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Los Angeles

Layover at LA international airport

Hello world,

Me and a friend are traveling to the states and we have a 12hr stopover. We are wondering what we could do for that time. Love to go and see something instead of staying at the airport. Please let me know what is available and which is is the best way of getting places. We land at 10.35am and leave at 23.15pm Please help......

9 Answers

top answer by
Nicole from Los Angeles

Are you flying domestic out of LAX or international? If you are flying to another point in the US, you will have a little more time than if you are flying out of the country.

So far as I know there is nowhere to check your baggage at LAX, so keep in mind that you will probably have to haul your bags with you.

You have several options from LAX.You can pick any one of the options below.

If you would like to see the up-and-coming part of town, take the Flyaway bus ($8 each way) to Union Station and explore downtown. There are a couple of art museums like Museum of Comtemparary Art and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles Chinatown, great restaurants, the Fashion District / Santee Alley as well as the burgeoning fashion hub with its axis at 9th and Broadway.

You can take a cab to Santa Monica, which has a lot of great retail at the Third Street Promenade plus a lovely coastal area to walk on, the Santa Monica Pier and a beach that is good for people-watching. Good food too.

If you have a taste for the bizarre, take the Flyaway Bus to Expo and LaBrea and then take the Expo line to Culver City. There is a museum there called the Museum of Jurassic Technology that is...honestly too bizarre to explain. It is often difficult to tell if the exhibits are pranks or genuine, but that's part of its charm. There is a Russian tea room on the top floor. The neighborhood also has a lot of great places to eat out and some good bars to hang out at. If you are heading back to a foreign destination, the food shop Trader Joe's has some nicely packaged candies and snacks. My friends overseas are always delighted by them, and they're dead cheap.

I hope this helps. Feel free to DM me with questions!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Union Station (attraction)
  2. Museum of Comtemparary Art (attraction)
  3. The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (attraction)
  4. Little Tokyo (neighborhood)
  5. Los Angeles Chinatown (neighborhood)
  6. Santee Alley (attraction)
  7. Santa Monica (city)
  8. Culver City (city)
  9. Museum of Jurassic Technology (attraction)
  10. Santa Monica Pier (attraction)
  11. Third Street Promenade (attraction)
8 thanks

answered by
Dominique from Los Angeles

Manhattan Beach is a cute LA beach town that is really close to the airport. Ask a cab to take you to the Manhattan Beach Pier. There you can go to the beach, take a walk along the boardwalk, shop at the little downtown stores or eat (MB Post is my favorite restaurant). There is also a wine tasting room called Bacchus. Wine tasting there is fun.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Manhattan Beach (city)
  2. Manhattan Beach Pier (attraction)
  3. MB Post (restaurant)
  4. Bacchus (attraction)
7 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Brett from Long Beach

Depends on what you like to do.  With that long of a layover, you could go just about anywhere.  But if you want to stay close to the airport, then I'd take a cab to Manhattan Beach.  It's a great beach town where you can definitely spend a day relaxing before you fly out.  And it's really close to the airport.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Manhattan Beach (city)
6 thanks

answered by
Joanna from Vancouver

First: there's no luggage storage in LAX, BUT there's a service called LAX Luggage Storage that picks up and delivers your bags, so it will be easier for you to move around. 

Second: If you don't want to be complicated with transportation and all that, go to Venice Beach and/or Santa Monica - It's only 20 to 25 minutes from LAX and you can experience some nice LA beach living. 

If you are going to Venice, explore around Abbot Kinney which has some amazing restaurants where you can have lunch, like Gjelina (seriously tho) and you can walk around the boutique shops, etc. You can also head to the beach, rent a bike a go along the beach boardwalk. You'll see some interesting characters and the famous Muscle BeachVenice Skate ParkVenice Beach Boardwalk

Other nice places to hang and eat in Venice are in Rose St. and include Oscars Cerveteca or Superba Snack Bar

In Santa Monica you can walk around Third Street Promenade and do some shopping (the options are good) and maybe walk around the Santa Monica Pier, but I wouldn't spend much time there since it's very touristy and Main Street, where there are plenty of restaurants, bars, shops and overall a good vibe. 

Then an easy 20 min cab ride for around $35 can take you back to the airport in time for your flight. 

Have fun! 

