A 3 day weekend in Los Angeles can easily be the most action-packed weekend of your life because LA is a city like no other in the world.
If you have a few days to spare and it’s your first time in the City of Angels, then be ready for nonstop Hollywood action, as you tour through movie studios and visit iconic filming locations.
Your Los Angeles itinerary will be packed with stardom, as you visit Universal Studios, Warner Brothers Studios, and of course, walk along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
You can take a star-studded tour of celebrity homes in Beverly Hills, and of course, you’ll need time to see the iconic Hollywood Sign that rises over the city.
No weekend in Los Angeles is complete without a trip to Venice Beach, where you can bask in the SoCal sunshine, before ending your Los Angeles itinerary watching the sunset over the famous Santa Monica Pier.
Don’t leave home without: Top 10 Los Angeles (Pocket Travel Guide)
Before you start your weekend in Los Angeles, I highly recommend purchasing the Los Angeles Sightseeing Flex Pass. This little gem is going to give you access to up to 5 major attractions, many we listed in this guide.
It also gives you discounts for restaurants, retailers and entertainment all throughout Los Angeles.
Get the Los Angeles Sightseeing Flex Pass to save time and money on your trip.
Lastly, one of the best ways to see Los Angeles is from the top of a double-decker Hop On Hop Off bus. This bus pass will get you around the city worry-free. They offer up to 72-hour passes and give you access to all the best parts of the city.
Ultimate 3 Day Weekend in Los Angeles Itinerary
Table of Contents
Day 1: Weekend in Los Angeles
Day 1 of your weekend in Los Angeles will see you exploring the city’s most iconic Hollywood focused tourist attractions.
This is the home of the movies as we know it today, and there are few better things to do in LA than dive into the world of Hollywood.
Universal Studios Hollywood Tour
Jump straight into your Los Angeles itinerary by taking a tour of Universal Studios Hollywood on your first day in the city.
It’s a good place to start, as this is essential Hollywood sightseeing, and it’s one of the best things to do in LA.
Universal Studios Hollywood is a big theme park, and it’s also the main, working studios for Universal, who have a reputation for producing classic blockbusters that epitomize Hollywood itself.
In fact, is such a big attraction that you’ll want to get here as soon as the gates open to make the most of your time.
You can easily spend the entire day at Universal Studios Hollywood, but try to leave in time to see a few more things on your first day too!
At Universal Studios Hollywood, you can ride the roller-coasters, and you can be immersed in the loud and visual stunt-based shows that are full of pyrotechnics.
The newest attraction here is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Here you can be transported into the magical realm of Hogwarts and all things wizards and witches.
No visit is ever complete without taking the classic trolley tour of the studios themselves, where you get a behind the scenes glimpse into the famed Hollywood ‘Back Lot’.
There are a number of ways to experience Universal. You can go with a Universal Studios Hollywood General Admission Ticket or splurge for the ultimate VIP Experience. At the minimum, we would recommend you buy a Skip the Line: Express Ticket.
Universal City Walk
You can easily spend the entirety of the first day of your weekend in Los Angeles at the action-packed Universal Studios Hollywood, but when you need a break, and you will, then head next door to the Universal City Walk.
Universal City Walk is just as Hollywood as the studios, because this is a shopping mall and retail center that’s built on an enormous scale.
You can shop and watch a movie at the IMAX cinema, but the real draw is the food, and after spending a solid day at the studios, you will be hungry.
You can choose from a huge selection of classic US eateries, from Bubba Gump Shrimp to Hard Rock Cafe, and it’s a good place to wind down.
The first day of your Los Angeles itinerary isn’t finished yet though, because you need to save time to pack in the city’s most famous walkway, Sunset Boulevard.
This is the heart of Los Angeles, and the heart of Hollywood, because it’s on Sunset Boulevard that you can find the Walk of Fame.
Sunset Boulevard is long, stretching over 20 miles in length, but you’ll only have time for the highlights today.
It’s a great place to spend the evening, as once the sunsets, you’ll find all the shops and advertisement signs light the skyline up in a blaze of neon-glory.
This beautiful stretch of road is best done on a classic Sunset Strip Experience. It is also often included in most Full-Day Iconic Sights of LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the beaches tours.
Day 2: Los Angeles Itinerary
After a manic first day of your Los Angeles itinerary, things aren’t exactly going to slow down anytime soon, because there’s a lot left to see in LA.
On Day 2, you’ll be enjoying the more relaxing surrounds of Griffith Park, before embarking on yet more movie-inspired sightseeing tours.
Head out early on the second day of your weekend in Los Angeles to enjoy the beautiful surrounds of Griffith Park before the scorching southern Californian sun appears in full force.
Griffith Park is absolutely enormous, and it’s not your average landscaped city park.
While some areas are perfectly picturesque, others are essentially just wilderness, and it’s a great place to enjoy the outdoors and to experience a completely different side of the city to Downtown or Hollywood.
