After spending a whole month in LA, I never expected it to become one of my favourite cities in the world. There is a distinct energy within the city that you won't find anywhere else. People are easy going and have big personalities. No small talk or "weather" talk here. You can feel a sense of optimism and excitement among people hoping to catch their big break.
I wasn't sure if I would like Los Angeles. I was never one to fan girl over celebrities, except for a secret crush I had on grey-haired Richard Gere when I was 10 years old.
What caught me by surprise was how exciting it was to partake in Hollywood's celebrity culture. Dressing up and finding glamorous celebrity hot spots to hang out in became a fun game. The people watching is like nothing I had ever seen before. People dress up to stand out, not to blend in and it's fascinating to see.
Rather than doing touristy things like a TMZ celebrity bus tour, I wanted to create an itinerary with fun things to do that you would also see celebrities doing. To experience celebrity culture, not just peer from the outside.
Feel like a celebrity in our 2 Day Los Angeles itinerary. Your two days in Los Angeles will be filled with unique experiences that make the city so special.
Outline: 2 Days in LA
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Best time to travel to Los Angeles
The best time to travel to Los Angeles is in Spring (April-May) and Fall (September-November) for a few reasons:
- You will avoid crowds over summer and winter breaks
- You will avoid the coldest months of December - February
- You will avoid the rainiest months of January & February
These are the best months for pleasant weather and less crowds.
Top Tip: If you don't want to stick out like a tourist, dress accordingly to the season. That means no summery outfits like shorts during winter or colder shoulder seasons. It gets chilly during nights, so ensure to bring a jacket!
Best way to get around LA
Traffic in LA can be horrendous at times and people tend to drive a little fast and furious. Thanks to ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, you can take the pressure off driving and rely on a local to drive you.
Since you are in LA for a short period of time, we recommend using Uber/Lyft for longer distances and renting electric scooters or walking for shorter distances. You can easily kick around on an e-scooter by using Uber, Lyft or the Bird app. You will find scooters everywhere!
2 Day Los Angeles Itinerary with Celebrity Hot Spots
Day 1: A Day of Hollywood Glamour
Experience Hollywood's celebrity culture by spending time at fabulous places and by looking the part.
Start your morning with a hike to the Hollywood Sign
Let reality set in that you are in the movie capital of the world by going on a hike to no other than the famous Hollywood sign. Thanks to a local tip, we found an awesome hike that takes you to a viewpoint behind the letters as well as a lookout in front. It's a cool perspective from the top. Most people only hike underneath the letters, so it was nice doing a quieter trail.
The Route: Burbank Peak to Hollywood Sign to Upper Lake Hollywood Loop
8.2 km (5.1 miles) | 350m elevation gain | ~ 2.75 hours roundtrip
Take an Uber to the Wonder View Trailhead. If you are driving you can park on Lake Hollywood Drive. From the Wonder View Trailhead you will ascend behind the Hollywood Sign and then descend down Mt. Lee Dr. to a viewpoint in front of the sign. From there, you will walk through quiet residential streets while making your way back up to the Wonder View Trailhead.
If you're not driving, you can shorten the hike by calling an Uber once you get down to Deronda Dr.
Eat brunch at Cabana Cafe in the iconic Beverly Hills HotelThe Beverly Hills Hotel is one of the most fabulous hotels we've ever stayed at. It's where Liz Taylor had 6 of her 8 honeymoons and where Marylyn Monroe made Bungalow 1 her home away from home.
You don't have to stay at the hotel to partake in the fun. Their al-fresco cafe, Cabana Cafe, is open to non-hotel guests for breakfast and lunch. Just make sure you reserve a table far in advance. We saw online that we missed Hailey and Justin Bieber here by one day!
Shop for a glamorous outfit on Melrose Avenue
Give yourself the celebrity treatment by going on a shopping spree down Melrose Avenue. Your mission: to find a glamorous outfit for your evening out. You will find plenty of boutique shops and vintage stores down Melrose Ave, which runs from Beverly Hills to West Hollywood.
The shopping route:
Walk from Melrose Place to Melrose Avenue and continue east on Melrose Avenue.
Don't miss these shops:
Wasteland: this high-end vintage clothing store is what shopping dreams are made of. I was ecstatic when I found the hot pink Dolce and Gabbana dress Lindsay Lohan wore in the 2000s. There was a small mark on it, so it was only priced at $80 USD!
Wolf & Badger: chances are you've seen this cult-favourite brand online. Visit their retail location on Melrose Ave for sustainably-made women's clothing.
