Eclectic Foods And Shopping Finds in the City of Angels

Dine on delicious foods at local hideaways, then branch out to enjoy shopping both quirky and luxurious, dance-the-night-away clubs, and beachfront sunsets on a lively 3-day itinerary.

Trip length: 3 days

Total distance: 140mi/225km

DAY 1

Santa Monica. Start your L.A. tour with a trip to Santa Monica Place  (big-name brands and rooftop dining) and adjacent Third Street Promenade (street performers and a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere). Wednesday and Saturday mornings, catch the farmers’ market downtown—a favorite of local chefs focusing on farm-to-table cuisine. Case in point: the ultra-fresh antipasto lunch buffet at Locanda Del Lago . INFO Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau ; 800/544-5319

Beverly Hills (7mi/11km; 17min). Window-shop millionaire-style along Rodeo Drive (think French fashion at Dior dior.com and jewels at Van Cleef & Arpels . Explore adjacent streets for intriguing items, like Goth-tinged gifts at D.L. & Co . Compare finds over exotic Indian Food at Tanzore . INFO Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau ; 310/248-1015

Los Angeles (11mi/18km; 21min). Kick it up a notch at NOKIA Theatre/L.A. Live , with big-name performers and sizzling-hot clubs. Cap your evening with Mediterranean mussels and a gin and tonic at The Bazaar . INFO Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board ; 213/473-0800

DAY 2

Pasadena (11mi/18km; 16min). Visit the Craftsman-style Gamble House or play golf in the shadow of the Rose Bowl at Brookside Golf Course . Then order an ultra-juicy burger followed by arguably L.A.’s best pie at classic Pie ’n’ Burger . INFO Pasadena Chamber of Commerce ; 626/795-3355

Culver City (20mi/33km; 27min). Take a guided walking tour through movie and TV hits past and present at Sony Pictures Studios . Taste chef Roy Choi’s innovative snack twists during the wallet-friendly happy hour at A-Frame . INFO Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board ; 213/473-0800

Los Angeles (11mi/18km; 18min). Wrap yourself in the exotic sights, sounds, and scents of L.A.’s bustling Chinatown , a great place for discovering exotic teas, ginseng, shiitake mushrooms, and Chinese pastries (try Phoenix Bakery . INFO Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board ; 213/473-0800

Long Beach (27mi/43km; 31min). Relax with an Irish stout and hearty sweet potato fries at Congregation Ale House . Tour The Queen Mary , once the world’s most luxurious ocean liner and now permanently docked and open for touring and dining—consider brunch at Sir Winston’s; fine dining with an equally fine panorama of the Long Beach waterfront. INFO Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau ; 800/452-7829

DAY 3

Universal City (34mi/54km; 39min). Get your fill of 3D thrills on rides like King Kong 360 3D and Transformers: The Ride 3D at Universal Studios Hollywood . Stroll to nearby Universal CityWalk  for shops, dining, movies, and live entertainment. INFO Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board ; 213/473-0800

Los Angeles (3mi/5km; 7min). Join a Six Tastes Food Tours for a fascinating (and delicious) tour of Little Tokyo. Head to the multistory shopping complex at Hollywood & Highland to design your own candy bar in the Wonka Inventing Room at Sweet INFO Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board ; 213/473-0800

Venice (15mi/24km; 33min). Absorb quirky California beach culture along the Venice Beach promenade (Muscle Beach is where former Governor Schwarzenegger fine-tuned his impressive physique) then watch the sunset from the rooftop lounge at Hotel Erwin . INFO Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board ; 213/473-0800