How To Make The Most of Your Time If You Only Have 3 Days in Los Angeles
As we all know, Los Angeles, also known as the City of Angels and the center of all-things movies has been visited by various tourists around the world. Every inch of the city is just so attractive that those visiting the place barely get enough time to discover everything in just 3 days. Lucky for you, I have arranged an ideal itinerary when traveling to this magnificent city. I have arranged travel time, accommodation choice, tours and even eating time so that you could feel less hassled by traveling. As attractive as the city is, I’m quite sure that this article will make you feel the most of Los Angeles in just three days!
First off, make sure that your flight is booked arriving at Los Angeles International Airport at six in the morning so it would fit this convenient itinerary. Upon arrival, you will then need to hire a taxi and travel for about 35 minutes to Days Inn Hollywood Universal Studios for your accommodation choice.
This place is ideal for this itinerary because travel time to your departure points in the tour are just a minute’s ride, or not a walk’s away from this Inn. Additionally, it’s one of the cheapest ones around.
It is located ten minutes away from Hollywood/Highland Metro Station and gives guests a convenient location to stay at while in Los Angeles. It has a concierge, family rooms and twenty-four hour reception so you can avail of the inn’s services at any time you please. There is also an available Wi-Fi internet access throughout the hotel so there wouldn’t be any worries about getting detached from work while you’re on vacation. Amazing, isn’t it? Its rooms are also equipped with a refrigerator, a coffee maker and a microwave if ever you would want to fix yourself some dinner. There is even a sitting area and complimentary toiletries in each room so you can feel as comfortable as you ever could be anywhere in Los Angeles.
Also, since it is conveniently located near Universal Studios, while you’re not touring, you can just stroll on down and discover this remarkable place that’s just right under your noses. You can swing by the Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the El Capitan Theater and the Hollywood and Highland Center if you feel like having some relaxing walk during the night or when you’re not occupied with anything else. The Kodak Theater and the Hollywood Walk of Fame are also just a ten-minute walk away.
Now that you’re settled in, let’s start the journey to Los Angeles!
Day 1: The Movie Scene
Travel Through Taxi from Days Inn Hollywood Universal Studios to Original Pantry Café for Breakfast (7:30AM-8:00AM)
The Original Pantry Café is not your ordinary eating place. It has contributed to the historical aspect and value of the city. It is that local diner that opens its doors twenty-four seven for customers and have served both the locals and tourists for about ninety years now. It has quite a reputation by earning a significant accomplishment to Angelenos and it only makes perfect sense that the dining destination keep its spirit until now and until the future. It gives the guests the all-time American dining style in Downtown L.A. even during the dawn!
Since this place is famous by itself, there’s usually a long line outside of people fighting to get a spot inside. However, sometimes, if you’re lucky, there wouldn’t be any crowd at all especially when your time slot in eating here according to the itinerary is early in the morning. The best sellers of the place consists of its pancakes, potatoes and coleslaw which are all perfect for that start-of-the-day vacation breakfast here in Los Angeles.
Travel through Taxi from Original Pantry Cafe to TCL Chinese Theater for Trolley Tour (9:00AM-9:20AM)
Tour Rate: $20
Now that you’re stuffed and ready to explore the other sites of Los Angeles, make your way down to the TCL Chinese Theater for your Trolley Tour. It is the best way to discover the neighborhoods of Hollywood. The tour takes about an hour composing of an open air vintage-looking trolley that will add fun and excitement for your Los Angeles experience. That one vacation that you’ll never, ever forget! Not even when you’re about to go home!
Since you’re going through Hollywood, well, for now, you should know that it is the birthplace of the movie industry. Even until today, it retained its title as the movie making capital anywhere else in the world, even topping New York City. It is also the venue where most of the award ceremonies in the movie scene and movie premieres are held like that of the Dolby Theatre and the all-time favorite, Academy Awards. Film production takes place all around such as that of Pretty Woman, Sister Act, Taken and many others who have topped the Box Office year after year. The famous Hollywood Sign also serves as your highlight and background during this tour.
Not only is Hollywood the center for movies, it has also been the center of the music scene. One of Los Angeles’ landmark named as The Capitol Records Tower was the first ever established record label that sprung on the west coast. During the tour, you will also get the chance to come close to Hollywood Bowl which is likewise the venue for various music events held every year. You will surely be star-struck here!
