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  • 2 Days in Los Angeles: The Foodie Itinerary This itinerary combines recommendations for the best food spots in Los Angeles neighborhoods with the highest-rated activities in each neighborhood. The trip allows ample time in-restaurant, as well as freedom to shop and explore each neighborhood at your own pace. The first day focuses on neighborhoods in Central Los Angeles, while the second day focuses on Downtown and Redondo Beach. Scheduled Plan for the 2-Day Los Angeles Foodie Itinerary Day One 08:00 – 09:40 Breakfast at Republique 09:40 – 10:00 Walk or drive to La Brea Tar Pits 10:00 – 13:15 La Brea Tar Pits Museum & LACMA 13:15 – 13:30 Walk or drive to Little Ethiopia 13:30 – 15:00 Merkato Ethiopian Restaurant & Market 15:00 – 15:30 Drive to Hollywood 15:30 – 19:00 Museums of Hollywood & Hollywood Walk of Fame 19:00 – 20:00 JINYA Ramen Express 20:00 – 20:30 Drive to the Griffith Observatory 20:30 – 22:00 Visit Griffith Observatory (open until 10pm) 22:00 – onwards Return to hotel, relax, etc. Day Two 08:00 – 09:00 Breakfast at Wake & Late 09:00 – 09:15 Walk to the US Bank Tower 09:15 – 10:40 OUE Skyspace LA 10:40 – 11:00 Walk or drive to Little Tokyo (Japanese American Cultural & Community Center) 11:00 – 12:00 James Irvine Japanese Gardens 12:00 – 13:30 Lunch at Aloha Café 13:30 – 15:00 Japanese American National Museum 15:00 – 15:30 Drive to Santa Monica 15:30 – 18:30 Santa Monica Beach & Pier 18:30 – 20:30 Dinner at 1212 Santa Monica 20:30 – 22:30 Shopping, movie, or nightlife at Santa Monica Place 22:30 – onwards Return to hotel, relax, etc. Itinerary Overview Day One Our first morning in Los Angeles starts out in the historic neighborhood of the Miracle Mile, located directly between the LA city center and Beverly Hills. For breakfast, we will visit Republique, which one review on Yelp described as reminiscent of the “Harry Potter dining hall but with a south of France provincial twist.” Be careful, as this restaurant doesn’t use waiters to take orders but rather has customers order their food upon entering, find seating wherever you can, and the food will be served according to a number they assign you. Make sure to order everything you want because it can get crowded quickly in the morning! For breakfast, we recommend the Crème Brulee Bombolini, Mushroom Toast, and the Quiche of the Day. Afterwards, a twenty-minute walk or five-minute drive down W 6th Street will offer you the chance to see La Brea Tar Pits, one of Los Angeles’s most iconic attractions. Consisting of several tar pits where natural asphalt has seeped up through the ground, the flora and fauna trapped within the tar have become remarkably important for modern scientific research. After checking out the museum, directly adjacent to the complex is the Los Angeles County Art Museum, the largest art museum in the Western United States. The LACMA holds more than 150,000 pieces of art from around the world, spanning from ancient to contemporary time periods, and should be an exciting way to start your trip in Los Angeles. After finishing at the LACMA, another five-minute drive or fifteen-minute walk will land you in the heart of the compact yet thriving Little Ethiopia neighborhood. Here, we recommend trying a meal at the Merkato Ethiopian Restaurant & Market, a busy market offering an adjacent dining room with some of the best offerings in the neighborhood. For a meager $10, Merkato serves a vegetarian combo with four large servings of vegetarian food and plenty of injera , the traditional spongy bread used to eat Ethiopian dishes. Afterwards, a thirty-minute drive away from Little Ethiopia is Hollywood, one of the most famous neighborhoods of Los Angeles for obvious reasons. Here, you’ll have access to loads of exciting attractions along Hollywood Boulevard. On the corner of Highland & Hollywood, you’ll find several museums to choose from, including the Hollywood Museum, Hollywood Wax Museum, Museum of Illusions, Guinness World Records Museum, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! After checking out some attractions of your choice, enjoy walking along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a