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Los Angeles Layover At LAX Airport

| May 2, 2015

Stuck on a Los Angeles layover at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in California? A major hub airport in California, Los Angeles’ LAX airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world. The airport is located in the southwestern part of the city, roughly 16 miles from downtown which makes many destinations accessible for those stuck on long layovers. If you’re trying to determine whether you can leave the airport during your Los Angeles layover, click here for useful tips.
Los Angeles Layover LAX things to do
LAX offers a lot for passengers stuck on a long Los Angeles layover. The airport offers a large selection of bars and restaurants as well as shopping, listed in the links by terminal location.

The airport offers public art displays in a variety of places. You can also check out the LAX Pylons, the 9/11 Exhibit, and a Flight Path Learning Center.

LAX also offers the following airport lounges for your Los Angeles layover:
Terminal 1 – US Airways Club
Terminal 2 – Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Hawaiian Airlines, Air France
Terminal 3 – Alaska Airlines
Terminal 4 – American Airlines
Terminal 5 – Delta
Terminal 6 – Continental Airlines
Terminal 7 – United Airlines

The Tom Brady International Terminal lounges include Star Alliance Lounge, SkyTeam Alliance Lounge, Oneworld Alliance Lounge, El Al King David Lounge, reLAX Lounge, and Evergreen Lounge.

If you arrive at night or are looking for a place to rest during your Los Angeles layover, there are a number of hotels close to the airport, of varying price points. To find and compare hotels and pricing near LAX, click here.

Electronic lockers to store luggage are no longer available at LAX. The airport advises you to contact your airline to arrange baggage storage.

If you’re planning on leaving the airport to explore during your Los Angeles layover, there are many transportation options. Authorized taxis are available outside the Arrivals area, and the fare is metered. In addition, there’s the LAX Shuttle and Airline Connect, FlyAway buses, hotel shuttles, long distance vans, public buses and light rail, rental cars, scheduled buses and shared ride vans. Private transfers can also be booked.

Layover Guide’s Suggestions For Things To Do On A Los Angeles Layover:

Los Angeles Tours

There are a ton of tours available in Los Angeles, based on your interest. There are Hollywood celebrity tours, bus and walking tours, biking tours, theme parks, cultural, food, wine, and nightlife tours and tons more!

California Beaches

If you’re looking for beaches, there’s a number of beaches nearby including Manhattan Beach, Playa Del Rey, and Redondo Beach. In Santa Monica, you can find a number of activities including walking along the beach, a pier with a ferris wheel and some games for kids, outdoor shopping on third street promenade, and various street performers. You can ride along the beach on segway tours.


If have quite a few hours to make it into the heart of Hollywood, there’s dozens of tours around the city and drive-bys of celebrity homes. Check out Mann’s Grauman Theater where you can put your hand and feet in the prints of famous celebrities. A short stroll down Hollywood Blvd. will show you the renown pink stars on the sidewalk and the shopping at Hollywood and Highland.


If you’re stuck on a long layover and have plenty of time before your connecting flight, further north of Santa Monica is Malibu. Travel north along Pacific Cost Highway, which winds along the beach. You can pass Pepperdine University, and check out a beautiful beach, Point Dume, which is set next to impressive cliffs.

The Los Angeles official visitors site offers lots of other ideas on things to do during your Los Angeles layover, and can offer suggestions on getting around.

Have a suggestion for a Los Angeles layover? Leave a comment below!

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Category: Layover Guides, North America, things to do

Comments (12)

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  1. Rachel says:

    I leave close to LAX (a 10-minute drive south), so I’m fairly knowledgeable about the area.

    For public transportation, you have to take the LAX G bus to another bus or to the Green Line station, which you can take to the Silver or Blue line to Downtown LA (Lots of museums, USC/the Rose Bowl, great food, fun shops), or then take the subway at the 7th street metro station to Koreatown, or Hollywood/Highland if you want to do tourist stuff.

    In my opinion, the best thing to do (weather permitting) is go to the beach. Check your luggage somewhere, and have a taxi drop you off in downtown Manhattan Beach. The fare should be around $20-$25 including tip if there isn’t traffic. There’s restaurants, shops, and general cutesiness. Downtown El Segundo is also very cute, but no beach.

