It’s hard to think of a better way to start the day than a trip to the beach – and in LA, where temperatures tend to soar by the afternoon, morning is actually the best time for a refreshing dose of sand and surf. Head to Venice Beach, where little ones can make sandcastles and look for seashells – or gawk at the famous performers who flock here, from acrobats to beatboxers. At lunchtime, pop over to the popular, family-run Amelia’s Espresso & Panini in neighbouring Santa Monica. Kids can fill up on toasties and gelato, while parents can enjoy a much-needed caffeine fix.
It isn’t a trip to Los Angeles without some Hollywood adventures, and kids of all ages will be thrilled by an afternoon at Universal Studios. The famous Studio Tour offers an excursion through the Universal backlots, while The Wizarding World of Harry Potter transports visitors to Hogwarts and back (butterbeer included). The adjacent iFLY on Universal City Walk, meanwhile, offers older kids a thrilling chance to give indoor skydiving a whirl – literally.
In Los Angeles, going to the movies is a must – provided you book tickets at one of the city’s one-of-a-kind cinemas, that is. One of the best is The Cinerama Dome, a colourful local landmark that dates back to 1963. Don’t just fill up on popcorn, though: instead, zip over to Au Fudge in West Hollywood afterwards. The restaurant offers a sophisticated menu for grown-ups… and a creative play space for kids.
Family at Venice beach © iStock: RyanJLane