Go for a morning jog or a leisurely stroll, visit the caves and look over the canyons, or just sit out under the trees or on the picnic benches.
To best experience the area, check out a Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park Hiking Tour.
But Griffith Park isn’t just home to nature and wilderness, this sprawling public area is also host to a number of historic institutions which can be included on your Los Angeles itinerary.
The most famous of these is the Griffith Observatory.
This huge observatory is one of the city’s most fascinating landmarks, and since 1935 it has stood high above LA, gazing towards the stars.
The observatory is a wonderful place to visit, even if you have no interest in astronomy because there are few better places to look over the city from.
The views are incredible, and you can see all across LA, and towards the iconic Hollywood Sign.
The Griffith Observatory is free to enter, so there’s no reason not to either, once you’ve made the journey here.
To get the most out of your visit, consider booking a Private Tour of the Griffith Observatory.
From the Griffith Observatory, you can easily spot the Hollywood Sign – perhaps the biggest and most famous symbol of the city that you’ll see on your Los Angeles itinerary.
But rather than just looking at it from a distance, you can also hike to the Hollywood Sign from the Griffith Observatory.
There are several different routes to take from the Griffith Observatory, and it’s a great way to see the wilder side of Griffith Park too. Along the way, you’ll have great views of the city.
Of course, if you’re not up for a sweaty hike in the LA sun, then you can always just drive over to the Hollywood Sign, or simply admire it from afar.
Beverly Hills and West Hollywood
After being inspired by the Hollywood Sign, it’s time to spend your afternoon of the second day of your weekend in Los Angeles touring through Beverley Hills and West Hollywood.
This is the most famous part of the city because this is where all the big stars and celebrities own homes and properties.
It’s a star-studded part of Los Angeles, and the best way to experience it all is to join an open-topped tour, where the guides point out the homes and throw in a few stories along the way.
It’s also the location of the ever famed Rodeo Drive. Even if you can’t swing some of the price tags, it is well worth the trip to wander along and window shop.
Keep your eyes out for celebrities when you visit this area. It is not uncommon to see some famous people shopping.
For something different than a car or bus, you can even try out a Beverly Hills Segway Tour.
Day 3: Los Angeles Itinerary
On the third and final day of your weekend in Los Angeles, you still won’t have much time for relaxation.
That said, we recommend hitting the beach, and watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.
Warner Bros Studio Tour
Start your last day in Los Angeles with yet another classic Hollywood tour. Don’t worry though, it’s not quite as hectic or loud as the Universal Studios Hollywood Tour you took on the first day.
You’ll just need a few hours to enjoy the sights and history behind the Warner Bros Studios.
This is one of the most iconic film studios in the world, and you’ll be given a behind the scenes look at the movie production process.
This isn’t a theme park, and you’ll be taken on to working sets of popular shows that are filmed here.
After your Warner Bros Studio Tour, it’s time to head to the Pacific Ocean. At Venice Beach, you can find one of the best beaches in the LA area, and it’s an unmissable stop on your Los Angeles itinerary.
Stroll along the bustling Venice Beach Boardwalk, where you can find all sorts of creative artists livening the place up, before taking to the white sands of the beach itself, to enjoy an afternoon in the sun.
You can also take a walk along the Venice Canals, to be transported to Italy, before heading to Sana Monica Pier.
This is another great spot to try a Santa Monica and Venice Beach Segway Tour if you haven’t done so before.
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier is the last stop on our 3 day Los Angeles itinerary, and you’ll end your trip gazing out over the Pacific Ocean.
Santa Monica Pier dates back to 1909 and it’s long been a classic LA destination.
You can stroll out along the long pier as the sun sets over the Pacific, while if you’re up for more thrills and activity, you can always call into Pacific Park, an old amusement park on the pier itself.
Enjoy drinks, or enjoy some great food in Santa Monica (try this Taste of Santa Monica Walking Food Tour!), and round off an action-packed 3 days in Los Angeles with a leisurely evening on the city’s beautiful coastline.
Where to Stay in Los Angeles
This is really a matter of preference. There are plenty of great areas that cater to all interests and budgets.
During our visit, we stayed close to the ocean and Santa Monica Pier at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Santa Monica. The location is excellent and close to the pier, where you can catch the Hop On Hop Off bus too.
If you wanted to splurge and have a totally Hollywoodesque Los Angeles hotel experience, like the one you see in the movies, look no further than the opulent Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel.
More on USA Travel:
- 13 Best Cities to Visit in the USA
- Epic Miami to Key West Road Trip
- 18 Things to do in Outer Banks, NC
- 4 Perfect Days and Our Favorite Things to do in Asheville, North Carolina
- Southwest Virginia Road Trip – Top Things to Do in Virginia
- Adventurous Things to do in Las Vegas for Couples
- Las Vegas to Grand Canyon: The Best Tour Options