The Trolley Tour is the best way for you to experience entertainment at its best not only because of the current events that you may witness but also due to its rich history wherein everything from modern performing arts emanated from. Apart from the places, you will also be thrilled of how the weather in California is. It’s sunny and you will have a comfortable seat within the trolley as you ride through the city in the shaded and openly structured vehicle for you to get a better glimpse at the sights and sounds of LA. The guide that will assist you during the tour is also a fun and knowledgeable person from where you will learn how rich in history each landmark you will pass through is. It is most definitely not one experience you would want to miss! While you’re at it, make sure that you bring along your camera with you since you will pass through many attractive and fascinating landmarks or even Hollywood stars that you’d surely want to take a snap of.
So basically, this tour will take you to the Chinese Theater, Dolby Theater, The Hollywood Bowl, Capitol Records, Paramount Studios, Walk of Fame, Hollywood and Vine, Egyptian Theater, location of the Pretty Woman Apartment, The Pantages Theater, Old CBS, Fox and Warner Studios, Melrose Avenue, and finally, Holly Forever Cemetery.
Travel from TL Chinese Theater to Getty Museum (10:30AM-11AM) – Grab a snack from the many dining choices along the way before you start the tour at Getty Museum
Tour Rate: $50
Now, it’s time for you to visit one of Southern California’s must highly-valued museums and the most impressive among all, the J Paul Getty Museum. Touring here is just so convenient when you avail of this particular one (click link below) because it comprises of a round-trip transport by coach to the museum. Upon arrival, you will enjoy many more hours to explore the various collections presented here such as western paintings, drawings, and sculptures that has been around since the Middle Ages and some more recent ones. It is likewise the most visited museums in the United States of America making it a must-visit tourist destination.
While here, you will be able to tour the whole place from three to three and a half hours, whichever you prefer. It is located on top of a hill in Santa Monica Mountains giving the visitors a picturesque view of the Pacific Ocean and Los Angeles cityscape. The museum emerged out of the private collection of oil tycoon J Paul Getty and was later on opened to the public during the 1990s. It was likewise designed by the famous architect named Richard Meier. It was so beautifully articulated that it fused well with the natural environment and features skylights and many balconies and terraces where the tourists love to stand by and appreciate the views.
Inside the museum, you will discover vast collection of European drawings and paintings from medieval times, as mentioned, and that of the 19th century as well. There are even gorgeous illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, American and European photographs, and many more sculptures that will capture the hearts of the visitors that are fascinated by various kinds of art.
Another attractive feature within the property are its fountains and gardens. There is the 134,000 square feet Central Garden that is filled with tons of plant species. When you’ve had your fill of the scenery and all the art pieces, you will then have to board the coach, finally, for your return trip to Central Los Angeles.
Return To Days Inn Hollywood Universal Studios and Rest Until 7 in the evening
Upon Rest, Travel through Taxi from Days Inn Hollywood Universal Studios To Cicada Restaurant (7:00PM-7:18PM)
Since you’re quite exhausted from the day trips, maybe it’s time for you to grab some dinner, eh? Now, let me welcome you to Cicada Restaurant. It is an absolute delight to dine at this magnificent dining center. Initally, it was a department store having vintage Lalique doors. Everything inside the property is emanates with class and style. From the woodwork to the old drawers that were retained from where there once was a department store, it adds a touch of antiquity and more beauty to the scene.
The upstairs area of the restaurant is also very fascinating. The bar area is just to die for where you can just unwind and sip the finest of liquor that you can find in LA. There is a 1928 old elevator that will take you to the top wherein you will feel like you were actually back in the early times just hopping on to that antique device.
The restaurant offers fires, scallops, risotto, pistachios crème brulee and molten cake among others, excellent service and a dark and stormy atmosphere that makes it even more intriguing as a place to dine at.
When you’re done with dinner, you can stroll down the area and watch the city come alive as the lights of the moon and stars collide with the busy streets of the city that captured your hearts and interests.
Travel Back To Days Inn Universal Studios at any time you wish as you end the first day of your trip.