Violet Grey: for coveted skincare brands, like Augustinus Bader, Supergoop!, and La Mer.
Jonathan Adler: One of the funkiest home decor stores I've ever seen. Browse their selection of colourful contemporary pieces.
Melrose Trading Post: If you're shopping on a Sunday, consider yourself lucky! This is when the Melrose Market takes place. Tons of vendors set up in the Fairfax High School parking lot selling vintage clothing, antiques, accessories and local artisanal products. I bought a vintage pink coat and a faux-snake skin orange jacket.
Get done up on the Sunset Strip
Outfit. ✔️. Now it's time to get done up for your evening out on the town. Give yourself a break from doing your hair and get a blowout at drybar on Sunset Strip. It was mine (and Ari's!) first time getting one. Our hair was washed, blowdried and styled to our liking. It felt so soft and bouncy after! We are now hooked.
Afterwards I got a mani/pedi at Jessica The Clinic, a nail salon frequented by celebrities. It's just a one minute walk down the street from drybar. Across the street you can see the Oppenheim Group office from Selling Sunset.
If you have time, browse the incredible selection of high-end clothing from cutting-edge designers at H. Lorenzo. There is both a mens and women store on Sunset Boulevard.
Dine out in Hollywood
Some restaurants may have a lot of hype because of celebrity sightings, but the food is not worth the price. After spending a month in LA, we found restaurants that stood out not just for the ambience, but for the food as well. Choose from one of these six happening restaurants in Hollywood that have it all:
Nobu ($$$$): arguably LA's most famous celeb-filled restaurant chain. Getting a reservation in Malibu is almost impossible, but getting one in Hollywood is possible if done far enough in advance. The Japanese-Peruvian dishes are expensive, but excellent.
Osteria Mozza ($$$): earning itself one-michelin star, the Italian osteria serves handmade pastas and even has its own mozza bar. You can order al-la-carte rather than pre-fixe, which is a rarity for a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Mother Wolf ($$$): One of the buzziest restaurants in LA, Mother Wolf serves Roman-inspired cuisine, including traditional handmade pasta and pizza with the thinnest crust we've ever seen. Located on the ground floor of the art-deco Hollywood Citizen news building, the inside is swanky and opulent, but in a tasteful way. It's the perfect place to dress up.
Gigi's ($$$): one of the sexiest new spots in Hollywood. Sitting on a quiet street, the restaurant is anything but quiet with its trendy diners spilling outside onto the patio. The art-deco interior is dark and glamorous and the Californian-French fare is fresh. Chrissy Teigan and John Legend were recently spotted on a date night here.
Horses ($$$): Horses is one of the hardest restaurants to get a reservation at right now. The newly opened spot is in the former Hollywood watering hole, Ye Coach and Horses, and offers standout contemporary dishes and cocktails. It has a cool vibe, but is unpretentious with its friendly and passionate servers. You can't beat the ambience here.
Saffy's ($$). Saffy's is the newest spot from the owners of Bestia and Bavel (two of LA's best restaurants) serving Middle Eastern cuisine. We had our dinner reservation at 5:45pm and couldn't believe the whole restaurant was packed like it was peak hour. Saffy's surprisingly had the best people watching of the bunch. We ate on the happening outdoor terrace as we watched actor-types check in at the front. James Franco, his brother Dave Franco, and Alison Brie (Trudy from Mad Men) sat next to our table.
Day 2: A Day of Californian Sun & Entertainment
Soak in Californian vibes at the beach and finish the day with a dose of entertainment.
Refuel with a tasty brunch
After your night out, it's time to refuel with a tasty brunch. We have two options for you to choose from:
The first is at Chateau Marmont, an old Hollywood institution that has been hosting celebrities, artists and rockstars in its hotel for over 90 years. It's where Jim Morrison infamously injured himself falling off the roof/balcony and where Lindsay Lohan was banned after refusing to pay her $46,000 hotel bill. If only the walls could talk...
Like the Beverly Hills Hotel, you don't need to stay here to dine at their open-air restaurant, but you will have to email them or call to snag a reso. While dining we saw Action Bronson and Ian Somerhalder.
If you are feeling more of a casual bistro vibe outside of a hotel, another great option is Petit Tois. This intimate French bistro is a favourite among celebs for lunch and is famous for its decadent Big Mec burger with bordelaise sauce. We also ordered the French Onion soup which is the cheesiest and best we've ever had.
