Today marks 2 years since the day I set foot in California. Visiting Los Angeles (and California in general) has always been on my wish list: the palm trees, endless beaches, the Hollywood Sign, Beverly Hills and many more! My friends and I spent 9 full days in the Golden State visiting places, walking, dining and taking it all in. I’ve wanted to write down our itinerary, the places we dined and the hotels we stayed for a long time, so here it is! A compact itinerary which you can use as an inspiration to plan your California road trip. I’ve also written a far more detailed one, that you can obtain by subscribing to my newsletter below!
Day 1: Arrival in Los Angeles, Venice Beach, Santa Monica
Our hotel was located in Venice beach so on the first day (more like afternoon) we explored Abbot Kinney Blvd and all its cute stores and walked along the beach all the way to Santa Monica.
Day 2: Getty Center, Malibu, LACMA, The Grove
We started the day by visiting the Getty Center and then spent some time in Zuma beach in Malibu. Early in the evening we stopped by LACMA were we took photos with the Urban Light sculpture and ended the day with a cheesecake slice at The Grove.
Related: 12 fun things I did in Los Angeles
Day 3: Hollywood Sign, Hollywood Boulevard, Beverly Hills,The Griffith Observatory
This day was all about Hollywood and views. We started off with a hike to the Hollywood sign before getting to Hollywood Boulevard were we spotted our favorite stars. We drove around Beverly Hills (Rodeo Drive included) and ended the day marveling the view from The Griffith Observatory!
P.S. Detailed information about how to hike up to the Hollywood sign on the downloadable Itinerary! Get it below!
Day 4: Paramount Studios, Downtown Los Angeles, Venice
A true visit in LA wouldn’t be complete without visiting an old-school Hollywood studio, right? We decided on Paramount because it’s one of the oldest studios and the only one in the Hollywood area! Next up we visited the up and coming area of Downtown LA, where we saw the Walt Disney Music Hall and tried Bottega Louie’s delicious desserts. We ended the day with a visit in Venice canals and a walk along Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Related: A walk in Downtown Los Angeles
Day 5: Sequoia National Park
We deviated from the typical Pacific coast route to see the largest tree on earth (in trunk volume): General Sherman. I shared all about our visit in the park right here!
Day 6: Pacific Coast Highway
We spent the 6th day of our trip driving north towards San Francisco along the Pacific Coast Highway making stops along the way. I won’t go into detail because the itinerary and our stops along the way were documented on my post: Road Trip along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Day 7: Golden Gate bridge, Sausalito, Sutro baths/Cliff House, Twin Peaks, Chinatown, Ferry building Market Place, City Lights bookstore
On our first full day in San Francisco we covered a lot of ground. Before dropping of our rental car we crossed the Golden Gate bridge, had ice cream in Sausalito, and marveled the views from the Cliff House and Twin Peaks. Then we walked through Chinatown, dined at the Ferry Building Marketplace, walked around The Embarcadero and shopped at the City Lights Bookstore.
Day 8: Painted Ladies, Golden Gate Park, Mission District
We started the day with a hearty breakfast at Golo cafe before walking up to see the Painted Ladies (and the view behind them). We continued our walk to the Golden Gate Park were we visited the Japanese Tea Garden and had some ice green tea! A visit in San Francisco isn’t complete without checking out the Mission District, which is where the original San Francisco settlement was actually located. The area is famous for its murals, especially those on Balmy street.
Related: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Day 9: Filbert Steps, Fillmore street, Union square, Pier 39, Ghirardelli square
We started our day by walking towards Filbert steps in search of a view that I’ve seen on Pinterest. A few photos later we took the trolley to Fillmore street for some window shopping. We then walked towards Union square and ended our walk at Pier 39 and dined at Fog Harbor Fish House. To cap off our visit in San Francisco we stopped for dessert at the Ghirardelli store on the namesake square!
So that pretty much sums up our (epic, tiring but so amazing) road trip in California! I hope it inspired you to add Golden State to your to-visit list!
Have you visited California? If yes, which was the best part of your trip?