If you’re traveling to the City of Angels soon, our 2 day itinerary maximizes the time you’re in the city! See dozens of iconic sights even in a 2 day weekend Los Angeles trip! It’s sure to be something you’ll remember forever!
Los Angeles is a bucket-list destination for so many people! While the city is spread out, you can see see so much in just a weekend! The main thing is to prioritize what you want to see. Our 2 day itinerary focuses on places couples or a group of friends may want to see over a family.
What’s the best time to visit Los Angeles?
Los Angeles has beautiful weather year-round. This makes it easy to pick a time to visit!
Typically, LA is busiest in the summer though. So, if you visit in May through August, you may pay more for your flights, rental car, and hotel.
My husband and I have been throughout the year multiple times, and we like the Fall the best if we had to pick.
Do you need a car?
Since LA is spread out, it’s best to have a car during your 2 day weekend Los Angeles trip.
You can always Uber or use public transportation. However – we don’t recommend it. Ubers are pricey due to surge pricing, and the public transportation is somewhat limited in regards to getting you to the main attractions quickly.
Is a 2 day weekend Los Angeles trip enough time?
If it’s your first time in Los Angeles, 2 days is a great way to see the highlights.
If you have more time, you could take a few day trips and see the surrounding areas. We love adding on Catalina Island, Santa Barbara, or Palm Springs to a longer trip.
How do I spend my weekend in Los Angeles?
This itinerary for couples or friends helps you see dozens of iconic sights in Hollywood and beyond in just a 2 day weekend Los Angeles trip!
The 2 day plan is prepared by location and proximity to the next stop. This will help you from wasting time (and gas).
Start the day with breakfast or coffee in Venice Beach. Both the Hinano Cafe or Candle Cafe & Grill are close and have great reviews, and there are probably a dozen coffee shops close to the beach.
From Venice Beach, it’s about a 10 minute drive to Abbot Kinney Boulevard. The area is full of great restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries.
If you’re into history (or just Venice Beach in general), you can also check out the Venice Canal Historic District. The man-made canals were created by Abbot Kinney, and thus, the boulevard was named after him. It’s a quick, but cool, stop if you have the time.
Next up is Beverly Hills! If you love seeing celebrities homes’, you could do a celebrity homes or Beverly Hills tour.
Since we were only in LA for the weekend, we chose to just drive around the iconic area. Roxbury Drive, Carolwood Drive, Bedford Drive, Crescent Drive and Benedict Canyon Drive all have amazing homes that are really unique and fun to see.
If you’re not into celebrity homes, you could enjoy a drink at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Cabana Cafe.
Every Pretty Woman fan knows about Rodeo Drive! The street packs some of the most iconic, high-end brands like Gucci, Cartier, and Tiffany & Co.
We’ve been warming you up for Hollywood! While it’s full of iconic spots you’ll want to see, also keep in mind it has plenty of novelty stores and different characters along the street as well.
We recommend seeing the TCL Chinese Theatre, Dolby Theatre, El Capitan Theatre, and finding your favorite starts on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
If you’re hungry, In-N-Out is also pretty close by on Sunset Boulevard. You can eat now, or there is also one over by The Grove and Farmer’s Market later on.
You may also like the The Hollywood Museum, and it’s close by!
You can either drive by the famous Hollywood Sign or actually hike up to it! There are three hikes you could do – Mt Hollywood Trail, the Brush Canyon Trail, or the Cahuenga Peak Trail. You can learn more about each hiking trail here.
If you’re not looking to hike, different tourism companies also offer horse/bake rides up there for around $100-150.
For us, we saw the sign by car. You can see it on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue in Hollywood!
Another spot to see the sign is the Griffith Observatory — our next stop!
The Griffith Observatory has amazing views of the Hollywood sign, and it’s very iconic as well. It’s been in dozens of movies including Rebel without a Cause and La La Land. It also offers public access to the telescope, star gazing, planetarium shows. (You’ll want to check their site for more details).
We went during the day — about sunset — but you could go after its dark, too, and take in star gazing.
Note: The Griffith Observatory is closed Monday-Thursday, but you can still see the views up there anytime of the week. You just won’t be able to go inside.
Also, while parking is free — it can be hard to get a spot!
Original Farmer’s Market & The Grove
The next stop is right next to one another — so you can park once and walk to both if you’re able, or there is a trolly that also runs and is free.
We love to have a meal at the Farmer’s Market!
There is a large cafeteria inside, and you can pick and choose what you’d like to eat! Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts is one of the best doughnuts I’ve ever had, and they have plenty of savory options inside as well.
You may also see a celeb or two in there!
The Grove is a massive outdoor mall with over 100 stores and a theater.
