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Itineraries for Your Trip to Los Angeles

Los Angeles locals share their perfect days.
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3 Days in Los Angeles for Families

Curated by Elisa ParhadAngeleno author of a Los Angeles and SoCal travel guide.

It's no secret that Los Angeles is a great place for family fun. There are theme park attractions, of course, but also lush parks to explore, beaches to play on, and fascinating pop culture history to experience. The city's vastness (a whopping 500 square miles) is part of its intrigue, but that can also mean traffic, timing issues, and an overwhelming list of to-dos.

To get the best out of your visit, don't even try to see it all—you can't! Instead, focus on specific areas or neighborhoods for each day of your visit.

Nights can get surprisingly cool, even in summer, so bring a light jacket.

If you only have time for one thing, make it the beach for a taste of the city's true vibe.

Day 1

You may have heard the lyrics, "nobody walks in LA," but it is a great hiking city, and you'll have a great view atop Mt. Hollywood. You'll also knock off two attractions on the way: Griffith Observatory (free entry) and the Hollywood sign.

Head down to Hollywood, a place more known for its mindset than its reality. Instead of struggling with what to see, take a tour. I also suggest making time for a movie at El Capitan Theater, an old movie palace on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with pre-show live performances.

Day 2

While the marine layer burns off along the coast, spend the morning at the Aquarium of the Pacific. See sharks swim in tanks, touch starfish in the feel tank, and ponder the penguin waddle. Afterwards, I like to drive along the Palos Verdes Peninsula for cliff top ocean views.

Head north from Long Beach to Santa Monica, where you'll get a real feel for the laid-back, beachy vibe for which Los Angeles is known. Play in the sand, swim in the waves, and take a bike ride to explore the boardwalk to breeze through Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and Muscle Beach.

Day 3

You don't want to leave Los Angeles without seeing some movie-making magic. Head to Warner Brothers Studio for a tour of the iconic backlot where shows like "Friends" and "Big Bang Theory" were filmed, along with countless movies. If you are looking for a full day of movie-making fun, try Universal Studios.

Head to Los Angeles's Eastside, where you'll find Dodger Stadium and the trendy Silver Lake and Echo Park neighborhoods. I suggest taking Sunset Boulevard there. Enjoy eclectic shops, great food, and a swan boat ride with a great view to Downtown in Echo Park Lake.

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