Here are some of our favorite places near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), where you can relax and get acquainted with L.A. or take one last look at the city before you head home.
NOTE: Hours and opening dates change frequently. Check individual websites for updated information.
Flight Path Learning Center
Located in the LAX Imperial Terminal, the Flight Path Museum & Learning Center (6661 West Imperial Highway, Los Angeles 90045) is an aviation museum and hands-on learning environment that's a great place to spend some time.
Exhibits include Commercial Aviation History with scale models and decades of artifacts; the history of LAX, Flight Crew Uniforms, the Flying Tigers, a DC-3 on loan from the California Science Center; and a retired ARFF (Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting) truck used at LAX.. The Space Exploration Exhibit spotlights the history and development of space flight. Serious aviation buffs might want to plan for some time in the Aviation Library, with its collection of aviation and aerospace books, technical manuals and other interesting publications.
The Flight Path Museum is free for members. General Admission is $5 and $3 for Seniors, Military, Children (age 12 and under) and Airline/Aerospace (badged). The museum is open on Saturday from noon to 4pm. Reservations recommended.
Double-Double & 18 Holes
For a quintessential Los Angeles experience, grab a bite and play a round. Right after you land or before you take off, it's an L.A. tradition to stop at the In-N-Out Burger (9149 S. Sepulveda Blvd., at 92nd St) next to the airport for favorites like a Double-Double Animal Style, chocolate shake and Animal Style french fries. Diners seated at the outside tables have an unparalleled view of the jets zooming overhead as they take off and land on the nearby runways.
Westchester Golf Course (6900 W. Manchester Ave., Los Angeles 90045) is an 18-hole, par-64 golf course and driving range located just north of LAX. This well-maintained course is lighted at night and is open daily until 10 p.m.
Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum
For classic car fans of all ages, the Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum (610 Lairport St., El Segundo 90245) is a must. The rotating collection features 130-plus antique, vintage and muscle cars. Sunday Car Rides are offered on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month from 10am to 3:30pm. During the ride, docents drive guests around the El Segundo neighborhood in one of three vintage automobiles. Rides are first-come, first-served and free with museum admission. Children under 4 feet are unable to ride due to safety restrictions.
The Zimmerman Automobile Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Suggested donation is $15 for Adults, $10 for Seniors, and $5 for Children (ages 11-17).
Venice Beach: The Boardwalk & Abbot Kinney
The world famous, pedestrian-friendly Venice Boardwalk is the place to be if you’re into people watching, alternative cultures or simply want to experience a vibe that doesn’t exist anywhere else. Palm readers, tarot card readers, sand sculptors, portrait artists and all manner of creative types expressing their individuality make Venice Beach a must-see.
Abbot Kinney is one of L.A.’s best streets for unique shopping, featuring local artists and designers in a mix of modern chic and old-school vintage. The shops here — many of which eat, sleep and breathe the Venice Beach spirit — feature top-notch artwork, furniture, jewelry and boutique clothing.
Marina del Rey
Located just minutes from LAX, Marina del Rey is home to one of the largest man-made, small boat harbors in the United States. Take a refreshing break from the bustling airport and walk around the marina and admire the boats. Burton W. Chace Park is another great place to relax and stroll around.
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
Sometimes you want to get outside and enjoy some fresh air before or after a flight. One of L.A.’s hidden gems, the family-friendly Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area (4100 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles 90056) is less than 10 miles from LAX and offers five miles of hiking trails, a lotus pond and plenty of scenic views. Open 6 a.m. to sunset, it’s the perfect place to enjoy an easy hike and impromptu picnic.
Dockweiler State Beach
Dockweiler State Beach (12000 Vista Del Mar, Playa del Rey 90293) is beneath the takeoff path from LAX and a seven-minute car ride from the passenger terminal area. The beach is free and features a three-mile-long shoreline with a picnic area, concession stand, restrooms and changing areas, and outdoor showers.
Manhattan Beach Pier
Take in the California sunshine at this oceanside escape, which is only a 10-minute car ride from LAX. You can stroll the Manhattan Beach Pier to get a breathtaking view of the ocean, explore the free Roundhouse Aquarium, or pedal The Strand coastal path with a rented cruiser bike, available from numerous vendors.
Santa Monica Place
Located just blocks from the beach, Santa Monica Place features a sleek, open-air design that's topped by a rooftop dining deck with gorgeous views of the city, the mountains, and the Pacific. The high-end retail collection ranges from Louis Vuitton, Coach, Ted Baker London, AllSaints and Tiffany & Co. to Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom. On Level 3, the Cayton Children's Museum is a 21,000 square-foot interactive play space with discovery-based exhibits designed for children up to 10 years old.
From travel info to transportation, dining, shopping, layover activities and future projects, read on for guides to LAX.