Last month we flew over to Los Angeles. We were really excited about finally travelling to California and since we found a moment to do it we didn’t even think about it. In this post I will write down a guide so you can have an idea of how you can organize your trip, what you need to plan your trip, where to stay in Los Angeles and I will also give a few tips in case you’re planning your trip to the West Coast.
Before getting started I’d like to mention how important is to check the documents you need to travel to EEUU. If you’re from Spain make sure you get your ESTA visa. Click HERE and you will only have to fill your personal details, pay 14,95€ and you will obtain you visa!
Where to stay in Los Angeles
It may get a bit difficult to decide where to stay during your trip to Los Angeles. In our case, we spent a lot searching for the best places to stay and we were discussing between Santa Monica and Hollywood. They say Downtown is not very safe during night time.
We wanted to stay in the most comfortable spot to move from, so we were looking for a center spot until we noticed there isn’t really a Los Angeles city center and we would have to move by car to get everywhere we wanted. We finally decided to stay in Hollywood after reading a loads of reviews. We weren’t wrong. In our opinion, Santa Monica can be a good choice but only if you’re planning to stay a lot of time on the coast. In our case, we only had 4 days to visit and we didn’t want to spend that much time in the car.
Finally we decided to stay at The W Hollywood. This is the one that we liked the most comparing prices and quality. If you are going to make a trip to Los Angeles you need to know that hotels are really expensive.
Our hotel was just right in the Walk of Fame so we were lucky for that as every time we stepped out of the hotel we were just there. Many people say that Hollywood is a dirty place, ugly and not very much taken care of. I think it’s actually a great location from where you can travel comfortable by car.
TIP: Our hotel offered us a paying parking for $50/day. Almost every hotel offer the same price. We found an overnight parking right next to the hotel for $14 night.
Rent a car
I think it’s essential to rent a car if you want to visit Los Angeles. We rented one in advance with AVIS. When we got to the LAX airport we picked it up and left directly to the hotel. It was $236 from Wednesday night to Monday morning. The price we saw in the web was a bit lower but you know, every car rental actually charge you a bit more for hidden insurance.
Thanks to the car we could see everything we wanted in LA. As we stayed in Hollywood every attraction was pretty closed. The longest distance we drove was 1h to get to Malibu.
4 days itinerary in Los Angeles
The first day
We woke up very soon. There are a three hours difference between Miami and Los Angeles so we woke up every day soon at 7am to hit the day. At 8am we were already having breakfast at Blue Jam Café. In this post I won’t talk about the places where I ate neither will I recommend. I will soon upload a post with the information about where to eat in LA.
After having breakfast we went for a walk to Melrose Avenue. We parked in the street and spent the morning seeing the famous stores’ walls. As it was 9am there was no many people in the streets so we could take good pictures. We stopped by Carrera Café to get some energy in and tried one of their famous lattes with ripples. Just right in front of Carrera you will see Paul Smith pink wall.
Many shops were closed because they open at 10.30/11.00am so we decided to go back to Hollywood to see the Walk of Fame, the Dolby Theatre and the views of the Hollywood Sign from the shopping centre that is just next to the theatre. When you go walking by the street and you start seeing how people look down you will soon realize you’re in the Walk of Fame.
After that we went back to the hotel, we had a shower and drove back to Melrose Av. (9 min by car) We had lunch there at Urth Caffé. When we finished we drove to Santa Monica. From Hollywood to Santa Monica there’s a 35 min drive without traffic. Try to got during weekdays to avoid traffic. We went on a Thursday and got there really quick. We parked in a parking space just next to the Pier. Don’t do it ($14). There’s a parking lot just on the other side of the Pier bridge that costs $2/h. We strolled around Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Pier.
We finally took our shoes off and went to the beach to see Muscle Beach and enjoy the sunset. There’s an amazing view that cannot be missed. We had dinner in Santa Monica at The Albright.
The second day
We woke up soon again and had breakfast at Backyard Bowls. Once we were finished we headed to the famous Beverly Hills Hotel and took a few pictures there. This hotel was built in 1912 and nowadays many celebrities stay there.
Just after that we parked near Rodeo Dr and walked by this street where Pretty Woman was filmed. Even the hotel where she stays in the film is there. Then we went to pick up the car to drive through Sunset Boulevard and enjoy the beautiful streets full of the highest palms I’ve ever seen.
At lunchtime we went to Melrose Av. again. This time we chose Zinqué. I think this one was my fave restaurant there. When we finished we went back to the hotel, we rested for an hour and then we set off to start hiking to the Hollywood Sign. I was really excited to get to the top and see the views from behind the letters but we made a bad decision and we didn’t have enough time. We would have got to the top but night time and we didn’t want to.