Day 2: Discover Hollywood
Travel through Taxi from Days Inn Universal Studios to Central Los Angeles (8:30AM-8:40AM)
Tour Rate: $65
When you think that sightseeing and meeting the celebrities (if you’re lucky) is over after the first day, then think again! Book this tour again for some comprehensive Grand LA Tour that will take you to the most famous landmarks of the city.
Your j at nine in the morning and ends at around mid-ten in the morning so it’s about an hour’s tour. You will be able to cruise along the Miracle Mile on this quick and exciting Segway Tour. While you’re at it, make sure to grab some snapshots on the museums found within the neighborhood like that of George C Page Museum at La Brea Tar Pits and Petersen Automotive Museum. You will also get a glimpse of the rich and famous lifestyles as you will see firsthand the ritzy mansions of Hancock Park and the offices of famous entertainment tycoons such as Variety, Spelling Productions and E! Entertainment Television. As mentioned, you might get lucky and spot some famous people around so make sure you’ve got a keen eye so you won’t miss the opportunity of taking a picture with or of them!
The tour starts at Central Los Angeles where you will be met by your guide and start your tour with a safety briefing and instruction session to make your travel more comfortable and free of trouble. Once you’re settled in your Segway, you will then have to follow your tour guide along the Miracle Mile which is a one and a half mile section of Wilshire Boulevards located at the center of Fairfax and Highland Avenues. Your guide will inform you of the various historical backgrounds of such places and all the other landmarks that you will pass through. You will also be given time to take snapshots of these incredible places so you could bring a piece of LA home with you when you’re vacation comes to an end.
Apart from the Miracle Mile, you will also get to see the Museum Row which is the home of the Petersen Automotive Museum, as mentioned earlier, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Craft and Folk Art Museum among others.
During the tour, there will be available complimentary bottled water and chips so your tummy wouldn’t complain while you’re having the time of your life on the tour. After having cruised the mentioned landmarks above, your tour will then end as you will be taken back to Central Los Angeles after an hour and a half’s tour.
Travel through Taxi from Central Los Angeles to Pitfire Pizza Company (10:30AM-10:45AM)
I bet your tummy is grumbling from hunger already? So, now it’s time for lunch. Come on down to the famous Pitfire Pizza Company. This dining restaurant has been available for seven years in the North Hollywood Arts District. Its owners David Sanfield and Paul Hibler finally decided to take the restaurant to another part of the city towards downtown. This Italian restaurant is located just by St. Vibiana’s Cathedral. Many locals and tourists alike swarm at the café in order to grab some thin-crust pizzas, hearty pastas and market-fresh salads that are to die for and are the ideal meals to interconnect a hectic day. During the evening on weekends, the busy customers subside and the place would turn into a more relaxing dining experience with the same kind of service as that of the day. When here, you may order at the county where you will get to choose from a board list the meals such as season specials and freshly-baked deserts that are ready to serve. You may also have the pleasure of choosing drinks such as fresh sangria and water lemonade, some wine and beer as well.
Be Ready for Pick-Up in Sunset Boulevard for Dearly Departed Tour (1:00PM-3:30PM)
Tour Rate: $48
Are you that one tourist that is fascinated with the very intriguing and famous scandals? Are you the type where you are interested in knowing the many tragedies and life stories of any Hollywood celebrity and their fall? Well then. This tour is the perfect information source for you. It is aimed at feeding the curiosities of every visitor with the life of Hollywood. You will be able to come along in the “Tomb Buggy” on Hollywood’s Tragical History Tour as you enjoy a revealing ride through the seedy underbelly of the City of Angels.
Roam Around Sunset Boulevard or Do Some Shopping (3:30PM-7:00PM)
Take A Walk To Cabo Cantina (Within Sunset Boulevard) for Dinner (7:30PM-9:00PM)
After all the shopping, sight-seeing and roaming around, now it’s time for dinner! Make your way to the Cabo Cantina. It is home to one of the Strip’s most popular happy hours because of its lively and fun atmosphere. This restaurant gives the guests various choices of Mexican food and also hosts a happy hour seven days a week. It is the perfect dining choice for those tourists that are on a tight budget (of course you wouldn’t want to spend any more after all that shopping) and those who prefer the laid back eating from the luxurious setting.
