The Los Angeles area is huge and four days isn’t enough to see everything in this large city, but this guide offers a great introduction to Los Angeles.
The schedule in this 4 days in Los Angeles itinerary is well-organized, taking you through different parts of the city. You’ll see major attractions like Hollywood Boulevard and Griffith Observatory, as well as beautiful places outside the city like Malibu.
Table of Contents
Day 1 – Hollywood Boulevard, Lake Hollywood Park, Griffith Park
For your 4-day stay in Los Angeles with a car and staying around Hollywood Boulevard, here’s a suggested plan:
After arriving in the morning, you’ll have the afternoon to explore. Start with Hollywood Boulevard. It’s the iconic cinema spot of Los Angeles, but there’s not much beyond that. Take a photo with a star and view the Hollywood Sign, which takes about 1.5 hours.
Then, drive to Lake Hollywood Park. It’s a park with a great view of the Hollywood Sign, perfect for photos. Taking Beachwood Dr gives you a better view on the way.
Next, head to Griffith Observatory, about 20 minutes away. The observatory offers panoramic views of Los Angeles and is a popular film location, like in “Terminator.” Taking a short 30-minute walk around the observatory is enjoyable. It’s also a perfect spot to watch a fabulous sunset!
For eating head to In-N-Out Burger: A well-known fast-food chain in Los Angeles and California, famous for its tasty burgers.
Day 2 – Melrose Avenue, Beverly Hills, Sunset Boulevard
On your second day in Los Angeles, start by visiting Melrose Avenue. It’s a unique area with a variety of shops and restaurants. Park nearby and explore on foot. This is also where you’ll find the famous street art of Colette Miller, featuring wings on a pink background.
After exploring Melrose, drive to Beverly Hills. The must-visit spots are Rodeo Drive, Beverly Gardens Park, Greystone Mansion, Spadena House, and of course, the luxurious houses. Driving or walking randomly through Beverly Hills offers a glimpse into its daily life and impressive architecture.
Some people also visit the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) to see the campus life, but that’s up to you.
End your day by driving along Sunset Boulevard back to Hollywood Boulevard. Even though you’ve seen it, you can grab a bite or enjoy a drink in a sports bar or other places in the area.
When it is time to eat, try The Griddle Cafe: This place is popular for its wide range of breakfast and lunch options available all day.
Day 3 – Santa Monica and Venice Beach
Discover Los Angeles by spending a day exploring the Santa Monica and Venice Beach areas. Start in Santa Monica, where you’ll find shops, a funfair, the end of Route 66, and a huge beach. It’s a great place to begin your adventure.
Next, head to Venice Beach via Ocean Front Walk, a road connecting Santa Monica and Venice. Along the way, you’ll encounter Muscle Beach, street vendors, artists, small eateries, a skatepark, basketball courts, and a Bohemian vibe. This area is unique and not the typical Los Angeles scene, so take in everything around you. You might see a man playing the djembe on skates, a girl skating with a walkman, and numerous skateboarders – that’s Venice! You can explore on foot, or rent a bike, skateboard, or rollerblade. What matters most is the ever-changing environment and the people you’ll see.
Venice is full of surprises. Make sure to explore the area and end your visit with the tranquil Venice Canals.
For some shopping, head to Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Take your time, relax, and enjoy the atmosphere. For a great dining experience head to 26 Beach Restaurant: This is a cozy spot with a bohemian vibe, perfect for a relaxed meal. Or if you prefer plant-based meals try The Butcher’s Daughter: a great vegan restaurant.
It’s a good idea to return to Santa Monica and stay in one of the hotels there, especially since you’ll be heading to Malibu from Santa Monica the next day. This will make your trip to Malibu more convenient.
Day 4 -Malibu
After spending time in the busy city, a road trip to Malibu along the Pacific Coast Highway is a great idea. Malibu is a suburb of Los Angeles, and having a rental car allows you to enjoy the trip at your own pace.
Start your journey from Santa Monica and head northwest towards Los Angeles. Your first stop should be the Malibu Pier, offering stunning views of Santa Monica Bay and the mountains. Nearby, you’ll find the beautiful Malibu Lagoon State Beach and Surfrider Beach, popular among surfing enthusiasts.
Close to Malibu Lagoon, there are several affordable restaurants and shops for dining. Another interesting spot is the Malibu Country Mart, known for celebrity sightings, as many celebrities own homes along the Malibu waterfront.
Continuing your trip, visit Zuma Beach, a great place for surfing. Next, El Matador Beach is a must-see for its stunning rock formations, cliffs, and caves.
Further along the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll come across Neptune’s Net, an iconic seafood restaurant known for its delicious offerings and unique atmosphere.
Your Malibu tour concludes when you reach Point Mugu. Located in a different county, Point Mugu marks the final point of interest on your road trip. Here, you can relax on the beach or explore the area through hiking. It’s a great spot to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty after your scenic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway.
When you’re in Malibu, consider stopping at Neptune’s Ne, to enjoy fresh catches, burgers & beer served at picnic tables overlooking the ocean. This restaurant is a classic and a must-visit spot on a Malibu road trip.
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST
The plan I’ve given you is very busy and doesn’t cover everything, but I included as many places as I could.
If you have extra time, there are more places you should see:
- California Science Center
- Paramount Pictures Studio Tour
- Hollywood Bowl
- Runyon Canyon Park
- Walt Disney Concert Hall
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
- The Broad
- Warner Bros. Studio
- Battleship USS Iowa Museu
- Petersen Automotive Museum
- The Grove & Original Farmers Market
- Sunset Strip
- Hollywood Sign
- La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
- Rodeo Drive
- Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Universal Studios Hollywood
- Getty Center
Top viewpoints in Los Angeles:
- Griffith Observatory
- Ascot Hills Park
- Hollywood Bowl Overlook
- Baldwin Hills Overlook
- Vista Hermosa Park
- Runaway Canyon Park
- Skyspace LA