    You can also get Zipcars near LAX (be sure to register beforehand — it takes a week or two to get the card you need), and go wherever. Be sure to hit up an In n Out, and keep in mind that the westside and downtown get pricey when it comes to parking. Beware that LA has pretty aggressive drivers, so if you aren’t used to city driving, I would avoid anything north or west of Culver City.
    If you just want to go for a pretty drive, take Imperial Highway to Vista Del Mar and just go south. It’ll take you through the South Bay (Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Beaches through Riviera Village and up through Palos Verdes). You’ll get nice ocean views and see some cool houses, especially up in PV.

    There are a few shopping centers close to LAX: the Westfield in Westchester (which is sort of a large, standard mall with generic stores except for some of the Asian food court fare), the El Segundo Plaza (which sort of spread out and is fairly upscale — Lululemon, Anthropologie, Whole Foods, J Crew, Pinkberry — with a few restaurants at a middle price-point), and the Manhattan Village Mall (a shopping center with all major US banks, a Ralphs grocery store and CVS, and a range of restaurants and shops — Macy’s and Nordstrom’s, some boutiques, CPK, Islands, a few nicer restaurants of which I recommend Tin Roof Bistro).

    Malibu is reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally far from LAX, so that’d be if you have like a 16 hour plus layover and don’t mind renting a car. Keep in mind that TSA can be pretty bad, especially for international flights, and always arrive two hours before your flight, at least. I’ve gotten through security in 10 minutes and in 90 minutes at different times. At peak hours, traffic to and from LAX is very, very heavy.

    Also, no one goes to Playa Del Rey. If you want to go in that direction, Marina Del Rey is a much better option.

    • Roxanne says:

      We will be arriving ther on a wednesday @9:40 am and our connecting flight is not until 6:40 pm. do you think we will have plenty of time to go to downtown LA?

  2. Erica Villa says:

    Hello! I would just like to ask regarding my plans on travelling to Colombia. I’m from the Philippines and I’m planning to visit Colombia on my Semester break this coming last week of October for just 2 weeks. I’ve searched for flights online but there is always a connecting flight in the US.

    For example, Manila to China, China to LAX California, then from LAC Cali to Colombia. But the layover in LAX is just for 3 HOURS. I just wanted to know if I still need to Have a VISA for this 3 hour layover in LAX California? Thank you in advance!

  3. Theresa buyco says:

    Hi.. I just want to ask about my connecting flight. Guangzhou to Los Angeles I have layover for 4 1/2 hours. I came from Philippines going to Canada. Do I need to have a visa for this 4 1/2 hours layover in low Angeles? Thank you in advance!

  4. Citizen says:

    Tom Brady International Terminal…LAWL

  5. viva says:

    Hi, I will have a layover at LAX from 7pm to 1am, sucks, but that’s what it is.
    I know I can have dinner and read, but seems like a rough time to be there. I’m sure I’ll be sleeping in the airport. 🙁
    No hotels seem to offer anything for that time frame, so any ideas are helpful. I’ll be in the Delta Terminal 5 (at least it’s new and connected to a few other terminals inside security).
    Any ideas, or thoughts for me?

  6. ND says:

    Hey, I just wrote a post on how to get to In N Out burger on a long layover at LAX. Basic instructions are to take the parking lot C bus and walk the rest of the way. Take a read here http://www.thebarg.com/lax-layover-innout/

    • LisaS says:

      I live in Northern Cali. In N Out burger isn’t that great. There are better options available. Try using Yelp for the local area.


    Hi.. I just want to ask about my connecting flight. Guangzhou to Los Angeles I have layover for 4 1/2 hours. I came from Philippines going to Canada. Do I need to have a visa for this 4 1/2 hours layover in low Angeles? Thank you in advance!


  8. LayoverStop says:

    There are so many things to do, depending on the time of the day, which day of the week, and the number of hours you have Saturday and Sunday mornings are less busy in terms of traffic- here is a list; (in order of least hours needed)- always give yourself 2 hours to get back to the airport;

    1) Manhattan Beach- shopping, food, drinking (3 hours)
    2) Venice Beach- beach, shopping, smoking, some food (3 hours)
    3) Abbot Kinney- Shopping, food, coffee, wine (2 hours)
    4) Paddle boarding in Marina del Rey (3 hours)
    5) Hollywood BLV (4 hours)
    5) Griffith Observatory (5 hours)

    • Mel says:

      I am staying one night in lax my flight arrives at noon. What is the best hotel to stay in for the night to attractions. I have to be in airport next day at 7 am.