Things to do in Los Angeles: A 5-day itinerary

Things to do in Los Angeles are endless- honestly, I was there for a week and didn’t stop. One thing that puts people off from visiting the state is how big it is and, since public transport isn’t too reliable, most tourists rely on Lyft– a cheaper US version of Uber. Before we went then, I took it upon my abnormally organised self to arrange exactly where we would go each day so that we’d only need one Lyft to each area, and one back to where we were staying. Basically, if you want to tick off all the top things to do in Los Angeles without spending a fortune on cabs, this is how…

Day 1: Rose Bowl Flea Market

things to do in los angeles

Rose Bowl Flea Market

The Rose Bowl flea market is situated in Pasadena- about a 40-minute drive from where we were staying in Santa Monica. It’s only on every second Sunday of the month and is quite a drive from the most popular things to do in Los Angeles, but well worth a visit if you can make it. Entry will cost you $9 but that’ll keep you busy for the whole day- there’s everything from homeware stalls to pulled pork stands inside.

 


Day 2: Melrose Avenue > Paul Smith sign > Made in LA wall > Fairfax District > The Grove > LACMA

things to do in los angeles

Paul Smith sign

things to do in los angeles

Made in LA wall

things to do in los angeles

Canter’s Fairfax

things to do in los angeles

Urban Lights at LACMA

Start at Alfred’s coffee on Melrose (the one with the funny coffee cup quotes you’ve probably seen on social media- click here to see what I mean), before walking east on Melrose to the Insta-famous pink Paul Smith sign and the Made in LA wall (these are only 0.5 miles from each other). From there, head to the Fairfax District. There’s not much to do here besides shopping and coffee shops, but it’s a good place for snaps and is also home to famous diner Canter’s. Continue onto the Grove (roughly 1 mile away and so festive at Christmas time), before ending at LACMA for the Urban Lights display. Sounds like a lot of walking, I know, but the landmarks here are only approx 10 minutes between each other.

Tip: Remember The Grove’s Original Farmers Market is only on on Sundays if you’re hoping to visit.

 


 

Read how I save for luxury holidays here

 

Day 3: Santa Monica Beach and Pier > Venice Beach

things to do in los angeles

Santa Monica beach

things to do in los angeles

Santa Monica pier

things to do in los angeles

Santa Monica pier

things to do in los angeles

Venice Beach

Take a Lyft to Santa Monica beach to see the pier before walking down to Venice. It’ll take you around 20-30 minutes depending on how fast you are (I’m a serial speed walker), but you’ll get to see everything from Muscle Beach and the Venice sign to the skate park. The other option would be to hire bikes from Santa Monica to Venice, but bear in mind you’ll have to return them to the same store you picked them up from.

Tip: Start at Venice and end up at Santa Monica if you want to see the sunset. It’s so pretty against the pier.

 


 

See 13 tips for booking luxury holidays on a budget here

 

Day 4: Rodeo Drive > Sprinkles ATM > Beverly Hills Hotel > Beverly Hills Garden Park

things to do in los angeles

Rodeo Drive

things to do in los angeles

Rodeo Drive

things to do in los angeles

Sprinkles Cupcake ATM

things to do in los angeles

Beverly Hills Garden Park

things to do in los angeles

Beverly Hills Hotel

If you’re up for some serious spending, Rodeo Drive is the way to go. It’s home to everything from Chanel and Louis Vuitton to Cartier, but if not, it’s worth seeing for the fact that it’s so pretty. Five minutes around the corner is the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM (open 24/7), because when else can you order a cupcake through an ATM?! From there, Beverly Hills Garden Park is just across the road featuring the renowned Beverly Hills sign. After that, the Beverly Hills Hotel is roughly 20 minutes walk away, where you can refuel on some of the tastiest pancakes you’ll ever eat.

Tip: Remember to book a table at Beverly Hills Hotel. It’s one of the most popular spots in the city.

 


 

Day 5: Lake Hollywood Park > Griffith Observatory > Hollywood Walk of Fame

things to do in los angeles

Lake Hollywood Park

things to do in los angeles

Griffith Observatory

things to do in los angeles

Hollywood Walk of Fame

We had considered doing Runyon Canyon but after four days of walking, a hike to see the Hollywood sign wasn’t on our- and probably wouldn’t be on your- agenda. Head to Lake Hollywood Park for amazing views of the sign that you won’t even need to climb for. From here, you can walk to the Griffith Observatory within an hour or so, but if you’re anything like me and your legs are about to give way, it’s only a 10-minute cab ride away (this is the only exception to my two-a-day Lyft rule- promise). Finish off the day with a visit to the Hollywood Walk of Fame just south of the Griffith Observatory.

Tip: Avoid actors and actresses dressed up on the boardwalk- some will approach you for photos and demand you pay without warning.

 


 

So there you have a comprehensive schedule featuring the top things to do in Los Angeles. I had the best time and I can assure you that however you choose to get around, you’ll love LA. Comment below or email me if there’s anything else you’d like to know- I’ve got a few more posts lined up but I’d love to hear what interests you!

BW x

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6 Comments

  1. 26/11/2017 / 12:22 am

    Glad this is doable! We are going this year and I don’t want to drive 🙂

    • 29/11/2017 / 10:19 am

      Hey Jenn. Yep, it’s definitely doable! I wasn’t keen on driving either since I’m not very confident behind the wheel so I was determined to make it work and it definitely does!! Let me know how it goes x

  2. 26/11/2017 / 12:40 pm

    I loved Santa Monica Pier was a highlight of my trip to LA. Next time I go I want to check out the Cupcake ATM, purely for the novelty of it.

    • 29/11/2017 / 10:17 am

      Hi Sarah! Yes, Santa Monica was a fave of mine too! Definitely check out the cupcake ATM- it’s so fun! x

  3. 26/11/2017 / 2:44 pm

    This guide is so nice. Planning on Visiting LA next year in May .. Seems like a lot of fun and your pictures are also on point.

    • 29/11/2017 / 10:17 am

      Ah thanks so much Sujenne! LA is amazing- have a fab time and let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to know before you go! x

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