fifteen-block expanse including more than 2,600 brass stars implanted into the sidewalk. For dinner we’ll be back-tracking to the Hollywood and Highland complex. On the third floor of the restaurant is JINYA Ramen Express, a Chiptole-esque customizable Ramen bar which offers several crafted “signature bowls” such as the JINYA Tonkotsu Black bowl, the ramen we recommend with pork broth, black garlic oil, spinach noodles, and grilled chicken. Then, as the sun sets over the skyline of Los Angeles, we recommend you take advantage of your proximity to the Hollywood Hills and visit the famous Griffith Observatory. With a remarkable view over the Hollywood sign and Los Angeles Basin, the Griffith Observatory offers visitors the chance to see space and science-related displays for free. With its incredible views, a trip up to the Griffith Observatory ought to make the perfect end to your first day in Los Angeles! Day Two Today will start in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles at the corner of South Main Street and Sixth Street. Wake & Late is known for the best breakfast burrito in town, and is in a perfect location for exploring the city center. We recommend the Rico Suave Burrito with egg, avocado, tots, and other delicious fillings, as well as a Cold Draft Latte with La Colombe coffee. After finishing breakfast, head down to the OUE Skyspace LA located a fifteen-minute walk or five-minute drive from Wake & Late. Here you’ll be able to enjoy California’s tallest open air observation deck, which reaches almost 1,000 feet above the City in the well-known US Bank Tower. At the top, take in 360-degree views of LA, and try out their glass-bottom slide which extends out from the side of the tower. Then, a twenty-minute walk or another five-minute drive away will land you in one of LA’s most up-and-coming neighborhoods: Little Tokyo. In the center of the neighborhood is the James Irvine Japanese Garden, a tranquil garden that is lauded as one of Little Tokyo’s best-kept secrets. To enter, go through the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, check in at the information window, take the elevator to level B, and turn right through the hallway to find the garden. Though it might seem a bit complicated, we promise that the foliage and waterfalls will make up for it, and will be a great way to experience a more authentic side of Little Tokyo. For lunch we recommend visiting a restaurant only five minutes walking distance from the gardens: Aloha Café. A Hawai’ian themed restaurant tucked in the heart of the Japanese district, the Aloha Café is one of the top-rated restaurants in all of downtown. We recommend trying the Loco Moco rice plate, which offers rice, macaroni salad, eggs, beef patties, and gravy. Don’t worry, according to the Yelp reviews, it’s not nearly as heavy as it sounds! After finishing lunch, walk two blocks north of Aloha Café for the Japanese American National Museum. Even for those without background knowledge or interest in the subject, this museum offers art, artifacts, and historical exhibits which center around preserving Japanese-American history and culture in the largest museum of its kind in the United States. Our final neighborhood on this trip culminates in Santa Monica, an upscale beach town straddling the Pacific coast. We recommend taking time to explore the beach and pier at your own pace during the afternoon, taking in the beautiful ocean views and visiting the shops which dot the pier and Pacific Coast Highway. When you start feeling hungry, head over to the Third Street Promenade for our final meal of the trip at 1212 Santa Monica. Featuring world-inspired food in a two-story restaurant and lounge with a sophisticated yet casual vibe, 1212 Santa Monica is unbeatable for food quality in the area. When you are finished, take advantage of our great location in trending downtown Santa Monica for nightlife, catching a movie, or shopping at the massive Santa Monica Place mall just down the promenade. With one of the most famous beaches in the country and plenty of things to do, Santa Monica offers the perfect place to end a wonderful vacation in Los Angeles. Trip Planned by Nate Gordon.
