The Los Angeles skyline from Griffith Park at sunset

The Los Angeles skyline from Griffith Park at sunset. (Photo: Getty Images)

Weekend Getaways

Soak Up SoCal Sun, Cuisine and Culture Over a Long Weekend in Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California, feels much more like hundreds of neighborhoods populating the same metro area than one, sprawling city. Each L.A. enclave — of which there are 400, when considering the entire county — has its own beating heart.

With that in mind, we’ve designed a 72-hour itinerary that allows you to take in three entirely different L.A. scenes. Start with the beach towns, move slightly inland to Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, and then tackle the Eastside gems. Here, your guide to L.A. in three days.

As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.

Friday: Hit the Beach, Boardwalk and Pier

Grab your distressed denim and bathing suit, because your first day in L.A. is all about those laid-back California beach vibes. Start in Venice Beach, where you can grab coffee or enjoy a sit-down breakfast at Gjusta — arguably one of the best bakeries in L.A. — or the Rose Venice, which can only be described as lavender-oat-milk-latte chic.

Spend your morning and early afternoon in Venice and Santa Monica, checking out a few iconic points of interest, including the Venice Beach Boardwalk, Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade. Not one for crowds? Skip the Venice and Santa Monica bustle and instead lay out in Playa del Rey, a locals’ beach where you can actually find parking.

While in Playa, grab lunch at Dockside, in a four-restos-in-one complex called Playa Provisions, where you can’t go wrong with West Coast oysters and shrimp-garnished Bloody Marys.

Shoreline at Manhattan Beach.
The shoreline at Manhattan Beach. (Photo: Getty Images)

For the remainder of your SoCal beach day, move south to the wonders of Manhattan Beach, the chicest of the L.A. beach towns. The pier is gorgeous, and you can walk along it with an ice cream from Manhattan Beach Creamery, taking in the surfers below. If you’re still in Manhattan Beach for dinner, treat yourself to an exceptional meal at MB Post or venture north to Santa Monica for dinner at Cassia (reservations are needed well in advance).

Saturday: Head for the (Beverly) Hills and Hit Up WeHo

Crowd on platform at The Getty Center in Brentwood California
A view from The Getty Center. (Photo: Getty Images)

Beverly Hills’ clout never fails to impress visitors and Angelenos alike. Start your morning at Urth Caffé, a classic BH spot for coffee and an avocado toast, or Nate ‘n Al’s, if you prefer L.A. deli fare, before walking the iconic Rodeo Drive and parallel Beverly Drive.

If you’re not into a morning of shopping, you’re just a 20-minute drive from two of L.A.’s best museums. There’s the Getty Center, a world-class complex devoted to the arts, which includes the museum itself, featuring Impressionist paintings by the likes of Degas and Renoir. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (or LACMA), a few miles southeast, offers a more modern approach to art, starting with the display directly in front of the building called “Urban Light.” The “forest of city street lights,” as LACMA calls it, is open to the general public from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Dip into West Hollywood for the afternoon to soak up the atmosphere on the Sunset Strip. Meander along Melrose Avenue — also a great place to shop! — and sip a pick-me-up coffee at Alfred. Next, head to the Farmers Market at the Grove, an iconic food hall, where you can grab lunch or just wander around, taking in the vendors. As your afternoon activity, go for a hike in star-studded Runyon Canyon, where celebrities have been known to hang out, or retreat back to your hotel to relax before dinner.

The dinner options between WeHo and Beverly Hills are endless — much like Sunset Boulevard feels after a day of exploration — but we’d recommend Matsuhisa if you’re looking for incredible sushi, the Honor Bar if you’re hoping for a revelatory fried chicken sandwich in a chic bar setting or Gucci Osteria if you’re keen on Massimo Bottura’s Michelin-starred fare.

Sunday: Visit East L.A.

Group of people smiling in Silver Lake Los Angeles
A scene from the Los Feliz neighborhood. (Photo: Getty Images)

On your Eastside L.A. day, start with coffee in Los Feliz at Maru. Get there early, as the Japanese-inspired coffee shop will have a line around the corner by 9 a.m. If it’s too packed, head to All Time for brunch — on the same street as Maru — or pop down to Hollywood Boulevard for coffee from Go Get ‘Em Tiger and breakfast tacos from Homestate.

After you’ve roamed the charming streets of Los Feliz Village, drive up to Griffith Observatory (also in Los Feliz, so it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to get there) and take in the observatory, the Hollywood Sign and a quick hike around Griffith Park.

For lunch, head downtown to Grand Central Market — chock-full of vendors selling everything from slow-cooked carnitas tacos to artisanal cheeses. GCM is truly a spectacle, and it’s right across the street from the iconic Angels Flight, a narrow-gauge funicular railway that’s worth the quick ascent for its views. From there, pay a visit to the Arts District, maybe stopping in to grab a michelada at Arts District Brewing Co. or a flight of wine at Pali Wine Co.

Stay downtown for dinner at LA Cha Cha Chá for incredible Mexico City-inspired rooftop dining, Bavel for upscale Mediterranean fare or Damian, chef Enrique Olvera’s West Coast response to Cosme, in New York City. Alternatively, head back in Los Feliz’s direction to Silver Lake for the evening, where you can enjoy drinks at the Black Cat on Sunset Boulevard, then pop across the street to Café Stella for a sultry French bistro vibe.

End your evening at the 24 Sky Lounge, atop DTLA’S JW Marriott Los Angeles, where the views are nearly as intoxicating as the signature cocktails.