Guides

Short getaways in Los Angeles – beaches, boutiques, art and architecture

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It’s impossible to see everything on a short getaway in Los Angeles, but you can squeeze in some fantastic experiences with a few nights in a Los Angeles hotel. Here’s an itinerary to help.

Los Angeles short getaway day one, morning

Pick up a rental car and start your Los Angeles short getaway in Old Town Pasadena. Grab a pastry from an outdoor café and browse the Colorado Boulevard boutiques and bookstores. Art lovers can stop in the Pacific Asia Museum to see its small but well-presented collection. The building itself is a work of art with a traditional Chinese courtyard and koi carp pond.

Start: Old Town Pasadena.

Nearest metro: Gold Line Memorial Park

Afternoon

As lunchtime nears, drive south down the oldest freeway in Los Angeles, the 110, or hop on the Gold Line and head to Chinatown. On weekends Angelenos will already be crowding the dim sum joints. Grab a table and point out what you want to eat as steaming carts wheel by. Just a little south is Olvera Street, the oldest part of the city. Wind your way through the colorful stalls hawking Mexican souvenirs. Some weekends you’ll find mariachi bands and Aztec dancers performing on the plaza stage.

Start: Chinatown.
Nearest metro: Gold Line Chinatown

Evening

A hop on the Red Line or a quick drive north on the 101 Freeway will take you to Hollywood & Highland. Choose from one of the chain restaurants in the complex or have an old-school Italian dinner at Miceli’s, where the waiters show you photos of themselves with celebrities before your spaghetti arrives. Top the evening off with a family movie at El Capitan, a Hollywood blockbuster at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre or art-house fare at the Egyptian Theatre.

Start: Hollywood & Highland.
Nearest metro: Red Line Hollywood & Highland

Los Angeles short getaway day two, morning

Start your day in style by window-shopping the upscale boutiques on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Alternately, the 40-minute Trolley Tour is a fun way to learn historic facts and trivia about the art, film and architectural highlights of this attractive little town.

Start: Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills.

Afternoon

Let the warm wind blow through your hair as you cruise down the Sunset Strip past the mega billboards and Bel-Air mansions to the Getty Museum. Van Gogh’s irises draw the crowds, but head outside to the brilliant gardens and the fabulous view of the ocean. If you time it right, you can watch the sun setting over the Pacific from your vantage point.

Start: Sunset Strip, Getty Museum.

Evening

Cruise west down Wilshire Blvd. When you taste the salty sea air, you’re in Santa Monica. Saunter along the Third Street Promenade and find a restaurant that catches your fancy. Head down to the pier for a ride on the Ferris wheel. Summer Thursdays have free rock concerts.

Start: Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica.