Los Angeles In A Hurry

What to do in Los Angeles if you are pressed for time? You know that the kids need to be back in school in 6 days and you want to see as much of the Los Angeles area as possible. We had two days to explore the city and, to be honest, I think we saw the best bits of LA in the time given…

Redondo and Hermosa Beaches

Redondo Beach

You can’t come to LA and not breathe in the Pacific ocean air and experience the beach life and the lifestyle that goes with it. We stayed at the beautiful Portofino and Marina Hotel at Redondo Beach, the beach where the famous Baywatch was filmed so many years ago. Redondo Beach and nearby Hermosa Beach are both very relaxed and quieter than the beaches further up. The best way to explore these is on a bike as the beaches are connected by miles of cycle paths where you can ride along the beautiful coastline, occasionally stopping in a cafe for a coffee or freshly squeezed orange juice.

Venice Beach and Santa Monica

Venice Beach

Venice Beach is a completely different beach. A 25 minute Uber ride from Redondo Beach and you are definitely entering a world with a different vibe. It is busy, more chaotic, the smell of cannabis permeates the air and you can see that this beach attracts completely different people. Luckily, you can quickly escape this place and walk 3 miles along the promenade towards Santa Monica Pier. It is a lovely walk and the promenade is busy with bikes, runners, pushchairs and skateboards. We visited on a Sunday and I am guessing it gets extra busy on a sunny weekend. We did not explore Santa Monica Pier itself as it was packed with visitors, instead we felt very brave and caught the Metro (a bus) towards the city centre to get the shuttle to the Griffith Observatory. In hind side, we would have got an Uber again as we did not realise how BIG LA is and how long it takes to get to places, especially on public transport. So do UBER…

Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

I do believe coming to the Observatory is a must when visiting Los Angeles. It has everything… the stunning architecture, the beautiful views and obviously the famous Hollywood sign. The place has recently been made extra famous by the film La La Land. The best way to get there is by LADOT bus which runs every 35 min and only costs 50cents per person. The journey is not long but the weekend traffic can get quite heavy as there is only one winding road going to the top. We were extremely lucky to get to the top just in time for the sunset. The views were absolutely amazing. From the Hollywood sign on the right, past the Pacific ocean, Beverly Hills, Downtown and towards the mountain range on the left. Simply stunning, especially with the sun going down…

The Observatory itself dates back to 19th century. It has free admission and offers demonstrations, exhibitions and a show in the Planetarium.

Playing Tourists

As I mentioned above, Los Angeles is a massive city and unlike Rome or London, it cannot be seen in its whole glory by foot. I would definitely recommend using the Hop On Hop Off bus where you can choose a few routes to take you round the city or the beaches. It is not too expensive and it gives you an opportunity to see an incredible amount of sights in 24 hours. We chose the red route which starts at the Dolby Theatre, goes along Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills, The Farmer’s Market and back to the Walk of Fame and Chinese Theatre. The whole route takes 2 hours but obviously you can hop off any time you want. One piece of advice, there’s no bus stop signs as such so if you don’t know where the bus stops, you might struggle to find the right spot…We spent quite a long time at the Walk of Fame and then hopped off in Beverly Hills to walk down Rodeo Drive. It was really worth it.

Walk of Fame

L.A. Done!

To sum up, you can definitely see the main sights of Los Angeles in 2 days. It does involve lots of walking but the sunny weather makes it all worth it and even makes you forget about jetlag. The city’s main tourist sights are busy, the same goes for Santa Monica Pier. Please bear in mind Los Angeles is really big so do use taxis or Uber which is cheaper to get you to places. Even better, keep away from the hustle and bustle of the city and its horrendous traffic and stay at one of the best beaches Redondo or Hermosa…

Please look at my L.A. video and see how much fun we had!