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What To Do With A 10-Hour Stopover At LAX


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Carine Diep



So you find yourself with a 10-hour stopover at the bustling Los Angeles International Airport, commonly known as LAX. While the idea of a long layover may initially seem daunting, fear not! With its prime location in Southern California, LAX offers plenty of opportunities to make the most of your time and experience some of the best that the Golden State has to offer.


From vibrant cityscapes and stunning beaches to world-class shopping and delicious cuisine, California has something for everyone. And even if you can’t venture far beyond the airport, there are still plenty of exciting activities and amenities to keep you entertained during your layover.


In this article, we’ll explore the various options available to you for making the most of your 10-hour stopover at LAX. Whether you’re a shopaholic, a foodie, or simply looking for a quiet spot to relax, we’ve got you covered. So sit back, relax, and get ready to embark on a whirlwind adventure in the heart of Los Angeles!


Exploring LAX

LAX is more than just a transportation hub; it’s an experience in itself. As one of the busiest airports in the world, LAX boasts a plethora of amenities and attractions to keep travelers entertained during their layovers. From art installations and aviation exhibits to panoramic views of the airfield, there’s no shortage of things to explore within the airport.


Begin your adventure by taking a stroll through the various terminals and immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. Admire the stunning architecture of the Theme Building, an iconic mid-century modern structure that serves as a symbol of LAX. Don’t forget to check out the numerous art installations scattered throughout the airport, showcasing the diverse talent of local and international artists.


If you’re a fan of aviation, head to the Flight Path Museum and Learning Center located near the airport. This hidden gem offers a unique opportunity to delve into the history of flight and learn about the evolution of LAX. From vintage aircraft and interactive exhibits to informative displays, the museum is a must-visit for aviation enthusiasts.


For those looking for a bit of relaxation, LAX offers various lounges where you can unwind and recharge. Some lounges even provide amenities such as spa services, showers, and complimentary drinks and snacks. Consider purchasing a day pass to one of these lounges for some well-deserved pampering during your layover.


As you explore LAX, keep an eye out for special events and performances that often take place within the terminals. From live music to cultural showcases, these events add an extra layer of excitement and entertainment to your layover experience.


No matter how you choose to spend your time, remember to keep track of your departure gate and allow enough time to go through security and board your next flight. LAX is a sprawling airport, so it’s essential to plan accordingly to ensure a seamless transition from one terminal to another.


Now that you’re familiar with some of the highlights of LAX, it’s time to dive into the various amenities and activities that await you in the terminals. From shopping to dining and relaxation zones, LAX has it all. So let’s continue our journey through this bustling airport!


Terminal Amenities

LAX boasts an impressive array of amenities to ensure that travelers have a comfortable and enjoyable experience during their time at the airport. From duty-free shopping to relaxation zones, there’s something for everyone.


One of the highlights of LAX’s terminal amenities is the wide selection of duty-free shops. Whether you’re looking for designer accessories, luxury cosmetics, or premium liquor, you’ll find it all at the duty-free stores within the airport. Take advantage of your layover to browse through the latest fashion trends or pick up some souvenirs to commemorate your time in Los Angeles.


When it comes to dining options, LAX leaves no stone unturned. From fast-food chains to renowned restaurants, there’s a diverse range of culinary choices to suit every palate. Indulge in iconic American burgers, savor authentic Mexican cuisine, or opt for healthy and fresh dishes – the choice is yours. Don’t forget to sample some local California specialties, such as avocado toast or fish tacos, for a true taste of the region.


If you’re in need of some relaxation, LAX has you covered with several designated relaxation zones. These areas provide comfortable seating, charging stations, and sometimes even massage chairs, allowing you to unwind and recharge before your next flight. Take a moment to catch up on your favorite TV shows, read a book, or simply close your eyes and relax amidst the hustle and bustle of the airport.


For those traveling with children, LAX offers family-friendly amenities to keep the little ones entertained. Some terminals feature play areas where kids can burn off some energy before the next leg of their journey. There are also family lounges equipped with baby-changing facilities and comfortable seating, providing a quiet and stress-free environment for parents and children.


