Guide For SFO to LAX Fun Weekend Getaway

Categories: Featured

San Francisco to LA: Guide For Spending a Fun Weekend in LA

Visiting the vibrant city of Los Angeles Beachesfrom San Francisco offers an exciting and diverse experience for a convenient getaway. To make the most of your trip, follow this in-depth guide, which covers everything from booking your flights to a list of must-visit places in LA.

Getting to Los Angeles from San Francisco

Book Flights Early & Plan Ahead

To secure the best deals on flights from San Francisco to Los Angeles, book your tickets well in advance. Several airlines offer frequent flights between these two major Californian cities, making it a convenient journey. Plan your itinerary, considering your interests and the time you have to explore the City of Angels.

Find Airport Parking at SFO

Before embarking on your journey, ensure you have secure airport parking at SFO. ParkFellows is an online parking comparison site that simplifies this process by providing a range of parking options, so you can book your spot in advance, guaranteeing a hassle-free start to your trip. Explore the available parking choices, from short-term to long-term, and select the one that suits your travel needs.

Spending the Weekend in LA

LA is an extremely popular international destination and there is so much to do. If you only have a weekend to spend in LA, you have to plan ahead and figure out what you want to do and see while you are there. Below we discuss everything from the best places to stay, to the most incredible bucket list items to do.

Where to Stay in LA

Los Angeles is a huge city and there are many different neighborhoods to stay in. Some neighborhoods are more crowded than others, more expensive and even more dangerous. Below are considered the best and most friendly neighborhoods for visitors:

  • Hollywood
  • Santa Monica
  • Beverly Hills
  • West Hollywood
    Venice Beach
  • Westwood

Since LA is such a huge tourist destination, there are endless hotels to stay in. From boutique hotels to budget hotels, we have listed a few of our favorites:

  • The Georgian Hotel
  • Shutters On The Beach
  • The Freehand Hotel
  • Hotel Indigo
  • Sunset Tower Hotel

What to Eat in LA

Los Angeles is more than just fame and fortune; it’s a culinary paradise. Beyond offering an astonishing array of cuisines, the city takes pride in its exceptional produce and a league of highly skilled chefs, making it a top-notch destination for food enthusiasts. While there is not

Coffee Recommendations:

  • Verve Coffee Roasters
  • Blue Bottle Coffee
  • Stumptown Coffee
  • Cognoscenti Coffee

Food Recommendations:

  • Guisados
  • Grand Central Market
  • Sushi Sonagi
  • Eastside Italian Deli
  • Chez Jay
  • Bestia
  • Pinks Hot Dogs
  • Geoffrey’s Malibu
  • Mariscos Jalisco

Dessert Recommendations:

  • Jeni’s
  • Salt+Straw
  • Wanderlust Creamery
  • Fosselmans
  • Millet
  • Sweet Lady Jane

Getting Around LA

Los Angeles offers a range of transportation options for getting around the city efficiently. It is generally recommended to get a car, so you can see as much as possible – and everything is quite spread out. I tend to recommend other solutions to renting a car, as traffic and parking are very difficult in LA at all hours of the day. Below are the best alternatives to renting a car in LA:

Public Transport Pass

For an economical travel solution, consider a 7-day travel pass, covering both the metro and buses, at just $25 USD. You can purchase a ‘TAP’ card at metro stations or from bus drivers, with a nominal $1 fee for the card. Visit the TAP website to discover the various forms of transportation this card can be used on.


Don’t underestimate the power of your own two feet. While Los Angeles is sprawling, a combination of public transport and walking can provide a convenient and immersive way to explore the city. Walking allows you to uncover hidden gems and unique spots that you might otherwise miss.

Rideshare Companies

For visitors, renting a car in Los Angeles can be a hassle due to parking challenges and congested freeways. Rideshares offer a more relaxing and cost-effective alternative. Avoid the stress of navigating the city’s complex roadways, especially if you’re not entirely comfortable driving in the area. Opting for rideshares over car rentals is often a wise choice, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable experience as you traverse the diverse landscapes of LA.

Best Things to Do in LA

Hollywood Sign

A trip to Los Angeles would be incomplete without witnessing the legendary Hollywood Sign, an enduring symbol of the entertainment industry. You have plenty of options for viewing this iconic sign. You can admire it from a distance or embark on a free, relatively easy hike up Mount Lee for a closer view and breathtaking Los Angeles panoramas from the summit.

An interesting fact is that the area around the sign was preserved thanks to Hugh Hefner’s $900,000 donation in 2010, which helped meet a $12.5 million fundraising goal, preventing any developments that could compromise the world-famous view.

One of the easiest and closest vantage points for viewing the sign are at the Lake Hollywood Park for one of the easiest and closest vantage points, with street parking and a dog park providing fantastic vistas of the sign. Additionally, you can get free admission to the Griffith Observatory, a cinematic landmark seen in movies like “La La Land” and “Rebel Without a Cause.”

Santa Monica & Venice Beach

Embrace the California sunshine with a delightful day at Santa Monica Beach, stretching 3.5 miles along the coast, offering ample space for relaxation and watersports. Don’t miss the iconic Santa Monica Pier, a bustling boardwalk adorned with arcades, shops, and eateries, including the thrilling Pacific Park amusement park. You can then take a leisurely stroll through the scenic Palisades Park, a 25-acre green haven with sweeping ocean vistas and trails perfect for walking, running, or biking. This park will take you to the world-famous Venice Beach, known for its vibrant atmosphere, t-shirt shops, and captivating street performances. Witness bodybuilders flex their muscles at Muscle Beach, and explore the charming Venice Canals. Also, Venice Beach is renowned for its skateboarding culture. The Venice Beach Skate Park is an excellent spot to watch skaters perform tricks against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. After you watch some awesome skateboarding tricks, you can head to the Venice Breakwater, an awesome spot located on the sand in front of the skatepark. The ocean water crashes on the rocks on the sand at this location, offering beautiful views of ocean spray and it is a great opportunity for photographers.

For a taste of local flavors, visit the Santa Monica Farmers Market, renowned for its fresh produce and celebrity sightings, open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. If you are interested in shopping, Venice is close by the Third Street Promenade, a shoppers paradise offering 80 diverse retailers, from indie boutiques to designer stores.

Universal Studios

A visit to Universal Studios Hollywood is an enchanting journey into the heart of filmmaking. This renowned theme park, nestled in the heart of Los Angeles, California, is a playground for cinephiles and thrill-seekers. With a plethora of thrilling rides, captivating shows, and immersive experiences inspired by blockbuster movies and television series, Universal Studios Hollywood is a world of its own.

To make the most of your visit, plan ahead. Purchase your tickets in advance and opt for a weekday visit to beat the weekend crowds, ensuring shorter wait times and an all-around more enjoyable adventure. As for the must-see attractions, Universal Hollywood boasts some of the finest rides in the industry. Explore the park’s top-rated rides and shows to create a memorable itinerary that suits your preferences. Dive into the magic of Universal Studios Hollywood, where cinematic dreams come to life.

The Getty & the MOMA

Exploring the vibrant cultural scene in Los Angeles is not only enriching but also budget-friendly. The city hosts several outstanding museums, and two standouts are the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Page Museum, conveniently situated in Beverly Grove.

LACMA, with its five distinct buildings showcasing an array of modern art pieces, promises an immersive experience. You can easily spend a half-day here and still feel like you’ve only scratched the surface. Nearby, the La Brea Tar Pits add to the intrigue. Note that exhibits may change, so there’s always something new to see.

The Getty Center, perched in the hills above West Los Angeles, is more than an art haven. While its galleries house an impressive collection, including 17th-century Baroque art and sculptures by artists like Henry Moore and Isamu Noguchi, the Getty Center offers an array of experiences. It’s not just for art enthusiasts; you can enjoy free weekend music and theater performances, kid-friendly workshops, and idyllic picnic spots. Best of all, admission to the Getty Center is free, with parking being the only expense.

For more art exploration, don’t miss the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). These institutions host captivating exhibitions that provide valuable insights into the art world, making them must-visit cultural destinations in Los Angeles.

Sports & Entertainment

When in Los Angeles, don’t miss the chance to experience the vibrant sports and entertainment scene. Start by checking the schedule at the iconic Staples Center, where you can catch a thrilling Lakers game or enjoy a live concert. For sports enthusiasts, securing tickets can vary, often depending on factors like the opponent and the day of the week. Weekend games tend to sell out more quickly than weekday ones, especially when the Lakers are facing high-profile or rival teams.

If baseball is your passion, the Dodgers, one of the most successful MLB franchises, are a must-see. With seven World Series championships and a record 24 National League pennants to their name, the Dodgers have a rich history. Notably, 11 NL MVP award winners have graced their roster, accumulating a total of 14 MVP titles.

When it comes to ticket hunting, a savvy approach can pay off. Consider purchasing tickets 4-5 hours before the game starts, taking advantage of last-minute deals on platforms like SeatGeek or StubHub. This strategy can lead to significant savings, allowing you to enjoy these sporting events and live performances to the fullest.

Final Thoughts

This comprehensive guide ensures your trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles is a memorable one. With early flight booking, secure airport parking through ParkFellows, and a diverse range of activities to enjoy in LA, your journey offers a perfect blend of convenience and excitement. Safe travels!

About The Author:  My name is Sarah Sheedy and I work for We strive to provide the best deals on airport parking at airports across the United States. Whether you are going on a long holiday or just a short weekend getaway, Parkfellows is there to help you find the least expensive options for airport parking.


Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!