  • The Family Tourist Itinerary: 2 Days in Las Vegas While Las Vegas is known for its culture around alcohol, casinos, and nightlife, it might be surprising to see how many families decide to visit the city each year. This itinerary includes plenty of activities for both parents and adults without being too intense, and aims to show families some of the best of what Las Vegas has to offer. Since Las Vegas offers a wide variety of high-quality food near to almost every attraction included in this itinerary, we only will offer one restaurant recommendation to provide you with timing flexibility and the ability to pick your own food during your trip! Scheduled Plan for 2-Day Las Vegas Family Itinerary Day One 08:30 – 09:45 Neon Museum 09:45 – 10:00 Travel to the Downtown Container Park 10:00 – 11:30 Downtown Container Park 11:30 – 14:00 Fremont Street Experience & Lunch 14:00 – 14:15 Travel to Springs Preserve 14:15 – 16:30 Springs Preserve 16:30 – 17:00 Travel to the High Roller 17:00 – 17:45 High Roller Ferris Wheel 17:45 – 19:00 Dinner 19:00 – 20:30 Fountains of Bellagio & Bellagio Conservatory 20:30 – 22:00 Coca-Cola Store and M&M World 22:00 – onwards Return to accommodations, relax, etc. Day Two 08:00 – 09:30 Breakfast Brunch at the Bayside Buffet 09:30 – 11:00 Shark Reef Aquarium 11:00 – 11:30 Travel to Circus Circus Hotel 11:30 – 16:30 Adventuredome (with lunch) 16:30 – 17:00 Travel to the Venetian 17:00 – 18:00 Madame Tussauds Wax Museum 18:00 – 19:30 Dinner 19:30 – 21:00 Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. 21:00 – 21:30 Travel to the Stratosphere 21:30 – 23:00 Stratosphere Tower Observation Deck Day One Our first day starts in one of the lesser-visited yet still energetic neighborhoods of Las Vegas: Downtown. Located where Las Vegas initially was created, and the center of the gambling culture before the Strip, Downtown Las Vegas now is home to an eclectic, retro scene with a culture highly tied to the “glory days” of Vegas. Situated just north of the neighborhood on Las Vegas Boulevard is the Neon Museum, a museum which features historic neon signs from old casinos and businesses spread out over six acres. After checking out the Neon Museum, a five-minute drive towards the Strip will place you at the Downtown Container Park, a family-friendly outdoor shopping center made entirely from shipping containers. In the center, a large, interactive playground offers your kids the opportunity to play on a 33-foot slide, a massive treehouse, and several foam building blocks. Then, a two-block walk down Fremont Street will have you arrive at the famous Fremont Street Experience, a sprawling mall with an LED-lit canopy. If anyone is feeling adventurous, the Slotzilla Zipline offers two different ziplines which allow you to fly seven or eleven stories above the busy mall beneath. After the hustle-and-bustle experienced in Downtown, a ten-minute drive westwards will land you at Springs Preserve, a 180-acre collection of gardens, trails, museums, and yes, another playground for the kids. Here, you’ll be able to check out hands-on classes, ride a train, or take a short hike around the massive open space located in the heart of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Area. Now we’ll finally make it to the pinnacle neighborhood of Las Vegas: the glitzy Las Vegas Strip. Located twenty minutes from Springs Preserve and directly behind the LINQ hotel, the High Roller is a 550-foot tall Ferris wheel which is notably taller than even the London Eye. Riding on the High Roller will offer you stunning, 360-degree views of the entire Las Vegas area in a spacious, 40-person cabin. Interestingly, the wheel takes an entire thirty minutes for one revolution, and offers both family and student discounts for their visitors. After disembarking the High Roller, a fifteen-minute walk across the Strip will land you at the Bellagio, where you’ll be able to see the Fountains of Bellagio, where music and lights offer a choreographed aquatic show free for the public. Then, venturing inside the hotel will offer your family the opportunity to experience the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, a massive atrium with plants, flowers, and trees from around the world which change with every season. This evening will end with an exciting visit to another iconic family destination in Las Vegas: M&M’s World and the Coca Cola Store. Located next to each other in front of the MGM Grand Hotel, fifteen minutes walking distance from the Bellagio, these two stores will offer you and your kids a shopping experience which you never be able to forget. At the Coca-Cola store, you’ll be able to enjoy samples of Coca-Cola beverages popular around the world and plenty of Coke-themed merchandise. Afterwards, M&M’s World, with four stories and 28,000 square feet, includes a personalized M&M printer, a free 3-D movie, and more M&M-themed merchandise than one could imagine. After finishing your visit, enjoy returning to your accommodations to relax after a long first day in Viva Las Vegas. Day Two Today begins with breakfast at one of the top-rated