The insider’s guide to 24 hours in LA
By yogi, Caroline Høgh Groth
Los Angeles, the City of Angels, is an incredible place, but if it’s your first time here or you only have a short 24-hour stopover, it can be overwhelming even at the best of times.
When you think of LA, you may think about the enormous entertainment scene in movies and TV, the Hollywood sign and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, however, LA has some real gems if you decide to look further beyond the glitz and glamour – even if you only have one day!
As an avid Los Angeles lover, here are my tips as to how I’d get every bang for my buck on the experience front!
Flying in to town:
American Airlines has some great deals flying from Sydney to LAX – Sydney flights are normally the first ones to land in the morning at LAX (meaning; no queues!) so getting through customs is a breeze. I love that it’s a direct flight and it’s an ‘overnighter’ if you calculate in US time, so you rock up feeling fresh and awake, ready to take on the day!
Picking up a rental car is a great idea so it’s easier to duck around, but Uber’s are also a good, affordable choice.
It’s only a short 30-minute drive from LAX to Beverly Hills/West Hollywood where there are a multitude of nice hotels. It’s a great area to stay in as everything’s in close proximity to each other – especially if you don’t have a rental car.
If you need your coffee-fix, swing past Erewhon in Santa Monica and grab a Bulletproof Coffee – that should keep you going for the rest of the day!
My pick to stay is at The Four Seasons Beverly Hills – impeccable service, convenient and tranquil location, luxury beds (you can even pick your favourite pillows on their phone-app beforehand) and an even better pool and spa. Plus, they’ve got a top-equipped gym if you feel like breaking a sweat after sitting down on the plane for 14 hours!
Head on down to Culina at The Four Seasons for breakfast if you’re still waking up – they have a beautiful heated greenhouse-esque courtyard featuring a special ‘wellness-menu’ so you can keep on top of your health from the get-go.
If you want to venture out of the hotel, head over to Urth Caffé on Melrose for organic coffee and teas. Order a healthy breakfast like spinach & feta omelette, or avocado on toast if you’re missing home already(!) whilst people-watching on their outdoor patio.
Time to get that blood-circulation going after a long flight! Head to Runyon Canyon to break a sweat while you hike to the top. If anything, do it for the view that will greet you once you arrive at the very top. Overlooking the City of Los Angeles, the view is well worth the hike and is the perfect photo opp for that ‘I’m in LA, Baby!’-Insty pic.
Insider tip: park further away and walk to Runyon Canyon as it gets busy, very quickly and parking is limited.
LA has a multitude of great shopping options and particularly (my favourite) on the vintage/pre-loved front. Crossroads Trading is great for amazing finds if you’re on a budget – think J. Crew silk dresses and Marc Jacobs heels for $15!
If you’re there on a Sunday, visit Melrose Trading Post for the Fairfax Markets – this is on every Sunday at the community school, and you can find some invaluable gems whether it’s clothing, accessories, jewellery or even old records.
Tummy starting to growl after an intense hike and shopping session? No wonder!
One of my favourite places to go is to Wholefoods Markets for their delicious self-serve salad bars. If you fancy a more proper ‘sit-down’ lunch head to Paramount Coffee Project on Fairfax for a Noodle Salad with a macadamia-milk coffee and enjoy the Aussie banter from the staff. Delicious!
After all that hard work on the exercise and eating front, head to Tantris Yoga in WeHo for a relaxing afternoon class of Yin Yoga to clear your mind for any clutter it may have accumulated over the past many hours of whirlwind experiences. Freshen up afterwards with a blow-dry downstairs in the blow-bar and head straight to dinner!
Los Angeles is known for its cute outdoor patio areas for dinner and drinks, and most of them come with sparkling fairy lights, too.
Head to Gracias Madre on Melrose to experience extraordinarily, amazing Mexican vegan cuisine.
Compliment the meal with a freshly shaken margarita and cosy up next to the fireplace outside while taking in the spirit of LA.
Head back to the Four Seasons Beverly Hills and enjoy your night in a huge, comfy bed with your chosen pillow. The room will be ready for you on your arrival back with a turn-down service prior to your return. Could it be anymore perfect? I think not!
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