LAX isn’t anyone’s favourite airport. While it’s currently undergoing improvements, I still aim to get out and see different parts of Los Angeles whenever I have a layover.

On two recent flights, I had six hours to kill in Los Angeles. I decided to explore Venice Beach and Santa Monica for a couple hours before returning to LAX to catch my red-eye. Needless to say, I’m definitely considering a non-layover trip to Los Angeles in the near future. Here’s my advice for those finding themselves at LAX with a few hours to spare.

Grab an Uber. Uber has completely taken off in Los Angeles and for good reason. Catching an Uber from LAX to Santa Monica will set you back approximately $20-25 USD, less than half the fare of a taxi.

My first stop was Alfred Coffee for a cappuccino and a strawberry croissant (both delicious!) I had heard a lot about Alfred and was instantly drawn to their branding and design aesthetic. It was the perfect way to kickstart the next few hours.

After coffee, I ventured to the Santa Monica Pier, so I could walk along the sand, watch the sunset, and gawk at all the palm trees. There’s nothing more rewarding than getting some fresh air and exercise to break up a long travel day. I loved visiting the pier and taking in all the neon sights of the rides and the exciting energy on the docks.

Venice Beach is another fun neighbourhood to visit, especially if you don’t want to steer too far from the airport. I recommend checking out Moon Juice for refreshing cleanses, cold-pressed juices, and other concoctions or Café Gratitude if you’re craving a wholesome, vegetarian meal.

If you’re getting anxious about making it back to the airport for your flight, I suggest hitting up Terminal 5 for lunch or dinner at Lemonade. A Los Angeles institution, Lemonade serves fresh, healthy salads and sandwiches made with seasonal ingredients. They’re also known for their delicious lemonades such as watermelon rosemary and blueberry mint, always a great pre-flight option.

Another enticing option, close to the airport, is In-N-Out Burger. Make sure to have your fries ‘animal-style’.

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