Yay! We’ve made it to Day Three of My Easy and Informative Guide to LA in Three Days! This will complete a quick, but comprehensive tour of Los Angeles!
Let’s recap in case you are just joining in on the series:
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!
My Easy and Informative Guide to LA in Three Days: Day One: Complete itinerary that included Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach and Disneyland.
My Easy and Informative Guide to LA in Three Days: Day Two: Complete itinerary that included Burbank, Pasadena, downtown LA, and then a few evening recommendations.
Now here we are on the final day of our 3 day Los Angeles itinerary! I love the itinerary for day 3 because it has an eclectic collection of several unique things to do in Los Angeles! Here we go!
Once again, we opted for breakfast on-the-go because we knew we’d be eating a bigger lunch, but if you are wanting recommendations, try LA’s Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles! Another unique place with a lot of options. The closest location for today’s itinerary would be the one on Pico at 5006 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90019.
Urban Lights at LACMA
After breakfast, head on over to see the Urban Lights that are outside at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art! They are a collection of 202 restored cast iron antique street lamps and they have been featured in many movies and TV shows!
It is such a neat exhibit and a fabulous place for photos both during the daytime and at night! In fact, the Urban Lights are one of the most instagrammable spots in Los Angeles!
I will admit that the Rain Room exhibit was not originally on my itinerary. However, we had heard about it on the local news the night before and decided we HAD to try it out! The Rain Room is a really cool technology exhibit where they continually recycle the same 528 gallons of water to “rain” in a room with an accommodating set up. The technology senses when a human being is present therefore enabling people to walk through the rain and not get wet!
Unfortunately for us, tickets to the public had been sold out for a while, but they did have a few tickets for members of LACMA. It was a nominal fee to join for a year and I did so since I’m back in LA a good bit. We were able to get tickets for a time slot within the hour and it was such a cool experience! It is done in 15 minute time slots with 18-22 people. They allow just 7-8 people under the rain at any given time so that photos can be taken with more rain present. The more people in the rain, the less rain there is. This exhibit is a must-do if it is town while you are here and you are able to get tickets! Tickets on sale to the public go FAST! Click here for more information and to get updates on the Rain Room including ticket information!
TIPS: The Rain Room reopened July, 2016 and will be running at least through Nov 22, 2016. It closes periodically for conservation efforts and its next closing is Sept 6-23, 2016. LACMA informed me that they aren’t sure of its schedule after November, but that it comes to the museum periodically. Be sure to get email updates here so you don’t miss it!
Iota Brew Cafe
We got back on track with our itinerary for lunch at the Iota Brew Cafe in Koreatown. Great food, unique desserts and a friendly staff. If there was a con, I would say that the service was a little slow, but we weren’t in a huge hurry either. This is a quirky little cafe that has anything from salads, pizza, burgers and pasta to cakes and shaved ice and can make just about any kind of macaroon you want, any kind of coffee and has great indoor and outdoor spaces!
We ordered the caprese salad which I highly recommend and then tried the a macaroon ice cream sandwich and the Iota Cloud which I had been DYING to try!! Both are pictured above and did NOT disappoint! The macaroon ice cream sandwich (left) featured vanilla ice cream sandwiches between 2 plain, colored macaroons. The Iota Cloud is mochi ice cream, vanilla ice cream, fresh fruit, and macaroons all topped with a cloud of cotton candy! It doesn’t get any better than that!!
TIPS: Iota Brew Cafe is located in Koreatown at 528 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90020. There is a parking lot just south of the restaurant with a parking attendant and the cost is $2.
Hiking Mount Lee
(the Hollywood Sign Mountain)
So now you’ve figured out why, out of all that yummy food, we chose a salad and light dessert for lunch! Yep, we planned a hike! Now don’t worry, if you’re already saying “Hiking? No thanks!”, I have a great alternative listed below!
But hear me out here. This is a great way to get exercise AND see possibly the greatest views in all of LA. Why you ask? Because you are getting to view Los Angeles from ABOVE the Hollywood Sign! Also, it’s free and free is great right? Speaking of free, Travelling King has a great list of free things to do in Los Angeles!
Sadly, we did not complete the hike. It was supposed to be in the low 70s on the day we planned our hike and it turned out to be a whopping 86! Since the hike is unshaded, after a mile in, it was just too hot for
us me. So that will be another exciting post for another time! I highly recommend this hike, just at a cooler time or if you don’t mind somewhat foggier views earlier in the morning due to LA’s marine layer! But a great substitution to still see incredible views and get a fantastic view of the Hollywood Sign is:
The Griffith Observatory is a great place to take in panoramic views of Los Angeles and close up views of the Hollywood Sign as shown in the photo above! It’s also a planetarium and has live shows from time to time. Entrance to the grounds and the building is always free so coupled with the fantastic views, it makes it a very popular location! This is a great place to watch the sunset!
