Knowing the right places to go during a short stay in Los Angeles is essential for visitors trying to get the most out of their layover. This guide proves that you’re not limited to a nap at the airport.
It can take half an hour to drive two miles in Los Angeles, so venturing there during an airport layover can seem a daunting task. If the trip is planned carefully, however, a layover at LAX allows a short but magical experience in the City of Angels. Once you’ve got your luggage and transportation sorted, a layover can become a mini-vacation.
Plan ahead by expecting traffic on weekday mornings (around 9am) and rush hour times (4pm to 7pm). To take advantage of the METRO trains, check Google Maps, which outline the best train and bus routes. Note that LAX rideshares meet at departures.
Those on a spontaneous layover trip might want to stay close to the airport. Thankfully, you can visit several colorful nearby neighborhoods without getting stuck in traffic.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard in South Venice is a great place to shop, dine, and explore the local culture. Many of LA’s best restaurants are located on this mile-long strip. Popular eateries include GJELINA, one of the city’s most critically acclaimed restaurants; Salt & Straw, an ice cream parlor with an extensive list of flavors; and Butcher’s Daughter, a nationally recognized, mostly-vegan restaurant. Yoga studios, art galleries, and nightclubs are also found here.
On short layovers, leaving the airport for hours isn’t an option. But travelers can still find an authentic slice of LA life without going too far. Located less than two miles from LAX, the famous drive-thru burger joint In-And-Out is a great way to get a taste of the city before heading onto the next leg of your journey. By grabbing a cab, rideshare, or Parking Spot shuttle (the complimentary shuttle takes riders to the Sepulveda In-And-Out), you can dig your teeth into one of America’s greatest burgers.
A visit to Las Vegas is too far from LA for a day-long vacation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hit the poker table during an airport layover. Inglewood’s Hollywood Park Casino is only a short drive from LAX. The card games include blackjack, poker, and party craps. The casino also has a sports bar with dining options.