The Best of Los Angeles in One Day

The Best of Los Angeles in One Day

We had one last day before our flight home, one car that didn’t need to be back till 7pm, two excited kids, 10 wonderfully sunny Californian hours and the city of LA. Here’s our itinerary of what we did and where we went in the time we had.

Long Beach

Silent settled haze on Long Beach

As we were travelling north from Dana Point we made a quick stop on our way to Hollywood at Long Beach.

Unfortunately, the haze we had woken up to in Dana Point was chasing us up the coast meaning we couldn’t see much of the beach or the views, so we made this a drive through tour.

What we did see was yoga on the big grassy verges that over look the beach, palm tree lined streets and boulevards into the centre of town, cruise ships docking, a welcoming looking Marnia Green Park, which is in walking distance to the aquarium, Pine Avenue Pier and the Pike Outlet.

You’re definitely not short on things to see here and we didn’t even drive through the centre of town!

Griffith Observatory

Highlight of the day, without a doubt

If you’ve seen the film La La Land then you’ll have seen the observatory.

I wasn’t expecting much from this stop other than to say that we had been there and seen it. However, what we actually got was plenty of things to do and see for us and the kids and all for free!

The observatory is free to enter and I would highly recommend having a look around with your children.

There is so much to explore we didn’t get to do it all before the parking ran out.

Our Little One loved discovering all about the sun, the stars and the moon with Daddy and the Baby Bum was fascinated by all the moving parts of the exhibits.

If you want to visit the planetarium you will have to buy tickets, but at $7 for adults and free for under 5s the whole place has been made really accessible for everyone.

You can also see the telescopes and from 7pm – 9pm members of the public can actually look through them and do a little star gazing.

The other thing I wasn’t expecting to see here was the Hollywood Sign!

This was penciled down as a different stop on our itinerary so I was pleased we could tick this one off at the same time.

We arrived here at lunch time, which was probably the busiest time to come as when we left about an hour later it was much quieter.

There is free parking at the bottom of the hill, but when we arrived this was closed forcing us up to the paid parking that was $6 an hour.

Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset and Beverly Hills

Mann’s Chinese Theatre

We saw Mann’s Chinese Theatre and the Dolby Theatre from the car. There was lots of traffic, but that meant we got time to take it all in at a slow crawl.

We did much the same for Sunset Boulevard and had a little nosey around Beverly Hills.

You can download maps online like this one, so you can create your own Beverly Hills tour and see some celebrity homes from the past and present.

The Original Farmers Market

Parking at the Farmers Market is expensive at $2 or $3 every 15 minutes, but you can get 90 minutes free parking if you can get your ticket validated.

This usually involves buying something, however, the shop I popped into was happy to validate without a purchase.

There were lots of food outlets and boutique shops that made for a pleasant hour walk around.

Reading about the history of the Gilmore family and the areas links to oil was really interesting and the Little One enjoyed the halloween displays around the market and we got some good pictures.

However, we were more worried about getting our ticket validated than actually spending time enjoying the market so we were happy to move on.

La Brea Tar Pits

We arrived here at about 4pm, which didn’t leave us much time to do this properly as the museum closed at 5pm.

The car park was $15 which was a bit expensive for the time we were going to spend there.

Instead we parked on 6th Street on a meter and then walked into the park. 

After finding the entrance to the park on 6th we walked in and had a little look around.

We all found it absolutely fascinating and because my husband so was enthralled by it the Little One was eager to follow suit.

We learnt all about the different types of prehistoric animals that had been found in the pits and it’s extraordinary how meticulously each bucket of tar/dirt is looked through!

We also couldn’t resist finding a long stick to have a poke about in the tar with. You can see why these animals never made it out, it’s pretty darn sticky!

We would easily come back here to spend more time exploring the Tar Pits properly.

Rodeo Drive

We didn’t manage this but we could have easily fit in a drive through visit.

However, the kids and my husband had had enough time in the car at this point, so instead, we headed to Denny’s for a burger and unlimited coffee before heading back to the airport. Can’t argue with the call for food!


Here’s out one day itinerary for Santa Monica and Venice Beach with kids

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Wow! Looks like a fun time! I’d love to visit LA one day!

    1. Its a great destination

  2. La Brea Tar Pits sounds like a fun place to visit with kids. I would like to see Rodeo Drive and Hollywood Blvd. if I get the chance to visit LA.

    1. There are definitely some amazing places to visit!

  3. Great post! I enjoyed reading how your kids’ perspective was different from the adults’ and what things sparked their interested and what didn’t. It’s so great that you got to experience that trip as a family! I’m sure your kids will look back on it with fond memories!

  4. Love Griffith Observatory! It really is a great place for kids, lots of things to learn. Also, there’s a short hike people can take around for some short nature adventure 🙂

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