A stopover in Los Angeles

Quintessential Los Angeles in 48 hours.

A stopover in Los Angeles

For this LA sightseeing itinerary, we won't count your first day. Depending on your flight and the time of year you're travelling, you could arrive late morning or sometime in the afternoon.

48 hours
Shopping, Los Angeles, USA.

We recommend you stay west or northwest of the CBD, to be close to the best things to do in Los Angeles. Settle into your accommodation, then head out for some fresh air and sunshine.

Things to do when you first arrive

  • Stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the most star-studded sidewalk in the world
  • Wander around Echo Park in central LA, then hire a paddle boat to explore the lake in more detail
  • Take a hike through Runyon Canyon Park adjoining the Hollywood Hills. There are many trail options, but the ultimate workout is reaching the 402 metre peak of Indian Rock for blockbuster views of the city
  • Get your first taste of Los Angeles Shopping at Westfield Century City, the Beverly Centre or Glendale Galleria. The shopping mall was invented in America, so expect to be impressed
  • Have a hotdog dinner at Pink's, on the corner of La Brea and Melrose. It's probably the most famous hotdog restaurant in LA. The menu also includes a jaw-stretching selection of burgers
2Venice Beach and Santa Monica1 day
Venice Beach, Los Angeles, USA.

Don't linger over breakfast, because today's going to be action-packed. To use public transport - Metro trains and buses - get a TAP card and load it up. Alternatively, catch a cab to the coast. Dress comfortably - you'll be biking from Venice to Santa Monica and back today. It's one of the new top things to do in LA. Finish the day back at Venice Beach, with a casual meal on the waterfront or along Abbott Kinney Boulevard.

Things to see and do today

  • Find a bike rental operator at the southern end of Venice Beach and ride north to Santa Monica Pier
  • Head inland a little to the Venice canals to see gorgeous homes and get the feeling that you might just be in Italy
  • Continue along the boardwalk, taking in all the sights - street performers, unique shops, palm trees and all kinds of eateries. If the biking's making you hungry, pause for a poke bowl, French fries, sushi, pizza or tacos
  • In Santa Monica, check out the fun on the pier. There's an amusement park here, as well as an aquarium. Outdoor film and music events often happen here too
  • See the original Muscle Beach, where locals do their resistance training on outdoor equipment. In the weekend, gymnasts put on free shows on the parallel bars and rings swings
  • Secure your bike and head to the beach for a swim. The waves are great for bodysurfing at Santa Monica. It's still one of the best beaches in California
  • Ride your bike back to your rental operator, then trawl the shops in Abbott Kinney Boulevard. Lots to see here - boutiques, galleries and a multitude of places to eat and drink. Find yourself a laid-back dinner, then bus, train or taxi back to your hotel
    3Movie studio or Disneyland1 day

    Today is earmarked for an LA must-do - either a movie studio tour (Warner Brothers or Universal) or Disneyland. Choose the attraction that feels right to you. Later on there might be time for shopping and people watching on Hollywood Boulevard and/or Rodeo Drive.

    Your options for today

    • Universal Studios can easily be planned as a full-day experience. You can take a tram tour around four acres of studios, with some big surprises along the way (don't get too close to the water…), explore Hogwarts™ castle and a bunch of Harry Potter-themed attractions, meet King Kong in 3D and much, much more
    • The Warner Brothers is less about amusement park-style rides and more about the business of making movies. The immersive five-hour option lets you see backlots, soundstages, costume departments, props and post production. You'll begin with breakfast and finish with a slap-up lunch where the actors eat
    • After your movie studio experience, head to Hollywood Boulevard or the Rodeo Drive area for shopping and an evening meal. Some of the best restaurants in LA are around here
    • Disneyland…well, what can we say? It's the happiest land of them all - the world's most famous amusement park. Buy a one-day ticket and see how far you get around the eight areas, which include Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Mickey's Toontown, Frontierland, Critter Country and Adventureland. Arrive early and stay late, to get maximum value for money. The park opens at 8:00am and closes at midnight
      Departure day: Somewhere in the USA1 day

      Refreshed and renewed, you're ready to continue your USA holiday by picking up a car, jumping on a train or catching a domestic flight.

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      Knott's Berry Farm image courtesy of Visit Anaheim