- Travel and Places
Four Days in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is known as the Paradise City for many good reasons. Los Angeles is an extremely large county fragmented into many cities and is connected by an exhaustive network of freeways.
Traffic in Los Angeles is as predictable as weather in London, but on a good day you are only two hours away from the sparsely populated hill stations, snowy mountains, green fields and sunny beaches.
You may consider this article as your guide to visit Los Angeles in just four days. You need a valid driver’s license for a rental car with a working GPS navigation system. You can hire a taxi too, but it would be far more expensive.
Start with one of the finest museums in the US, that’s the Getty Museum. Its three beautiful buildings are divided according to eras and regions. There is a nice, short video you can watch as you enter the museum which makes your visit very easy. I must confess that I was too busy admiring the buildings and views from there. There is a gorgeous lawn here as well as an incredible view of the famed 405 Freeway. The museum’s collection is just amazing!
End your first day with a breathtaking, panoramic view of the entire country. Almost every wide-angle shot of Los Angeles which you see in movies is shot from here. There are plenty of scenic hikes that start from the observatory. I recommend an hour’s hike up from the observatory to the top of the mountain. Not only would you get a close view of the lit-up Hollywood sign, but also whet your appetite for the incredible Mexican and Japanese food that would follow.
If you have the after the trek, do drive through Hollywood Boulevard. It lies bare 15 minutes away from the observatory. You can also drive along the ‘Walk of Fame’ and make a quick stop at the Mann Chinese Theater for the quintessential Los Angeles tourist picture in front of yours favorite star’s palm and foot prints. Hollywood Boulevard is full of entertainers, last time I was there, Spiderman was climbing the lamp post, hanging upside down and asking women who passed by to kiss him. Just amazing!
Santa Monica Beach
Start with champagne brunch at Shutters on the beach. The waves are an arm’s length away and the view goes perfectly with the proper Californian cuisine. The mimosas are made with fresh orange juice and the French toast is well worth the calories.
Saunter down to the beach after heavy lunch; rent a bike or a pair of Rollerblades and head south on the bike lane towards Venice. The ocean breeze, clean sands and bikini-clad Californian women will take your breath for an hour and half ride as you head to an entirely different beach experience at the Venice Beach.
You could find a human statue, a Rollerblading guitarist (who’s been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live), and a gymnast and about half a dozen Michael Jackson’s all at one place over here. There is also a line of very interesting bars and shops.
Ride back to Santa Monica for a surfing or boogie-boarding lesson. For $60 you get an instructor, a board and also, a rentable costume.
Clean up in the public showers at the Santa Monica Pier in time for a sunset drive to Malibu on one of the world’s most favorite roads: Freeway 1 – The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). The highway goes all the way north up to Canada. You will find plenty of wonderful places to stop for a drink or bite to eat on the PCH. If you’re early I strongly recommend Geoffrey’s more for its incredible view and ambience than its food.
If you are left with some of your energy for the day, you can end the day at the Penthouse Bar on the top floor of the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica. The drinks at the bar are fancy, fun and the bartenders are always pleased to serve an adventures drinker!
This is a quaint and exciting ski resort for skiers of all skill sets (including first-timers). It is a hilly, scenic drive to a rustic, old American style ski destination. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and cookies by the fireplace at any ski lodge you find. Sign up for a skiing lesson for $30 per hour and rent skis for $30 per set. If you don’t want to ski, there are plenty of sightseeing and professional skiers who are always fascinating to watch. If you want to stay over, a decent lodge costs no more than $40 per weeknight.
By far the most important, the new Simpsons ride is entertaining for people of all ages. If you are a fan of the Hollywood movies, it is an experience you just can’t miss! An attraction to the people of all ages, the studio tour is fantastic and that’s worth the wait. You’ll go through a real, active sound stage and get to see the sets for a whole host of TV shows including Desperate Housewives, Friends and Dexter. It is $100 for a ‘front of the line’ pass. You only need it if you are going on a weekend, otherwise you can get a ticket for around $60.
If you have got some time:
As Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world, you could look out for film festivals or other special screenings at Hollywood’s Arclight Theater.
Drive to Idyllwild: About an hour’s drive away from the central Los Angeles, Idyllwild is a cute, quaint hill station that boasts of a feeble population of 150. There is a lot of Native American history and beautiful picnic spots in Idyllwild. It is the type of America you have probably never seen before!
Drive or fly to Las Vegas: This goes without saying. Las Vegas is just a four-hour drive away. Even if you don’t like gambling, alcohol and nightclubs, a trip to the west coast of America is not complete without a walk down the Las Vegas Boulevard.
Los Angeles Lakers and LA Dodgers: If you are fond of sports activity and are lucky enough to be in Los Angeles on a day either of these two teams are playing, make sure you experience being a Los Angeles fan.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and board the next flight to Los Angeles, the ‘City of Angels’!