HOLLYWOOD and L.A.: A 4-Day Itinerary to See It All!

Palm Tree Lined streets of Beverly Hills neighborhood

This Hollywood and L.A. itinerary is jam-packed covering the must-see sites in just four days. It’s tough to explore a major city in such a short amount of time, but if you use this travel guide you’ll leave “Tinseltown” and “La-La Land” feeling like you’ve see it all!

Hollywood sign


Day 1Travel & Beverly Hills / Rodeo Drive
Day 2Santa Monica Pier & Venice Beach
Day 3The Getty & Warner Bros. Studios
Day 4Hollywood Sign & Walk of Fame

Travel & Beverly Hills / Rodeo Drive (Day 1)

After arriving in L.A., a great first destination is one of the wealthiest cities in the world, Beverly Hills.

Beverly Hills sign

Rodeo Drive is a must-visit while in the area. High-end shopping is the draw (for those with unlimited funds)!

Rodeo Drive shopping streets

People watching and car watching are better suited for tourists on a fixed budget. (Still fun though!) Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities.

Rodeo Drive with orange sports car in foreground

The famous Beverly Wilshire Hotel – which gained worldwide recognition as the setting for the movie, “Pretty Woman” – is in this same area.

Beverly Wilshire Hotel

Also nearby on Sunset Boulevard is the historic and beautiful Beverly Hills Hotel.

Beverly Hills Hotel

Be sure to cruise the neighborhoods of Beverly Hills to see the luxurious homes too, many of which are on streets lined with beautiful, towering palms.

Palm Tree Lined streets of Beverly Hills neighborhood

If you have time left in your day, shopping and/dining on nearby Melrose Avenue is worthwhile. Plus, the Paramount Pictures lot is nearby and offers tours.

Santa Monica Pier & Venice Beach (Day 2)

If you hit a good weather day for the beach, head to the Santa Monica Pier.

Santa Monica Pier

Various food and merchandise vendors line the pier.

Storefronts on Santa Monica pier

A carnival area is fun stop with the rides and games.

Santa Monica pier Ferris wheel by Route 66 sign

The infamous Ferris wheel provides an opportunity to see the Santa Monica beach for an ultimate vantage point.

Santa Monica pier view from atop Ferris wheel

Next, I highly recommend renting an electric scooter or bike and cruising the sidewalks down the beach.

Girl on electric scooter near Venice Beach

Venice Beach sidewalk

Make your way all the way down to Venice Beach. Always an interesting place to visit!

Venice Beach boardwalk area

For lunch or dinner, the 3rd Street Promenade area has tons of food options. Or, Westwood Village is a neat area nearby to see a movie or grab a bite to eat. It borders UCLA, which is a cool campus to explore.

The Getty & Warner Bros. Studios (Day 3)

In the morning, visit The Getty Center. A tram takes you up a very large hill to the museum where you can walk through numerous exhibits. Stroll outside too; the property is really a sight to see.

The Getty Center exterior building

The Getty Center exterior atrium

Spend your afternoon at Warner Bros. Studios. This 2-hour tour was one of the highlights of our trip.

Warner Bros Studio lot

It begins with an interesting movie about the history of Warner Brothers.

Warner Bros Studios entrance area

After that, you board a large golf cart/tour vehicle where a guide drives you all over the lot and points out various sets and locations where TV and movies have been or are being shot.

Warner Bros Studio People Mover

Warner Bros fake movie and TV set street

Our favorite was the set of the opening credits of the TV show, Friends. They allow enough time for everyone to pose for pictures on the couch in front of the fountain, similar to what you see the cast do in the show.

Friends TV show fountain set

Pictures were allowed on the rebuilt set of the Central Perk from Friends as well.

Central Perk storefront from TV show Friends
Central Perk interior set from TV show Friends

Another TV show re-created set that you can visit is Big Bang Theory:

Big Bang Theory set

The Harry Potter exhibit is really enjoyable too, especially if you have fans of the books and/or movies along with you.

After leaving Warner Bros, enjoy a cruise at sunset on the Pacific Coast Highway (or PCH as it’s often called) up the coast to Malibu. Beautiful views!

Hollywood Sign & Walk of Fame (Day 4)

Don’t leave L.A. without visiting the Hollywood sign. This infamous, American landmark and cultural icon can be seen from various places throughout the city.

Hollywood sign view

Taking a hike near the Griffith Observatory provides one view of the sign that’s worth visiting.

Hiking trails in Griffith Park near Hollywood sign

Another location is even better – Lake Hollywood Park – which is in a neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills. You can get even closer to the sign, and the park is a beautiful place to have a picnic or just hang out.

Lake Hollywood Park sign

Hollywood sign in Hollywood Hills Park

Head down to Hollywood Boulevard next.

Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Ave

This is home to the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Walk of Fame stars

Walt Disney star

Other famous sites along this street are the TCL Chinese Theatre where many movie premieres are often held, and the Dolby Theatre which is home of the Academy Awards ceremony every year.

TLC Chinese Theatre
Dolby Theatre

An area that isn’t quite so touristy for shopping and dining is The Grove.

The Grove ponds and area

The market area is a fun place to spend some time and browse and eat.

Market area of The Grove

In the evening, consider going back to the Griffith Observatory. There is a planetarium and telescopes. It’s open until 10 p.m. Fri/Sat/Sun.

Griffith Observatory

Where to Stay

I can’t say enough good things about the hotel we stayed at, The Garland in North Hollywood. It was reasonable priced, centrally located to everything we did, and overall had just a really awesome vibe.

The Garland Hotel

In the evenings, we enjoyed the pool and hot tub while watching a family-friendly movie and eating dinner poolside. The restaurant onsite was outstanding for breakfast. Reservations are highly recommended for dinner.

The Garland pool area

The Garland pool area

This map shows the locations of many of the things we visited. Hopefully it gives you a good frame of reference on where a lot of things are in relation to each other.

More time in Hollywood and L.A.?

  • Brentwood Farmers Market – if you’re on a mission for some celebrity sightings, this is a place with high probability.
  • Catalina Island – located about an hour south of L.A., this is a memorable place to visit for a daytrip or stay on the island for a night or two overnight.
  • Disneyland – Mickey Mouse has a home in Anaheim, CA too just 26 miles south of L.A.

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Tags: Hollywood, L.A., Santa Monica, Travel Itinerary, Walk of Fame
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