TIPS: The Observatory is located at 2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027. It is open from Tues-Fri 12 noon to 10pm and on Sat/Sun from 10am to 10pm. It is CLOSED on Mondays. There is a parking lot outside the observatory, but there is limited space and it is a long, winding, narrow drive to the top. Street parking along the way is first come, first serve, but I never like parking there just because it’s awkward to get in and out with the narrow roads and the line of traffic behind you. There is also limited parking available near the Greek Theater on the way to the Observatory. Just be sure there are no concerts going on when you go! 🙂 **NOTE: They did have a shuttle that would transport tourists from the Greek Theater to the Observatory, but it is not currently running. This is sad because I’ve taken it before and it’s very convenient. Hopefully it will be an option again soon! Keep checking here for the latest updates. If you find that it is up and running, please let me know in the comments below!
9/11 Memorial in Malibu
After you tear yourself away from the gorgeous views at the Observatory, head on over to Pepperdine University in Malibu to see Heroes Garden, the 9/11 Memorial and take in the gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean it offers. It was dedicated on 9/11/02, opened to the public on 9/11/03 and then rededicated on the 10th anniversary 9/11/11 as the Thomas E Burnett, Jr Heroes Garden to honor the Pepperdine Alum who was on United Flight 93 that fateful day. It is a sanctuary designed for quiet and calm and you can often find people praying, studying or taking photos. Please do be respectful if you visit!
TIPS: Pepperdine University is located at 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90263. If you do come from the Observatory, take Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood west all the way to the coast. This is a great scenic drive and keeps you off of an around the world freeway drive. Sunset takes you through West Hollywood known as “the Sunset Strip”, through Beverly Hills passing The Beverly Hills Hotel, through Bel Air, by UCLA, through Brentwood and into Pacific Palisades. Once you head in, take a right onto Highway 1 (known as PCH or Pacific Coast Highway) and drive up the coast taking in the gorgeous views. Once you get to the guard gate to get onto campus, tell them you are going to Heroes Garden and they will let you through. There is no charge. Do ask for directions to the top! There is a small parking lot right in front of the Memorial. Park there and if it’s full, be cognizant of parking signs around campus. If you want to eat dinner and watch the sunset this way, my recommendations are Moonshadows Malibu or Nobu Malibu!
The Santa Monica Experience
Now, head back south on PCH until you come into Santa Monica. Park the car and then enjoy the outdoor atmosphere that is Santa Monica. There’s the 3rd Street Promenade that has countless shopping and restaurant options.
Bruxie is located on the 3rd Street Promenade and is known for its cute little waffle sandwiches, including dessert waffle sandwiches! They also serve breakfast all day too!
The Original Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwich is excellent! The waffle itself isn’t sweet and it’s very fluffy and is only 250 calories! The Original comes with fried chicken and lettuce and is served with 100% Vermont pure maple syrup! It was served with a choice of fresh fruit, tomato soup or caesar salad and I went with fresh fruit! It is an indoor/outdoor cafe meaning there are places to sit in the cafe as well as outside, but there are no doors separating the inside from the outside areas. Really yummy food, very friendly service and a must try!
TIPS: Bruxie is located at 1412 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Park in one of the many public parking decks. Click here for a guide on the location of different decks and their pricing!
Santa Monica Pier
After you finish dinner, head on down to the water and take a stroll out onto the Pier or ride the ferris wheel and roller coaster in Pacific Park! Sometimes there are even special exhibits such as Cirque du Soleil shows under a big top in the parking lot!
TIPS: For further information for Pacific Park such as tickets and operating hours, click here. You can stay in the same parking lot you parked in for Bruxie or the Third Street Promenade! How easy is that?
Keep your eyes open. You never know who you are going to run into in LA!! This is me with Jay Leno onstage of the Tonight Show before the taping (but with a full audience!). Excuse the quality of the pic as they don’t allow personal cameras and they take the photos with polaroids. 😉
And there you have it, LA in three days! This concludes the post series and I hope it inspires you to travel to Los Angeles even if you don’t have a lot of time to spend there. It’s definitely a busy itinerary, but it’s a fun one and you hit almost all of the major LA tourist attractions in a short amount of time!
Let me know in the comments below if you go to Los Angeles and follow this itinerary! If you have already been to LA, I would LOVE to hear what your favorite thing is to do there!