Check-in to the Standard Downtown once you get into the city and take in the view from the trendy rooftop. Explore Downtown L.A. on foot and make sure you stop by the Bradbury Building and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Make your way up to the Griffith Observatory so you can be properly introduced to L.A. under a veil of stars. The Observatory offers sweeping views of the city all lit up that can’t be missed. Stop for dinner on your way back down the mountain at the quaint neighborhood spot Little Dom’s for a pizza and prosecco.
Start your day with a delicious egg sandwich and a coffee from Olive & Thyme in Burbank before heading over to Warner Brothers Studios for their VIP Tour. I’m not usually a fan of tourist-y things like this, but it was a fun peek into the world of TV and movies and something you’ve just got to do when visiting L.A.
To continue along the same lines of must-do tourist-y things, make your way to Hollywood and stroll along the Walk of Fame (just don’t mind all the people trying to sell you “Celebrity Home Tours” or folks dressed up in costume trying to take your photo!).
For lunch, stop by the Melrose sandwich shop ink.sack run by Michael Voltaggio of Top Chef fame – the veggie bahn mi and the Oreo cookie cookie are a must. Do some window shopping along Melrose Avenue and then jump on the 405 (only for a hot second) to visit the Getty Museum. The Getty offers breathtaking views of the city and has beautiful grounds to wander around, not to mention some exciting exhibitions. Take the winding Mulholland Drive back toward downtown for a scenic drive back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.
Treat yourself to the jaw-dropping L.A. outpost of Jose Andres in the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills – The Bazaar. Andres takes you on a wondrous journey through flavors and textures with a truly memorable dining experience. Have the liquid nitrogen caipirinha, the Brussels sprouts with lemon and champagne grapes, and the eggplant tempura with honey foam…as long as you save room for the sweets in the patisserie.
Play like a local and go for a morning hike in Runyon Canyon and keep your eyes open for celebrities (we think we may have seen Chris Bauer, but I was oblivious).
After your morning work-out, head to the coast toward Venice and explore the canals, the beach (just be wary of scorching sand!), and the shops along Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Lemonade is a fun place to grab a namesake beverage and a plateful of healthy salads for lunch.
Continue up to coast to the Santa Monica Pier and do some people watching and grab a snack – but be mindful of all the birds flying overhead…you may get a little present!
If you are lucky enough to be visiting L.A. during baseball season, grab tickets to a Dodger’s Game and cheer on the home team while watching the sun go down with a frozen chocolate malt.
Start your day at the classic Beverly Hills deli Nate ‘n Al before doing some window shopping along Rodeo Drive. Next, jump in the car and drive up to Pacific Palisades to visit the Eames House – the beautiful home of Charles and Ray Eames that offers views of the Pacific from its cliff-side post.
Continue up the coast for a scenic drive to Malibu before doubling back and heading toward the trendy neighborhood of Silver Lake. Grab an iced coffee at Intelligentsia and do some shopping along Sunset Blvd – especially Bar Keeper and Mohawk General Store.
Make a trip back up to Griffith Park and the Observatory for views of the city during the day – and the best view of the Hollywood sign – as a perfect send-off to the City of Angels. Grab your bags and head over to LAX to catch your return flight back home while you reflect on all the great memories of your visit to Southern California.