28 Fun Things To Do In The South Bay Los Angeles, California

Let’s face it, LA is just an awesome city – there’s a reason most folks here don’t want to leave (the weather, the beaches, the endless palm trees, hint hint).

While the South Bay of Los Angeles is not a place known for its crowd-drawing tourist attractions, there are some really fun things to do here. From watching comedy shows to surfing, driving Porsches to beach volleyball–there’s a whole lot the whole family will enjoy.

So when you have time off from work, or you need a break from the hustle and bustle of big city life, make some time to explore out in the South Bay–you won’t regret it!

If you’re ready to discover all the ways you can have a good time in the South Bay LA, then continue reading. I’ve got a number of attractions to show you (all of them not touristy yet still fun) in my complete guide of the South Bay Los Angeles!

This post may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running/pumping out useful and free content. Thanks a lot!

Where is LA’s South Bay Located?

Downtown LA - 175 Bucket List Things To Do In Los Angeles CA - TravelsWithElle

Just as its name implies, the South Bay is located south of the city of Los Angeles. It can be best defined as anything below the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The LAX airport is approximately 15 minutes away by car from Manhattan Beach, one of the main beach cities in the South Bay.

The main cities that are included in the South Bay are:

  • Manhattan Beach
  • El Segundo
  • Hermosa Beach
  • Redondo Beach
  • Torrance
  • Gardena
  • Rancho Palos Verdes
  • San Pedro
  • Inglewood
  • Hawthorne
  • Lawndale
  • Lomita
  • Carson
  • Long Beach

The beach neighborhoods in the South Bay are definitely worth checking out! And thanks to the fact that they are all next to each other and aren’t very large, you should be able to visit all of them in 1-2 days.

The beach cities all have really cute downtown areas to explore, perfect for exploring, dining, and drinking!

If you have more time and want to experience how the locals live, I would recommend checking out a few other cities such as Torrance, San Pedro, and Rancho Palos Verdes.

Best Time To Visit The South Bay Los Angeles

Because of the steadily warm weather that LA gets, LA is truly a year-round destination. If you’re looking for sunny weather perfect for brunching outdoors and exploring the neighborhoods, then there’s really no bad time to visit LA!

Having said that, if I had to choose the best time to visit LA, I’d pick during the Spring or the Fall, when temperatures are a lot less brutally hot compared to the summertime.

If you’re not afraid of the heat or your main objective is to spend time at the beach, then you’ll enjoy visiting LA during the summer months because you’ll get nothing but sun, sun, and more sun!

Summer temperatures average around the mid-80s, but hot stifling days in the 90s are pretty common, especially in more inland areas.

On the flip side, during the winter months, the temperatures are much cooler, averaging around 60 to 70 degrees. This actually makes walking around outdoors a lot more bearable than compared to the summertime.

Fall in Los Angeles is a short season that lasts from October to November. The days are still sunny and pleasantly warm. Don’t be shocked if you end up in LA during fall and experience temperatures in the mid-70s (it usually stays pretty warm until winter hits).

Just like the fall, the spring in Los Angeles is also short-lived. From April to mid-June, the climate gradually heats up with average high temperatures between 68 and 75°F. Once May rolls around, you can expect it to feel like summer with many days in the mid-80s.

NOTE: The weather in the Beach Cities specifically is surprisingly cool, especially when the marine layer rolls in during the summer time. If the weather were 90 degrees in Downtown LA or Gardena, CA, the weather in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach could very well be in the low 70s with a cool breeze!

I’d recommend always packing a lightweight jacket with you, just in case you’re met with chilly weather by the coast!

How To Get Around The South Bay Los Angeles

If you’re coming from out of state, there are a few airports you could fly into to get to the South Bay, including Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or Long Beach Airport (LGB).

If you plan on visiting attractions in Los Angeles as well on this trip, then you’ll definitely want a car to get around. Otherwise, you may find yourself on public transportation for hours trying to get to and from LA.

A car will even be necessary to transport between cities within the South Bay.

Need to rent a car? If you are the type to compare prices between rental car companies, use Priceline’s rental car search! Not only does the tool allow you to compare rental car prices across the major rental car companies, but most of the time you can book with no prepayment and no cancellation fees.

Note: While having a car does add a ton of convenience, do note that LA traffic is typically very bad. It’s not too bad if you stay within the South Bay, but if you need to get back and forth between LA and the South Bay, avoid driving during LA’s notoriously bad rush hours.

Best Things to Do in the South Bay Los Angeles

Discover the local life of the South Bay by doing a few of these activities!

1. Walk or Bike The Strand

The Strand South Bay Los Angeles

The Strand, officially known as the Marvin Braude Trail is a 22-mile bike path that extends almost the full length of Santa Monica to the South Bay.

You can take on the whole path if you’re an avid cyclist, but most people enjoy The Strand with a light walk or jog, or leisurely bike ride!

Some of my favorite sections include:

  • Manhattan Beach Pier to Hermosa Beach Pier (4 miles roundtrip)
  • Hermosa Beach Pier to Redondo Beach Pier (5 miles roundtrip)

It’s seriously the perfect setting for a weekend morning jog. You’ll get to soak in the views of the beautiful beachside homes while enjoying the energetic ambiance of the pedestrian path.

If you’d prefer to bike and need a bike rental, head to Hermosa Beach Cyclery or Jeffers in Hermosa, or Pedego Electric Bikes in Redondo Beach.

2. Hit The Beaches

The South Bay truly does have some of the best beaches in all of Los Angeles County, no lie!

Specifically, Manhattan Beach has an amazing beach that’s perfect for swimming, surfing, or just relaxing. This is my all-time favorite beach in all of the Los Angeles area because the waves are calm for swimming and the water is actually clean!

Parking on the street is ample, but if you’re unable to find street parking, there are various parking lots within downtown Manhattan Beach that you could take advantage of (the parking rates are not as eye-gouging as parking lots in Downtown LA).

If you’d like to explore a few other beaches, you can choose among the following:

  • El Segundo Beach
  • El Porto Beach
  • Hermosa City Beach
  • Redondo County Beach

3. Manhattan Beach Pier

Manhattan Beach - 2 Days In Los Angeles Itinerary

The Manhattan Beach Pier is a beach cities staple! This picturesque little pier is part of the National Register of Historic Places’ Manhattan Beach Historical District and was built in 1925.

If you’re looking for the perfect leisurely stroll with panoramic ocean views of the Pacific Ocean, this is your spot.

Traveling with the kids? Don’t miss the Roundhouse Aquarium at the end of the pier. This is a fun spot to learn more about the local marine life of the Santa Monica Bay, including species like the warty sea cucumber and the round ray.

4. Downtown Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach - 175 Bucket List Things To Do In Los Angeles CA - TravelsWithElle

There are tons of great restaurants, bars, fashion shops, and other specialty shops along the downtown streets of Manhattan Beach. Sure, the area is pretty compact, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t jam-packed with awesome shopping and dining options!

Manhattan Beach Boulevard is the main drag, but be sure to take the less-crowded side streets to really get a feel for the beach town living vibes.

While exploring the shops, do not miss your chance to get acai bowls at Paradise Bowls. They really do not skimp on the toppings here, which is why I’ve been compelled to get a bowl every time I’m in town!

Hungry for real food? Some of my favorite restaurants here include Manhattan Beach Post (good for dinner), Simmzy’s (lively brunch spot), and Lemonade (for a quick and healthy lunch).

5. Downtown Hermosa Beach

Hermosa Beach - Best Things To Do In South Bay LA

Hermosa is known as a volleyball haven (expect to see a ton of beach volleyball courts) as well as for its lively restaurant and bar scene!

Oh yeah, Hermosa Beach is the city you want to head to for the party. Whereas Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach are great for families, Hermosa Beach is great for those looking for beach bros and party energy!

The Brews Hall and Palmilla Cocina Y Tequila are both great spots to grab a mid-day drink after finishing up a volleyball game or sunbathing while watching the volleyballers play!

6. Watch A Comedy Show At The Comedy And Magic Club

Comedy and Magic Club Hermosa - Best Things To Do In South Bay LA

One of my all-time favorite things to do in the South Bay LA is to go to a comedy show at the Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach.

