Day 1 In Los Angeles
Hollywood Walk Of Fame
However, it is still always at the top of everyone else's to do list so you may as well cross it off the list too. Get to Hollywood Boulevard first thing in the morning so you can find a park easier and beat the crowds. You will probably only need to spend an hour or two here. You can check out a few of the celebrity stars and quickly get a few photos in front of the Chinese Graumans' Theatre. Madam Tussauds world famous wax museum is also a must see for fans of celebrity culture. Other than that there is nothing else here besides shopping and touristy knick-knacks. If you have kids they will love the costumed characters that they are able to get their photo's taken with. Just remember it is customary to tip them afterwards.
In and Out Burger
If you are feeling a little peckish head to In and Out burger which is only 3 blocks down from Hollywood Boulevard on Sunset. No visit to California is complete until you have eaten at this tasty establishment. Unlike most other fast food restaurants, In and Out use fresh ingredients and you can definitely taste the difference. And you MUST order the 'animal fries' which is a secret item that is not displayed on the menu board. Be warned though, there is usually a huge line up at this location so it may take awhile to receive your meal.
Griffith Observatory & The Hollywood Sign
Head out to Griffith Observatory after the Walk of Fame because it's in the same area roughly. The observatory is fascinating if you are interested in space and astronomy. It is a nice drive up to the observatory and you will have great views of the Hollywood sign. There are also great views of downtown L.A (when the pollution levels aren't too high). The down side is this place is really busy and finding a parking spot is difficult! Be prepared to walk uphill if you don't find a park close enough.
La Brea Tar Pits
The La Brea Tar pits are on Wilshire Boulevard and enroute to Rodeo drive so worth stopping to have a look and will only take 10 minutes of your time. Tar pits form when crude oil seeps to the surface through fissures in the Earth's crust. These tar pits contained some of the best preserved, and best studied assemblages of Pleistocene vertebrates. It is pretty interesting to watch the tar pits bubble up. If you have children they will enjoy looking at the Wooley Mammoth statues. There is also a natural history museum here that is worth visiting if you have an extra hour to spare that the kids will love.
The Grove & Farmers Market
The Grove is a an outdoor mall with a beautifully designed outdoor space. There are trendy boutique stores, musical fountains, plush movie theatres and a free outdoor trolley to amuse the kids. The Farmers Market is nearby and is a great place to have lunch with many food choices in the food court.
Ever since the television show 'Beverly Hills 90210' aired Rodeo Drive has been put on the map of places that are a must to visit. Rodeo Drive is probably the wealthiest and most famous shopping district in the world. It is just as you see on television; filled with super classy, high end stores and a lot of Mazzerati's, Bentleys, Ferrari's and Lamborgini's parked along the street. It is worth a visit and should probably on take an hour. Unless you actually can afford to shop here.
Since you are in the area you may as well go for a little drive through the residential area of Beverly Hills and surrounding suburbs. The houses are incredible! The homes of countless movie stars and TV personalities line streets such as Roxbury drive, Carolwood drive, Bedford drive, Crescent drive and Benedict Canyon drive.
Finish your afternoon at Venice Beach. Venice beach is a one of a kind place. There are buskers, street stalls, skateboarders, punks, people handing out recreational marijuana cards and other types of highly entertaining people to watch. Highly recommended is hiring a bicycle and going for a ride on the boardwalk or go down to the beach and watch the sunset.
The Santa Monica pier is another famous Los Angeles landmark. The pier is all about having fun on rollercoasters, riding the ferris wheel and playing arcade games. End the night here when the rides are all lit up. Eat a burger or chow down on clam chowder for dinner at one of the many restaurants.
Now that you have gotten all the main touristy things out of the way, you have the whole day to do or see things that you love. Whether it be relaxing on the beach, visiting art galleries, shopping or dining, L.A will not disappoint. Here are my recommendations below. Choose one or possibly two activities below and enjoy!
If you are looking forward to a day of relaxation after yesterday's efforts why not spend the day at the beach. The beaches in and around Malibu are stunning and so are the homes. Beaches here are a lot less crowded than the Santa Monica area too. Bring a book and work on your tan. Go for a walk and see the multi million dollar homes. If you're hungry go to Malibu country mart where you are likely to bump into a celebrity or two.
WATCH A TAPING OF A LIVE TV SHOW
This was one of my favorite activities. We saw an episode of 'The Odd Couple' starring Matthew Perry. It was really cool to see how they film a live TV show and a lot of fun! The tapings can take several hours so be prepared and have a big lunch before hand. They do offer free sandwich's and hand out little treats if it is taking longer than expected. The best part is it's free! If you think this is something you might like to do click here to order a ticket online.
If you are a thrill seeker, seek your thrills at Six Flags. With so many terrifying rollercoaster options where do you begin? Some of the options include the X-treme (a rollercoaster where you ride backwards) or the Tatsu (which you ride face down during a set of drops, corkscrews, and zero G rolls). There are also a lot of family and smaller child friendly rides so everyone will have fun. This place is a must!!! Six Flags is located in Santa Clarita (about 45mins from downtown L.A.) so you will either need to hire a car and drive yourself or you can organize a tour bus to take you there and bring you back which includes the cost of entry. If you are interested in this option click here to learn more.
If you love the magic of movies you will love Universal Studio's. Have yourself an action packed day riding movie-themed rides, go behind the scenes on a real studio lot or just watch some of the highly entertaining shows. This place is fun no matter how old you are. To find out the cost of ticket prices go to our L.A. sightseeing page to learn more or click here.
THIRD STREET PROMENADE
Third street promenade is in Santa Monica and as the name suggests it is three blocks down from the beach. The Third Street Promenade is an upscale shopping, dining and entertainment complex where you can shop 'til you drop or spend the day lunching and sipping on margarita's.
Ready To Plan Your L.A. Trip?
If you are ready to plan your L.A. trip, check out some of the travel resources below that will help make planning easier, save you money and make your vacation go smoothly.
Sightseeing Tours In Los Angeles
If you want your trip to run smoothly without any hiccups such as getting lost or losing time trying to find parking, see some of these sightseeing tours in L.A. There are quite a few to choose from including tours that visit all the destinations mentioned in the day one itinerary. Some of our top picks are the 6 Hour Los Angeles City Tour, the Grand City Tour and Los Angeles City Tour By Night.
If you prefer exploring independently rather than taking a guided tour but don't think you could handle driving in the madness of L.A. traffic, you can use the Hop On Hop Off Bus to get around town. They have stops at all the major attractions and you can spend as little or as much time as you want at each destination. They come in 24 hour and 48 hour passes.
Theme Parks In L.A.
If you are planning on visiting more than one theme park or attraction in Los Angeles, you will save money on admission prices if you purchase a Los Angeles Go Card. You can view what theme parks and attractions there are for you to choose from on their website. Obviously, if you plan to see more than one theme park you will have to allow yourself some more time in L.A.
Car Rental In Los Angeles
If you are planning on renting a car to explore L.A., check out priceline to find our which car rental agency has the cheapest rates on the dates you will be traveling. Most of the time we choose either Enterprise or Avis. We always go with Avis if we are renting in California and plan to drop the vehicle off in a different location because they waive the one-way fee.
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