It’s been awhile since I dropped a long weekend guide, but I’m super excited to share this one!
Back in April, I took a whirlwind trip to Southern California where we started in Venice, popped over to Temecula for a wedding (shoutout Shivi & Chris – it was GORGEOUS!), and ended back in Beverly Hills. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit a friend where we did a more extensive beach tour of Orange County, which is honestly just one of the most beautiful coastal areas in the country.
I’m sure you’re thinking (like I was) that three days is not nearly enough time to spend exploring California. You’re probably saying something like: It’s so far away! That plane ride can’t be worth it! Aren’t flights to California expensive? There’s so many cities, where do I start?
You are not alone. I too was thinking all of these things when I decided to squeeze a week’s worth of activities into three days. I’m here to tell you that if you’re interested in a relaxing, sunny weekend to book that flight, pack your bags, and grab your sunnies! Let’s dive in!
Getting There and Getting Around
There are countless airports in SoCal — so many airports that you may not be sure where to book your flight to/from. Hop on Google Flights and type in Los Angeles as your destination. You’ll likely have flights that will land at LAX, ONT, SNA, LGB, and BUR. All of these airports will put you in a great location for an amazing weekend.
Your best bet for getting around and seeing the sights? Renting a car. (And yes, all the traffic rumors are true, it is incredibly congested all.the.time.)
Where to Stay
For this particular destination, I cannot recommend renting some sort of home or apartment enough. This area has so many people that own properties just to rent them out to travelers! Many of them are so stylishly decorated, you’ll feel like you live there when you wake up each morning.
If renting a property isn’t your jam, the hotel scene is plentiful. Here are my favorites:
Grand Californian Hotel & Spa – Anaheim, CA
The Beverly Hilton – Beverly Hills, CA
Kimpton Shorebreak Huntington – Huntington Beach, CA
14 WEST Boutique Hotel – Laguna Beach, CA
The Inn at Laguna Beach – Laguna Beach, CA
Mondrian Los Angeles – West Hollywood, CA
Explore + Experience
Want to get acquainted to the city and see all of it at once? Head to Griffith Observatory for some of the best views around. If it’s a nice day (and it likely will be!), grab your sneakers and park at the bottom to hike up!
Staying near Santa Monica? A stroll on the pier is a must! Did you know it is 110 years old?
Travels taking you to Venice Beach? Run, do not walk, to the Venice Canals. This area is gorgeous for some sightseeing and photos.
Art fan? Head to The Getty in LA for free admission to see European and American art, architecture, and beautifully manicured gardens.
Want to do some shopping? Head to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills to stroll in and out of the stores of the most famous brands around.
Trying to snag that perfect insta photo? Spend the morning in Laguna Beach. Heisler Park has some of the best views of the ocean and is amazing for a morning walk!
Eat + Drink
26 Beach | Bluestone Lane | FIG | Flake | Flower Child | In-N-Out Burger | James’ Beach | Juliette Kitchen & Bar| Milo & Olive | Moon’s Doughnuts | Myung in Dumplings | Neighbor | Poke-Poke | The Butcher’s Daughter | The Rose Venice | Trejo’s Tacos
Have you visited Orange County lately? What’s your favorite spot?