3 Days in LA: An Easy Day One Itinerary & Guide

my easy and informative guide to LA in three days day one title photo sushi beverly hills hotel

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Last Updated: May 12, 2020
First Published: August 19, 2016

Welcome to Day One, the first in the series 3 Days in LA! I’m very excited to present this series about a city I previously called home. An exciting first day is ahead…are you ready to dive in? Me too. But first, let’s recap in case you are just joining in and missed out on the introduction:

3 Days in LA: An Easy Intro Guide: I lived in LA for four years and absolutely loved it there. My love for the City of Angels along with one of my own three-day LA trips 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 big city and very little time in which to do it!

Now you’re caught up and 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!

3 Days in LA: Day One

Breakfast at The Griddle Cafe

Interior shot of The Griddle Cafe sign painted on the wall Los Angeles California
The Griddle Cafe, in my opinion, is the best place to grab breakfast in all of Los Angeles. They are only open for breakfast and lunch and they serve both the entire time. 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!

Red Velvet panCAKE from The Griddle West Hollywood Los Angeles, California
Creme de la Creme French Toast from The Griddle in West Hollywood Los Angeles, California
Muscle Bound Scramble dish at The Griddle West Hollywood Los Angeles California

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 this is for you! 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!

TIPS: There is a parking lot (a rare treat in LA) located behind the restaurant. During the week, it is free but on the weekends there is an attendant and a fee. If at all possible, go during the week as the weekends are crazy. Earlier is always better. 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. Keep your eyes open for celebs!

Comprehensive Hollywood, Beverly Hills & Star Homes Tour

close up shot of the Hollywood Sign Los Angeles, California

After breakfast, take a mid to late morning (we scheduled ours at 11:30 am) Movie Stars’ Homes Tour. 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!

Beverly Hills park sign on Santa Monica Boulevard Los Angeles California

This quick two-hour tour is decently priced and conveniently leaves every half hour starting at 9:30 am until sunset. 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!

Two other fabulous options are the Los Angeles Hop On Hop Off and the LA Attractions Pass!

TIPS: Pick-up at select hotels offered. If you are driving on your own, you can park in the Hollywood and Highland parking structure which is located off Highland Avenue one-half block north of Hollywood Boulevard. If you reach the Loews Hollywood Hotel or Franklin Avenue, you have gone too far. Take your parking ticket with you for validation. Check-in is 30 minutes prior at the Hollywood Terminal which is located at 6925 Hollywood Blvd (outside and to the right of the Chinese Theater entrance). While waiting, you have time to look at all the handprints, footprints, and stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

Lunch at Sushi Koo

Dynamite Roll from Sushi Koo on Third Street Los Angeles, California
Shrimp Tempura California roll from Sushi Koo on Third Street Los Angeles California

Left: Dynamite Roll Right: Shrimp Tempura California Roll

After the tour, 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. With an average of $4-$4.50 per plate (excluding some of the special rolls) including tax, it’s a pretty good deal. My absolute favorite (and why eating here is a must every trip) is the Dynamite Roll. Other favorites include the Shrimp Tempura California Roll and the salmon sashimi!

TIPS: They accept CASH ONLY and have an ATM machine. There is a tiny parking lot right outside with an attendant. Parking is free but extremely limited. Arriving at 11:30 am (when it opens) or after 1:30 pm offers better parking chances. 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 but the pro is you can do some shopping while there if you wish. **If you don’t like sushi, there are plenty of other options right around the area.**

Venice Beach

Me looking out at the ocean on Venice Beach Los Angeles California

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!

Be sure to check out the famous Venice sign on Windward Avenue just west of Pacific Avenue. It’s lit up at night!

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.


Downtown Disney Village

Front view of my Golden 50th Anniversary and 60th Diamond Annivrsary Mickey ears hat Los Angeles California
View of the backs of my Golden 50th and 60th Diamond Anniversary Mickey Ears hats

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!

If you want to explore the OC instead, check out this local’s guide to Orange County from my girl, Jamie!

TIPS: While the Diamond Anniversary celebration has passed, you can still grab a pair of this year’s ears!

Rainforest Cafe

Cover of the Rainforest Cafe menu at Disney Village in Anaheim Los Angeles California

While we were there, we grabbed dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. If you’ve never been, it is a neat experience. It’s like your eating inside the jungle. Every so often, the lights dim and the animals come alive!

Tropical Island Chicken Salad from The Rainforest Cafe in Disney Village Anaheim Los Angeles California

This is the Tropical Island Chicken Salad that I had and it was quite yummy. It has mangos, strawberries, grapes, roasted pumpkin seeds, and a honey-lime vinaigrette. I ordered mine with grilled shrimp. So good!

More Options

If Downtown Disney isn’t your thing, there are several other options. You could stay and eat at one of the many cafes in 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 or Redondo Beach!

And, if you’re wondering where to stay in Los Angeles, one of my favorite places is The Beverly Hilton. Yes, it might sound familiar to you because it is the home of the Golden Globes!



First day of My Easy and Informative Guide to 3 days in LA. Day One takes you to the well-known tourist attractions in Los Angeles such as Hollywood! #losangeles #la #california #visitlosangeles #hollywood #travelguide #traveltips #itineraries #destinations #travel
First day of My Easy and Informative Guide to 3 days in LA. Day One takes you to the well-known tourist attractions in Los Angeles such as Hollywood! #losangeles #la #california #visitlosangeles #hollywood #travelguide #traveltips #itineraries #destinations #travel
First day of My Easy and Informative Guide to 3 days in LA. Day One takes you to the well-known tourist attractions in Los Angeles such as Hollywood! #losangeles #la #california #visitlosangeles #hollywood #travelguide #traveltips #itineraries #destinations #travel

And just like that, Day One comes to a close. Having fun yet? Yes? That’s great because there’s much more to come. Get ready for 3 Days in LA: An Easy Day Two Guide. 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, catch up to speed with the 3 Days in LA: An Easy Intro Guide 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!

‘Til next time…

Trimm Travels,


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