What are your plans for the day? Upon checking out of the Sheraton LAX, I got asked that same question. I replied, " Heading to downtown LA." She laughed and said, " I can see your visiting because here we call it DTLA." We laughed and went our separate ways.
I arrived in LA that night, instead of making my way downtown, I decided to get a room at the Sheraton. Why the Sheraton, you ask? Well, it is known to have a view of the runway. As an avgeek, this seemed to be the best option. Unfortunately, an event at the hotel that weekend meant rooms were limited. (My loss 🙁)
Back to the story - It's time to get a rental and explore LA. Because of the benefits, I gained from The American Express program I decided to use Hertz instead of another company. Check out my save on car rental blog for a breakdown of the benefits.
Let's explore LA! First stop, the infamous In-N-Out Burger. Yes, I decided to have my first animal style burger for breakfast. Definitely, the breakfast of champions and it was good! So good, I got another to go. Across the street from In-N-Out, we have the LAX Plane Spotting. The perfect spot where travelers dream about their next destination as you can sit and have a picnic while watching the planes grace the runway at LAX.
After breakfast, I drove to DTLA and checked in to Doubletree by Hilton, where I stayed for the rest of the trip. Parking at the hotel was out of my budget ($44 a day). I found the ParkMe app, which is great for finding cheap and reliable parking nearby. Also, there are few affordable parking lots around the area, which you can find with or without the app.
Tip: Private lots are often more affordable. I paid roughly an average of $19 a day. To stay within your budget, sometimes parking further away from your accommodation can save you money in the long run.
Los Angeles is best explored with a car since some of the must-see locations are scattered across the city. However, in DTLA, I managed to see a few sites on foot. Check out my blog on things to see in DTLA.
On the third day, I had a packed schedule. I got up, had breakfast at the hotel, drove to Griffiths Observatory, and took a hike to the Hollywood sign (well almost😬).
After building up an appetite, I went to the Vegan Exchange to fill up on some of the most delicious food I had in Los Angeles. The festival is every Sunday in North Hollywood. Check here for official times.
Like most movies and tv shows that feature Santa Monica or Venice beach, there is always someone exercising or cycling. So, I ditched the car and, rented a bike and cycled from Santa Monica beach to Venice beach. The bike rental was $6.00 an hour (prices may vary). After returning the bikes, I spent the rest of the day on the Boardwalk. At night, Pacific Park comes alive. It's certainly a go-to hang out spot in Santa Monica. For dinner, I drove to Hollywood for some Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. (Had to try it)
Before leaving, I had to try Monty's Good Burger after watching the Food Insider's video on LA's Vegan In-N-Out. It was amazing!!! Thanks, Food Insider!
My next adventure was the long drive to Joshua Tree. It is a cool place to visit, and I wouldn't mind returning as there is a lot to explore. Pack some snacks and water, have a picnic, go for a hike, or get lost in nature. Whatever you prefer, the park offers it all.