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Last Updated: June 9, 2020
First Published: August 30, 2016
LA in 3 Days: An Easy Intro Guide: I lived in LA for four years and absolutely adored 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!
LA in 3 Days: An Easy Day One Itinerary & Guide: Day One included popular attractions in Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach, and Disneyland.
Day Two includes fun tours, good eats, great sites, and relaxing downtime options! Ready? Let’s get to it!
LA in 3 Days: Day Two
We did breakfast on-the-go this morning, but if you are wanting recommendations, check out Swingers Diner. They have two locations in LA. The location I visit is in West Hollywood on Beverly Boulevard and the other is in Santa Monica on Broadway.
Tour Warner Brothers Studios
This is probably my favorite studio tour just because they produce so many popular TV shows and films and because there are a variety of backlots and soundstages to see. We scheduled a 10 am tour and you can click here to order your tickets online.
The moderately priced tickets are $69 for adults (includes children 13+) and $52 for children ages 8-12. Children under 8 are not permitted on the tour. I have done this tour several times and no two tours are exactly alike. You get to see the front lot, the backlot, the props department, a soundstage, and go on the set of a TV show not filming that day.
There’s also the Stage 48: Script to Screen which was new for me on my most recent visit. It walks you through the complete process of how a show or film is created. Cool experiences include ones such as the original Central Perk set from Friends where you can sit on that famous couch and have photos made!
You can also see the famous Malibu beach house set from Two And A Half Men and an interactive section where you can ride one of the bat pods from Batman or a broom from Harry Potter. Definitely a fun, comprehensive tour!
Related | If you are staying in the Hollywood area, here is a great option to combine a WB Studios Tour along with a Movie Stars’ Homes Tour!
TIPS: Click here for parking directions. I recommend scheduling this tour in the morning because it’s cooler and parking is more readily available (from spring to fall). Arrive 15 min before your scheduled tour time. Dress comfortably including footwear. Drinks are permitted on the tour and there are even drink holders on the tour carts. If you have the time and shows are filming, try to catch a taping! The tickets are free, but they must be gotten in advance. See show listings and ticket availability.
Lunch at Cafe 86 in Pasadena
After the WB Studios tour, we headed over to Pasadena since we were already in Burbank. Our first stop was for lunch in Old Town Pasadena at Cafe 86. We feasted on grilled cheese sandwiches, mango iced tea, and the Ube Leche Flan Cupcakes aka “purple crack cupcakes”. Oh my goodness, these are so yummy!
Cafe 86 is known for its many different coffees, teas, and desserts. They have a daily rotating menu so to get these yummy “purple crack cupcakes”, you must go on a Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday. These cupcakes are very moist and the flan on top takes them to another level! rder online that morning pay and select your pick-up time and get them to go!
TIPS: There is parking at the Park and Walk Garage located on West Green Street between Fair Oaks and S Raymond. For convenience, you can order online that morning, pay, and select your pick-up time.
Next, drive around Pasadena. I admit I’m partial to the area since I called this neighborhood home for four years. However, most people like Pasadena because you get out of the craziness of West LA where there are more trees and free parking lots.
A lot of filming goes on in Pasadena because you can find streets, houses and other locations that could be “any town USA”. It isn’t uncommon to see production trucks around the city.
Take some time to see a few things in the area. I recommend the following choices:
- Rose Bowl
- City Hall (with its beautiful dome)
- Pasadena Playhouse
- Lake Avenue shopping
- Pasadena Civic Auditorium (previously home to the People’s Choice Awards, Primetime Emmy Awards, and American Idol’s Hollywood Week)
- Colorado Boulevard (route of the famous Rose Bowl Parade)
- Huntington Library and Gardens (in nearby San Marino)
The Rose Bowl is just a beautiful stadium. It is home to the UCLA Bruins football team as well as “the granddaddy of them all”-the Rose Bowl which is traditionally played on New Year’s Day. On the second Sunday of each month, the stadium hosts one of the best flea markets in the world!
TIPS: The Rose Bowl is fairly difficult to get to and parking can be hard to come by. If you are just wanting to see the stadium, it is best viewed off to the right from the 210 Freeway headed WEST towards Glendale/Burbank. You can take a stadium tour. If you are attending a UCLA game, click here for info.
From here, you have several options. We took the 110 freeway south to downtown Los Angeles (passing Dodger Stadium on the way) and continued on to the 10 freeway west. This gives you a good view of the Staples Center which is home to the Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and many concerts.
As you drive the 10 freeway (Santa Monica Freeway) heading west, look to your right, and on a clear day, you can see the Hollywood Sign in the distance. Now would be a great time to go to The Grove and the Original Farmers Market which are located side by side at Fairfax between Beverly Blvd and 3rd Street. Here you can shop, grab authentic ethnic food at the Farmers Market or see the fountains and the trolley car.
TIPS: Keep your eyes open because celebs frequent The Grove!
We actually grabbed In-N-Out which is my absolute favorite hamburger place. It only has locations in six states (none close to me) so I try to get it whenever I visit one of those six. The Westwood location on Gayley Avenue is just off UCLA’s campus so we explored it first. I love driving through any time I’m in the area because it is absolutely gorgeous. It’s one of the few places where you can escape the busyness of the city. You would never know you were in LA while you’re tucked away back there!
TIPS: Be advised that parking for this In-N-Out is limited and the drive-thru is best. There usually is a (long) line but it moves quickly. You can even tell them if you want your meal for the car and they will arrange it in a little open box!
We ended the second night with a Thai massage at Thai Sabai in Westwood. Thai is my absolute favorite type of massage and it isn’t available where I live. So, you guessed it, I get one whenever I’m in LA and this time was no exception. Thai massage combines massage with stretching and is done on a comfortable mat vs a table. The prices are much better than traditional massage and the ladies at Thai Sabai do the best jobs ever. It’s the perfect way to end day two of your LA in three days itinerary!
TIPS: Call a few days ahead for an appointment if you have an exact day and time you are wanting. They accept walk-ins but occasionally can’t accommodate you. There is street parking available or take an Uber if you aren’t too far away.
Okay, that’s a wrap on Day Two. How was it? My highlights of this day are, of course, Pasadena and Thai Sabai!
Look for the final post in this LA in 3 Days series coming soon. And, if you are just joining in, click here to get started catching up! 😉
Have you been to any of these places or done any of these activities? If so, drop me a comment below and tell me about it! I love hearing from you!
‘Til next time…
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