Btw, a friend of mine wrote this and it might help:

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Venice Beach (attraction)
  2. Santa Monica (city)
  3. Gjelina (restaurant)
  4. Muscle Beach (attraction)
  5. Venice Skate Park (attraction)
  6. Oscars Cerveteca (restaurant)
  7. Superba Snack Bar (restaurant)
  8. Main Street (attraction)
  9. Santa Monica Pier (attraction)
  10. Abbot Kinney (attraction)
  11. Third Street Promenade (attraction)
  12. Venice Beach Boardwalk (attraction)
5 thankscomments (4)

answered first by
Adil from Los Angeles

-Santa Monica State Beach 

-Santa Monica Third Street Promenade 

This should keep you busy enough to hustle back to catch your flight before it leaves.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Santa Monica State Beach (park)
  2. Third Street Promenade (attraction)
5 thanks

answered by
jah from Los Angeles

You can go up to Venice Beach Boardwalk.  It's not too far.  You'll be at iconic LA spot, and there's tons of food places too.  If you're up to it, you can stroll to the Santa Monica Pier-- a cleaner version of Venice with the ferris wheel.   Nearly adjacent is the Third Street Promenade which is like an outdoor mall.  

You can also go to the Alibi Room-- It was started by the Chef who created the Kogi Truck.  There are MANY food options around venice.  I'm getting hungry already!

I would suggest using Uber/Lyft to get around.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Third Street Promenade (attraction)
  2. Alibi Room (restaurant)
  3. Santa Monica Pier (attraction)
  4. Venice Beach Boardwalk (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Joanna from Los Angeles

Hello!  There is plenty you could do in Los Angeles, depending on your preferences..most people hop over to Hollywood Blvd, about 30 minutes from the airport.  Not my preference cause it tends to be swamped and there is little to do after seeing the Kodak Theater (where the Oscars take place) and the Walk of Fame.  I would recommend either Venice Beach Boardwalk if you like the beach and want to see LA's skater/surfer culture;or a visit to The Grove if you prefer
shopping and strolling through an outdoor mall, complete with lunch at Umami Burger;

and at night, head to downtown Los Angeles...have dinner at Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong in Koreatown, and an early evening drink at the rooftop bar at The Standard Downtown LA to get a great view of downtown before heading to the airport.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hollywood Blvd (attraction)
  2. The Grove (attraction)
  3. Umami Burger (restaurant)
  4. Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong (restaurant)
  5. The Standard Downtown LA (hotel)
  6. Venice Beach Boardwalk (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Joanna from Los Angeles

Go to Hermosa Beach! Its very close! Also have dinner before you head back at Rock & Brews in El Segundo! They have a great outside seating area and is about 20 minutes from the airport! 

The Bruchetta is amazing and so is the gluten free pizza!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hermosa Beach (city)
  2. Rock & Brews (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by

Not to be a killjoy, just want to give a bit of caution on something. Traffic in Los Angeles can be really crazy.  You can be stuck in a traffic jam even at 8pm in the evening (I've been stuck in traffic at 2am near Hollywood!). One thing you didn't write was what day of the week you were going to be here, if it's a Friday night, it can be really bad.  If there's rain (which is rare, but worth noting), then traffic can get really snarled up. In addition, I've had many an evenings when I was picking up someone at lax where it took me less time to get to the airport than to get to the TERMINAL because of traffic jams within lax. The point here is budget more time than you think you would need to get to the airport then check in. If you are getting in at 10:35am and leaving 23:15, I'm going to guess that you're on one of the redeye flights to Asia or Australia (best flight to take overseas... You get in at 5am and have the whole day to do things if you're going to hong kong, for example).  That means you have to check in at the international terminal (which is in the middle of the airport and the hardest terminal to get to and about the same time everyone else is trying to catch the same type of flight), check in, go through security and depending on how big your plane is (like an airbus a380), get on a bus to your smaller terminal to board your plane. That whole process can take a while. 

That means that if you have a flight at 23:15, you really should budget 1.5-2 hours to get through the process I walked through above. You should also expect, depending on where you go, to need about an hour to get to lax.  If you're lucky and there's no traffic, it can take as little as 15-20 minutes to get from Santa Monica, for example, to get to lax. Or it can take you 1-1.5 hours (1.5 hours being rare for highway and lax jam ups) to get to the airport. You'll have a better sense when you are in Los Angeles, figure out where you are going and use a smartphone to gauge traffic during the day.

Hope this helps.  

1 thanks

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