Los Angeles Travel Guide

Los Angeles Overview

Tinseltown, LA LA Land, The City of Angels, or quite simple LA: whatever affectionate name it is given there is know denying that Los Angeles is perhaps the most vibrant and entertaining destination the USA has to offer. The second largest city in the country, Los Angeles fiercely competes with San Francisco for California’s top billing, and with its chic shopping districts, celebrity status, cultural diversity, electric nightlife and laidback beach suburbs, many would say that it is by far number one.
Spread over an area of c500 square miles and with a coastline that stretches for over 75 miles, Los Angeles in a true metropolis and planning a visit is not the easiest task. Whereas New York and Washington DC are jam packed with must see monuments and sights, LA is more of a place to explore by neighborhood. Naturally, places such as Disneyland, the Getty Center and Hollywood Walk of Fame should be high on the list of things to see and do; however, exploring the boutique stores of the Golden Triangle or sinking a few beers in a rundown bar of Venice Beach and equally rewarding.
For those that decide to hang around for more than a couple of nights, renting a car in LA is a great option and allows free reign to jump from the Hollywood Hills straight down to Santa Monica and the beach. What’s more, with a mild year round climate boasting the occasional winter high of 18°C, there is never a bad time of the year to visit LA. If it is the combination of the big city mixed with celebrity stardom and bohemian beach life, then Los Angeles awaits.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Downtown LA - Once the centre of all things social, Downtown LA is witnessing somewhat of a revival with an interesting collection of architecture, museums and migrant districts. Sights not to be missed include The Plaza, Bunker Hill and City Hall. Museums of note count Geffen Contemporary and Museum of Contemporary Art. Little Tokyo and Chinatown provide a great insight into Japanese and Chinese cultures in La. Walt Disney Concert Hall is just one of many concert halls and theatres.
Hollywood - The razzamatazz of US glamour has forever been associated with Hollywood and today its appeal is as magnetic as ever for visitors wishing to walk in the footsteps of their heroes from the big screen. Hollywood Boulevard, with the Walk of Fame, and Sunset Boulevard remain synonymous with the golden years of the big screen, with Sunset Strip attracting youthful music lovers. Museums are in abundance, including the Hollywood Heritage Museum, Hollywood History Museum and Paramount Studios. For a break from the crowds, head to Griffith Park and concertgoers should check out what is going on at the Hollywood Bowl.
Beverly Hills - Today’s hotspot for tourism is without doubt Beverly Hills, alongside the neighboring West LA district. A leader in fashion, this is the place for swanky hotels, chic restaurants and the latest in shopping. Rodeo Drive is the quintessential shopping zone; however, the Golden Triangle is home to some of the city’s most renowned names. Other highlights of Beverly Hills count the UCLA Hammer Museum, Museum of Jurassic Technology and Getty Center
Santa Monica and Venice - When the downtown district become too hot and hectic make a move to the western side of town and the beach neighbourhoods of Santa Monica and Venice, both boasting there own unique identity. Santa Monica is the affluent and stylish side home to chic cafés and trendy galleries. Venice maintains its non-standard, offbeat vibe, although only an expert can really say where one begins and the other ends. Regardless, the two epitomise the casual sun, sea and surf lifestyle that Southern California is famed for.
Orange County - Perhaps no more appealing than LA’s downtown districts, Orange County is a hotbed of multicultural urban communities and home to some worthy sights, both interesting and entertaining. Disneyland, the original Disney influenced theme park, and Knott’s Berry Farm provide hours of family entertainment, and The Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum is perfect for history buffs. Meanwhile, Huntingdon and Laguna Beach seemingly blend carefree beach attitudes with upmarket and snobbish resorts.
Festivals in Los Angeles
Beverly Hills Film Festival - Held in April, the festival is geared towards the promotion of emerging moviemakers.
Annual Mariachi Festival - Celebration of Mariachi music held at the Hollywood Bowl in June.
Coachella Festival - Music and arts festival in the Coachella Valley of Palm Desert which attracts the biggest names in world music.
LA Nightlife - From jazz bars to country and western clubs, rock concerts to philharmonic orchestra shows, cocktail bars to beer swilling pubs, there is certainly something to suit all tastes when it comes to Los Angeles nightlife. Sunset Boulevard, Santa Monica, Hollywood and PasadenaOldTown are just a selection of the many nightlife zones. For listings pick up a copy of LA Weekly and remember to always go out with ID - anyone looking under 40 is usually asked!
LA Bars
Cat n Fiddle - English styled bar on Sunset Boulevard.
The Otheroom - Venice Beach beer drinking haunt where dogs are allowed.
Akbar - Everyone from gays, bohemians, businessmen and old regulars frequent this Sunset Boulevard joint.
Liquid Kitty - Swanky cocktail bar in Beverly Hills.
Clubs in Los Angeles
Boardner’s & The B52 Club - Longstanding unpretentious club mixing everything from rock to goth to funk.
Deep - The in-crowd queue for hours to enter this mecca for house and dance music.
Viper Room - Funky haunt for musicians and wannabes. Owned by Johnny Depp.
Live Music in Los Angeles
Whisky A Go Go - Legendary spot on Sunset Boulevard that has welcomed the likes of music heroes Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin.

Hotels in Los Angeles

Budget Hotels Los Angeles
Venice Beach Cotel - Hotel accommodation with backpacker hostel prices. Minutes from Venice boardwalk. Tel +1 310 399 7649.
Banana Bungalow - Vibrant hostel offering loads of tours and free BBQs. Locations in West Hollywood and Hollywood Boulevard.
Surf City Hostel - Cheap dorms and private rooms at Hermosa Beach. Tel +1 310 798 2323.
Midrange Hotels Los Angeles
Garden Cottage B&B - Quiet little hideaway in Beverly Hills run by an incredibly helpful couple. Tel +1 323 653 5616.
Hollywood Bed & Breakfast - Affordable family-run guesthouse right on Hollywood Boulevard. Tel +1 323 874 8017.
Luxury Hotels Los Angeles
Avalon Hotel - Stylish former home of Marilyn Monroe just a short walk from Sunset Strip. Tel +1 310 277 5221.
Beverly Hills Hotel - Swanky 5-star hotel built in 1912 and currently owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Tel +1 310 276 2251.

Los Angeles Weather

Los Angeles Travel Resources



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