Additionally, LAX provides excellent accessibility options for travelers with special needs. The airport features accessible restrooms, ramps, elevators, and dedicated assistance services to ensure a smooth and comfortable experience for all passengers.


As with any major airport, it’s always a good idea to check the airport’s website or download their official app to stay updated on the latest amenities and services available. This will help you plan your layover and make the most of your time at LAX.


With a wide range of terminal amenities, exploring LAX is an adventure in itself. So take your time, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, and enjoy the many offerings at this bustling airport.


Duty-Free Shopping

If you’re a shopaholic or simply looking to indulge in some retail therapy, LAX’s duty-free shopping options won’t disappoint. From luxury brands to local favorites, there’s a world of shopping possibilities waiting to be explored within the airport.


LAX showcases a wide range of duty-free stores where you can find everything from high-end fashion and accessories to electronics, cosmetics, and more. Take a stroll through the terminals and browse the offerings of renowned designer brands such as Gucci, Prada, Burberry, and Chanel. Treat yourself to a luxury handbag, a pair of designer sunglasses, or a timeless piece of jewelry.


But it’s not just luxury brands that are on offer. LAX’s duty-free shops also feature popular retailers and specialty stores, making it a one-stop destination for all your shopping needs. Explore the latest gadgets at the electronics stores, stock up on skincare and cosmetics from renowned beauty brands, or pick up a souvenir to commemorate your time in California.


One of the advantages of shopping at duty-free stores is the potential for savings. Duty-free items are often priced lower due to exemptions from taxes and duties, allowing you to enjoy a tax-free shopping experience. So not only can you find exclusive products and brands, but you may also be able to score some great deals and savings along the way.


With the convenience of duty-free shopping right at the airport, you can make the most of your layover by ticking items off your shopping list without having to leave the terminal. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your wardrobe, find the perfect gift for a loved one, or simply indulge in a little retail therapy, LAX’s duty-free shops have you covered.


Be sure to check the operating hours of the duty-free stores as they may vary. It’s also a good idea to compare prices with stores outside the airport to ensure you’re truly getting a good deal. Take your time to explore the offerings, use the assistance of knowledgeable staff, and enjoy the thrill of shopping in the stylish and well-curated duty-free stores at LAX.


Dining Options

When it comes to dining at LAX, the options are both diverse and delicious. From quick bites to full-service restaurants, there’s a plethora of dining choices to satisfy every craving and preference.


For those who are in a rush or prefer a quick meal, LAX offers a range of fast-food chains and casual eateries. Grab a classic American burger from In-N-Out Burger or indulge in a sandwich from Subway. Enjoy a slice of pizza from popular chains such as Wolfgang Puck Express or Blaze Pizza. These options provide convenience and efficiency without compromising on taste.


If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, LAX has several restaurants that offer a variety of cuisines and flavors. From trendy sushi bars to stylish steakhouse concepts, you’ll find a diverse range of gourmet options to tantalize your taste buds. Enjoy a fine dining experience at Chaya Brasserie or savor a juicy steak at The Proud Bird. These establishments elevate the airport dining experience, ensuring that travelers can enjoy a memorable meal before their next flight.


Being in Southern California, LAX also highlights local culinary delights. Indulge in fresh seafood at California Fish Grill or feast on delicious Mexican dishes at Camacho’s Cantina. If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, satisfy your cravings with a bowl of ramen from Tatsu or some mouth-watering sushi from B Grill by BOA Steakhouse. These local favorites provide a taste of the vibrant culinary scene that Southern California is known for.


For those who prefer healthier options or have dietary restrictions, LAX offers various choices to accommodate different needs. Look for restaurants that offer fresh salads, vegetarian or vegan dishes, and gluten-free options. Be sure to inquire about ingredients and inform the staff of any allergies or dietary requirements to ensure a safe and enjoyable dining experience.


