Some of the links below are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission on the sale if you make a purchase. You can see my full disclosure policy here.
Welcome to Day One, the first in the series My Easy and Informative Guide to LA in Three Days! An exciting first day ahead! Ready to dive in? Me too!
But first, let’s recap in case you are just joining in and missed the introduction:
My Easy and Informative Guide to LA in Three Days: Intro: I lived in LA for 4 years and absolutely loved it there! My love for the City of Angels and my own recent 3 day LA trip inspired me to write this guide from my actual itinerary! I realize how overwhelming it is when you have so much to see in a city and very little time in which to do it!
Now we’re ready! Day One is exciting because it’s filled with all of the top things LA is known for! Hollywood, anyone?? Let’s go!
Breakfast at The Griddle Cafe
The Griddle Cafe, in my opinion, is the best place to grab breakfast in all of LA! They are only open for breakfast and lunch and they serve both all day long. They are famous for their giant portions and their very trendy Hollywood scene! Their very extensive menu consists of just about anything and everything one could want-even protein healthy breakfasts-and expounds to include fancy versions of the most basic of breakfast items!
The Griddle is most known for its gigantic, heavenly “Red Velvet” panCAKE! Notice the emphasis and spelling there? There’s a reason they spell it that way as you can see in the photo! The “Red Velvet” panCAKE is topped with swirls of cream cheese icing and it. is. FABULOUS! If you decide you must have more for later, you can get their “Red Velvet” panCAKE mix and make them at home! Also at the top of my list is the Creme de la Creme French Toast! It is a graham cracker crusted French toast with the cheesecake icing and well, if you love cheesecake, then get this! I also love the “Muscle Bound” Scramble! It is a scrambled egg white dish with tomatoes, spinach, green onions and your choice of meat such as the turkey maple sausage I went with! Yummy AND you walk away feeling healthy and proud of yourself! Options people!
The Griddle Cafe is open M-F 7a-4p, Sat/Sun 8a-4p and is located at 7916 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90046.
TIPS: You can find it at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. There is a parking lot (a rare treat in LA!) located behind the restaurant. During the week, it is free of charge to park. On Saturdays and Sundays, you can still park here, but there is an attendant and a fee. If at all possible, go during the week! The weekends are CRAZY and there will be a long wait! Sometimes there will be a small wait during the week if you go later. Always better to go earlier. This particular trip, we arrived at 8:45 and sat right down, but I have arrived between 8:30 and 9:00 a few times in the past and had to wait for a few minutes. Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for celebs! They do love and frequent this cafe!
Comprehensive Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Star Homes Tour
After breakfast, take a mid to late morning tour (we scheduled ours at 11:30am) with Starline Tours . Yes this is a touristy thing, but it is a great way to see a LOT of what you’ve always heard about in LA such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Dolby Theater (home of the Oscars, formerly the Kodak Theater), Chinese Theater, the Hollywood Hills, closeup views of the Hollywood sign, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, the Sunset strip, Bel Air, views of downtown and yes, star homes!
This quick 2 hour tour is decently priced in the $40 range for adults and $30 range for kids depending on how you book. Online booking is cheaper and easier! Tours leave conveniently every 1/2 hour starting at 9:30am until sunset! It even offers select hotel pick-ups! It’s a great way to get a good idea of places you might want to spend more time seeing should some free time open up later in your schedule! This tour will cross a lot off your bucket list and save you a lot of time to move on to other things!
TIPS: If you are driving on your own to the tour, you can park in the Hollywood and Highland parking structure which is located off Highland Avenue 1/2 block north of Hollywood Boulevard. If you reach the Loews Hollywood Hotel or Franklin Avenue, you have gone too far. Be sure to take your parking ticket with you to get it validated! They ask you to check in 30 min prior to your tour time at the Hollywood Terminal which is located at 6925 Hollywood Blvd (outside and to the right of the entrance into the Chinese Theater). This works out really well because then you have that time to look at all the handprints and footprints as well as the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!
Lunch at Sushi Koo
Next head to lunch at Sushi Koo in West Hollywood. It is a small hole-in-the-wall sushi place with some of the best sushi and the most friendly service around! They accept CASH ONLY and at only $3.50 per plate (excluding some of the special rolls) including tax, it’s a fantastic deal too! My favorites are the dynamite roll, the shrimp tempura california roll (both pictured above) and the salmon sashimi!
TIPS: Sushi Koo is located at 8474 West Third Street #106, Los Angeles, CA 90048. There is a tiny parking lot right outside of the restaurant with an attendant. It’s free to park here, but due to its size, parking is very limited. Arriving at 11:30am when it opens or 1:30p and after gets you a better chance at parking. If the lot is full, there is a parking deck right across the street or you can park at the Beverly Center and walk over. There is a fee to park in both of these, but the pro is you can do some shopping while there if you wish! Don’t forget they are CASH ONLY, but they do have an ATM machine. **If you don’t like sushi, there are plenty of other options right around the area!**
Next, head on down to the famous Venice Beach! Take in the views, soak up the rays, put your toes in the cold Pacific Ocean (if it’s the first time you’ve seen it), see the Venice Canals and walk the boardwalk while shopping or grabbing ice cream!
TIPS: There’s a public parking lot located at 2106-2108 Pacific Avenue (corner of Pacific Avenue and North Venice Boulevard), Venice, CA 90291. It is a cash pay lot and if there isn’t an attendant on duty, you must notice the number of the space you park in and put the cash in the corresponding number box at the pay station on the west end of the lot. Be sure to check out that famous Venice sign on Windward Avenue just west of Pacific Avenue! It’s lit up at night! Also, don’t forget to check out the Venice Canals!
Downtown Disney Village
After this, we drove to Anaheim to Downtown Disney Village for the 60th Diamond Anniversary Celebration of Disneyland! I had to grab 60th Diamond Anniversary blue Mickey ears to match my 50th Golden Anniversary gold Mickey ears I got while living in LA! Yes, I’m a big kid and you’re never too old for Disney! The 60th Diamond Anniversary Celebration continues until September 5, 2016!
If you want to explore the OC instead, check out this local’s guide to Orange County from my girl, Jamie!
While we were there, we grabbed dinner at the Rainforest Cafe! It is a neat experience if you’ve never been. It’s like your eating inside the jungle! Every so often, the lights dim and the animals come alive!
This is the Tropical Island Chicken Salad that I had and it was so yummy! It has mangos, strawberries, grapes, roasted pumpkin seeds and a honey-lime vinaigrette! I had mine with grilled shrimp because I usually prefer it over chicken! So good!
If this isn’t your thing or the celebration is over, there are several other options. You could stay and eat at one of the many cafes at Venice Beach and watch the sunset or drive further south along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) to see some of the other famous beaches such as Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach!
And just like that, Day One comes to a close! Having fun yet? Yes? That’s great because there’s much more to come! Coming next is My Easy and Informative Guide to LA in Three Days: Day Two and you won’t want to miss it! It is packed with fun things to do and includes relaxation LA style! 🙂
Also if you are just joining in, click My Easy and Informative Guide to LA in Three Days: Intro to get caught up!
Have you been to any of the places Day One covers? Have you been wanting to go to a specific location? Do you have a question about any of them? Drop me a comment, I love hearing from you!