The Perfect J1 Day In…Los Angeles

The Perfect J1 Day In…Los Angeles

7 min read

Still thinking about where to spend your J1 Summer? Having ticked off San Francisco, Boston and Chicago, it’s time for Los Angeles to make an appearance!  Los Angeles is a place you need to spend time in to really appreciate. Not on the regular J1 beaten path, maybe our perfect day will sway some opinions!

It is a city that splits opinions a lot. Make sure to give yourself longer than 4 days to really take in all the city has to offer. It is the city that really does have everything from farmers markets to the biggest movie studios. There will be plenty of movie references, so be prepared! Los Angeles is a movie lovers’ paradise!

A Great Start to Any Morning is a Hiking Trail to the Hollywood Sign

Personally, I took the easier trail that didn’t quite get me to the sign, but the views were spectacular nonetheless!

It’s best to do this in the morning as the temperature is lower and there isn’t half as many people around, which makes for an enjoyable stroll. So, grab something quick for breakfast in wherever your staying and head to the hills. Where you start the walk is the Griffith Observatory, this has been seen in plenty of films and most recently in LaLaLand.

Who Wants Lunch?

No movie references here, just great food. One of the best lunch spots that has locals lining up around the corner daily. Grab an early lunch after your hike at Loqui at The Platform. This place serves up some of the best Mexican food in L.A. Located in a newly renovated area of Culver City just outside West Hollywood and on your way to Santa Monica and Venice Beach. It’s a must! L.A has some of the best Mexican food going, and you’ll be living off it for most of your time in the city.  Loqui boasts some great basic staples of good wholesome Mexican in a modern over the counter serving style.

Not a fan of Mexican food? No problem! In the same shopping area of Culver City is a Sweetgreen, a chain of salad bars that are dotted all over The States, they’ll make a salad so good you’ll be hooked on them!

Venice Beach or Santa Monica Pier or Both! 

Two places that you could spend a whole day at no bother! Santa Monica Pier is one of the most recognized areas in Los Angeles, as seen in the movie classic Forrest Gump and the last stop on the classic all-American road trip, Route 66. Bring back your inner child and spend the day in the Arcade trying to win the best prize. Make sure to have a go on the Farris wheel, you’ll see some amazing views from the top.

All the rides at the Pacific Park tickets range from $5-$10. The Pier showcases everything a tourist can dream of, from an amusement park, fishing, sensational buskers, sunbathing on the beach to concerts in the evenings. In the summer months, every Thursday evening hosts some great talent on the Twilight Concerts stage. A free concert on the pier that everyone can enjoy, and a great way to end an evening.



Venice beach is known for its artistic culture. Whereas Santa Monica is mostly concentrated at the pier, Venice is a whole world of its own. Venice celebrates some of the most amazing street art along with great pop up galleries and artist studios alike. One of the must-see art displays in Venice is the Venice Art Walls. Located right on the sand and free to explore. Venice is a make-up of a whole host of famous spots, I’m sure everyone has heard of at least once.

With Muscle Beach, Washington Square, The Boardwalk, Venice has it all! Through the canals of the city, you’ll find some of the most amazing graffiti. The canals once spanned about 16 miles, they now only spread through a few blocks, but worth a look if you’re into seeing some great urban art. If art isn’t really you’re thing, then head to the beach. Although when you get there you’ll quickly realise that the main attractions are not the beach itself, but what’s going on around it. This is the place to really explore! Best thing to do is walk around and take it all in! via @lanceasper

If you were really stuck for time, the two are both located at one end of the beach to the other, so it can all be done in one day.

*Movie Reference*

From Grease to Million Dollar Baby, Venice is a great spot to see some classic film locations.

Feeling Hungry After a Long Day of Sightseeing?! Here are Some Recommendations for Dinner in Both Areas.


Cheap and Cheerful –  The Great Western Steak & Hoagie, grab one of their famous steak sandwiches that never disappoint. Recommended as one of the last remaining dive restaurants in Venice. It’s affordable, charming and all of that mixed with great food, means you’re on to a winner if you choose to eat here.

Treat Yourself – The Venice Ale house is a great spot to sit down with your mate after a long day of being a tourist. It’s a casual spot with great food and drink. Prices are still reasonable which is always a bonus! Right in at the heart of the boardwalk this is the type of place you could spend the rest of your evening at or just stay for dinner and few drinks.

Santa Monica:

Cheap and Cheerful – Want a lovely view and reasonable prices? Head to Pier Burger, a classic cheap and cheerful all-American burger joint right on the pier. Grab a burger and head outside and watch the sunset while eating your dinner.

Treat Yourself – The place to head to for dinner is a place called The Independence. It has a choice of everything from sandwiches and salads to steak and oysters. They also do a great brunch, with a choice of bottomless mimosas, over 21’s only of course. All round good spot for any time of the day!

*Another food tip* – Try Korean BBQ, if you haven’t already while your in LA, its an experience!

Other Places to Visit in Los Angeles That Could Take up to a Whole Day in Itself:

  • The Studio tours – Warner Brothers ($65), Universal ($105), Paramount ($58). So much to explore and each one can take at least half a day on its own. Prices ranging from
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
  • Exploring West Hollywood – Hollywood Boulevard, The Chinese Theatre, The Grove Shopping Centre.
  • Go see a show taping, they’re free! Just apply for tickets. Like everything, the good ones go quick so try have one planned that you want to see when your there and apply early.
  • Disneyland is less than an hour drive from L.A. also!

Remember, the J1 Basic package is still available from €299 with Premium now only €399 practically guaranteeing you a summer job. Head or email