Are you headed to Los Angeles? We have the perfect Los Angeles itinerary for families. We fit all this in after our business ventures on most days, which means you can do a lot more than this plan.
Some of you are newbies to Los Angeles travel and some of you have been there, done that! Either way, we are sharing what we loved about our recent trip to Los Angeles with two toddlers in tow!
Why I am here and who I am:
Hey mama, I am Trish— AKA Labor Nurse Mama. I am a labor and delivery nurse with over 15 years of high-risk OB experience. I am also a mama to 7 kids and have given birth to 6. This means I am quite familiar with the postpartum period and how to navigate it. I am the online birth class educator for Calm Labor Confident Birth and The VBAC Lab birth classes and the mama expert inside our Calm Mama Society a pregnancy & postpartum membership community! I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey! You can find me over on IG teaching over 230k mamas daily. I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey!
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Girl, there is so much to see and do in LA, that it is nearly impossible to decide. We were in Cali for business this go around, but we were still able to fit quite a lot of fun into the week.
We have included where to stay, what to eat, sites to see, and more!
I hope this is an easy to follow Los Angeles itinerary for families who are traveling with little guys as we did.
Related Post: Tips for Traveling with Toddlers
Where to Stay in Los Angeles
Deciding where to stay was a tough one for us. We had very specific needs for our trip. We had a one-year-old and a four-year-old between the two of us and wanted a place that catered to family travel for our Los Angeles itinerary plan.
Ultimately we turned to Airbnb and found the perfect solution to our housing needs.
We booked a place about 30 minutes outside of Los Angeles. It was in Sylmar and right off the freeway. The guest house was perfect for our needs. It was also clean and safe! Finally, We loved our host's family, which was a plus!
Krizia is also an artist and business owner, which as female business owners, we loved that we were helping support a fellow entrepreneur. Be sure to check out her crazy talent on her website, Concrete Geometric. (You can see her concrete art in the pics below!)
The gardens at our Airbnb was spectacular. Our hostess, Krizia's father was an artist with his ability to take an ordinary yard and turn it into a luscious garden oasis. The kids loved running around exploring every nook and cranny.
Day 1 Los Angeles Itinerary for Families – Santee Alley Shopping
Our first day was a bit hectic as we had headed into the LA fashion district to comb the streets for fabric for our shop. If you are a seamstress, as a hobby or as a business, then you will love this part of the Los Angeles itinerary. If not then skip to the second half of day one!
The fashion district is located in downtown LA and took us about 35 minutes to get to from our fabulous Airbnb.
LA's fashion district is laid out in sections based on types of fabrics. We found this out the hard way and boy did it suck. The first day was basically wasted trying to explain Modal Knit fabric to uninterested ears.
However, the highlight of the HOT afternoon was browsing the stalls on Santee Alley. Did I mention HOT? We were a sweaty mess by the end but managed to grab a few fantastic deals.
Santee Alley is two blocks out of the 100-block LA Fashion District. It is a popular destination for bargain shopping. You can find just about anything. I got a gorgeous linen shirt and we snagged a dress for our upcoming photo shoot for Habibi House.
Santee Alley tips for Families
- Bargain with everyone, but be prepared to lose occasionally.
- Take Water bottles with you.
- Buy fresh fruit from the street vendors.
- Take a stroller!
- Bring your toddler snacks.
- Don't go anywhere with men offering designer bags unless you are brave.
Day 1 Lunch
For our lunch, in the fashion district, we ate at 9th Street Pizza, which unfortunately I forgot to take a photo. The pizza was really good and budget friendly. You can buy it by the slice or a whole pizza. We got 4 slices, 4 drinks, and a salad for under 21.00. Not too bad!
We ended our hot day in LA with a stop at Milk. It is a hidden gem. The parking is a nightmare! After getting advice from the valet guy down the street, we parked in the 7-11 parking lot and ran in quickly.
I got the red velvet ice cream sandwich and it was incredible.
