If you're staying for only 24 hours and want to pack in as much as possible, I recommend choosing one part of Los Angeles and really exploring it versus waiting in our infamous traffic for most of your day. Here's a great way to see the west side of Los Angeles in 24 hours.
Grab coffee and brekkie at La Grande Orange in Santa Monica. It has tasty food and quick service, and there is a stop for Starline's "Hop-on, Hop-off" double-decker bus one block away. Get a nice latte (Aussies will find this coffee is a little more like home) and a morning bun and catch the two-hour Yellow Loop for a ride over to Beverly Hills. You will experience LA with an open-air view from the top as you pass through Brentwood en route to Beverly Hills.
Get off at the Rodeo Drive stop to have lunch. I recommend Jack and Jill's of Beverly Hills if you have the family or just want somewhere casual. Feeling posh? For a true "ladies who lunch" experience head to Spago or the Beverly Hilton's restaurant, Circa 55.
If you're a clotheshorse, take your time here and definitely pop in Barneys New York on Wilshire. Since your time is limited, head to Beverly Boulevard to get find national retailers such as Gap, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, etc. If you have deep pockets, Rodeo Drive is for you.
After lunch and shopping, hop back on the bus and head back to Santa Monica and get off at the Pier. Take a moment to drink in the views and then rent a bike at Blazing Saddles and cruise south on the bike path to Venice Beach.
Now you have an option: either turn around and head back to Santa Monica or continue on to Marina del Rey to check out LA's boating culture. There are several dining options and I would recommend the Cheesecake Factory if you have kids or Shanghai Reds for harbour-view cocktails. The additional trek to Marina del Rey will add about 30 minutes onto your bike ride each way.
Head back to the Pier to drop your bikes and if you have kids, head to the 3rd Street Promenade.
No kids and just feel like a relaxed drink at a real dive? Stop by the rooftop at Santa Monica place, the new mall in town. Zengo has great city views and margaritas, while Sonoma Wine Garden has lovely outdoor seating. Just be careful not to get to spend happy after a few drinks with Bloomingdales and Nordstrom next door.
Have you tried any of the places on this itinerary? Got any ideas we haven't thought of? Have your say using the comments form, below.
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