If you happen to venture over to the Best Coast, aka West Coast, but you only have a weekend to explore and you are travelling with children, pay attention! There are lots of things to do and explore with the little ones in Los Angeles and beyond! Below is my guide to a Perfect Weekend in Los Angeles with Kids.
I recommend staying in Downtown Los Angeles in LA Live area, which is not only full of shopping, dinning and accommodation options, but is also situated in the middle of all the things you would want to see while staying in Los Angeles. Easy access from Downtown LA to and from LAX airport is an added bonus of this location!
Renting a car is essential if you want to see as much of Los Angeles and what it has to offer in just a weekend.
Day 1: Cultural Gems of Los Angeles and Hollywood Must-See Sights
Start your day by grabbing a quick breakfast at the hotel and get on the road.
Stop 1: The Getty Center (10am-noon)
The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049. Do not confuse Getty Center with Getty Villa located at 17985 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. The great thing about The Getty Center is that admission is always free and all you have to pay for is parking ($15 dollars per car). Getty Center offers lots to explore: architecture, art galleries, beautiful gardens and spectacular views of Los Angeles from high above. Find more information about visiting Getty Center here. Check out this helpful page for tips on how to make your visit to the museum educational and fun. Explore the beautiful museum for a couple of hours and get on your way towards iconic Rodeo Drive.
Stop 2: Walk around and have lunch at Rodeo Drive (1pm-2pm)
Iconic Rode Drive is a home to luxury shopping, fine dinning and celebrity sightings! Park (Enjoy 2-hour free parking at one of the many City of Beverly Hills operated lots on S. Beverly Drive, Brighton Way, Rexford Drive and N. Canon Drive) and walk from Wilshire Boulevard to South Santa Monica Boulevard to see Rodeo Drive’s Walk of Style. Check out House of Bijan – the world’s most expensive store and the custom Bugatti Veyron. Snap a photo next to the famous Rodeo Drive Street Sign and grab Lunch at one of the many delicious lunch spots around Rodeo Drive. Get back in the car and get ready for Hollywood!
Stop 3: Hollywood Walk of Fame, Madame Tussauds Wax Figures Museum, Chinese Theater (2:30 – 5pm)
Park in my favorite hidden gem of the Hollywood Walk of Fame – a small parking garage right next to 7083 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Walk down the Walk of Fame toward Madame Tussauds. Make sure to buy tickets ahead of time to skip the line and get the best price (adults start at $21 and kids under 2 go free! Buy tickets here)
Stop 4: Lake Hollywood Park for the Best View of the Hollywood Sign (5:30pm-6pm)
This place offers some of the best views of the Hollywood Sign, go to Lake Hollywood Park at 3204 Canyon Lake Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068 and snap that brag-worthy photo!
Stop 5: Watch Sunset at Griffith Observatory (get there before sunset at 7pm)
Not going to lie, the drive towards Griffith Observatory is not the most pleasant one as it is a very popular destination that is located in the middle of Hollywood hills. Drive all the way towards Griffith Observatory parking lot (which is free) and drop off the kids and mom/dad to spare them the walk uphill. If the lot is full or closed, do not get discouraged and just turn around and find a spot on the side of the road. Prepare yourself for having to park on a side of a hill and walk for a few minutes – trust me – the views will be well worth the little uphill walk for the driver!
Make sure to go up to the 2nd floor or rooftop of the Observatory for the most stunning views of the Downtown La and Hollywood hills at night.
Here is a music video that will totally inspire you for this drive!
Head back to your hotel for a well deserved rest!
Day 2: Beach Day – Venice & Malibu
Grab a quick breakfast at the hotel and hop in the car towards Venice Beach. This day will be full of beaches, ocean views and California livin’! Make sure you have comfortable beach shoes on, bring a towel and some snacks for the road.
Stop 1: Venice Beach Board (10am-noon)
Venice represents the essence of California beach culture. Park by Pacific Ave & Windward Ave and take a picture by a Venice sign, stare at body builders at Venice Muscle Beach, watch performers and all kinds of crazy folk down the Venice Bordwalk and take a walk around Venice Canals.
Follow this walking map for when you are in Venice:
Stop 2: Malibu Pier (1pm-2pm)
The drive itself is a treat! Enjoy beautiful coastline you drive down Highway 1 towards Malibu. Stop at Malibu Pier and grab late seafood brunch at one of the Cafes at the Pier. Enjoy the view of the bay!
Stop 3: El Matador State Beach (2:30pm-5pm)
This one of my favorite spots in all Southern California. A beach, easily accessible from Highway 1 and features amazing jagged rocks, caves and beautiful ocean views. Unfortunately, strollers can’t go there, so dads, prepare for a bit of heavy lifting. But it will be well worth it! Beach has a small dedicated paid parking lot, but if it is full, just park along Highway 1. Spend a few hours walking around and lounging around the beautiful beach.
Stop 4: Grab an ocean front dinner (5:30pm-7pm)
You can pick from many amazing oceanfront spots in Malibu like Duke’s Malibu, Gladstones or many more.
Optional Stop: Santa Monica Pier (8-9pm)
I personally avoid this place at all costs, but if you are visiting California for the first time and with children, it is a fun place to spend the evening.
Head back and rest those tired feet in your hotel.
Optional Stops: Downtown Los Angeles
- Disney Concert Hall
- The Broad Museum
Optional Stops: Near Hollywood, West Side
- Petersen Automotive Museum
- LACMA Lights
I hope you enjoyed this guide to a Perfect Weekend in Los Angeles with Kids. Comment, share and subscribe for more!