Urban Light Installation
Hop in the car to take a short drive to Chris Burden’s Urban Light installation outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Museum Row on Miracle Mile
If you enjoy museums, this will be your area! This area includes Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), La Brea Tar Pits / George C Page Museum, The Petersen Automotive Museum, Architecture and Design Museum (A+D Museum), and the Craft Contemporary.
You could easily spend a day just in the museums, but you’ll want to plan accordingly. Most of the museums close at 5, and a couple stay open until 8.
Hollywood Bowl (Optional)
If you love concerts or have time to plan your trip to be around a show, we highly recommend the Hollywood Bowl venue!
It’s so unique and unlike any other amphitheater we’ve been too!
Along with shows, they also offer a Take the Bowl Walk self-guided tour, food and wine, picnic options, and a museum. The Museum has been temporary closed at the time of this article though — so double check before deciding to go.
Hollywood Forever (Optional)
The Hollywood Forever cemetery offers live music and summer movie screenings. It’s a little weird being close to graves, but it’s also a cool and unique experience to go to an event there.
We went for a Day of the Dead event and really enjoyed it. In the picture above, you can even see the Hollywood sign in the background in between the palm trees!
Timing Everything in Day 1
While it’s completely possible to get in everything on the list in one day — it’s been done by me! — you may want to budget more or less time in areas depending on your interest.
Most of the museums close around 5 so keep that in mind when you’re planning.
If you’re looking for more museums you may also like the Getty Museum and/or The Broad, but these are not factored into this 2 day weekend in Los Angeles itinerary.
The Farmer’s Market is open until 8 or 9 depending on the night.
You can also always go to the Griffith Observatory later in the evening. It’s open until 10.
So while we liked the order of our plan, you can always rearrange it. Everything on Day 1 is pretty close together so you wouldn’t be backtracking much.
Day 2: Santa Monica
Take a scenic drive on the Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Monica.
The iconic Santa Monica Pier is just off the highway, overlooks the Pacific ocean, and offers an amusement park, aquarium, souvenir shops, arcade, and plenty of dining options.
The amusement park, Pacific Park, has a solar-powered ferris wheel and a dozen or so other rides. We love the ferris wheel option to take in the views, but it can be pricey. If you plan on riding a few things, a Pacific Park pass would be the best option.
If you like shopping, The 3rd Street Promenade is the place to be!
While it’s very similar to The Grove and The Original Farmer’s Market, it also has a different vibe to it and different stores.
Not into shopping? Have a beach day!
Santa Monica has a great beach, and the sunset is unmatched!
More Ideas for a 2 Day Weekend in L.A.
There are several other options you could do with a weekend in Los Angeles!
One of our favorite spots in Southern California didn’t make the list because of the time it takes to get there, but it’s well worth a trip to Catalina Island.
We’ve been to the island twice, and both times it has felt like going to a different country — or even back in time. The beach and water are absolutely gorgeous, and the island has been well maintained and preserved. It’s unlike anywhere we’ve been in the U.S.
If you have enough time, a night at the Hotel Vista Del Mar will seriously change your life or at least get you in a calm mood. It’s the perfect place for couples!
You can catch a ferry (or helicopter ride) to the Island on the Catalina Express. We’ve always gotten on the ferry in Long Beach.
Long Beach is a great little road trip from Los Angeles as well, and you have to try Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles if you go! It’s a staple.
Go to a Taping
Going to a live taping of a show can be a lot of fun! It can take a long time to get a TV episode filmed though, so we’d recommend planning a full day for the activity.
We recommend you choose a show from a list of what shows are being filmed in the area and need an audience before your trip.
Do a Tour
There are several great tours in Los Angeles! If you’re a movie buff, you may like one at Warner Bros, Sony, or Paramount.
You could also choose a walking tour to see some of the famous sites and Hollywood stars’ homes.
Does LA have theme parks?
Yes, LA has several theme parks. They include theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood. Universal just added 2 rides within the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, too!
If you’re looking for a roller coaster, Six Flags Magic Mountain is a better amusement park for you though.
Where are the Oscars held every year?
If you’re a movie fan, make sure to check out the Dolby Theatre (formerly the Kodak Theatre) where the Oscars have been held since 2002.
Just an evening? Check out Culver City
The area is really cool, and we love to get a drink at the Culver City Hotel. It’s such a unique place! It’s also a great place to experience the area like a local.
Before You Go….
Before you get on that plane, you have to go to Randy’s Donuts! It’s open 24-hours, and it’s so worth every bit of hassle and calorie.
The drive-thru does get packed, and the parking isn’t great, but man – it’s the best donut. (Sorry, Bob!) I love the Chocolate Raised the best.
We got some every time we’re in the city, and no 2 day Los Angeles itinerary is complete without them!
And yes, I’ve packed them in my carry-on. They’re that good!