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Angie
San Antonio

Los Angeles

What to do during 4.5 hour layover at LAX

On my way from San Francisco to San Antonio next month, I have a 4.5 hour layover in LA at LAX.  My flight lands at 10:30 AM and my next one takes off at 3:05 PM.  That makes me free from about 10:30 AM to 2 PM.  

I'm not sure where LAX is located in relation to everything around there, but is it enough time to slip out of the airport for lunch and perhaps a little sightseeing?  And if so, any suggestions on where to go and the the best way to get there?


3 Answers

top answer by
JR from Manhattan Beach

You have PLENTY of time to grab lunch and see the beach. I would hop in a cab at LAX Los Angeles International and head to  Manhattan Beach. It will cost about $20-25 for the cab ride. It's about a 15 min cab ride so depending on how quickly you get off the plane and out of the airport you'll have enough time. I'd start by taking a taking a stroll on the  Manhattan Beach Pier. It's beautiful year round (sometimes foggy around June however). You can even pop in to see the little Roundhouse Marine Lab & Aquarium at the end of the pier. (it's free, couple $ donation requested)

Then grab lunch. Depending on what you're in the mood for here's a few ideas:

  • MB Post - only open on Fridays for lunch, but the food is great (small plates). It's probably the most expensive place in MB, but if you're a foodie, you won't be disapointed. 
  • fishing with dynamite - opened in May 2013 by the same owners of MB Post. It's a seafood themed, tiny restaurant (only 30 seats), but if you're into seafood or raw bar, it's awsome.
  • The Strand House - the best view in Manhattan Beach. Sit in dining room or outside on patio upstairs... it's great. (closed mondays)
  • Manhattan BrewCo. - lots of beers on tap, wide menu (something for everyone) with above average pub food. Good eats. I dig the burgers and boneless chicken strips buffalo style.
  • Simmzy's - gastro pub with awesome food. Nice selection of craft beers. Indoor/outdoor dining and good/loud/lively vibe.
  • Manhattan Pizzeria - cheap/good NY style pizza by the slice. 
  • Wahoo's Fish Taco - on Man Ave for cheap somewhat healthy eats
  • Mama D's - americanized italian food with cheap lunch specials.
  • Petros - Greek and good. it's pricey. It's a little quiet but has outside seating and a chill vibe. 

After lunch stroll around town, do some shopping. Most of the shops are on Manhattan Beach Blvd and Manhattan Avenue.  

Hop in a cab (you'll be able hail one on the corner of Man Ave and MB Blvd) and give yourself 20 mins to get back to the airport. Have fun!!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. LAX Los Angeles International (address)
  2. Manhattan Beach (city)
  3. Manhattan Beach Pier (attraction)
  4. Roundhouse Marine Lab & Aquarium (attraction)
  5. MB Post (restaurant)
  6. The Strand House (restaurant)
  7. Manhattan BrewCo. (restaurant)
  8. Simmzy's (restaurant)
  9. Manhattan Pizzeria (restaurant)
  10. Wahoo's Fish Taco (restaurant)
  11. Mama D's (restaurant)
  12. Petros (restaurant)
10 thankscomments (2)


answered first by
Andrew from Manhattan Beach

Because Los Angeles traffic is notoriously bad, you won't want to venture too far from the airport.  Fortunately, there's some cool cities right around LAX Los Angeles International.

If you just want to play it safe, there's an In-N-Out Burger just north of the airport where arriving planes literally fly right overhead.  It's definitely loud, but it's a rather unique experience to lunch on a Double-Double combo while 747's provide the soundtrack.

Directly east of LAX is Dockweiler State Beach.  You may not want to get all sandy before hopping on a connecting flight, but depending on the time of year, it might be cool to brag to your friends that you dipped your toes in the ocean during your layover.

Last time my sister flew threw LAX, I picked her up and took her to lunch at Rock & Brews in El Segundo.  It's just south of LAX and easy to get in and out of.  They have an outdoor patio, a huge beer selection and tasty burgers.


You may want to load the über app on your smartphone so you can coordinate transporation during the layover.  If you stay close to the LAX area, you'll have no problems getting a ride through them.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. LAX Los Angeles International (address)
  2. In-N-Out Burger (restaurant)
  3. Dockweiler State Beach (attraction)
  4. Rock & Brews (attraction)
9 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Valerie from Los Angeles

Hey Angie! Luckily for you, you'll be close to some awesome beach towns where you can do plenty in 4.5 hours.

If you're hungry and looking for a breakfast spot, head to Hermosa Beach and grab a light meal at the Gum Tree Shop and Cafe. Their avocado toast with chili flakes is taaaasty. They also have a really cute gift shop next door that has awesome jewelry from local artists and other cute little nic nacs. 

Right next door is Manhattan Beach. You have plenty of time to rent a bike and ride down the Manhattan beach strand for a bit or do a little shopping. MB has quite a few boutiques to browse through. Even just a walk down the Manhattan Beach Pier is fun. There's a little aquarium at the end that has a few sea creatures to look at.

Grab lunch at the North End Caffe. I'm usually not about the salad life, but theirs are G-O-O-D. Go for the Principessa salad. There's also Simmzy's is you're up for a good burger and beer :)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hermosa Beach (city)
  2. Gum Tree Shop and Cafe (restaurant)
  3. Manhattan Beach (city)
  4. Manhattan Beach Pier (attraction)
  5. North End Caffe (restaurant)
  6. Simmzy's (restaurant)




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