What I love most about it is how cozy and inviting the venue is compared to some of the other more popular comedy clubs in LA such as Laugh Factory. Visit during the holidays and you’ll be treated to a decked-out stage that completely oozes cozy living room vibes.

My favorite show has got to be the “10 for 10” shows on Friday and Saturday nights, where 10 comics take turns going on stage to perform for 10 minutes each. It’s such a great show and you’ll get to discover so many new up-and-coming stars!

The food isn’t the best, but there is usually a 2-item minimum per person. If I’ve had dinner elsewhere (which I’d recommend) I’ll usually get a drink and a dessert during the show.

7. Redondo Beach Pier

Redondo Pier - Best Things To Do In South Bay LA

Out of the three beach cities’ piers, this one feels the most touristy. It has features that a typical touristy boardwalk and pier would have, such as oceanfront seafood restaurants, an arcade, and a bustling atmosphere.

While it’s fun to walk around and take in the sights, I’d say skip the restaurants at the pier.

Having said that, I would highly recommend grabbing a piping hot bag of churros from Pier Bakery Churros! Good churros are not that easy to come by and Pier Bakery makes really delicious ones!

If you are looking for a food rec in Redondo Beach, I would highly, highly recommend Jus’ Poke. It’s a shame I don’t live close by anymore because I would be eating their poke at least two times a week! Yup, it’s that good.

8. Go Surfing or Take Surfing Lessons

Surfing is a sport that is ingrained in the South Bay culture. In fact, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach are even mentioned in the famous Beach Boys song “Surfin’ USA.” Yes, they do really embrace the surf culture here.

I’d often be on one of my early weekday morning runs and found myself greeted with views of many surfers in the water by the pier. Not a bad way to start the morning!

Some of the most popular surfing spots in the Los Angeles South Bay include the areas right by the three piers, as well as El Porto and around the coves in the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

If you’d like to take a surf lesson, the South Bay is the perfect spot to learn. Check out ET Surf for rentals and Dive N’ Surf or One Wave Surf School for surf lessons.

9. Go Stand Up Paddleboarding

My favorite spot to hop on a SUP in all of LA has got to be Redondo Beach Marina. If you’ve never stand-up paddled before, the marina is the perfect setting to learn because there are virtually no waves to throw you off balance.

Once you’ve mastered the technique, you can get closer to the breakwall and test out the wavier water!

For rentals, go with Paddle House or Olympus Standup Paddleboarding–they both offer a free mini lesson before sending you off to have fun!

10. Go Shopping at The Point

The Point - Best Things To Do In South Bay LA

Located in the heart of South Bay in El Segundo, The Point is a sweet local hangout spot that features some really good dining and shopping. What I love about this area is that it really promotes just being outside and enjoying the warm LA weather.

Throughout the property, you’ll find lots of outdoor dining tables, seating, and even large grassy lawns for the kids to run around and play in. It’s a really lively place, especially on the weekends!

Store like Anthropologie, Lululemon, Athleta, and Madewell are here. Restaurants to try include North Italia, Cava, Simmzy’s, and Hopdoddy (the burger joint from Austin, TX).

11. Get The Best Fish Tacos In Town

Ensenada Fish Taco - Best Things To Do In South Bay LA

Ensenada’s Surf N Turf Grill is the only place you need to go to get fish tacos. I will go as far as to say these are the best fish tacos I’ve ever had in my life!

I totally miss the days when I’d get off work on a Wednesday afternoon and jump directly in line for their $1.50 tacos before heading home. Yep, show up on a Wednesday and take advantage of the Taco Wednesday special (they are $2 now, but still quite discounted)!

If you’re not feeling like tacos, then I’d also recommend their ceviche, Baja burrito or shrimp burrito.

12. Go Whale Watching

whale watching oregon coast

If you happen to be visiting the South Bay LA during winter, you are in luck because the whale migrations are usually taking place! Every year from November to December, these waters see hundreds of whales as they go from cooler waters to the more tropical waters of the equator.

