The 3-Day Weekend Getaway Guide to Los Angeles: Day 3

Experience the SoCal coastal lifestyle

Venice Beach
Venice Beach

With 75 miles of coastline in Los Angeles County, and beautiful weather year-round, the Beach Cities offer the quintessential Southern California experience on Day Three of The 3-Day Weekend Getaway Guide to Los Angeles

H Hotel Los Angeles
Photo: H Hotel Los Angeles
Oysters and wine at Caravan Swim Club in the Hotel June
Caravan Swim Club | Photo: Hotel June

Stay by the Sea

Accommodations include modern properties like Hotel June and H Hotel Los Angeles; the ultra-luxe Nobu Ryokan, the eco-friendly Shore Hotel, and the spectacular Terranea Resort. For travelers who want to stay plugged in, there are several business hotels near LAX with all the amenities a road warrior could want.

El Matador State Beach in Malibu
El Matador State Beach in Malibu  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa
Surfer at El Porto in Manhattan Beach
El Porto in Manhattan Beach | Instagram: @brandonkirk

Enjoy the Endless Summer

Los Angeles boasts some of the best beaches in the country, from romantic El Matador Beach northwest of Malibu to Cabrillo Beach near San Pedro. Exploring the coast is one of the best things to do in L.A., whether you're taking a scenic drive alongside the Pacific Ocean or exercising some pedal power and biking The Strand. And of course, some of the world's most famous surfing spots are right here in the City of Angels.

Outer Peristyle Garden at the Getty Villa
Outer Peristyle Garden at the Getty Villa  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Visit the Getty Villa

Located in Pacific Palisades, the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa features more than 1,200 antiquities from the permanent collection on view, as well as changing and loan exhibitions. The 64-acre museum complex sits on a hill above Pacific Coast Highway and houses Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities. Best of all, admission is free!

Santa Monica Pier at night
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier Carousel
Santa Monica Pier Carousel | Photo: Frank Fujimoto, Flickr

Enjoy the Santa Monica Pier

Opened in 1909, the world-famous Santa Monica Pier is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The landmark is home to the Pacific Park amusement park, the Heal the Bay Aquarium and a historic 1922 Carousel that was featured in the 1974 Best Picture, The Sting. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of specialty shops, carts and an old-fashioned soda fountain. Dining options include casual food stands, the lively Rusty's Surf Ranch and The Lobster, an award-winning American seafood restaurant with 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean.

Dishes at Felix Trattoria on Abbot Kinney
Photo: Felix Trattoria
Venice Basketball League in Venice Beach
Photo: Venice Basketball League, Facebook

"The Boardwalk" & "The Coolest Block in America"

Few places can match Venice Beach’s combination of people watching, shopping and top notch restaurants and bars. There’s always something happening on the world-famous Ocean Front Walk (aka “The Boardwalk”), whether it’s amazing street performers, Muscle Beach, intense basketball games, or unique tchotchkes for sale.

Nearby Abbot Kinney Boulevard has been dubbed “the coolest block in America” by GQ magazine, and you’re bound to agree after browsing its eclectic collection of boutiques and shops. Dining options include the acclaimed Tasting Kitchen, celeb favorite Gjelina, and Evan Funke's Felix, one of LA's best Italian restaurants.

Battleship IOWA at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro
Battleship IOWA in San Pedro  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa
Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro
Korean Bell of Friendship  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Discover Coastal Culture

With its numerous attractions, shopping and dining, San Pedro and the Los Angeles Waterfront could be a three-day weekend destination all by itself. The Port of Los Angeles is home to Battleship IOWA, once known as the "World's Greatest Naval Ship" and "Battleship of Presidents" before it was repurposed into an interactive naval museum and living memorial. 

Two World War II-era waterfront warehouses have been transformed into CRAFTED, a large-scale, permanent craft marketplace that features hundreds of local artists and designers. Other cultural destinations include the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Fort MacArthur Museum and the famed Korean Bell of Friendship. At the popular Fanfare Fountains, 400,000 gallons of recycled water soar to an array of music and lights.

Pan Am display case at the Flight Path Museum & Learning Center
Commercial Aviation History exhibit | Photo: Flight Path Museum
The Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo
Photo: Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum

Things to Do Near LAX

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is a vital transportation hub and world class airport that services tens of millions of passengers every year. There's a wide range of activities near LAX, from unique cultural attractions like the Flight Path Museum and the Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum; to the adjacent Westchester Golf Course and the nearby Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area. And for a quintessential taste of LA, order a Double Double Animal Style at In-N-Out Burger on Sepulveda Boulevard, often the first or last LA stop for countless travelers.

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