One Day in Los Angeles Itinerary – Top things to do in Los Angeles, California

one-day-in-los-angeles-california-itineraryLights, camera, action! Home to some of the worlds most well known film, fashion and music, Los Angeles is a destination that must be visited – even if just for a day. Whether you want to spend the day on one of the Golden States beautiful beaches or roam around the city’s trendy and gentrified downtown, LA has it all. Los Angeles is your favorite curated Instagram feed come to life.


Guest post by Angela Sterley


What’s the best time to visit Los Angeles?

Lucky for Angelenos and visitors alike, the weather is warm and sunny year-round. The summer months can become overly hot and crowded but autumn and spring create perfect temperatures and less of a tourist crowd. Winter rarely drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit during the day so though it may not be ideal for lounging on the beach it is still comfortable weather for a day of sight-seeing. If you plan to make a stop at Downtowns LA Live or stroll along the Walk of Fame in Hollywood it is recommended to check the award ceremony schedule to avoid attraction closures.

Los Angeles Union Station
Los Angeles, Author: Kārlis Dambrāns, Source: Flickr


What’s good to know about Los Angeles?

Many main attractions such as the Walk of Fame and L.A. Live are not located within walking distance of each other. Los Angeles has a metro system between many of the main attractions and ride-share apps such as Uber and Lyft are commonly used throughout the city. Though Los Angeles was a city built for cars it is still easy to get around without renting one. Don’t worry about the weather, there is an average of 284 sunny days of the year in the City of Angels so your stay will likely be under the warm California sun.


One Day in Los Angeles Itinerary

Top things to do in Los Angeles, California


Santa Monica

Start your morning at the end of Route 66 on the famous Santa Monica Pier. Take a stroll past the musicians and vendors or jump on the roller coaster in Pacific Park if you are feeling like a morning adrenaline rush. After taking in the coastal views head up to the Third Street Promenade for endless shopping or take a moment to take in the sunshine on the beach.

Los Angeles Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica Beach, Author: eGuide Travel, Source: Flickr


Venice Beach

Rent a bike in Santa Monica and ride down the beach walk to Venice Beach. The boardwalk is lined with street performers, artists, restaurants, and shops. Venice is a haven for the artists of Southern California and attracts unique visitors from all around the world. A round-trip ride from Santa Monica with a walk down the Venice boardwalk will likely take approximately 2 hours.

Los Angeles Venice Beach
Venice Beach, Author: Abir Anwar, Source: Flickr



After a morning on the coast hop on the Metro Expo Line in Santa Monica to Downtown LA.

Grab lunch at one of the many incredible downtown restaurants or accompany your meal with a drink at The Upstairs Bar on the rooftop of the Ace Hotel or at Perch if you are searching for a trendy hang out with city views. Downtowns food scene includes indulging favorites such as the Mexican-fusion restaurant B.S. Taqueria and french restaurant and bakery Bottega Louie.

Los Angeles Downtown
Downtown Concert Hall, Author: Angela Sterley



Avoid the notorious Los Angeles traffic and ride the Metro Red Line to Hollywood Highland. This drops you off directly at the Walk of Fame and Hollywood Highland complex which boasts views of the Hollywood sign, downtown, and numerous shops, restaurants, and attractions.

Los Angeles Hollywood Sign
Hollywood Sign, Author: Celsim Junior, Source: Flickr


West Hollywood/Beverly Hills

After getting your fix walking along the stars take an Uber over to one (or all) of the iconic L.A. streets. Window-shop and spot Lamborghinis on Rodeo Drive, hunt through the vintage shops on Melrose, or throwback to the 1980s rock scene on the Sunset Strip. But first, get your caffeine fix at the trendy cafe Alfred on Melrose. Eat among the stars and end your L.A. excursion dining in one of the many upscale West Hollywood restaurants.

Los Angeles Rodeo Drive
Los Angeles Rodeo Drive, Author: Marika Bortolami, Source: Flickr


Some extra tips for visiting Los Angeles?

Be aware that if you choose to take a picture with the movie characters walking around on Hollywood Blvd. they will expect you to pay them.

Downtown LA is located next to Skid Row – which is one of the United State’s largest homeless populations. Though it is completely safe to walk around in downtown it is best to stay between Figueroa St. and Los Angeles St. to avoid ending up in a dangerous situation.

Street vendors and food trucks are a great way to try great LA cuisine for cheap. Most are cash only – come prepared!

Skip the sightseeing vans in Hollywood. There are so many things to do in Los Angeles and it is not worth it to spend hours driving near celebrity houses that are often not even placed accurately.

If you want to blend in with the locals it is best to dress for the seasons. Though the city certainly does not require a winter coat, Angelenos will be wearing cold-weather clothing in the autumn and winter no matter the temperature.


Guest post by Angela Sterley


Find your accommodation in Los Angeles

In case you have more than just one day in Los Angeles, check out Tripadvisor for detailed list of all the top things to do in Los Angeles.


Find the Best Hotel Deals in Los Angeles

Cheap Flights to Los Angeles

Get Los Angeles Lonely Planet Guide



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Angela Sterley
Angela Sterley

Angela owns the travel and lifestyle blog Destination Drifter. Coming from a background in fashion she covers how to explore the world in style, location itineraries, and travel inspiration.

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One comment

  1. I really appreciate these tips as I’m coming in a week and hope to have one day to see what I want to see. I hope it’s possible! Santa Monica pier, walk of fame, are just two of the things I want to see. The food choices are going to be overwhelming! I dont have a lot of money to spend on food.

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