buffet restaurants in Las Vegas: the Bayside Buffet in the Mandalay Bay Resort. Speaking from personal experience, the Bayside Buffet is indescribable in the quality and quantity of food they offer, from crab legs to smoked salmon breakfast pizza and many more extravagant options. After finishing up your meal, venture over to the Shark Reef Aquarium, also located within the Mandalay Bay resort. Lauded as North America’s only predator-based aquarium, this exciting exhibit offers a 1.3 million gallon main tank with sharks, rays, sawfish, and more. Then, for an attraction that likely will take up a large part of this afternoon, head up to the north side of the Strip for the Circus Circus hotel. Inside, you’ll find the Adventuredome, a five-acre, indoor theme park with rides and attractions which suit all ages. You’ll be able to buy a pass inside which allows unlimited rides, including bungee jumping, clown shows, miniature golf, and an arcade. After spending some quality time riding some of Adventuredome’s best offerings, head back down the Strip to the Venetian Hotel. Here, you’ll be able to visit Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, the first Madame Tussauds museum featuring over 100 wax figures of celebrities from around the world, including Britney Spears, Sofia Vergara, and Muhammed Ali. Afterwards, a quick walk back across the Strip to the Treasure Island hotel will offer your family the chance to see one of Vegas’s more kid-friendly attractions: the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. museum. This interactive and educational exhibit geared towards The Avengers, and will allow you to experience “classified studies and experiments that explore the history and scientific origins of the Avengers.” Finally, to end the night, we will be returning to the North Strip to the Stratosphere Tower, the tallest observation tower in the United States rising nearly 1,200 feet above the ground below. At the top, you’ll have access to a revolving restaurant fittingly named “The Top of the World”, a panoramic observation deck, several shops, and most notably, four thrill rides including Insanity, where riders are dangled over the edge of the tower and whirled around at forty miles an hour. Whether or not you decide to try out the daring rides, finishing the day at the top of Las Vegas will be the perfect end to a wonderful family trip.
  • Scheduled Plan for Arts & Culture Tourist Itinerary This scheduled plan should give an idea of how each day will be structured, time-wise, and allows for substantial independent time for shopping, touring, eating, and sleeping during the trip. Evidently, public transportation timings are dynamic and activities might be extended or shortened at your own pace, but this should give a rough idea of how each day will be timed. Day One 08:30 – 09:30 Breakfast near California St & Davis St trolley station 09:30 – 10:00 Take C Line Trolley to California St & Grant St, visit Old St. Mary’s Cathedral 10:00 – 13:00 All About Chinatown Tour with lunch (departs from cathedral) 13:00 – 13:45 Travel on rideshare or KT Metro Line to Minnesota Street Project 13:45 – 16:00 Minnesota Street Project & 1150 25th St. Galleries 16:00 – 16:15 Travel to the Mission District 16:15 – 18:00 Detour Walking Tour of the Mission District 18:00 – 19:00 Dinner in the Mission 19:00 – 20:30 Sunset at the Painted Ladies 20:30 – onwards Nightlife in the Lower Haight Day Two 08:00 – 09:00 Breakfast at Garden House Café (located on Clement St & 23rd St) 09:00 – 09:30 Lands End Trail & Holocaust Memorial 09:30 – 11:00 Legion of Honor 11:00 – 11:30 Rideshare/Bus to Irving Street 11:30 – 12:30 Lunch on Irving Street 12:30 – 12:45 Walk to the de Young Museum 12:45 – 15:00 De Young Museum 15:00 – 15:45 Rideshare/Bus to SF MOMA 15:45 – 17:00 SF MOMA 17:00 – 17:15 Rideshare/F Line Streetcar to Pier 33 17:15 – 18:15 Dinner near Pier 33 18:15 – 18:30 Purchase tickets, board ferry for 18:30 departure to Alcatraz 18:30 – 21:45 Alcatraz Night Tour 21:45 – onwards Walk around North Beach, return to hotel, etc. Itinerary Overview Featuring a variety of walking tours, museum and exhibition visits, and even a night cruise out to Alcatraz, this itinerary focuses on the artistic culture of San Francisco. Travelers using this itinerary will be able to visit the far corners of the City, as well as the glitzy downtown districts which it is known for. This trip plan includes an overview of the attractions visited on this itinerary, as well as a time-sensitive schedule for those who seek more structure for their trips. Day One Today begins in the heart of the busy Financial District in downtown San Francisco. We recommend grabbing breakfast at the Eclipse Kitchen & Bar, an American comfort-style restaurant located in the Hyatt Regency on Market & Drumm Street. From here, you’ll be able to take an iconic trolley car seven stops down California Street to Old St Mary’s Cathedral at California & Grant, where at 10am, the company All About Chinatown Tours offers what TripAdvisor rates as the top walking tour of Chinatown, one of San Francisco’s