City of Angels, The Big Orange, Tinseltown – LA is a city with plenty of nicknames. It might be a cliché, but there’s no city quite like LA. It’s where we kickstart our California Calling tour and there are a whole load of extra activities to do if you arrive early. Check out our guide on how to spend a day in LA.
Starting your day
LA is a sprawling city and there’s no one ‘perfect’ spot to be based. Personally, we like staying in Hollywood best. There are plenty of places to grab breakfast in the Hollywood area. If you fancy something ‘classic American’ then head over to The Waffle American diner, if you’re a veggie then Friends & Family is ideal or if you want a coffee and something light then check out Bolt EaHo.
Head over to Griffith Park for the perfect first activity. It’s a huge park – beautiful, sunny and plenty of greenery. We like to think this makes a good spot to weigh up your jet lag and decide how intense you want your day to be.
Spend some time lying on the grass and decide whether you want to just relax there all day. If you want a little bit more then wander up to the Griffith Observatory or if you’re an animal fan then head across the park to the Los Angeles Zoo.
If you find yourself with more energy than expected, then book a taxi (we’d recommend Uber) and get exploring the city!
Check out film scene sites
Without getting too meta, as well as being the home to Hollywood studios, there are plenty of films set in LA. The most famous example in recent years would probably be La-la Land but its history goes way back. Drive, A Star Is Born, Pulp Fiction, and LA Confidential are just a few of the iconic films set – and filmed – in the city.
For the likes of La-la Land you can tick off some fantastic tourist attractions at the same time as seeing film settings. Visit Griffiths Park Observatory and take a ride on the Angels Flight railway car. If you’re a real film lover then you can go on a proper hunt. Take a trip to the famous pawn-shop from Pulp Fiction, visit the (somehow romantic) grocery store from A Star is Born or grab a drink at The Frolic Room from La Confidential. For help on finding these, here’s a great list with further details.
Watch some comedy
LA has some of the best comedy clubs in the USA and they’re a safe bet if you want to end your day on a high. The Comedy Store is the most famous and you can often get in for just $10. If you can’t get in – or just don’t like the look of it – then Sunset Strip has plenty of other comedy bars to choose from. The Laugh Factory and Jetpack Comedy Show are two other safe bets.
After some laughs (and a few drinks if you’re over 21) then we recommend heading back to bed for a good night’s sleep before the trip starts! If you somehow find yourself full of energy, then check out the bars lined along the famous Sunset Strip!