On a road trip through California, you can’t avoid the pull of experiencing Hollywood. Los Angeles is infamous for traffic and poor public transport but I managed to pull together a 24 itinerary that includes outdoor activities, wellness, sightseeing and time for relaxing on the Malibu beaches.
Breakfast at Griffith Observatory
Wake up early and fill your backpack with a picnic breakfast from a local store, we chose the Wholefoods on Glendale Boulevard (a mecca for vegan food), before driving to Griffith Park. This drive is a great way to see a glimpse of the Hollywood Hills and beautiful homes.
After entering, park on the road (there's metered parking) and walk toward the observatory to begin your early morning hike. There are a number of different routes you can take, I recommend a small loop towards the Hollywood sign for incredible views!
End your hike back at the observatory where you'll find plenty of picnic benches to enjoy breakfast with a view.
Warner Brothers Studio Tour
For the true Hollywood experience, book in for the Warner Brothers Studios Tour, the ultimate movie lover’s dream.
Make sure you book a few days prior and aim for a slot before 11am as the queues get pretty busy any later than this.
The guided tour allows you to follow the footsteps of some of Hollywood’s greatest including Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady to TV Sitcoms including Friends and Gilmore Girls. It is a real treat and a great attraction for all the family.
Hollywood Boulevard and Rodeo Drive
After the tour, drive toward Beverley Hills, winding your way through Los Angeles past the historic Chateau Marmont and take in the sparkling lights and billboards before reaching Rodeo Drive. There are metered parking spots just behind the Beverley Hills sign; even on a Saturday we did not struggle to get a spot.
Here, you can walk through Beverley Hills park, take photos of the fountains and stroll down Rodeo Drive towards the iconic Beverley Wilshire. Enjoy window shopping (and if you’re lucky, actually shopping!) and even spot a few celebrities.
Pacific Coast Highway
No later than 2.30pm, get back in your car to start your drive along the Pacific Coast Highway towards Malibu. The ocean views are absolutely breath taking, no photographs or films do this justice, something you must experience yourself. I recommend going all in and hire a rooftop car for the ultimate Californian experience.
Arrive at Malibu Country Mart and refuel at SunLife Organics, the ultimate surfer’s hangout and a great base to explore Malibu.
Browse the local and branded homeware and wellness stores and chat to the owners who are super friendly and eager to educate visitors about the area. I visited Malibu 6 months after the fires and the community spirit was incredible with store-holders hosting fundraising events to rebuild the affected areas and local businesses.
The Malibu beaches are walking distance just across the highway and are a great way to relax, take in the beautiful surroundings and watch the surfers. For dinner, head to the pier where you'll find Malibu Farm, a restaurant with many delicious plant-based options and sunset views to die for!