A whale-watching tour will give you the opportunity to learn more as well as get closer to these majestic creatures. Many Southern California cities along the coast offer whale watching trips, but the most scenic ones depart out of Redondo (you’ll get great views of the rugged Palos Verdes Peninsula cliffs).

Seeing the whale migrate in the wintertime is something you definitely have to experience if you are coming from out of state and visiting California!

13. Take A Scenic Drive Down To The Palos Verdes Peninsula

Palos Verdes Peninsula - Best Things To Do In South Bay LA

If you thought driving on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu was the only coastal drive in town, think again!

Not many people know this (and not very many have made the effort to drive down this far), but the Palos Verdes Peninsula is one of the most scenic drives in all of California.

Malibu has nothing on the Palos Verdes Peninsula–it’s more scenic and quieter, meaning you can slow down or stop whenever you’d like without fearing the droves of cars coming up behind you and rushing you (which is something that is all too common in the Malibu area).

14. Bike The Palos Verdes Donut Loop

The Palos Verdes Donut Loop is a beloved biking trail among cyclists. With fun inclines and long winding descents, this beautiful loop boasts amazing scenery with minimal traffic. Some even consider it the best on the west!

The 24-mile loop will take you along the rocky shores of the southwestern aspect of LA County, also known as one of the most desirable and expensive places to live in town!

To take on this loop, simply grab yourself a bike and head to Palos Verdes Drive North. Ride counter-clockwise (that way you’ll be on the coast side), keep following the street signs for Palos Verdes Drive North, and you won’t have too much trouble staying on course.

15. Explore the South Coast Botanic Garden

The South Coast Botanic Garden is a lush 87-acre botanical garden located in Palos Verdes. This peaceful oasis features more than 2500 different species of plants. If you love greenery as I do, you will feel like walking you’re through a fairytale–the tranquility and serenity here is so nice!

They offer lots of educational programs, classes, and special events throughout the year like the SOAR – Monarch Migration (Monarch butterflie releases) and GLOW (Garden Lights & Ocean Waters, where the gardens are lit up in colors).

If you’re looking for more botanical gardens to explore, consider the Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden (free admission) and Madrona Marsh in Torrance, CA (showcases the marshland that used to cover the coastal plains of Southern California).

16. Catch A Sunset At Terranea Resort

Terranea Resort - Best Things To Do South Bay LA

Located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula is Terranea Resort and Spa, one of the best places to grab a cocktail and enjoy the sunset–even if you’re not a hotel guest! This property is epic as it encompasses 102 acres of sprawling seaside grounds with unbeatable Pacific Ocean views.

There are also more than two miles of coastal trails on the property that you can explore, and around sunset is the ideal time to do all of this!

After your stroll, head to the on-site bar and lounge, The Lobby Bar & Terrace, for the perfect sunset with a cocktail in hand.

After the sun officially goes down, you can head on over to Nelson’s, the property’s on-site restaurant, to grab a bite to eat while enjoying the endless waves crashing against the seaside cliffs! You may even catch a sight of the migrating whales!

Since Terranea faces south on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, you can actually see the sun rise and set from a single location, which is pretty awesome if you’re lucky enough to be a hotel guest!

Want to see the peninsula from the air? Check out this exhilarating private helicopter tour of Rancho Palos Verdes, Los Angeles, and Long Beach!

17. Soak In The Views At Point Vicente Lighthouse

Point Vicente Lighthouse - Best Things To Do South Bay LA

If you are a lighthouse enthusiast, you must visit the Point Vicente Lighthouse (it was added to the National Registry of Historic Sites in 1979).

This spot boasts one of the most dramatic viewpoints on the Southern California coast and best of all, it’s free! There is plenty of parking, as well as an interpretive center right next door with clean restrooms.

If you are superstitious at all, maybe skip this one–it is said that this lighthouse is haunted by the “Lady Of The Light”. Eek!

18. Go Brewery Hopping In San Pedro

A lot of people don’t know this, but San Pedro is a gem for breweries!

A little background–as the busiest port in the U.S., San Pedro has seen its fair share of sailors for nearly a century now. Sailors loved to drink when on land, which is why you’ll find some of the city’s oldest dive bars and watering holes here. Today, you’ll also be able to find multiple breweries, an English-style pub, and even a wine bar!

For a brewery focused exclusively on Belgian-style ales, head right on over to Brouwerij West–they have really good food truck features, too!

Burnin Daylight Brewing is another good option too. Their food is also amazing (must order: the tots)!

19. See the Korean Friendship Bell

Korean Friendship Bell - Best Things To Do In South Bay LA

If you’re going to be in San Pedro and the South Bay, you definitely can’t miss this picturesque landmark. It might seem odd to you at first–why would there be a Korean Bell of this size in San Pedro of all places?

The Korean Bell of Friendship, a metallic bell and pavilion in San Pedro, CA was donated by South Korea in 1976.

It was meant to celebrate the bicentennial of U.S. independence, honor veterans of the Korean War and to consolidate traditional friendship between the two countries.

The bell is run on a few special days throughout the year including Independence Day, National Liberation Day of Korea, New Year’s Eve, and Korean-American Day.

20. Take a Tour of the Queen Mary

Queen Mary - Best Things To Do In South Bay Los Angeles

The Queen Mary is a historical ship that is the pride and joy of Long Beach, CA.

Once the flagship of the Cunard Line, the elegant RMS Queen Mary sailed between Southampton, England, Cherbourg, France, and New York City from 1936 to 1967.

Today, it’s permanently docked in the port of Long Beach, serving as a floating hotel, restaurant, special event venue, and tourist attraction. There are lots of informative daytime tours as well as nighttime tours themed around ghosts!

During Halloween, Queen Marry holds a special event called Dark Harbor, which is a lot of fun! The event features 6 haunted mazes, a 4D theater experience, hundreds of monsters, live entertainment, resident DJ’s, themed bars, and more!

21. Take a Detour for The Wayfarer Chapel

Wayfarer Chapel - Best Things To Do In South Bay Los Angeles
Courtesy of Wayfarer Chapel

If you’ve never seen a chapel made almost entirely out of glass, then you need to pay the Wayfarer Chapel a visit. It opened in 1951 to serve as a place for all wayfarers to stop and give glory to God.

Designed by the noted landscape and structural architect Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright, this glass chapel is as unique as it is beautiful.

Nestled in a grove of towering redwood trees, the chapel is framed in timber and steel, but walled and roofed in glass, allowing all kinds of light to flow into the building! The grounds themselves are stunning too, so be sure to take a look around before leaving.

Today, the chapel welcomes people of all faiths to their worship services and is also a popular venue for baptisms and weddings.

22. Watch A Shakespeare By The Sea Play

If you happen to be visiting in the summer season and love all things theater and play-related, then you will definitely find that Shakespeare by the Sea is one of the best things to do in the South Bay Los Angeles.

Each year at Polliwog Park, the troupe features a few of William Shakespeare’s most intriguing plays and performs them in a lovely outdoor setting.

These performances are open seating and free to the public. Audience members are encouraged to bring a picnic, low-back beach chairs, and blankets as they enjoy the show under the stars!

23. Roadium Flea Market / Drive-In Theater

The Roadium is a 15-acre open-air market featuring numerous vendors selling new and used merchandise for dramatically reduced prices. It’s open 7 days a week between the hours of 7am to 3pm.

You won’t be finding the same ultra-hip and curated items as you would at the Melrose Trading Post, but it’s still a lot of fun to browse if you’re in the area. Expect to find anything from antiques and collectibles to baby clothing, candy, and even fresh produce.

After the flea market vendors leave, the property becomes a drive-in theater! Talk about a multipurpose space. The Roadium usually has an annual summer movie lineup so I’d suggest checking out their site for the latest showings!

24. Drive A Luxury Car At The Porsche Experience Center

In 2015, Porsche opened the Porsche Experience Center, a first of its kind in the United States, with locations in Atlanta and Los Angeles–right in Carson, CA in the South Bay.

This “Experience Center” is essentially a theme park for grown-ups who love to drive. While it is certainly not cheap by any means ($595 or so for 90 minutes with a Porsche and private coach), it is definitely a very unique thing to do in the South Bay!

You can pick the car of your choice as well as the experience package and live out your video game/car racing dreams.

