One of my favorite ways to prepare for long-term travel is to do mini practice vacations in nearby locations. The trip planning is the same as if I was coming from a foreign country. I read travel guides, research locations, purchase tickets, make reservations, and plan an itinerary. I pack my luggage identically to what I would carry for short or long term travel, one carry-on sized piece of luggage.
After my recent 4 day trip to Los Angeles I developed an itinerary based on what I was able to accomplish. I tweaked my to-do list tweaked and I removed the things I didn’t think were worth your time or that I wasn’t able to accomplish in one day. The locations in each day are grouped by proximity, making it easier to get to everything, but can be done in any order. I hope you enjoy!
Day 1: Northern Los Angeles
Otherwise known as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States. The art varies from ancient artifacts, Asian and Islamic art, to post-modern, modern and pop art.
Don’t miss the two iconic art installations located outside of the museum:
- Urban Light – A Los Angeles icon. Constructed from 202 refurbished street lamps. This exhibit is located just outside the ticket counter and main entrance. Check it out at night for an amazing spectacle of light.
- Levitated Mass – This sculpture is gigantic but easy to miss as it is located behind the museum out of view of the main entrance. The Mass consists of a 340 ton boulder perched precariously above a concrete trench, you can walk down the trench and stand under the gigantic boulder.
La Brea Tar Pits
Located adjacent to LACMA, the tar pits are the only active urban paleontological site in the United States. You can explore the tar pits for free but you will gain a much deeper understanding of the area by going in the Page Museum. Here you can explore the fossil lab or go on a free excavator tour, taking a deeper look into the lab and the excavations. You can purchase tickets here.
For an added bonus visit during the summer to watch paleontologists in action excavating Pit 91, which has been excavated on-and-off for over 40 years since 1915.
Come for the photo opportunity, stay for the…Pink Palace? While you are here you are going to want to take a selfie at one of the famous Beverly Hills signs.
The best locations for sign selfies and photos are:
- The Beverly Hills visitor center
9400 S. Santa Monica Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90210
- The Beverly Gardens Park
Santa Monica Blvd.
Between N. Beverly Drive and N. Canon Drive.
If you have time visit the Beverly Hills Hotel, established in 1912. With a price tag starting at over $600 a night you probably don’t want to stay here. Its ridiculous pink exterior and fabulous opulence will however lend itself to some great photo opportunities.
Shop in style and search for Hollywood start along Beverly Hills iconic Rodeo Drive.
Some must see photo opportunities:
- Iconic street sign on corner of Via Rodeo and Rodeo Drive can be found near the corner of Rodeo Dr. and Dayton Way.
- Barneys New York. Head two blocks west on Wilshire and snap some stunning photos of this stores amazing staircase.
OTHER LOS ANGELES DAY TRIPS: