Last summer, I was playing around with flight booking sites and found a ridiculous nonstop fare from BWI to LAX for $215. I knew I was going to be busy in the winter with a new baby and decided to treat myself to a trip to the West Coast to visit my best friend and explore Southern California. We decided to add two days in Los Angeles to our itinerary. LA is huge and has so much to see and so many places to eat! Here are some highlights and suggestions for how to spend two days in LA, Dining Traveler style.
Touristy Indulgence: Hollywood Sign
It sounds cheesy, but I had to go see the Hollywood sign. At this point I was 34 weeks pregnant, but it didn’t stop me from going on that hike! I was going to see that that iconic LA landmark. There are several trails where you can catch a great view of the sign, but the one with the easiest access, in terms of trails and parking, was the Griffith Observatory. We knew to get there early, and I’m glad we did. At 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning, the park was already packed with hikers.
Eating in LA: From Tapas to Korean Barbecue
Considering how many great restaurants are in LA, there’s too much to choose from when planning for just two days. My dining highlights of the trip included The Bazaar by Jose Andres and Korean barbecue at Quarters in Koreatown. Our experience at The Bazaar was the epitome of fine dining, with gorgeous dining rooms and an inventive menu. At Quarters, we enjoyed the Korean tapas concept and ordered our barbecue meat in quarter portions. Dining Traveler Tip: Quarters doesn’t take reservations, so be prepared to wait a bit.
Experience: Day Trip to Pasadena
As I was planning my two days in LA, my friend suggested that we take a day trip to Pasadena to get a different perspective. We began with the afternoon tea at the Langham Hotel Pasadena. As you enter the dining room at The Langham, a chocolate fountain and a decadent dessert bar welcome you. We walked off all the sweets from tea at the stunning grounds of the nearby Huntington Library. Here, you can spend a whole afternoon taking in the many art exhibitions or wandering through the many beautiful gardens.
Where to Stay: Best Shopping Access at Sofitel LA
After looking for great hotel deals in LA, we stayed at the Sofitel LA in Beverly Hills. We loved its central location right across from the Beverly Center, just a 10-minute drive from Rodeo Drive and The Grove. The hotel rooms are nice and cozy, and the breakfast buffet is a must. I loved having breakfast on the beautifully decorated terrace, Le Jardin at Estérel.
Two days in LA didn’t give me enough time to see everything, but I spent enough time in LA to realize that I need to plan another trip. I’m looking forward to diving deeper into its art and food scene when I return.