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2 Days in L.A.: Itinerary and Sightseeing Guide

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Los Angeles. The land of starlets, film sets, and the iconic Hollywood sign. Being an American from the South, there are a lot of miles between me and the Pacific. Needless to say, spending 2 days in L.A. was an unexpected surprise!

When my mom and I wanted a stopover on the west coast for our trip to Tokyo, I knew it was my chance to see the place that had been on my USA travels wish list for a long time: L.A.

Here is all the info you need to plan a fun-filled trip to Los Angeles!

Airport Transfer

My mom and I opted for early morning plane tickets to Los Angeles so we could have more time in the city before our flight to Tokyo left three days later.

As always, I had done some research beforehand and found out that there is a metro from the airport to downtown, but we got a Lyft instead since we had checked luggage.

It was very reasonably priced, so I do recommend that for getting to your accommodations from LAX if you have huge checked bags and don’t want to crowd the metro with them.

Here are some promo codes for money off your first rides at this link!

Accommodations

This was my least favorite part about planning this trip. For some reason, all of the Airbnbs that were left for our dates had bad reviews, or were so far out of the way we’d have to rent a car.

Finally, I decided to look at hotels. We got a good price at the Hilton Checkers in Downtown L.A., and had exceptional service. The room had comfy beds, a nice bathroom, and was in a superb location for visiting L.A. without a car.

We were a couple of blocks from the downtown metro station, and down the street from Whole Foods. I would definitely stay there again on my next trip to Los Angeles.

{Want to know how I found great accommodations despite few options? Here is my guide to finding the perfect accommodations!}

Metro

Currently, the Los Angeles metro doesn’t cover the entire city, but is a good resource if you’re staying downtown. We used the metro the whole time we were there.

We took the light blue line to Santa Monica for our shopping day at the pier, and we took the red to Hollywood to hop on a bus that took us up to Griffith Observatory.

If you’re not interested in renting a car or getting Lyft rides all over the city, the metro is a good option as long as you’re staying close to a stop.

Downtown L.A.

Downtown L.A. is such a cool area to check out in and of itself. My mom and I would eat at the Whole Foods down the street from our hotel and just watch people go about their daily lives, and enjoy looking at the buildings. There are even pop-up art exhibits and the whole area just has such a cool, laid-back vibe.

girl standing under flower exhibit in Downtown L.A.

Hollywood Sign + Griffith Observatory

Seeing the Hollywood sign was at the very top of my list when I thought about visiting L.A. I remember that the first time I saw it was from the metro while Mom and I were on our way to Santa Monica, and I think that was the first moment it was real to me that I was in Los Angeles.

Griffith Observatory is a great place to view it as well, and it’s accessible on public buses. The observatory itself is an attraction, and we walked around on the inside a little bit, too.

All in all, I can say with absolute certainty that our trip to L.A. would not have been complete without visiting this part of the city!

girl standing in front of the Hollywood Sign at Griffith Observatory, L.A.

Santa Monica Beach + Pier

This was such a fun day. We hopped on the metro from our stop, and took it all the way to the end of the line. From there, we walked until we saw sand. Along the way, there were so many cool performers and shops with different tourist trinkets we stopped to look at.

Pacific Park is also such a fun area! We had a blast just walking down the pier and seeing the water, the other travelers and locals just enjoying the pier themselves, and seeing the street performers wow the crowds.

Afterwards, we did some shopping on our way back to the metro. Some of the best swimsuits I’ve ever seen and tried on were at a boutique in Santa Monica. Highly recommend spending a day here!

girl standing at Santa Monica Pier, L.A.
don’t forget a sweater; it can get a little windy on the pier!

Hollywood Walk of Fame

If the Hollywood sign was the first thing I wanted to see in L.A., the Walk of Fame was a very close second. I honestly can’t remember the first time I found out about this because I was so young.

Right before we were due to leave for our trip, I was looking up where the Queen of Tejano, Selena Quintanilla’s star was on this expansive monument.

One of my favorite things about this attraction is that, not only is it free, but you can also see more of the city while you walk the streets adorned with stars. I found myself stopping every few feet to see which icon was being honored on the next star.

This is a must-do for a trip to Los Angeles!

girl sitting at Selena Quintanilla's star, Hollywood Walk of Fame, L.A.
waited in line to take this photo, but anything for Salinas!

. . .

I think it’s a given that I will be going back to Los Angeles, and I’d like to make it ASAP. There are so many things I want to do on my next visit to la la land!

I plan to see Walt Disney Concert Hall, walk down Rodeo Drive, go to Venice Beach, hike near the Hollywood Sign, and play all day at Disneyland California.

What are the things you want to do in L.A.?

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Background: palm trees
Text: 2 Days in L.A.

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