Can I just mention that although I loved their ice cream sandwiches, the snickerdoodle cookie was out of this world!
Day 1 Dinner
We ate in Sylmar and I almost choked to death, so again no pictures. I blocked the name of the restaurant as I almost died after inhaling my drink while laughing my head off at Anna. I would try to recreate the story but it wouldn't be the same. So we will leave it at that!
Day 2 Los Angeles Itinerary for Families – The Original Farmers Market and The Grove
Once again, we started out our day in the fashion district searching for our new colors for Habibi House. PRAISE GOD we were successful. Mostly because a sweet shop owner had mercy on us and told us there was a section of the fashion district dedicated to knits.
HOLY HELL! I mean couldn't someone have told us that before we wasted an entire day looking.
The Original Farmers Market
If you have not been to the original farmers market in LA, then you are missing out. My kids and I have been here several times and love it every single time. Take the time to add this to your Los Angeles Itinerary. Here is the exact address!
I am a sucker for history and love the story behind the market and many of the stores and restaurants. Walking through the farmer's market feels as if you were transported back into the past.
Day 2 Lunch
We grabbed a few things from several different places and we loved each one equally!
Nonna's Empanadas was my first choice, as I am addicted to empanadas. Since moving from South Florida to Nashville, this girl has missed having empanadas at my beck and call. Needless to say, I was very happy!
Our next choice was from a place called The Village. Borekas are an open-faced sandwich, loaded with toppings like eggs, bacon, spinach, mushrooms, and onions.
As excited as I was for the empanadas, I have to admit that this flatbread pizza, the open-faced sandwich thing was one of the best things I've ever tasted. It was so light and delicious.
You have to head the farmers market and try a Boreka from The Village!
Shopping in The Grove & Farmer's Market
My kids and I have spent many afternoons in the grove. It is a great outdoor shopping mall. Plan to take your stroller with you as it is a lot of walking. When Lani was younger, we always stopped in the American Girl Place. I was a bit sad to think those days are over for me as a mom.
Personally, I love the many pop shops set up around the grove. There is also a sweet grassy spot to relax with the kids and rest those aching legs. The grove even provides blankets for everyone to use!
A mandatory California stop for my family is See's Candies. And of course, Anna, the boys and I hopped into the one at the grove for a complimentary piece of candy! My number one favorite is The Scotch Mallow. Just trust me on this one, and try it out!
My top tips for Visiting the Farmer's Market & The Grove
- Take a Stroller for your toddler/baby.
- Go hungry!
- Bring water bottles.
- Buy from several vendors and share!
- Park by Starbucks, sneak through the narrow entrance and get a food vendor to stamp your ticket for 90 minutes free parking.
Day 3 Los Angeles Itinerary for Families – The Coast
Today was the day we both had been waiting for. We are both crazy about the ocean and love the beach.
However, fair warning to any of you who have not visited California before. Beach weather is not like the east coast. You most likely will need a sweater or jacket.
I warned Anna before we traveled to California but she believed the movies and not me. So she was quite shocked when she was freezing at the beach in the middle of the day.
Tide Pooling in San Pedro
If you have never been tide pooling before then don't skip this part of our Los Angeles Itinerary for Families!
Tide pooling and whale watching are my most favorite things to do in California. We didn't get to whale watch on this trip and honestly with a one year old, I doubt I would have chosen to go out on the Pacific. Next time!
The night before our tide pooling adventure, Anna checked out the low tide times for White Point Park in San Pedro. White point park is the best tide pool for younger children. My most favorite is Abalone Cove in Los Verdes but it is quite the hike for little legs. If you choose to go there, wear the baby and sturdy shoes.
When you enter the park, go to the right and after paying, head down. It looks like you are driving off a cliff, but you won't. I promise.
Go at the lowest tide level times and enjoy looking at all the sea creatures that are normally covered by the water.
Greyson has declared that our “adventure” day was his most favorite day of our trip. I can't believe it wasn't combing the streets for fabric but whatever.
Anna carried Asa, and we both took turns holding him and letting him touch the “agua”. Greyson was quite capable (with my hand and a few carries) to make it out onto the farthest rocks.
We truly had a magical time.
Tips for Tidepooling
- Pack a lunch and of course, water!
- Wear water shoes, old tennis shoes, or sandals with a strap that can get wet.
- Take buckets for the kids.
- Research the different sea creatures you might see!
- Wear layers.
- Be Prepared to use a port-a-pot. (I know gross!)
- Bring cash for the parking fee.
- Take lots of pictures.
On our way from tide-pooling to our next stop, we made a stop at Wayfarers Chapel, also known as “The Glass Church” is tucked in Rancho Palos Verdes, California off of HWY 1 (directions).
Built by the son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, It is a unique structure, made mostly of glass and nestled into cliffs above the Pacific Ocean.
Wayfarers Chapel on screen!
- The O.C.
- Beverly Hills 90210
- Endless Love
- The Rockford Files
Manhattan Beach tops my top plan for our Los Angeles itinerary for families! It is my ultimate dream place to live. One day, I want to have a beach house. Manhattan Beach is a quaint beach town with simple elegance.
We parked in the parking garage called Lot M. Click on this link for the exact location. I have been to Manhattan Beach many times and it is by far the easiest and most convenient lot.
However, during the week or early in the day, attempt to find street parking!
Day 4 Los Angeles Itinerary for Families – Beverly Hills
Today we headed out late and went to Beverly Hills and did the tourist thing. We walked the streets and window shopped, cause girl I'm a budget shopper. Well almost always, unless is see a pair of Bed|Stu shoes I can't live without.
Of course we got our obligatory instagram and photo ops out of the way and then headed to eat.
We ate at Cheesecake Factory, we both love it, but we chose it because it was the least crowded and still open.
After eating dinner, we went straight to Sprinkles and got some cupcakes. Sprinkles is worth every calorie and more. We wanted to do their infamous Cupcake ATM but it wasn't working.
Sprinkles has vegan and gluten free options which makes it friendly for many dietary options.
Day 6 Los Angeles Itinerary for Families – Malibu
Malibu is an incredible day trip from the Los Angeles area, making it a perfect fit for our Los Angeles itinerary for families!
We woke up and got into the car around 930, leaving after the morning rush. Traffic in LA is no joke, so either go out before or after. The truth is that you will be in traffic either way, but rush hour is a nightmare!
The drive to Malibu is incredible. Whether you take the coast or drive through Calabasas and Malibu Creek State Park as we did.
Once we got to Malibu, we headed to Malibu Country Mart and had lunch, shopped, and played on the playground.
Lunch | Acai Bowls in Malibu
We got the most amazing Acai Bowls at Sunlife Organics. A sweet little place with healthy options that claim to feed the soul as well as the body!
After shopping for a while and spending way too much at BedStu and Free People, we headed to the beach to relax and watch the surfers.
All in all, our day in Malibu was successful and a great option for toddlers and tired mommas!
Day 7 Los Angeles Itinerary for Families – Venice
We had to head to the airport today, so we chose to get a quick bite in Venice and have one last hooray!
Girl, we had the most incredible lunch at a French restaurant called The French Market Cafe. My camera was packed so there is that but I would be remiss not to mention how yummy it was!
The La brie sandwich literally melted in my mouth and was DELICIOUS! It's a baguette filled with butter and brie! Can you imagine anything better? Nope, me either.
After eating we headed to the Airport, which was a massive disaster. Anna and I bought so much fabric that we had to take two Ubers to the airport. Insert, shocked emojii!
I hope you enjoyed our 7 Day Los Angeles Itinerary for your sweet family!
Next we will share our Texas trip and the ghost filled bed and breakfast. (Well, maybe not, but it felt like it was!)
Be sure to comment and share your Los Angeles favorites!