Travel through Taxi from Cabo Cantina to Days Inn Hollywood Universal Studios (9:00PM-9:41PM)
Day 3: More Than The Usual LA Experience
Now That we’re on the third and final day of touring in LA, we have definitely saved the best for last! First off, since today is going to be filled with adventure, adrenaline and excitement, let’s just stay in the hotel for some breakfast at nine in morning, eh? No need to travel. We’d do a lot more of that later… and in a very unusual way. That type of way that you will never forget for the rest of your life!
Now that your tummies and set and you’ve prepared yourself for a wild adventure, let’s start the extreme stuff for last huh?
Travel through Taxi from Days Inn Universal Studios to Carbon Beach Malibu (10:30AM-11:30AM)
Do you know why you’re in one of the most famous beach properties anywhere in the world and where the rich and famous actually live? Well, you’re here because you’re going to have the time of your life exploring Los Angeles by flying! Yep, you heard me! Flying.
Tour Rate: $140
Take a thrilling trip over at Malibu, California with this tandem paragliding experience all wrapped into one tour. This tour will give you the pleasure of viewing Malibu hills and the calm blue waters of the Pacific Ocean during your motorized or non-motorized flight with a professional instructor to guide you. If you think paragliding is a dangerous activity, well, do not be nervous. There are safety equipment and safety briefings will be introduced to you so that you can have the absolute thrill of your life without having to worry about anything at all. Don’t miss the chance to get your hearts racing during your vacation and soar up like an eagle to take a gorgeous look of the City of Angels.
The tour would start at about 11:30 AM and ends after an hour or so. You will meet at Carbon Beach in Malibu or in Ojai, depending on the wind conditions, to start with this thrilling tandem paragliding adventure. Well, since you don’t get to hear the word “paragliding” more often, it is actually an activity wherein a paraglider, which is an inflatable wing made of nylon, will be used like your wings as the wind would allow a sensation of effortless soaring for you to enjoy the sky. This tour gives you the choice between a 20-minute motorized flight that takes off from Cabo Beach or that traditional way of paragliding for a 30-minute non-motorized flight that embarks from the top of a peak as you make your way down or through the many sides of Malibu.
Before you will be allowed to participate in the activity, you will first be given a ten-minute safety orientation wherein you will be strapped into the paraglider’s harness accompanied by your professional instructor. That pilot will then handle the mechanics so you can focus more on the sights up above the sky and succumb to its beauty. Some even get to bring along a camera to capture these rare and unforgettable moments that not everyone can ever get to experience so you better bring one! As the tour nears an end, you will then be taken back to Cabo Beach by your instructor.
Take A Walk Down to Carbon Beach Club Restaurant for Lunch (12:30PM-2:00PM)
Wow! That was an awesome experience now, was it? I bet your tummy was rumbling the whole time while you were flying high up in the air. Some say that adrenaline makes you neglect the feeling of hunger so, let’s have our lunch now, shall we? The Carbon Beach Club Restaurant is located also within the same location of the drop off point after the paragliding activity. It offers guests with California Coastal cuisines that are partnered with an elaborate list of hand-selected boutique wines that emanate from the Californian vineyards located in premier wine regions making it one of the best sips in town. Not only will the food be good, but the views as well. Imagine yourself having the delicious meals, crisp wines and having to look out the Pacific Ocean and just enjoy the breeze that you won’t get to feel touch your face. There’s even a tumbling surf below.
This restaurants boasts with a sun-kissed ambiance by the day but has a more romantic and classy feel to it by night. It was designed with a natural color shade, built with the signature dark wenge wood, surrounded by huge mirrors and exquisite picture windows.
It has been serving guests and tourists for about ten years or so and has been known for the excellent service. It is also the dome of Chef Victor Morales. The chef focuses on producing and serving California-driven cuisine with an emphasis of what’s fresh, local and seasonal. You, being a visitor, will most definitely feel the whole Los Angeles experience through their dishes. His expertise in the art of cooking are modern serving plates in a simple and clean manner. Every dish tells a different story as he believes that the essential part of the experience means preparing food for his guests where they could relate to! You would surely love to dine here!