No matter where you decide to dine at LAX, keep in mind that airport dining tends to be more expensive than outside establishments. However, it’s worth considering that the convenience factor and the quality of food can still make for a satisfying experience. If you have time to spare, it’s always a good idea to make a reservation, especially during peak hours, to secure a table at your preferred restaurant.


Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a gourmet meal, LAX’s dining options are sure to please even the most discerning taste buds. So take your time, explore the culinary offerings, and enjoy a delicious meal before continuing on with your journey.


Relaxation Zones

Traveling can be exhausting, and LAX understands the need for relaxation during a long layover. That’s why the airport offers designated relaxation zones where you can unwind and recharge before your next flight. These areas provide a peaceful and comfortable environment amidst the bustling atmosphere of the airport.


One popular relaxation zone at LAX is the airport’s various lounges. These lounges offer a range of amenities, including comfortable seating, charging stations for your devices, and sometimes even shower facilities. Some lounges also provide complimentary snacks and beverages, allowing you to indulge in a little luxury while waiting for your departure.


If you’re looking for a quiet space to take a break and catch up on some rest, LAX also offers designated relaxation areas. These zones often feature reclining chairs or even sleep pods where you can lie down and relax. Use this time to catch up on emails, read a book, or simply close your eyes and take a peaceful nap before continuing your journey.


If you’re interested in wellness and self-care, LAX has you covered. The airport boasts several spas where you can pamper yourself with a massage, facial, or other rejuvenating treatments. Treat yourself to a mini spa session and let the stress of travel melt away as you indulge in some well-deserved self-care.


For those who prefer a more active form of relaxation, LAX offers yoga rooms where you can stretch, meditate, and find inner peace amidst the airport chaos. These tranquil spaces provide a much-needed escape from the constant movement and noise, allowing you to find your Zen and recharge your mind and body.


In addition to the designated relaxation zones, you can also find seating areas throughout the terminals where you can sit back, relax, and people-watch. Take a moment to observe the flow of travelers, soak in the atmosphere, and enjoy a moment of tranquility amidst the energy of the airport.


It’s important to note that some relaxation zones may require a fee or have limited access, especially for non-business or first-class passengers. However, even if you don’t have access to specific lounges or amenities, there are still plenty of comfortable seating areas and quiet corners to find a moment of respite.


Remember, the key to making the most of the relaxation zones at LAX is to plan ahead and allow yourself enough time to enjoy these amenities. Take a break, find your oasis within the airport, and emerge feeling refreshed and ready to continue your journey.


Nearby Attractions

While a 10-hour layover may not provide enough time to explore all that Los Angeles has to offer, there are still some nearby attractions that you can visit to make the most of your time. These attractions are within a reasonable distance from LAX and offer a glimpse into the diverse experiences that Southern California has to offer.


If you’re a beach enthusiast, you’re in luck. Just a short drive away from LAX is the famed Venice Beach. Known for its vibrant boardwalk, street performers, and quirky shops, Venice Beach is a must-visit destination. Take a walk along the oceanfront, rent a bicycle or rollerblades, and soak up the California sunshine. Don’t forget to snap a photo of the iconic Venice Beach sign and catch a mesmerizing sunset over the Pacific Ocean.


If you prefer a more luxurious beach experience, head to Santa Monica, which is also conveniently located near LAX. Here, you can lounge on the pristine beaches, stroll along the Santa Monica Pier, and explore the shops and restaurants of the Third Street Promenade. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel, indulge in some delicious seafood, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of this popular beachside destination.


For culture enthusiasts, a visit to the Getty Center is highly recommended. This world-renowned art museum showcases an extensive collection of European paintings, sculptures, photographs, and decorative arts. The stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and panoramic views of Los Angeles make the Getty Center a must-visit attraction for art aficionados and those seeking a peaceful and inspiring experience.


If you’re interested in experiencing the glamour of Hollywood, take a quick trip to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Marvel at the stars on the sidewalk honoring iconic celebrities, visit the famous TCL Chinese Theatre, and snap a photo with the iconic Hollywood sign in the background. Immerse yourself in the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry and get a taste of the Hollywood experience.


