What to see in Los Angeles in one day?
It’s difficult being able to organize in few hours the tour of a so boundless and variegated city that alone deserves at least 3 full days.
Unfortunately when travelling time seems to be never enough and we are often forced to choose, above all when the city in question – Los Angeles – is the leaving and arrival ideal point of a series of on the roads throughout California and the mythical South West.
That’s why I’ve decided to write this mini-guidebook of one day (reckoning two stays overnight) and to give a series of useful tips to not miss the best that the city – a metropolitan area of 1300square kilometers about– has to offer.
What to see in Los Angeles in one day, useful tips to enjoy the best
Find down here some practical tips to plan the stay in Los Angeles – really useful – above all if it’s the first experience.
- Rent the car – find here a safe and cheap Alamo Rent a Car link – directly at the airport at your arrival. Don’t wait – as it can occur in other USA cities – to start the on the road to take the car. Los Angeles is a boundless city, go around it 24h with the public means of transport is unthinkable.
- Reckon to spend the two stays overnight between Santa Monica and Venice: this not only will allow to optimize times discovering these two wonderful places at sunset/night, but also it will allow to relax in some venues with Ocean view after an intense day of tours.
- Dividing the stages as in the itinerary down here and respecting times, you’ll be able to see so much. However, reckon that the Universal Studios and the Warner Bros Studios require both at least a half day, so if you decide to have one of these two experiences you’ll have to renounce necessarily to the tours in the afternoon of the itinerary and then come back to Venice in the evening.
What to see in Los Angeles in one day, the itinerary
Arriving to the city the day before, whether you come from the airport or from an on the road, go to Santa Monica, the ideal place to stay overnight and give yourselves a relaxing night between the Santa Monica Pier and the Santa Monica Blvd venues.
The following day take the car and start to explore the boundless metropolitan area of Los Angeles. Find here the stages in the morning:
What to see in Los Angeles in one day: Westwood Village Memorial Cemetery – Westwood, 1218 Glendon Ave
The Westwood Village Memorial Cemetery hosts the graves of some among the most famous American actors and artists of 1900.
The most coveted grave is certainly Marilyn Monroe’s one: today at her side the “king” of Playboy – Hugh Hefner – rests: he purchased on purpose the coveted tomb next to her with the aim to “spend the eternal rest near the most beautiful woman in the world”.
And then you’ll find writers and stars of the “old” Hollywood, among them Billy Wilder, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Dean Martin, Peter Falk, Gene Kelley, Natalie Wood, Frank Zappa, Burt Lancaster, Truman Capote and many other famous characters.
What to see in Los Angeles in one day: Getty Museum – Santa Monica Mountains, 1200 Getty Center Drive
The Getty Museum develops in a museum facility of about 500.000square meters – among the most famous ones in the world – which gives the visitors – free – the chance to admire the whole art collection which belongs to the millionaire John Paul Getty (besides an amazing view of Los Angeles).
It’s a permanent collection of artworks from the Renaissance until the Post-Impressionism – Tiziano, Rembrandt, Monet, Manet, Van Gogh et cetera, and a series of temporary exhibitions tied to different artistic periods.
Admittance to the museum is totally free. 15$ daily parking, 10$ after 3pm.
Drive through Beverly Hills, West Hollywood – the coolest area at the moment as regards venues, events and restaurants, ideal for a lunch stop at Carney’s at 8351 W, Sunset Blvd – and Hollywood Blvd with a walk along the Walk of fame, the Chinese Theater and the Dolby Theater where every year the Oscar ceremony award takes place.
In the afternoon reckon according to your interests whether go on tour to the Universal Studios or the Warner Bros, as said above, or discovering Downtown.
What to see in Los Angeles in one day: short itinerary through downtown
From Union Station, the old and charming railroad station of the city where inside many famous movies and TV series were shot, then keep going with a stop at El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles which includes some of the most ancient buildings of the city – the Old Plaza Church, the Avita Adobe and the colourful and cheerful Olivera Street, everything in the most authentic Mexican style.
Then go through the Los Angeles City Hall, the ancient town hall used as seat of the Daily Mirror in the “Superman” TV series. And at last reach the Grand Central Market, a sort of food market dating back to 1917 where to eat or drink something together with the locals or buy fresh local products.
From here you can easily reach some of the most iconic places in Downtown, like the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
What to see in Los Angeles in one day: sunset at the Griffith Observatory – 2800 E, Observatory Rd
The Griffith Observatory is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset on the city and have a privileged view of the Hollywood Sign at the same time: in case of haze you can admire it perfectly also from the “near” (in Los Angeles distances are relative) Lake Hollywood Park.
What to see in Los Angeles in one day: night in Venice – Windward Ave
To discover its wonderful murals through the free and self made itineraries of Venice Murals, walk through the suggestive and fascinating area of the Venice Canals and then have dinner in one of the venues along the Boardwalk, literally a stone’s throw from the Ocean.
“Los Angeles is like a beauty parlor at the end of the universe”