Travel through Taxi from Carbon Beach Club Restaurant to Van Nuys Airport for Helicopter Tour (2:00PM-2:40PM)
Tour Rate: $299
If you think you’ve had enough of the skies, well, think again. I did say this day was going to be full adventure now, didn’t I? This exclusive forty-five minute helicopter tour takes you over the most famous and visited areas of Los Angeles. Since you’ve already toured the city by land, it would be such a thrilling experience if you get to see them from up high as a closing activity on your final day and reminisce on the days you’ve spent on those places, right?
On this tour, you will get to see the fabulous beaches of Santa Monica, the abodes of the famous celebrities of Hollywood, and of course, the very famous Hollywood Sign among others. You will also be offered a complimentary Champagne toast and a private mountain landing where you will be able to see the views of Malibu coastline as you’ve seen it during the paragliding experience which would be perfect for you if you were traveling with a special someone. It’s just the perfect activity to wrap up the Los Angeles trip, wouldn’t you say?
The wonderful thing about Los Angeles helicopter tours is that you can stop at places that can only be accessible by helicopter. It is truly an exclusive experience that not everybody has the pleasure of enjoying.
Your Los Angeles sightseeing helicopter flight will commence when you start soaring over iconic landmarks of the City of Angels including that of Universal Studios where you are currently staying at, the celebrity residences in Beverly Hills and Bel Air, and as mentioned, the famous Hollywood Sign and gorgeous beaches of Santa Monica.
Your flight would continue on to the Pacific Palisades for breathtaking views of the other parts of California coastline. Before your flight comes to an end, you will still continue on to the coast and land at an exclusive and isolated plateau where you will get magnificent views and more of Malibu. It is also the perfect spot to take pictures and remember this extraordinary experience that you had in Los Angeles.
Travel through Taxi from Van Nuys Airport to the Stinking Rose: A Garlic Restaurant (4:30Pm-5:00PM)
Well, since it’s about night time, it’s time for dinner, don’t you think? Travel down to The Stinking Rose where every Los Angeles locals and tourists alike love to eat and enjoy the sultry steaks flavored with garlic. The restaurant’s passion is the ingredient of garlic, as it is named after. When you’re here in Los Angeles, all you have to do is “follow your nose” to the smell of the spice and you will arrive to one of the best restaurants, the most unique among the rest, into the heart of The Stinking Rose.
It is names as The Stinking Rose because it’s the nickname of garlic, per say. The term was first reportedly established during the Roman and Greek times. You might ask, it’s clear why it’s called stinking because of the smell of garlic, but why rose, right? Well, since garlic is an allium which is a part of the Liliaceae family, the name rose would be fitting. Although it is closer to lilac than rose, the mystery why rose is the chosen name, would be a mystery that you wouldn’t be bothered to ever solve once you’ve had a taste of their heavenly steaks and garlic soups that will make you love Los Angeles more! It would be that type of dinner you’d want to cook yourself when you get home! That’s how tasty it is, so all in all, worth the bite!
Travel through Taxi from The Stinking Rose to Griffith Observatory (6:45PM-7:15PM)
Admission is Free of Charge
Now for the very last and very magnificent, of course, of all the landmarks in Los Angeles: The Griffith Observatory. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie Queen of the Damned? This place was actually featured in that movie. It comes to say that this place has been recognized as an icon of the city. It is likewise the leader in public astronomy, a favorite civic gathering place and also one of southern California’s most popular attractions.
It is situated on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park which I suppose you’ve recognized during your helicopter flight. It is about a thousand feet above sea level and may be seen from many parts of the Los Angeles Basin.
This establishment was first made possible by a bequest during the year 1919 by Griffith J. Griffith who was also the person who donated the land for the establishment of Griffith Park during the year 1896. It opened its doors to the public since May 14, 1935 and remained accessible until January 6, 2002 where it was then closed temporarily for the construction of its expansion. The newly established building then opened its doors for the second time to the public during the year 2006. More than seventy-five million people have wandered the place and were all astonished by its beauty for over eight decades. For sure, you would love to come here and enjoy every inch of the building.
While here, you will enjoy gazing at the stars and all the other elements under the sky through telescopes and observe how magnificent the city of Los Angeles is and all the other heavenly bodies above us that make the night sky shimmer beautifully. It is definitely that breathtaking experience that’s perfect to end the vacation.
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