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  • Writer's pictureEmma Kopang

24 Hours in LA

My first trip to LA was super short, and I only had one day to cover all of the fun things on my list (Pink's Hot Dogs, Griffith Observatory, Santa Monica Pier, etc.). I couldn't decide what to do or where to begin. After some serious deliberation and strategic Google mapping, we (we being me and my mom) were able to narrow down the list and spent the day taking in as much as we could. I made a list of our favorite spots and included all of the things you MUST do if you only have 24 hours in LA!

#1 Beverly Hills Hotel

The best way to start the day was at this iconic hotel, taking in the sights and delicious food. You can still make reservations to eat here if you aren't a guest, and you can even choose between a few different restaurants. If you are in a boujee mood and want the chance to spot a famous local, the Polo Lounge is for you. This dreamy courtyard offers live music, a three-course meal, and amazing service with a laid-back vibe. It is very pricy, (about $100 a plate) so keep that in mind before booking. If you are wanting a more instagrammable spot with delicious drinks and iconic pink Beverly Hills Hotel architecture, the poolside restaurant is the perfect spot (and much more affordable too!). This place was literally taken out of my dreams, with everything from fresh lemon trees to poolside hot pink cabanas. You can even get a coconut with the hotel's name monogrammed onto it! After lunch you can peruse the hotel and outdoor garden area, it is absolutely impossible to find an ugly spot. After you leave the hotel you can literally drive right onto sunset boulevard and take in the huge mansions lined on either side by swaying palm trees.

#2 The Hollywood Sign

While we didn't have enough time to hike up to the sign, we learned from some locals that the best place to take in the view of the sign is from the rooftop of the Home Depot on Sunset Boulevard. We were highly skeptical, but after taking the short drive there we were astonished by how right they were- you can see the whole sign against the dreamy backdrop of the Hollywood Hills without having to take the whole day to hike up to it. (Granted if you have time to actually hike up to it it would be way better, but this is good if you don't have the time) The sign lights up at night as well so you can see it any time. The actual address is 5600 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028.

#3 Walk of Fame

Although it was hard not to take a step without bumping into a celebrity impersonator, it was still really fun to see all of the stars and crazy wax museums along the walk of fame. I think its like a right of passage when you're visiting, and you should definitely stop by just to snap a photo or two of your favorite stars for the memory. You can also check out the handprints and footprints at the Grauman's Chinese Theater, and stroll around Hollywood and Highland. Its free (and not many things in LA are) so I would definitely take advantage!!

#4 Venice Beach

Venice Beach was California in a nut shell, and had everything from "enthusiastic" street performers to body builders lifting insane amounts of weights. We got some fried food from a stand and walked down the beach, taking in the interesting sights- and smells, unfortunately. If you don't mind the walk, you can go North on Venice all the way to the beautiful Santa Monica pier. After the beach, we window shopped at a few cool spots (they have a Show Me Your MuMu store so I died !!) and got Matcha Ice Cream at Cha Cha Matcha, the cutest health and beauty store ever. There's a great Mexican place by the water called Tocaya Organica with bomb tacos and bowls. As a true Texan girl I am picky when it comes to Mexican food, but I thought it offered fresh flavors and a soulful vibe, & I highly recommend it for a quick bite.


If you head further West, you can take in some culture at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and take a pic in front of Chris Burden's Urban Lights sculpture. The iconic piece has been featured in movies, TV shows, and just about everything else you can think of. It's a little challenging trying to get a good angel that didn't feature the arm or leg of another tourist walking through the sculpture, but once you find your shot you can capture something really special.

#5 Happy Hour at Second Home LA

As a perk of attending the Create & Cultivate LA 2020 Conference, we got to take a tour of the beautiful Second Home LA. This creative workspace & cultural venue offers a mix of beautiful office space and greenery to inspire its various occupants. It features 50,000 sq ft of garden & relies entirely on clean energy to keep it running. It is truly a hub of innovation and has the most amazing modern architecture I have ever seen! While you have to have a membership to gain access to private events and workspaces, there is a restaurant and bar open to the public called Andrew's Place. We enjoyed the most delicious drinks and apps, and got to check out the unique space for free. If you're looking for somewhere to get inspired and enjoy happy hour, look no further!

#6 Urth Cafe

We wanted to try some of LA's famous healthy and delicious eateries, so we checked out Urth Cafe for dinner. At this point in the evening we were BEAT, so we decided to get takeout and call it a night. While we waited for our food, we got to enjoy the cute outdoor patio area and mingle with a wide variety of cute fur babies accompanying their owners to dinner. It was the perfect end to a perfect day, and the food ended up being delicious! (I recommend the vegetarian chilli and Urth Salad highly! The fresh baked bread was also to die for)

While we didn't get to everything we wanted to, I can definitely say these were the highlights and should be checked out on your next trip to Cali. I hope this guide helps as a starting point when planning a trip, please feel free to leave a comment about you favorite spots to visit! I would love to find some new places for next time!

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