How to Explore Los Angeles in Three Days Like a Local: Day Two

When I travel and visit new places I like to see the highlights, even if they are touristy. I also like to experience the city like a local and find those secret hidden gems. Last week I shared my favorite places to go in District La Brea. In part two of my three part guide to spending three fabulous days in the Sunshine State’s most popular city, I’m dishing up a blend of touristy spots with local favorites. Besides nothing says California like Hollywood! 

Los Angeles in Three Days: Day Two

Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, California
The Walk of Stars, Hollywood Blvd

Hollywood

Live it up like a tourist and do some fun sightseeing! There’s Hollywood Blvd and so much more to take in. From Hollywood & Vine to Hollywood & Highland and on, this guide has all the good eats and classic attractions.

View of L.A. from the Hollywood sign.
Taking in the sunset from behind the Hollywood sign.

Hike up to the Hollywood Sign

The view of L.A. from the sign is spectacular! If you’re an early riser I recommend taking the hike at the start of the day and then enjoying an awesome post work out brunch. There are three official hikes you can take, one of which takes you up behind the sign. Visit hollywoodsign.org to find your most suitable hike! Take the Hollyridge Trail if you want to hike up behind the sign, my personal favorite. Originally placed on Mount Lee in 1923, the sign actually read Hollywoodland, and unfortunately was taken down when it began to fall into disrepair. In 1978 is was restored but the last four letters were dropped when it was put back up. You’ll find lots of great spots to take pictures of the sign along the way. 

Parking: Free Parking is available in Griffith Park.

For a really great view of the sign you can also go to Lake Hollywood Park if you want to skip the hike or even post hike for that matter!

Breakfast or Brunch 

Want to start your day with breakfast out? Your go to spot is definitely the iconic and landmark eatery The Griddle Cafe. Known for their delectable Red Velvet Pancakes, you can take a can of the mix home for yourself or a friend (if they’re not sold out that is). 

Location: 7916 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046 off of N. Fairfax Ave.  

Parking: Paid street parking and possible free neighborhood parking, but we aware of residential permit signs.

View of the Hollywood sign from the Griffith Observatory.

Check out the Griffith Observatory

Take a  drive up to the Griffith Observatory. At any point in your day a visit to the Griffith Observatory, located on Mount Hollywood, is more than worth it. Recently featured in La La Land, it’s a scenic drive up the winding road, and at the top you’ll not only have a great view of the Hollywood sign, but of L.A. as well. Admission to the Griffith Observatory is free, but you will have to pay for tickets to the Planetarium.

Location: 2800 E Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Parking: Free, but it’s often limited. However, you are allowed to park on the side of the road and walk up so be sure to bring a pair of tennis shoes along.

Time for Coffee

Need a caffeine fix? Head over to LAMILL Coffee, in Silver Lake, for gourmet coffee, tea and a great lunch menu too. You’ll love their contemporary indoor space with chandeliers and forest murals on the walls. Feel free to bring your dog along and sit outside in their dog friendly section. When it come to a yummy cup of coffee I highly recommend the Bliss Espresso! 

Location: 1636 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026

Parking: Limited, but there is a free parking lot behind LaMill.

In Hollywood, California at Will Smith's cement handprints and footprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

Hollywood Boulevard 

Ready to get your tourist fix in? Take the Hollywood Walk of Fame and see the stars on Hollywood Blvd and Vine St., then check out the cement handprints and feet prints in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. Walk from the corner of Hollywood & Vine to Hollywood & Highland for a few iconic snapshots! Haven’t had enough of the Hollywood sign yet? Check out the observation decks at the Hollywood & Highland Center and you’ll see the sign. 

Location: 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028

Are you a fan of museums? Hollywood has several to choose from. The Hollywood Museum on Highland is filled with all sorts of props, costumes and film industry paraphernalia throughout the history of Hollywood. My favorite part of the museum is the Marilyn Monroe exhibit.

Wax figures of celebrities can be seen at either The Hollywood Wax Museum (6767 Hollywood Blvd) and Madame Tussauds Hollywood (6933 Hollywood Blvd).

Parking: Free parking is a challenge. I prefer metered parking if I’m only staying a few hours. There are plenty of paid parking lots and it doesn’t hurt to ask if they’ll give you a deal!

Looking for those fabulous LA wall murals everyone always posting on Instagram? Read my guide to The Most Instagrammable Street in Los Angeles

Pink's Hot dogs in Hollywood.

Pink’s 

You should definitely plan on Pink’s Hotdogs for dinner. Pink’s is an iconic hotspot in Hollywood, visited by locals, tourists and stars alike. There might be a line, but this mom and pops hot dog stand is well worth the wait. Order one of their signature hot dog creations off of the menu or custom order one with toppings to your own tastes. The servings are more than generous and the pricing is budget friendly.

Location: 709 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038

Parking: There is limited parking available and street parking can be found in the area. 

Catch my my favorite places to go in District La Brea in part one of this three part series. Stay tuned for more of L.A. next week when I share my day three recommendations!

xoxo Naomi

How to tour Hollywood like a local!

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