bar (which I prefer).

For coffee: Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea gets my top vote right now. Blue Bottle Coffee is also great. Hipster baristas will serve you, but they might not smile while serving you. :)

Because ice cream: you have to catch the Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Truck that is always on Abbot Kinney. They have vegan ice cream, but pro-tip the regular has less calories and sugar! Whoop! My favorites are the mint chip, espresso and lavender.

On topic of food trucks: please don't leave L.A. without trying a kogi taco from Roy Choi's kogi truck. Also, often on Abbot Kinney. But if you don't see it, you don't have to panic. You can get the same taco's at Alibi Room or the Terminal 4 at LAX. Short rib and spicy pork are the best.

It's so fun to: rent paddle boards in the marina! Head to Marina Paddle - Stand Up Paddle Boards - Kayaks where you can easily rent boards for an hour or 2 for $20-30. After paddleboarding...

Grab a beer & burger: at newly opened Simmzy's and order the off menu brussel sprouts to feel like a local (they are also good!). Some say Hinano Cafe has the best burgers, but my pick is Simzy's.

Another option for activity + food: rent bikes and ride from Venice to Playa Provisions for brunch, lunch, or just drinks! Here's one of my fav brunch dishes, the redneck benedict (comes with can of PBR!). Give yourself at least 4 hours round trip. 

Rooftop sunset: High Rooftop Bar at Hotel Erwin overlooks the ocean and you can't beat it for the sunset in Venice. Make reservations, or you can stand by the bar.

If you go to the beach in Venice: go a little ways south of the Venice pier. It's less touristy and much cleaner. 

As for Santa Monica food: I recently went to Ox & Son and I would definitely go back. The duck confit and pig cheeks were both delicious. Yes, pig cheeks. So you kinda have to be an adventurous eater!

Easier on the wallet dinner: The Misfit Restaurant + Bar a fun, hip place to grab some food and be social. They bring you special cookies after your meal too.

Brunch: You can't beat Huckleberry Cafe. The best scone in SaMo. For real. Chef Zoe learned to bake at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. Enough said. 

Another great option is M Street Kitchen. You might have to wait for a table, but the good news is you can go next store and grab a cookie (the choc chip salted one is unreal!) and coffee while you wait. OH, and the pulled chicken nachos alone are a reason to go. 

I could go on and on, but this should be a great start! Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need anything else! You are going to have an amazing time in L.A.!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Eggslut (restaurant)
  2. Grand central market (attraction)
  3. Angel City Brewery (attraction)
  4. The Pie Hole (restaurant)
  5. More Media (attraction)
  6. Perch (restaurant)
  7. Bestia (restaurant)
  8. Bar Ama (attraction)
  9. The Broad (attraction)
  10. Avenue of the Stars (attraction)
  11. Griffith Observatory (attraction)
  12. Hollywood Sign (attraction)
  13. Joan's on Third Cafe (restaurant)
  14. Animal (restaurant)
  15. Gracias Madre (restaurant)
  16. Son of A Gun Restaurant (restaurant)
  17. Toca Madera West Hollywood (restaurant)
  18. Eveleigh (restaurant)
  19. The Nice Guy (restaurant)
  20. Bar Marmont (attraction)
  21. Laurel Hardware (restaurant)
  22. LACMA (attraction)
  23. Cisco Home Melrose (attraction)
  24. St Regis Liquors (attraction)
  25. Little Dom's (attraction)
  26. Abbot Kinney (attraction)
  27. Principessa (attraction)
  28. Burro (attraction)
  29. Gjelina (restaurant)
  30. Gjelina Take Away (attraction)
  31. Gjusta Bakery (restaurant)
  32. Tasting Kitchen (restaurant)
  33. Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea (restaurant)
  34. Blue Bottle Coffee (restaurant)
  35. Alibi Room (restaurant)
  36. Marina Paddle - Stand Up Paddle Boards - Kayaks (attraction)
  37. Simmzy's (restaurant)
  38. Hinano Cafe (restaurant)
  39. Playa Provisions (restaurant)
  40. High Rooftop Bar at Hotel Erwin (attraction)
  41. Ox & Son (restaurant)
  42. The Misfit Restaurant + Bar (restaurant)
  43. Huckleberry Cafe (restaurant)
  44. M Street Kitchen (restaurant)
  45. Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Truck (attraction)
2 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Judi

While downtown, see the new Broad Contemporary Art Museum, MOCA (the Museum of Contemporary Art) and the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall(home of the LA Philharmonic). Eat at any of the many excellent restaurants. Just search Yelp for the ones that appeal to you.

The next day, go to The Getty Center in Brentwood, stroll the Venice Beach Boardwalk, and have dinner at Gjelina (preferably on the terrace). 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Broad Contemporary Art Museum (attraction)
  2. Museum of Contemporary Art (attraction)
  3. Walt Disney Concert Hall (attraction)
  4. The Getty Center (attraction)
  5. Venice Beach (city)
  6. Gjelina (restaurant)
1 thanks


answered by
Lila from Jupiter

I would go to Getty Villa (you must reserve in advance). It is just gorgeous. And then go to Santa Monica Pier and the beach there. It's lovely. Another good place to explore is The Getty Center, just to walk around the gardens and lay on the lawn in the sun.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Getty Villa (attraction)
  2. Santa Monica Pier (attraction)
  3. The Getty Center (attraction)




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