North America

How To Make The Most Of A Long Layover In LA

By Marina Nazario
27th Feb 2017


Gearing up for an excruciating 15-hour flight to America? Lucky you! If you’re on your way to New York City, Mexico, Canada or anywhere else northeast of Australia, there’s a high chance that you’ll make a pitstop in Los Angeles.

When you fly from Australia to America you gain a day. It’s usually an overnight flight and you land in the wee hours of the American morning. It totally f*cks with your internal clock, but don’t let jet lag win! Rather than waste your life sitting in God-awful LAX and eating soggy chips from Wendy’s, go out and explore the city.

We made a guide for how to make the most of a long layover in LA (assuming you have around 15 hours to spare). Slide into some comfortable shoes, hair flip and let’s go.


Photography: Shanna Camilleri 

Step Off The Plane And Into That Breezy LA Air

We’re assuming that your connecting flight is on the same airline, so no need to grab your bags. If you’re travelling this far, you should probs pack a clean pair of underwear and a toothbrush in your carry-on #hygiene.

LAX has free WiFi, so whip out your phone and hail an Uber. If you’re not about Uber, America also uses a ride-sharing app called Lyft (which is sometimes cheaper). If you can’t connect to the WiFi, cabs are cool too—it’s just gonna cost a lot more dollarydoos.  

It’s about a 35-40min drive from LAX to Venice Beach (but you never know with damn LA traffic). It should cost about $45 to get there. (Pro tip: If you use Uber Pool, it could cut the cost of your ride in half. And you might share a ride with a cool and potentially attractive American).

Airport to Venice Beach

Since you’re on a time crunch, Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier will be the best areas to explore. You’ll have to save Hollywood for a proper trip to LA.

Once you make it through customs and get your head on straight (that was a long flight), tell the Uber/Lyft/Cab driver to drop you off at The Whaler in Venice Beach. It’s a relaxed, local beachfront restaurant where you can grab a coffee (or a mimosa) and some feed and become a real human again.


Photography: Matthew LeJune 

Take A Stroll

From there, take a walk along the boardwalk heading east (opposite direction from where you see planes taking off). Make a pit stop at Public Art “Luminaries of Pantheism” to check out some cool street art and update your Instagram story.

Keep walking along the boardwalk and eventually, you’ll hit Muscle Beach. Ladies, this is a prime spot to admire some eye candy. Men, show us what you got.

Muscle Beach really does live up to its reputation of being a meat head’s hang out, so be prepared to see heaps of buff, shirtless men and toned and tanned women. It’s prime people-watching real estate, so grab a smoothie at Muscle Beach Juice Bar (if you’re not gonna work out, might as well be #healthy) and relax in the sun a bit. You could use some Vitamin D. 


Photography: Matthew LeJune

Santa Monica Pier

Keep walking along the boardwalk. You might feel like you’ve been walking forever, but you’ve also been sitting forever on a flight so, like, suck it up. Once you get to Santa Monica Pier, take a breather. Find a bench and take it all in. It’s going to be super touristy, but that means more people to ask to take your photo *shrug*.

Grab an overly large thing of fairy floss (order it as “cotton candy” or you’ll just confuse people) and take a stroll along the pier. How freaking cool is it that you’re in this place that you’ve seen in movies and Instagrams?! Pretty sweet as.

Heading Back

Now that you’ve walked 5km from Venice Beach to Santa Monica Pier (thought we would wait till the end tell you that), it’s time for a Margarita before your next flight. Yeah, you deserve it and we know just the place.

It should be Happy Hour by this point so head over to Cabo Cantina (only like a 15-minute walk, you can do it!) and get TWO FOR ONE margs. Ahh, that’s better.

Give yourself an hour to head back to the airport and another hour to get through security for your next flight. Glad you didn’t stay at the airport all that time? Yep, we thought so. 

Image credit: Connor Murphy 

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