First off: Travelling to Los Angeles for only 72 hours is a bit mad! The city is huge and the traffic is crazy. But if you do plan to only stay for 72 hours, here’s what you cannot miss!
Top 5 things to do in Los Angeles
- Venice Beach: Get up early and watch surfers at Venice Beach
- In-N-Out Burgers: Grab a burger from the secret menu of In-N-Out Burgers
- Hollywood Hills: Drive up to the Hollywood Hills Lookout at sunrise
- Hiking in the city: Hike through the hills from the Griffith Observatory
- Santa Monica: Visit Santa Monica Pier in the afternoon until the sun sets
Early mornings at Venice Beach
Venice Beach is famous for so many reasons – and therefore it’s often quite crowded, especially in the heat of the summer months. If you want to experience the beach in a way that most locals do, go early in the morning!
You’ll pass by barefooted surfers walking from their Venice apartments directly to the beach and early birds walking their dogs, before the sunshine gets to intense.
?? Pro tip:
Bring your iced Chai Latte (or coffee) and a croissant or bagel and enjoy your breakfast at the beach while watching the surfers.
Eating a burger from the secret menu of In-N-Out Burgers
Well, yes – Los Angeles has an abundance of amazing restaurants. And yes, you should try all the different cuisines from all over the world. But there’s a reason why the lines at In-N-Out Burgers are always long. Make it a stopover while driving to the beach.
?? Pro tip:
Check the secret / not-so-secret menu before you go.
Our Veggie burgers (basically just – no meat… but still delicious).
A sunrise in the Hollywood Hills
Most people will go to the Hollywood Hills lookout spots in the evening to enjoy the sunset after a busy day exploring the city. That’s why it’s crowded that time of the day. And that’s why we urge you to get up early (the jet lag might help you with that) and catch a sunrise up there.
?? Pro tip:
Go to the Hollywood Bowl Overlook first and then to the Griffith Observatory after you watched the sunrise – it’s quite close-by.
Added bonus: You get to drive a bit of the famous Mulholland Drive.
Hiking the Hollywood Hills at the Griffith Observatory
Want to feel like a true Los Angeleno? Step into your jogging gear and go up to Griffith Observatory early morning for a little “hike”. You’ll meet a ton of people up there in the pre-opening hours of the observatory that use the grounds for some exercise. Think yoga groups, joggers, dog walkers – they all enjoy that Los Angeles has a bit of nature close-by. Hike around, take in the views and be part of the original vibe of the city!
?? Pro tip:
There’s free wifi at the observatory (even before opening hours!).
A true classic: Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier is one of the most iconic “monuments” of Los Angeles. You can’t leave the city without a visit. We went early in the morning, which made the Pier glimmer in the light of the low sun, but all the attractions were closed. So we would recommend going in the late afternoon and staying until the sun set.
?? Pro tip:
Also check out the area below the pier for some cool views of the ocean. And make sure to look out for dolphins – we saw one pass by directly under the pier!
Top 5 things to skip when in Los Angeles for only 72 hours
- The Walk of Fame: I know it’s tempting, but it isn’t really impressive (and it’s a construction site a lot of times), so skip it if you’re only in town for a short visit.
- Rodeo Drive Parking: Do not try to find a parking spot to visit Rodeo Drive, just drive through once to get a glimpse of the glamour. You don’t have to walk around there to get a peak into the high society’s life.
- Museums: Well, to be honest – they’re just too big and would eat up too much of your time during a short visit like this. Save it for a longer trip!
- Cheap Rental Cars: Do not save on your rental car. You’ll spend a lot of time in your car, so better get yourself a comfortable ride.
- Hotel food: It’s overprized and so not worth it. Better eat out or grab some takeout (for example in the area around Abbott Kinney).
More impressions from Los Angeles
Gucci on Rodeo Drive – you don’t have to walk in (unless you’re willing to buy something ;))
The only nice view we got of the Walk of Fame – probably our least favourite part of the city.
The famous light poles at LACMA
Our room at the Line Hotel in Korea Town
The famous Venice Canals – this is probably the nicest neighbourhood of the city…
Let us know in the comments what you love about Los Angeles (and what you would put in a must do list for 72 hours)!