The best way to get to the Hollywood Sign is by taking an Uber untill the road ends. The adress is 3399 Deronda Drive. There are two doors closed but if you push them a little bit you will be able to get in. From there you can also take some good pictures. We were so silly that we went walking from the hotel. There isn’t any sign that informs how to get there and you won’t find any route on google maps either. Neighbors have complaint a lot about so many tourists walking by during years so it’s impossible to get there if you don’t know how to. Forget to get there by car because you won’t be able to park anywhere.
When you walk pass this door you will see a hiking trail, go all straight on and you will get to the top of the Hollywood Sign. It’s a 1h walk approx. That night we had dinner at Tocaya Orgánica.
The third day
We woke up and went to have breakfast to Bardonna in Larchmont. Although it’s not in Hollywood the driving distance was about 15min to every place we went for breakfast. Then we went to see the LACMA and its famous urban lights and also Downtown LA. It’s as if you were in a small New York. It’s really difficult to park there and there’s no much to see. We had a little tour driving around and saw everything from the car. Staples Centre, where the Lakers play, Walt Disney Concert Hall and the City Hall.
After spending the morning around we took off to Venice at 12.30am. I think this was one of my fave parts of the trip to LA. I got to park for free in the street closed to the Venice Canals. We walked around and took our time to admire the gorgeous houses in the canals. Wonderful. You will walk our of there thinking about when you will buy your new house there.
When we finished we walked to The Great White where we had lunch. Then we went to Venice Boardwalk. Palms, palms and more palms. I loved it. You can rent a bike, skates, tricycles, etc and drive around. Walk to the Skate Park. You won’t want to leave. We spent at least 1h there in awe seeing those artists skating.
Spend the afternoon going around enjoying the street artists and visiting the shops. If you have more time until the sunset you can rent a BIRD. Just as we did to get to Abbot Kinney Street. BIRDS are an electric skateboards that you can find almost everywhere. They work with an app. You fill your personal details and your card details and it charges you depending on the time you use it. We went both in one and you save a lot of time like that. Plus it’s really funny. When you get to your destination you just leave it there in the street and someone will come to pick it up and use it
Abbot Kinney is a long street full of original shops. There you will also find a lot of restaurants. We had dinner at Gjelina, but I don’t recommend it. Before sunset we went back to the beach to take a few pictures and see the beautiful sunset.
The fourth day
We left the hotel soon and had breakfast at Squirl. Then we went to visit some movies locations in Los Angeles. We went to Fast & Furious Dominic Toretto’s House in 722 Kesington Road and the Charmed Manor House from the Charmed TV series in 1329 Carroll Ave. After that we went to California Donuts. They say they’re the best donuts in the United States. I at least can confirm they were delicious. In addition it was so sad to eat them. They were super cute.
Then we went back to Melrose Av to buy some stuff. I recommend Sorella Boutique (they were cleaning their stock the sunday I got there and they had loads of discounts) House of CB, Revolve, Alfred Tea Coffe ( and its famous Pink Drink with bubbles) and Glossier. Later on I will write a post about Glossier because it’s soooo worth it. If you go to LA you have to buy one of their famous products. They’re amazing.
When we started to get hungry we went to In-n-Out Burguer. We couldn’t leave before trying it out. After having the famous burgers we headed to Malibu. There’s 1h driving from Hollywood, but the views and landscapes are amazing. We got to Malibu, walked around the pier and jumped into the sea. You can’t missed out swimming in the pacific!
We couldn’t stay there for long because we wanted to see the sunset from El Matador State Park. It’s only 20 min away from Malibu Beach. You can’t miss this beach. The views are amazing and the colors that the sand has when the sun hits during sunset it’s incredible. You have to see it.
Finally, when we arrived to the hotel we were so tired that we ordered sushi and had dinner there. We had a shower and packed our suitcases. We were exhausted after these non stop 4 days.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and it’s of use for you if you’re planning a future trip to California and Los Angeles. For those who say that you can’t see Los Angeles in 4 days…well, you actually can.
There’s loads of people who would also visit Warner Bros Studios or Universal Studios Hollywood during their trip to Los Angeles, but we have Orlando Universal Studios 3h away from Miami so we didn’t want to spend a whole day there.
In the next post I will write about the restaurants I visit to eat in Los Angeles, hotels to stay in Los Angeles and the best places to take pictures in LA.
If you have any question or recommendation please leave a comment below or write me a DM to my Instagram account.
See you soon!