25. Visit The Torrance Art Museum

The Torrance Art Museum (TAM) exhibits contemporary art by both local and international artists. The TAM has consistently exhibited some of the most provocative, interesting, and inspiring work in the South Bay.

One thing is for sure–you won’t find anything boring here. They feature artworks of all kinds, including paintings, photography, pop art, mixed media, acrylic objects, ceramics, sketchings, and more.

Best of all, admission is free!

26. Go Shopping at Del Amo Shopping Center

Del Amo is definitely a local favorite. This shopping center is the South Bay’s premier retail destination (and one of the largest shopping malls in America) with three levels of luxury shopping, more than 200 stores, and numerous dining options.

They’ve somehow managed to turn a mall into a beautiful place–as you walk through, you’ll find lots of greenery and other elements that make the place very warm! Once you’ve finished strolling around the shops on the inside, head to even more shops located outdoors!

There is also a Dave and Busters nearby.

27. Catch A Show At The James R. Armstrong Theatre

Looking to catch a production or play while you’re in town? Look no further than the 502-seat James R. Armstrong Theatre (located in the Torrance Cultural Arts Center complex).

This large theater hosts all types of professional and community productions, as well as large-scale meetings, film screenings, and seminars. It is a great little theater, being both clean and very up to date.

You can see more and check out their events calendar here.

28. Eat An Entire Box Of Randy’s Donuts

Randy's Donuts - Best Things To Do In South Bay LA

Randy’s Donuts is a local institution. And rightfully so, because they whip up some of the most magical donuts in the world.

I know, I obviously haven’t tasted all the donuts offered in the world, but Randy’s is so good that I’m going to be bold and still make that claim!

Now there are going to be a lot of options to choose from, so if you need help, my favorite ones are the buttercrumb raised and the original glazed raised.

Now that we no longer live in LA, we always try to bring a few boxes back home with us when we’re in town!

Where to Stay in the South Bay Los Angeles

I recommend staying at Shade Hotel Manhattan Beach or Shade Hotel Redondo Beach.

The Redondo Beach location is especially nice, as the hotel overlooks the marina, has a rooftop pool, and a great happy hour at their waterfront restaurant.

What I love about this small chain of hotels is that they provide you with free beach cruiser bikes for use, which is a huge plus if you’re looking to explore the beach cities without having to deal with traffic and parking!

For something equally as elegant, though slightly farther away from the beach, check out Westdrift Manhattan Beach. This hotel offers very hip accommodations surrounded by a green (Golf Club) where guests can play.

Plus, it’s within walking distance to a lot of food joints like Fleming’s, Paul Martin’s American Grill, Philz Coffee, and even Randy’s Donuts!

Biking in Santa Monica - 2 Days In LA Itinerary

What to Eat in the South Bay Los Angeles

Sharing all my secrets and hidden gems with you today! Here are some of my absolute favorite joints in the South Bay–

  • Chicken Maison (multiple locations, but the one on Manhattan Beach Blvd in Redondo Beach, CA is my favorite) – Mediterranean, but it’s all about the spicy lemon garlic chicken
  • Jus’ Poke (Redondo Beach, CA) – legit poke bowls
  • Ensenada’s Surf N Turf Grill (Lawndale, CA) – fish tacos and other Baja California eats
  • Paradise Bowls (Hermosa or Manhattan Beach, CA) – Acai bowls and smoothies
  • Natureba Juice Bar (Redondo Beach, CA) – Acai bowls and smoothies
  • Spoon House Bakery & Restaurant (Gardena, CA) – Japanese pasta
  • Aunty Maile’s Hawaiian Restaurant (Torrance, CA) – the most authentic Hawaiian food you’ll find in LA
  • Randy’s Donuts (multiple locations) – the absolute softest, fluffiest donuts in the USA

