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Taking weekend trips to California is one of my favorite things to do. It is an easy flight from Dallas when I need a weekend getaway and a change of scenery.
During a previous trip to California, my partner and I stayed in Newport Beach and drove to Los Angeles to take a Warner Bros Studio Tour. We drove right back to Newport Beach afterward, so we weren’t in the city long.
Other than the one tour back in 2019, I had never spent time in Los Angeles until this trip.
We planned to spend a few days in Los Angeles to attend shows during the Netflix is a Joke: The Festival. It’s an event that brings the biggest names in comedy to LA for a two-week festival that takes place at different venues throughout the city. A few comedians don’t tour often, so we wanted to make the trip to attend their shows.
Los Angeles is known for being the center of the nation’s film and television industries. When someone mentions LA., you almost immediately envision the iconic Hollywood sign.
From shows, celebrities, concerts, nightlife, gorgeous Malibu beaches, bohemian free-spirited vibes in Venice Beach, and an amazing food scene in almost every neighborhood you visit, there are so many amazing reasons you should take a trip and spend a weekend in Los Angeles.
Here’s how to spend a weekend in Los Angeles.
The Best Time to Visit Los Angeles
The weather in Southern California seems to stay perfect all year round. U.S. Travel News states the best time to visit LA is between March and November. The summer months, June and July, attract the most tourists, so if you go during this time, you may experience larger crowds.
We visited in May and thought it was perfect!
Where to Stay in Los Angeles
We stayed at two different properties during our two-night stay in LA. You might have seen from my posts on Carmel by the Sea or Seattle just how much we love Hyatt hotels. Unsurprisingly, the two properties we stayed at during our weekend in LA were also Hyatt properties!
Night 1: Thompson Hollywood
This property is in the heart of Hollywood; you can see the Hollywood sign from their gorgeous rooftop pool. It’s close to several different attractions like the Dolby Theater, Griffith Observatory, Hollywood Bowl, and Melrose Avenue.
Night 2: The Shay
The Shay is in Culver City, just ten miles from Los Angeles. They have an amazing full-service restaurant and bar, Etta, by award-winning chef Danny Grant. This property also has a fun rooftop pool inspired by Miami and Palm Springs vibes.
Our Los Angeles Itinerary
Friday or Day 1:
- Take the first flight of the day and land at LAX before 9:00 am Pacific Time
- Grab breakfast at HomeState
HomeState specializes in breakfast tacos, queso, brisket, and house-made flour tortillas. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and breakfast tacos might be a top breakfast item if I had to rank breakfast foods. The founder, Briana Valdez, founded HomeState in LA to share her Texas identity through food. Their breakfast tacos are named after Texas rivers, so Todd and I felt right at home. I grew up on potato and egg burritos in the morning!
- Visit Go Get Em Tiger for coffee and tea
Located at: 4630 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
- Check into the Thompson Hollywood
- Visit Beverly Hills
There are so many things to do in Beverly Hills; my favorites are to drive on Rodeo Drive and visit the public art installation “Urban Light.” You might have seen it in the movies “No Strings Attached” and “Valentine’s Day.”
- Go to the Venice Beach Boardwalk
- Grab a coffee at Menotti’s
Located at: 56 Windward Ave, Venice, CA 90291
- Watch the skateboarders at Venice Beach Skatepark
My sister moved from Texas to California and became a skateboarder quickly after arriving. When in Rome, right? Watching the skaters as we drank our Menotti’s coffee was fun.
- Hike at Runyon Canyon Park
This park is 160 acres and located at the Eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains. They are open Monday-Sunday from sunrise to sunset.
- Go to the famous Greek Theater for a show
I immediately thought of the movie “Get Him to the Greek.”
Saturday or Day 2:
- Have breakfast at Republique Café Bakery
This was hands down my favorite meal of our entire trip! Republique is renowned for its pastries and breakfast. Even the building that houses the restaurant is epic. It was built in 1928 by Charlie Chaplin, and architect Roy Seldon Price designed it. All their menu items are delicious, but add traditional croissants to your order; you can never have too many!
- Get snacks at Erewhon Market
After seeing a million TikTok videos on celebrity smoothie recipes, we knew we had to go see what the hype was about. We grabbed snacks and drinks before hitting the road for Malibu.
- Have a picnic at El Matador Beach
This is one of the most popular beaches in Malibu for good reason. There is easy parking with a relaxed trail to go on and breathtaking views. I highly recommend the day trip from Los Angeles to El Matador Beach.
- Lunch at Duke’s
We went to Duke’s for lunch after having fruit and sparkling water on the beach. This was my first time having fish tacos. The tables overlook the ocean, and we even saw dolphins while we enjoyed our lunch.
- Switch Hotels to the Shay in Culver City
- Attend an event at The Wiltern Theater
- Have a late dinner at our hotel restaurant, Etta
Sunday or Day 3:
- Get coffee at Goodboybob Coffee Roasters
Located at: 1300 Highland Ave Unit 109, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
- Walk around Hermosa Beach
The Hermosa Beach Pier has been on my list for a while. I am attracted to scenic places to photograph and knew this would be the perfect location. Grabbing coffee at Goodboybob and watching the sunrise while you enjoy your morning caffeine is also fun. The movie La La Land filmed scenes here. Remember Ryan Gosling whistling the song City of Stars as he walked on the pier?
- Go to The Getty Museum
The Getty is a fabulous museum known for its architecture, gardens, and sweeping views of Los Angeles. You could easily spend all day here!
- Drive back to Manhattan Beach
Because our morning was so fabulous at Manhattan Beach, we wanted to explore it a bit more after visiting The Getty. We knew we had to head to the airport soon and wanted to spend a little more time. We had lunch at Nick’s, a popular California chain we visit in many different cities during our weekend trips. We’ve visited the Laguna Beach, Del Mar, and Pasadena locations. Highly recommend!
- Head to the airport for a late afternoon flight
There are so many things to do in LA. I feel like I have barely scratched the surface! It was fun to travel to LA for a specific reason, to attend events as part of the Netflix is a Joke Festival, but it also allowed me to mark some initial items off my bucket list.
While I’ve seen places like The Getty, the Greek Theater, and El Matador Beach online and on social media for years, it feels much better to see them in person and experience them myself. There are endless possibilities of things to do during a weekend in Los Angeles.
Leave a comment below and let me know if you have any favorite places in LA.