Relax at Venice Beach & play at the Santa Monica Pier
Take in the bohemian vibes at Venice Beach, a representation of LA's free-spirited side. Although it's becoming gentrified, the boardwalk along the Pacific Ocean, funky shops and street performers are a must see.
Start at Muscle Beach in Venice and work your way along the boardwalk to the Original Muscle Beach and Santa Monica Pier. The Original Muscle Beach is the beachside gym that started the US fitness boom in 1934.
Along the way be sure to pick a nice spot on the sandy beach to soak in the Californian sun and go for a swim in the ocean. Also save time for the retro ocean-front amusement park on Santa Monica Pier. Take a ride on the ferris wheel for gorgeous sunset views. The whole walk will take under an hour excluding stops.
Eat at Mel's Drive-in, a classic American diner
This evening is about the entertainment side of LA. After your day on the beach, make your way back to Sunset Boulevard to Mel's Drive-In, a classic diner chain dating back to 1947. The retro diner has all the comfort food you could ask for.
See stand-up comedy at the historic Comedy Store
Just a 6 minute walk away from Mel's Drive-in is The Comedy Store, an iconic comedy club in West Hollywood. Here you will find the best of stand-up comedy with a mix of emerging comedians, hot headliners and secret guests, like Chris Rock, trying out their latest material.
We loved the energetic atmosphere and couldn't stop laughing the whole show. If you've never been to a comedy show, we highly recommend it! Check out The Comedy Store's events online and purchase your tickets.
Finish the night off with drinks on the L.P. Rooftop
Finish off your night with a couple drinks overlooking Hollywood from the L.P. Rooftop. This walk-in only spot is one of the most happening rooftop bars in LA. There was a line when we arrived, but it moved fast.
Where to stay in LA
When choosing a hotel you will want to place importance on its location. LA is huge and traffic can be crazy when traveling from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. For this itinerary we recommend staying around Beverly Hills or West Hollywood. Avoid staying downtown since the time it will take to travel back and forth to Beverly Hills/Hollywood and Venice Beach is not worth it.
Our top hotel picks:
Best for an iconic Hollywood experience: The Beverly Hills Hotel ($$$$):To experience the best of Hollywood's celebrity culture, look no further than the legendary The Beverly Hills Hotel . It's an incredible experience staying here if you're up for the splurge. Pulling up to the front of the pink hotel feels like you're pulling up to a movie premiere with its red carpet and green and white striped ceiling that leads you inside. You're almost guaranteed to run into a celebrity. We saw Rebel Wilson!
The California-style rooms are plush and glamorous, but you won't want to stay in your room for long when you have access to the exclusive pool area that overlooks Cabana Cafe. We were brought to our striped pool loungers and assigned a friendly server who brought us refreshing cocktails and satisfying bites. Another perk is the concierge who can assist you in making hard-to-get dinner reservations. If you want to experience Hollywood's celebrity culture, this is the way to do it!Compare rates for The Beverly Hills Hotel.
Best for a chic escape: Petit Ermitage ($$$):Tucked away in the middle of West Hollywood, Petit Ermitage provides a bohemian-chic haven away from the bustling city. The antiques, artworks, and foliage give the hotel a unique atmosphere. Order a craft cocktail at the Butterfly Bar or lounge pool side at their rooftop sanctuary.
Compare rates for Petit Ermitage.
Best for design: The Prospect Hollywood ($$):
This boutique hotel combines old Hollywood glamour with colourful elegance. Each room was uniquely designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard who has styled mega-celebrity's homes, like Elton John and Cher. Its location is in the outskirts of Hollywood's best neighbourhoods, but they are easily reached in 10-15 minutes by car.Compare rates for The Prospect Hollywood.
See more Hollywood hotels on Booking.com. We like to sort by top reviewed.
Enjoy your fabulous two days in Los Angeles!
Start planning your trip to LA
- 🌃 Accommodation: Booking.com is our go-to for finding places to stay. Sort by top reviewed.
- 🛫 Book your flight: use Skyscanner to compare flights across different airlines (we recommend booking direct with the airline however).
- 🏥 Travel insurance: World Nomads. Already traveling? You can purchase insurance with World Nomads while you're abroad. A 48-hour waiting period just applies for coverage.
For a longer version of this itinerary, check out our fun-filled 5 Day LA itinerary.
Combine LA with a trip to Santa Barbara, a spirited city on the American Riviera known for its burgeoning wine and culinary scene:
If you want to get away from the big city, check out Los Alamos, a hidden gem nestled in the Santa Ynez mountains.
Save this 2 Day Los Angeles Itinerary for later: