I hopped off the plane at LAX—now what? I guess the LAX experience isn’t exactly how Miley Cyrus said it to be in her famous song. You can jump in the cab and see the Hollywood sign, but where will you go? No worries; you can listen to Miley’s Party in the USA while going about all the crazy fun and educational activities you can do in and around the Los Angeles International Airport.
Whether you have a long layover or a vacation in LA, what better way to explore the city than to start from the airport? If you haven’t asked, there are many places to visit and activities to do in LA, and most of the classics are just sitting near LAX. Check out the 15 best things to do and places to visit near LAX that will make your short or long stay worthwhile!
Flight Path Learning Center
Why go far when you have something incredibly near you in LAX? The Flight Path Learning Center is located in the LAX Imperial Terminal, just 6 minutes from the Los Angeles International Airport. If you fancy planes and bookshelves, this is the best place to spend your long or short layover or even the first place you go once you alight in the great City of Angels.
The Flight Path Learning Center has exhibits that include the Commercial Aviation History, complete with scale models and artifacts throughout the years. LAX’s history, a retired Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting truck used at LAX, flight crew uniforms; the Space Exploration Exhibit; and the Aviation Library filled with aviation and aerospace books, technical manuals, and more.
The Flight Path Museum is free for members, and reservations are recommended. General admission is $5 and $3 for seniors, military members, and children aged 12 and under. The museum is open on Saturdays from noon to 4 PM.
Location: 6661 West Imperial Highway, Los Angeles 90045 | 6 minutes, 2.1 mi via S Sepulveda Blvd
Hungry? Visit In-N-Out Burger!
It’s a tradition to dine or catch a bite at In-N-Out Burger before catching your flight or after getting off, ready for the longest layover or the start of your LA vacation. Just a meager 7 minutes away from LAX, you’ll be able to experience the crowd favorites such as the chocolate shake, animal-style fries, and a double-double animal style and chow it all down while seated at In-N-Out’s outside table. You’ll have the best airport meal ever while gazing at the unparalleled view of the planes zooming overhead while taking off or landing on the runways.
Location: 9149 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045 | 7 minutes, 2.0 mi via S Sepulveda
Westchester Golf Course
Brought your golfing gear along? Or maybe you’re prepping for a business meeting right after getting off your plane. Just 8 minutes north from LAX is the Westchester Golf Course, an 18-hole, par-64 golf course and driving range where you can lounge or don your golfing outfit and get some holes going. Don’t worry if you arrive at night; the Westchester Golf Course is lit at night and open daily until 10:00 PM.
Location: 6900 W Manchester Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045 | 8 minutes, 3.4 mi via Lincoln Blvd
Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum
The City of Angels is home to more than a handful of classics, including cars. The Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum, just 6 minutes from LAX, might be the best place in the world for car enthusiasts and classic car fans of all ages. The museum contains 130+ antique, vintage, and muscle cars you can view from Wednesday through Sunday. If your flight lands on the 2nd or 4th Sunday of the month, the museum offers Sunday Car Rides, where the guests are driven around the El Segundo neighborhood in one of three vintage automobiles.
The Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Suggested donations include $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $5 for children aged 11 to 17.
Location: 610 Lairport St, El Segundo, CA 90245 | 6 minutes, 2.3 mi via CA-1 S
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
Did your flight leave you feeling stuffy after a few (or more than a handful) hours? Meanwhile, airports can get stuffed with people, especially during the weekends or peak seasons. Don’t worry; just 14 minutes from LAX is the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, where you can get your much-awaited fresh air outdoors. From hiking trails to scenic views, enjoy the best of LA from 6:00 AM to sunset, and maybe even set out a blanket for some impromptu or planned picnic.
Location: 4100 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90056 | 14 minutes, 7.5 mi via La Cienega Blvd
Getty Museum is probably one of the first things on your itinerary. Of course, coming from LAX, you might think it might be too far from where you are, but you’re not. You can even make the most of your stay by going directly to the Getty Museum, which is approximately 19 minutes from LAX. This picturesque museum is Instagram-worthy from the outside, but wait until you get inside. The museum is entirely free, but parking costs $15. Getty Museum exhibits change from time to time, so make sure to check things out on their social media or website just to be sure.
Location: The Getty, 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049 | 19 minutes, 13.2 mi via I-405 N
Griffith Observatory has got to be one of the best places you’ll visit in the City of Angels. You get to hike around the area’s trails, have stunning city views, visit the museum, and even look at the giant telescope at the Ahmanson Hall of the Sky and Wilder Hall of the Eye. It’s an adventure for kids and adults, just about 38 minutes away from LAX!
Location: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027 | 38 minutes, 27.6 mi via I-11o N
Museum of Jurassic Technology
Got so many things you want to see and feel like your time in LA won’t be enough to see and explore all that you want to? The Museum of Jurassic Technology, just 16 minutes away from LAX, has got you covered! Regarded as one of the strangest museums in the country, this museum covers topics like folk art, science, history, sculpture, and floral radiographs. It is as abstract as you think and will give you everything simultaneously.
Location: 9341 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232 | 16 minutes, 11.0 mi via I-405 N
Sony Picture Studios
Got a little more time on your hands? Tick the Sony Picture Studios off your bucket list because it’s just 15 minutes from the Los Angeles International Airport. But you’ll need more time because you’ll be filling your Insta feed with photos of the Walk of Fame, guided tours that last for 2 hours, and you’ll also be able to explore the vicinity of Hollywood, the land of fame excess. It’s a truly unforgettable experience that only LA can bring.
Location: 1020 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232 | 15 minutes, 7.3 mi via S Sepulveda Blvd and I-405 N
La Casa de la Centinela
La Casa de la Centinela, more famously known as the Centinela Adobe, is a historical home built near LAX, just 10 minutes away. It was built in the early 1800s. Now, it teaches people about LA’s development and Inglewood, CA’s founding. It’s the best and nearest place for history buffs to spend their layovers or for Los Angeles first-timers to get to know the City of Angels more in just a limited amount of time. La Casa de la Centinela is open from 2:00 to 4:00 PM on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Location: Centinela Adobe, 7634 Midfield Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301 | 10 minutes, 3.6 mi via S La Tijera Blvd
Venice Beach has got to be one of the most unique places in the world. It’s not just a boardwalk with nice beach views—you can get much more. And the best part? The Venice Boardwalk is just 21 minutes away from LAX. People-watch, have your palm read, know what’s ahead of you in a tarot card reading, look at sand sculptors, and sit down for a unique portrait in Venice Boardwalk’s many portrait artists. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that only Venice Boardwalk can provide.
Location: Venice Boardwalk, Beach Pavillion, Los Angeles, CA | 21 minutes, 8.2 mi via Lincoln Blvd
Santa Monica Place
Got some cash to spare on your layover? Boutiques inside the airport just won’t do. It’s good that 19 minutes from LAX sit Santa Monica Place, where adults and children can have all the fun they can take in their free time. Go for a shopping spree at Santa Monica Place’s numerous high-end and mid-end boutiques and relax for a while as you take your children to have the time of their lives at the Cayton Children’s Museum on Level 3—a 21,000 square-foot interactive play space with exhibits that are sure to peak your children’s interests.
Location: 395 Santa Monica PI, Santa Monica, CA 90401 | 19 minutes, 9.1 mi via Lincoln Blvd and CA-1 N/Lincoln Blvd
Want to shop till you drop off before your layover is over? Thirteen miles and 24 minutes from LAX is the world-famous Rodeo Drive, where all the high-end boutiques sit and wait for customers with credit cards to swipe. Check out all the expensive brands you can shop at, and while you’re there, make sure to make some time for the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM—the best-tasting cupcakes in town. Satisfy your shopping craving and your sweet tooth before boarding your flight.
Location: Rodeo Dr, California | 34 minutes, 12.3 mi via I-405 N and S Sepulveda Blvd
Redondo Beach Sportfishing & Whale Watching
This one is only doable if you have a really long layover. Redondo Beach offers a great whale-watching experience; you can even join fishing trips that last over 5 hours. Explore the coastline, join dedicated tours and nature cruises allowing you to see sea lions and dolphins, or choose from the plenty of options that Redondo Beach Sportfishing & Whale Watching can offer you.
Location: 140 International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA | 18 minutes, 8.0 mi via CA-1 S
Manhattan Beach Pier
And finally, just 10 to 15 minutes away from LAX is the Manhattan Beach Pier, where you can enjoy the view of the ocean during sunrise and sunset and just sit back and relax. If you have some time to spare, you can explore the Roundhouse Aquarium, rent a cruiser bike to explore the coastline or check out all the places and restaurants you can dine in while you’re around the area. The Manhattan Beach Pier is a mesmerizing place where you can do so much in so little time—perfect for a layover visit!
Location: Manhattan Beach Pier, 2 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 | 15 minutes, 5.5 mi via CA-1 S
So, how long is your layover or LA stay going to be? These are just a few of the best and nearest places you can go to for the best Los Angeles experience only these places could provide! Remember, the time frame indicated in each place means when you take it by car. If you want to go for a walk, you can do so if you have time. So you see, Los Angeles International Airport isn’t such a boring place. Don’t waste your layover time just sitting around and waiting for your plane to arrive. Live and experience LA!
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