One Day in LA: What to Do + See in Los Angeles

Earlier this month, my friends and I spent four full days in Southern California. The last day, we spent the entire day in LA. Before we dive into this post about what to do in Los Angeles for a day, let me start by giving some background:

  1. LA is huge.
  2. LA is comprised of multiple areas that vastly differ.
  3. Not only is LA huge, but traffic is terrible.

So if you’re only in LA for a day, and want to see all the things, you really have to be on top of your game. That said, if you want a good slice of what LA has to offer in a short amount of time, here’s what to see during one day in LA. You’ll want to group together what you want to do based on location.

WHAT TO SEE IN ONE DAY IN LA: Stop #1–Warner Brothers Studio Tour

If you love TV and movies, do a studio tour. This was our first stop for the day in Burbank. The WB tour hit many pop culture highlights, including filming areas for Gilmore Girls, Gremlins, Jurassic Park, and True Blood. There was also memorabilia from fan favs like the Harry Potter franchise, Friends, Batman, and Aquaman. Each tour is different, based on what each tour group is into. My friend took the tour a week later and she saw things that I didn’t even know they had.

Oh, and confirmation: the fountain pictured above is both the Friends fountain and the Hocus Pocus Fountain.

WHAT TO SEE IN ONE DAY IN LA: Stop #2–Griffith Observatory/LA Skyline/Hollywood Sign

Next, we headed to the Griffith Observatory to mark the Hollywood sign off of our list. The drive up to and down from the observatory was beautiful, and the views from the top were STUNNING! It was a clear day, so the skyline and Hollywood sign were both easily visible. It’s one of the top tourist destinations for the LA area.

WHAT TO SEE IN ONE DAY IN LA: Stop #3– Hollywood Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theatre, and Dolby Theater

These three tourist stops are all cluster together. The Dolby Theater is actually where the Oscars were held. We were there 6 days before the Oscars, so the street outside was closed. We made this a super quick stop, but were able to check it off of our list. We did underground parking by the Dolby Theater. Outside of the TCL Chinese Theater is where the handprint and footprints are. They had a touching memorial to Kobe Bryant outside.

WHAT TO SEE IN ONE DAY IN LA: Stop #4–Rodeo Drive/Beverly Hills

Did you think I’d go to LA and NOT hit up Rodeo Drive? In the infamous words of Cher Horawitz, AS IF! We were able to find super close parking on the street. This area is beautiful, with lots of palm trees. We just popped in the Chanel store, but I would’ve loved to have spent an afternoon here.

WHAT TO SEE IN ONE DAY IN LA: Stop #5–Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier was the last place on our list to stop and see before we hopped on a plane back home. We didn’t think we were going to make it, but we did, just in time to see the sunset. It was windy and cold, and we didn’t ride any rides, but we made it!!! It looks really cool all lit up at night. If we would’ve made it there earlier, we would’ve popped over to Venice Beach, where everyone works out (no, I wouldn’t have worked out.haha).

All-in-all, it was a great day around Los Angeles. We felt like we got to sample what LA had to offer, and were able to check many of the “must-see in Los Angeles” items off of our list. This is a great idea to do if you’re spending a couple of days at Disneyland, like we did, and still want to get a taste of LA. Fit in a meal at In-n-Out Burger, and you’ll be good to go!

Nice to meet you!

Hi there! I’m Tif Fannin, the blogger behind Bright on a Budget, based in Lexington, Kentucky. Bright on a Budget is a Southern fashion and lifestyle blog where I share everyday looks, beauty, and travel, along with a behind-the-scenes look at my life as a working mom of two. I have a penchant for bright colors + good deals. Follow along for posts that are relatable to the everyday woman.

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