How to spend 24 hours in Los Angeles

Published October 3rd, 2012

Most USA flights from Australia land at LAX in Los Angeles. Depending on your itinerary, you may only have a few hours or just one day to spend in LA before you venture off to your next travel destination. But never fear, we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve to help you make the most of your time in Los Angeles. Our best advice? Hire a car and get moving!

7:30 – Wake up sleepy head. Los Angeles is a city made for mornings. Where joggers run along South Beach and celebrities are out in force to get their morning coffees. For you, we recommend heading seaside. Hire a car and drive to Manhattan Beach for a swim followed by a beachside breakfast session at the popular Uncle Bill’s Pancake House.

Venice Beach, Los Angeles

Beachside in LA


9:00 – Work off those breakfast calories the LA way with a bike ride along the South Bay Bicycle Trail that runs from Wills Rogers to Torrance. Hire a bike and choose the trail that runs along Santa Monica where you can watch local surfers do their thing as well as spy whales and dolphins.


10:00 – After your ride, jump back in the car and drive through the well to do suburb of Brentwood to visit the Paul Getty Museum. The museum is one of LA’s shining beacons of high culture, housing works of art by Monet, Rembrandt and van Gogh as well as international exhibits.


12:00 – From Brenton, get back in the car and head to Beverly Hills for a cruise down Rodeo Drive. You might not be able to afford much in the stores, but they are still worth browsing. Plus you never know which famous face you may bump in to. For lunch, head further along to Wilshire Boulevard to Wilshire Restaurant for some fancy organic dining (but don’t worry, the prices aren’t too expensive).


2:00 – For more shopping, head north to the famous Melrose Avenue where you’ll find some interesting and more affordable vintage stores and eclectic boutiques. Don’t miss cheap and cheerful vintage store SLOW as well as Urban Outfitters and A.P.C.

Hollywood, Los Angeles

Don't miss out on Hollywood


3:00 – Once you’ve gotten your shopping fix, seek out LA’s Hollywood side with a tour of a studio. While you might not have enough time to visit Universal Studios, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a taste for movie magic. Head north to Studio City and join a tour of Warner Brothers where you can see famous movie sets and TV shows in action.


5:30 – Head back to the coastline to watch the sun go down and the boats come in at Marina del Rey. Walk along the jetties to spy your dream super yacht or enjoy some happy hour cocktails at Shanghai Reds.


7:00 – When it comes to dinner, the sky’s the limit in LA. Depending on your budget you can head to a cool restaurant in West Hollywood, or opt for a cheap and cheerful Mexican meal at a local taqueria. For chilled dining, Fred’s 62 on Vermont Avenue is a 24-hour diner serving shakes, nachos, pastas and salads at fantastic prices.


9:00 – For pre-drinks, enjoy some no-frills beers and free pop-corn at Roost, a hipster hangout on Los Feliz Boulevard.


11:00 – Catch a live band at The Eco on Sunset Boulevard and stay after the show for a good old fashioned dance to the resident DJs.


1:00am or whenever it’s time to call it a night – Finish you day in LA with a pit-stop at the Brite Spot Family Restaurant where you can feast on greasy hash browns amongst a party vibe complete with resident DJ.


Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.