LAX may be flooded with restaurant staples in the city that do smaller scale, quick-service versions of their full locations, but if you have a layover it’s worth the time to go to their original locations. Try heading to the iconic Roscoe’s, located in Inglewood, for some delectable chicken and waffles. This may be a typically Southern dish, but it was Roscoe’s that truly perfected it. Get the Obama special for the perfected ratio of crispy fried chicken to chewy golden brown waffles.
Now that you’re sufficiently fueled up, head to Venice Beach nearby and take a stroll down the iconic boardwalk. Most visitors could easily spend the day sightseeing, people watching, and exploring all the very interesting and alternative ware that’s sold at the shops along the beach. Drinking an ice-cold beer at one of the many oceanfront bars on a hot day is also a great way to relax, and transports you to a tropical vacation even just for an hour before you head back to the grey and dreary airport.
If you’re more of the active type, there are plenty of bike rental shops on the boardwalk, too. Grab a beach cruiser for an hour or two and ride down the winding beach trail up to Santa Monica Pier. It is always bustling with activity, from beachgoers to street performers. Stroll up the pier to the amusement park at the end and ride the Ferris wheel up to the top for a spectacular view of the mountains rising over the sea.
If the layover is especially long, or you’re feeling really ambitious, head to The Arts District via Uber or the shuttle bus from LAX to Union Station. The Arts District is a trendy, hipster area that is thriving with edgy new restaurants, bars, and a flourishing art scene. Head to one of the city’s most established contemporary art museums, The Broad, featuring popular exhibits like the incredible Infinity Mirrored Room by Yayoi Kusama.
Feeling star struck? Movie and TV buffs might enjoy traversing the touristy areas of Hollywood that focus on the entertainment industry. There are also many fun museums in this area like The Hollywood Wax Museum, filled with wax replicas of Hollywood’s most famous celebrities. Don’t miss the chance to measure your handprints against those of film legends on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. To top off your trip, end your visit at one of the most iconic places in the world: the Hollywood sign, which is perched atop the foothills in Griffith Park. Watch the sunset from this unbeatable viewpoint, but make sure to leave plenty of time to get across the city and back to the airport.