My husband and I took a trip recently for the first time to Los Angeles, California and it was a blast. We’ve been planning to visit for a while but never made the moves to take the trip. My husband is a Lebron James fan, so when he made a move to the Lakers, I knew this was the perfect time to visit since we wanted to visit Los Angeles. I planned our trip around attending the Lakers game and doing a ton of tourist things. Usually, when I travel for work, I’m not able to go off on my itinerary very often, so I knew with this being our first time, we wanted to try and hit the top must-see spots. We had three days in Los Angeles, and we wanted to make the most of our time so if you’re visiting Los Angeles anytime soon, here’s a quick guide for navigating 72 hours in Los Angeles.
Where To Stay
We stayed at the Intercontinental Downtown LA. This hotel was beautiful, and the views from the location were spectacular. We could see the Hollywood sign and other amazing views from the rooftop. We also were about 5 minutes from the Staples Arena which we attended a Lakers game on our first night. When I started to plan this trip our main reason for going was to attend our first Lakers game, see Lebron and experience the Staples Center. I didn’t know much about the area of where to stay in LA, but I knew with that being our primary reason of the trip, I decided to look up hotels in the area not far from the arena. I heard Downtown LA was a good central spot because it sat in the middle of everything and easy to get to a lot of the tourist attractions by car quickly.
Our room was a king suite, a spacious corner room complete with a king bed and double-aspect windows to provide an even grander view of Los Angeles. Situated on the 43rd floor, we had Hollywood views and stunning interior décor. The rooms were very spacious for just my husband and me, but if we had our son with us, we would have opted for one of their deluxe suits for sure.
What To Do
Day 1 we started with checking into our room, touring the hotel, and getting ready for the basketball game. We attended a Lakers Game at the Staples Center, and they played Golden State. A fantastic game to not only be able to see in the Staples Center but to also witness Golden State.
Day 2 we had a full day of activities planned to start with breakfast which I’ll share more below and then we went to view the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I thought this was an actual thing you go to and view, but they are situated throughout Hollywood on the sidewalks. You can tell who is the tourist and who are the locals because we were walking super slow trying to take pictures of the stars while people walk right over them. It was honestly hilarious to see. If you’re looking for a specific person’s star, you have to look them up and find out where they are located because it goes for miles. We looked up the few we wanted to see and found the streets they were on to make it easier.
Once we completed this, we decided to do a movie tour. I was going back and forth on what studio to pick, and we ultimately decided on Paramount Studios. Tour is offered by Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros, and a few more places. The Universal tour was on our list, but after reading reviews, we decided to pass since the tour is actually inside Universal Studios which we were just at a week or so before in Orlando. The Paramount tour did not disappoint. I loved that it wasn’t a large group of people and each tour is personalized. You’re given name badges and a personal tour guide who takes you through the Studio lot and sets to view areas where some of the most popular movies were made. We got a true behind the scenes look at props, sets, and as they call it Movie magic on how some things in our favorite movies are made such as Titanic and more. This tour is definitely worth the money and a must if you want to learn about behind the scenes of movies and tv shows.
Following the tour, we drove out to Rodeo Drive, followed by stops in West Hollywood, and finally finishing up at the Grove LA for the evening of shopping and dinner. The Grove is a popular fashion, shopping, dining and lifestyle destination with the best mix of retail, restaurants, and entertainment in Los Angeles.
Our final day in LA we wanted to venture out a bit, so we went to Santa Monica Pier which is very crowded and wasn’t my favorite, to be honest. It’s something great to say you went to see, but I wasn’t a fan of how crowded it was. We left there and went to Venice Beach and made a stop to see The Dunes which is a spot in one of our favorite shows by Issa Rae, Insecure. We got them just in time because as we were finishing up picks cars and cars of people were pulling up also to take pics and videos. The crazy thing is people live here, and I thought it was just for the show, so that was pretty cool to see this is a real place.
Where To Eat
Dekkadance: This restaurant is located inside the Intercontinental hotel, and it was our first meal once we got checked into the hotel. The drinks were incredible, and the food was delicious, A little on the pricey side but worth it. Add on the fantastic views you get while you eat because the restaurant is on the 73rd floor you can’t go wrong.
Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles: This was a must on our list because it’s a popular staple in LA. The wait was well worth it because the food did not disappoint. The menu had so many great options, but you can’t go and not get the chicken and waffles. The wait time was about 45 minutes but completely worth it and expected. When we were leaving the line to get in doubled so I suggest planning to eat here early in the am before starting your day.
Shake Shack: We have this in Atlanta, and it’s one of our favorite places to go to for burgers. We decided to make a stop here when we were on a time constraint, and we knew it would be hot, tasty, and not disappoint.
The Whisper Restaurant & Lounge: This restaurant is located in the Grove LA and is also a bit on the pricier side. After walking around and shopping, we decided to make a full evening out of being in the Grove and picked this restaurant. The menu has options for everyone, and the food was delicious. The staff was also accommodating and friendly, and there was no wait which was even better. This restaurant is perfect for a date night or girls’ night out, but with the low lights, music, and vibe of the place, I wouldn’t take my toddler to have dinner here. In my opinion, it’s not a family restaurant.
The Parlor Hollywood: On our last night, March Madness games were going on, and my husband and I love sports. We wanted to pick a place that was not only delicious but still pretty laid back that would have the games on, and we could chill. This location was perfect for this. When we walked in, we were completely thrown off because it was a huge watch party for the games. The crowd was our age, and everyone was super friendly. The staff was quick which is unusual when there is a crowded restaurant, and the food was delicious. This spot is perfect if you want to go somewhere to hang out with friends and eat. It’s located in the hip area of West Hollywood which we learned quickly while being this area is where a lot of millennial-aged people are hanging out in the city.
I hope this guide on what we did helps you plan your trip whether you’re going for a weekend or looking for ideas on what to do in Los Angeles. We are planning to visit again and take our son and check out the Disney park and Universal Studios there along with other family-friendly things to do in LA. Any suggestions? Let me know.