most historically significant neighborhoods. Here, for three hours, you’ll be able to experience the best of what Chinatown has to offer in terms of shopping, attractions, and of course, food. After exploring Chinatown, take either a rideshare or the KT line Metro from the Metro Montgomery Station to Third Street & 23rd St, located twenty minutes away. Here, we’ll encounter the first art-related attraction, and one of the most highly-rated in the city: the Minnesota Street Project. Located in the trendy yet historic Dogpatch district, the Minnesota Street Project is comprised of several art galleries for both internationally-recognized and up-and-coming artists, and boasts a plethora of opportunities to further explore the art scene of the Bay Area. A quick rideshare (or taking the No. 48 bus from Pennsylvania Avenue & 23rd St) will land you at 24th St & Mission St, the heart of the famous Mission District. Here, we recommend downloading the Detour app, which offers free audio walking tours of different neighborhoods in the City which you can complete by yourself, at your own pace. If you finish the tour before six, check out Galeria de la Raza, a nonprofit “cultural hub” which features work from Latino artists. Grab dinner at one of the many restaurants along 24th Street if you haven’t already eaten at La Palma Mexicatessen, which is featured at the end of the walking tour! A ten-minute rideshare from the Mission will put you at one of the most picturesque places in the entire Peninsula: the famed Painted Ladies. Situated along the eastern block of Alamo Square Park on Steiner Street, the Painted Ladies is a collection of colorful Victorian houses built between 1849 and 1915. A walk up the hilly park will offer some remarkable vantage points as the sun sets over the skyline of San Francisco, which will be great opportunities to take photos which will spark envy among your friends! Four blocks south of the Painted Ladies lies one of the quirkier yet aesthetically-pleasing districts of San Francisco: Lower Haight. Comprised mostly of young locals, Lower Haight is known for the artistic, vintage vibe. After dark, Haight Street comes alive with funky bars, clubs, and restaurants which certainly will make a perfect end to our first day exploring the art scene of San Francisco. Day Two Our second day begins in a much different neighborhood of the City, one which lies at the end of the Peninsula hugging the Pacific coast. Outer Richmond, Sea Cliff, and Vista Del Mar surround a remarkable green space which looks over the dramatic California coast. We recommend beginning the day with breakfast at the Garden House Café on 32nd and Clement in Sea Cliff. A twenty-minute walk up the Legion of Honor Drive will have visitors arrive at several historic memorials from San Francisco in earlier centuries. If you are up for a walk, there are a few trails which hug the northern coast of the Peninsula and offer dramatic views of the sea, otherwise, catching the Memorial for Peace and Holocaust Memorial both ought to be interesting sights. At 10am, the Legion of Honor opens, which is known widely as “San Francisco’s most beautiful museum”. Enjoy marveling at exhibitions featuring over 4,000 years of art from around the world in one of the most beautiful structures in the City. Another ten-minute rideshare or taxi away is one of San Francisco’s more local neighborhoods, Outer Sunset. Arriving at Irving St & 9th Ave puts you in the center of a bustling commercial district, where you’ll have plenty of options to grab lunch amongst local residents. Then, after walking a block north of the intersection, you’ll find Golden Gate Park, a massive stretch of green space that extends over 1,000 acres from Haight-Ashbury all the way to the Pacific. Near the center of the park is de Young Museum, a fine arts museum with diverse collections featuring collections that include American, African, Oceanic, and Textile Arts. From Fulton St & 10th Avenue, the No. 5 bus takes riders all the way across the City back to downtown SF, where you’ll be able to find the popular San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, or SFMOMA as its commonly referred to, just four blocks away from the Fulton St & 10th Ave stop. After SFMOMA, the historic F Line streetcar can take you directly from Market & Kearny to Pier 33 at The Embarcadero & Bay Street, where one of the most exciting activities on this itinerary will take place. After catching a quick dinner at a restaurant near the pier, Alcatraz Cruises offers a night tour departing at 6:30pm to Alcatraz Island. Here, you will not only be able to experience one of the most famous prisons and lighthouses in the United States, but you also will be afforded breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline at night. After returning on a ferry at a time which works for you, you’ll have the rest of the night to either explore the nightlife of the glitzy downtown districts, or return to your accommodations for a relaxing end to your vacation. Trip planned by Nate Gordon.

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