Paradise Bowls - South Bay Los Angeles CA

What to Pack For the South Bay Los Angeles

  • Comfortable walking shoes | You’re going to be doing a lot walking in LA, so bring comfortable walking shoes. My all-time favorite travel shoes these days are the tried and true Ecco Soft 7‘s (they’re stylish, comfortable, and have been raved about for decades since they were first created)! Lucky for us, they have them for both men and women.
  • Smartphone UV Sanitizer and Charger | Our phones gather all the grime and bacteria we touch throughout the day, and then they are stored in warm, dark places like purses and pockets, which make for great breeding grounds for bacteria to grow. They are the third hand we never wash, but should! Using a UV sanitizer such as PhoneSoap on a regular basis will help keep germs and illness at bay.
  • First Aid Kit | It’s always good to carry a first aid kit around with you when traveling. Road trips make it easier to do this since all you need to do is toss it in the trunk!
  • Hiking Boots | If you plan on hiking, bring well broken-in hiking boots or trail running shoes with good ankle support and good traction.
  • Puffy Jacket | If you’re traveling in the fall or winter, or even spending time on the coast during summer, you’re going to need layers. You have a lot of options here, but I personally have the North Face Thermoball, and it’s kept me warm throughout my many years of adventuring!
  • Travel Daypack | I’m a huge fan of the Fjallraven Kanken Mini Backpack. It stylish and has ample room for all the snacks and water you’ll need, as well as for your camera and the safety essentials for a hike or just a regular day out.
  • Travel Towel | These are light and quick-drying, which is exactly what you need when you’re hopping from the water back to land, or simply need to dry your feet off. This one here is a great option for all these use cases!
  • Roll-Up Picnic Blanket | For many hours of enjoyment by the beach! This one rolls up nicely and can be conveniently carried by a handle.
  • Swimsuit | For all that beaching you’re going to be doing.
  • Sunhat | Sun protection is key for any destination, anytime.
  • Sunscreen | Sunscreen is absolutely necessary. Even if it’s overcast or cloudy, the UV index can be very high, so be sure to apply whenever you’re outdoors. No matter where we go, we like a coral reef-safe brand, as traditional sunscreens contain chemicals that damage our environment. For the face, we are absolutely obsessed with the magical Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen.
  • Hand Sanitizer Hand sanitizer gel or wipes are a must any time you’re going to be in contact with surfaces many other people have touched. Never leave your hotel room without it! And if you do happen to forget it, remember to wash your hands often, especially before eating or touching your face.
  • Body Wipes / Feminine Wipes | Feeling a bit gross after a hike or bike ride but don’t have the time to shower right in that instant? Just whip out one of these body wipes for a quick refresher. The feminine wipes I like are infused with cucumber and aloe. Trust me, you will feel and smell so much better. Always good to have a few handy in your travel bag.
  • Portable Power Bank | You’re probably going to be out all day, snapping away taking pictures… the last thing you want is to be driving along with no phone battery! A portable power bank is a must-have, and Anker’s ultra-light, ultra-portable power bank is tried and true by so many travelers! I never embark on a day of exploration without it.
  • Soft Hydration Flask | Stay hydrated throughout the day with a water bottle that can go anywhere with you—and fold up when not in use. I love the packability of these bottles!
  • Emergen-C packets or Liquid I.V. Hydration Packets | These are a great way to support your immune system and overall health on a trip. They are light, take up no space, and are very easy to pack!

Other Fun Things To Do In Los Angeles, CA

  1. Spend a day at the  Universal Studios Hollywood theme park (ogle at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and ride The Mummy ride a million times)
  2. Take a behind-the-scenes Hollywood tour
  3. Take the interactive 3-hour Warner Brother’s Studio Tour in Burbank, CA (perfect for movie buffs and fans of Friends!)
  4. Explore four floors of movie magic and Hollywood history at The Hollywood Museum
  5. Enjoy more shopping, restaurants, and cute cafes on La Brea Ave (between Beverly and 2nd)
  6. Pay your respects and learn something new at the Holocaust Museum LA
  7. Visit the permanent home for the history of moviemaking that’s finally open, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
  8. Explore the bright and colorful Museum of Dream Space in Beverly Hills
  9. Go on a 2-hour wine safari tour with Malibu Wine Safari
  10. Spend hours strolling through picturesque gardens at Huntington Library Gardens in San Marino, CA

For more, check out our entire collection of 175+ bucket list things to do in LA here!

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