3 Days in Los Angeles: How to Make the Most of 72 Hours

October 10, 2019

Are you gearing up for 3 days in Los Angeles?

With only 72 hours to spend on the West Coast, you need to maximize your time!

Use our guide to plan your day-by-day LA itinerary.

aerial view of the hollywood sign in Los Angeles, California

Day 1: Explore Hollywood Highlights

Assuming you’ve arrived the night before or early enough in the day, spend your first day checking out the sights in Hollywood!

Head down to Hollywood Boulevard and visit iconic landmarks such as:

Remember to wear comfortable walking shoes and charge your phone/camera so you don’t miss any prime photo opportunities.

After spending a good chunk of your day on Hollywood Boulevard, consider visiting other notable LA sights such as:

  • The Grove
  • Sunset Strip
  • Rodeo Drive
  • Griffith Observatory
  • The Hollywood Sign
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall

Since you only have 3 days in Los Angeles, it’s imperative that you make the most of your time. Consider combining your sightseeing opportunities by signing up for a Hollywood tour!

Tomorrow is a big day full of thrills, so your first day ends with a relaxed dinner at Kitchen 24.


Day 2: Theme Park Thrills

Your second day in Los Angeles is full of magic, fun, and the occasional adrenaline rush. Start your morning with a healthy breakfast and fuel your day at the theme park of your choice.

Los Angeles is home to some of the world’s best theme parks.

Disneyland Tickets

From Disney classics to new Pixar favorites, all your dreams come true at Disneyland! Built in Walt Disney’s vision, this iconic theme park creates magic for all guests through immersive lands, captivating rides, and beloved Disney characters.

At Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, you’ll have the chance to step into your favorite Disney movies, blast off to a land far, far away in the all-new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, and create lifelong memories with your family and friends.

To make the most of your 3 days in Los Angeles and time at the parks, purchase your Disneyland tickets in advance, skip the ticket line, and save!

Universal Studios Hollywood

All of your favorite movies come to life at Universal Studios Hollywood! Larger than life rides and experiences await you from iconic TV shows and movies including The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, Minions, Jurassic Park, and more.

For many, traveling into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the highlight of their trip. Shop around Hogsmeade, explore Hogwarts, and grab a bite to eat at Three Broomsticks in this immersive world. If you’re a Harry Potter superfan, buy a commemorative (and interactive!) wand as a souvenir. And, of course, you have to try butterbeer!

Knott’s Berry Farm Tickets

With more than 165 rides, shows, and attractions, plus fun shops and delicious dining, Knott’s Berry Farm is a thrilling destination for all travelers. Searching for an adrenaline rush? Ride top-notch roller coasters like Silver Bullet® and Xcelerator and thrill rides like Supreme Scream and La Revolucion.

Plus, kids love meeting the PEANUTS® characters throughout the park and strolling through the Old West Ghost Town®. But the best part of the park is the award-winning food. Come hungry for boysenberry pie and chicken from Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant!

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags Magic Mountain is home to a myriad of extreme rides and coasters, along with iconic festivals like Fright Fest. Soar through the sky on SUPERMAN: Escape from Krypton or try not to get dizzy on CraZanity. Families love rides like the Roaring Rapids and Scrambler, too.

The classic theme park also has several shows and entertainment scheduled throughout the day.

Pacific Park

Looking for a classic Los Angeles experience? Head to Pacific Park at the world-famous Santa Monica Pier. The park has 12 rides, a solar-powered Ferris wheel, endless games, shopping, and of course, ocean-front dining!

No matter which theme park you choose, be sure to:

  • Pack accordingly
  • Purchase your tickets ahead of time
  • Wear proper attire
  • Have fun!

After a full day of fun at the theme parks, head back to your hotel for one last day of adventure in Los Angeles.

coastline of Santa Monica beach with people

Day 3: Outdoor Adventures

Today may start out a little gloomy. After all, it is the last of your 3 days in Los Angeles! But don’t worry, you’ve got a full day of fun ahead of you.

Spend your last 24 hours exploring all of the outdoor activities LA has to offer. You can choose from:


See Los Angeles from a different perspective when you embark on a hike. Los Angeles is home to several hikes ranging in difficulty level. Among the most popular trails are:

  • Bronson Canyon
  • Brush Canyon Trail
  • Betty B. Dearing Trail
  • Runyon Canyon Loop
  • Eaton Canyon Trail
  • Discovery Trail

Be sure to figure out the parking situation for each trail before you go. Everyone knows just how much of a headache parking in LA can be!

Also, wear plenty of sunscreen and proper footwear. The last thing you want is to be unprepared.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is a fun and challenging outdoor activity. For those who have never done it before, it’s the perfect thing to do while spending 3 days in Los Angeles.

There are several locations around the city where you can test your stand up paddle boarding skills, including:

  • Los Alamitos Bay
  • Marina Del Rey
  • Surfrider Beach
  • Pyramid Lake

While you can rent your own gear, it may be in your best interest to sign up for a paddle boarding class or tour!

Horseback Riding

Sure, you can see the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. But there’s no experience quite comparable to riding a horse up to the Hollywood sign!

Ride up to the pinnacle of Mount Hollywood by horseback for the adventure of a lifetime.

Los Angeles Beaches

What would a trip to Los Angeles be without a day at the beach? You have several beaches to choose from, including:

  • Leo Carrillo State Beach
  • El Matador Beach
  • Malibu Surfrider Beach
  • Cabrillo Beach
  • Santa Monica Beach
  • Venice Beach

Pack a picnic, grab your swimsuit and towel, and head out for a day of fun in the sun.

Bike Tour

Biking around the city on your own is possible, but is a little intimidating if you’re not familiar with the routes. Instead, combine your sightseeing and outdoor adventures into one activity on a bike tour!

You’ll enjoy the rush of biking in the fresh air along with the expert narration provided by your local tour guide.

Be sure to sign up for these tours in advance, however. Tours can only accommodate a few guests per tour for safety reasons.

How Will You Spend 3 Days in Los Angeles?

Ready to spend 72 hours in Los Angeles? Book your getaway with Tripster today!

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