For a taste of nature, head to Griffith Observatory. Located in Griffith Park, this iconic landmark offers stunning views of the city skyline, the Hollywood Sign, and the night sky. Explore the exhibits and planetarium shows to learn more about astronomy and the universe. If time permits, you can even hike up to the observatory and enjoy the breathtaking vistas along the way.


While venturing outside the airport during a layover requires careful planning and consideration of travel times and traffic, these nearby attractions offer a glimpse into the diverse experiences that Southern California has to offer. Just make sure to allow enough time to return to LAX, go through security, and board your next flight.


Remember, depending on the duration of your layover and traffic conditions, it’s essential to gauge the time and plan accordingly. But with some careful planning and a sense of adventure, you can turn a layover at LAX into an opportunity to explore some of the enchanting nearby attractions.


Transportation Options

When it comes to getting around during your layover at LAX, there are several transportation options to consider. From taxis and rideshares to public transportation, you can choose the option that best fits your needs and allows you to maximize your time exploring the city and its surroundings.


If you’re looking for convenience and a direct route to your destination, taxis and rideshares are popular choices. You can easily find taxi stands outside each terminal or request a ride through popular rideshare apps such as Uber or Lyft. Taxis and rideshares provide a hassle-free way of getting around, especially if you’re short on time or have specific places you want to visit.


Another option for transportation is to rent a car. Many car rental companies have facilities near LAX, making it convenient to pick up and drop off a vehicle. Renting a car gives you the flexibility to explore at your own pace and visit attractions beyond the immediate vicinity of the airport. Just make sure to familiarize yourself with local traffic conditions and parking options to avoid any potential delays or complications.


If you prefer to use public transportation, there are several options available. The Metro Rail system serves the Los Angeles area, and the Aviation/LAX Station connects to LAX via a free shuttle bus. From there, you can take the Green Line to explore various parts of the city. Public transportation is a cost-effective option that allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the vibrant neighborhoods of Los Angeles.


For those looking to explore the nearby beach cities, such as Santa Monica or Venice Beach, a convenient option is the FlyAway bus service. These buses operate between LAX and various destinations, including Hollywood, Long Beach, and Santa Monica. The FlyAway bus provides a comfortable and affordable way to reach popular beach areas without the worry of parking or navigating unfamiliar roads.


It’s important to note that the time you have for your layover will play a significant role in deciding which transportation option is best. If you have a shorter layover, opting for taxis, rideshares, or the FlyAway bus could save you precious time. However, if you have a longer layover and want to explore the city more extensively, renting a car or using public transportation might be more suitable.


Ultimately, the choice of transportation will depend on your preferences, the duration of your layover, and the destinations you wish to visit. Take into consideration factors such as travel time, traffic conditions, and the cost of each option to make an informed decision that allows you to maximize your time and make the most of your layover at LAX.



A 10-hour stopover at LAX provides a unique opportunity to experience the vibrant energy and diverse attractions that Southern California has to offer. While it may not be enough time to explore the city comprehensively, there are plenty of engaging activities and amenities to keep you entertained within and near the airport.


From exploring the art installations and aviation exhibits to indulging in duty-free shopping and savoring delicious cuisine, LAX offers a range of experiences to suit every interest. Take a moment to relax in the designated relaxation zones, recharge in the airport lounges, or venture out to nearby attractions like Venice Beach, Santa Monica, the Getty Center, or Griffith Observatory.


Consider the transportation options available, whether it’s taxis, rideshares, rental cars, or public transportation, to make the most of your limited time. Plan your itinerary accordingly, keeping in mind the duration of your layover and traffic conditions.


Remember, the key is to strike a balance between exploring and relaxing during your layover. Make use of the amenities, sample the local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of LAX and its surroundings.


Whether you’re a frequent traveler or just passing through, a 10-hour stopover at LAX is an opportunity to get a taste of the vibrant culture, beautiful beaches, and iconic attractions that make Southern California so captivating. Embrace the adventure, make the most of your time, and create lasting memories before continuing on with your onward journey.