Los Angeles, which literally means The Angels, promises a range of heavenly experiences for all types of tourists. Fondly known as the City of Angels, Los Angeles has a bevy of attractions that packs the famous Hollywood glitz and glamour, architectural wonders, beautiful beaches and parks and more. Are you planning to visit this beautiful city?
Here are some tips for a great trip: Visiting all the tourist attractions in LA can be an overwhelming experience. Select a few attractions and explore them in depth during a visit. You can always return a second time! Families usually love theme parks while movie buffs can’t stay away from Hollywood Boulevard. Theme parks and studio tours can quickly get expensive, so add some of the free things to do in the city to keep within your budget.
WHEN TO VISIT
Situated on the west coast of the United States, Los Angeles has a Mediterranean climate. LA is warm and dry in summer and mild and rainy during winter. Summer is ideally the best time to visit LA for beaches when the temperature is between the mid to upper 70s and the water is perfect for a swim.
September to November is more ideal for walking around the city and exploring its outdoor attractions. Keep an umbrella with you since rain in common in the cooler months. Holiday Season is high season and crowds will follow you wherever you go. Spring is again good for finding deals and bargains.
WHERE TO STAY
Santa Monica is the best spot to stay while in Los Angeles. This beautiful and tourist-friendly beach town is easy to explore on foot. With its wide beaches, the town offers plenty of sea views to all the beach lovers. Beverly Hills can also be a family-friendly albeit expensive spot to stay. For great nightlife, Downtown is a great option. It is mostly a business district but offers great culinary experiences. Staying in the Westwood or “Village” area will give you easy access to Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and many tourist points.
Any trip to Los Angeles is easier when you pack right. Sunscreen and sunglasses are must for sunny days on the beach while an umbrella is handy for Fall travel. Beverly Hills and Rodeo drive is very fashion conscious so dress your best for a trip in these areas. Keep good walking shoes and a casual outfit with you if you are planning a trip to the Theme parks.
WHERE & WHAT TO EAT
Los Angeles is a melting pot of various food cultures. From Michelin starred restaurants to affordable and tasty food trucks, Los Angeles culinary scene remains one of most exciting and influential across the country.
HOW TO GET AROUND
It is probably best to rent a car in Los Angeles while exploring the city; LA traffic in non-rush hour is not bad and the freeways are convenient. LA also offers several ways to get around. Metro rail has a great presence in the city. Many areas and tourist destinations like Hollywood, Chinatown, Santa Monica, Long Beach, etc. are easily reached by Metro rail. Visitors have the option of purchasing a single/multi day, weekly or monthly pass for easy access.
Los Angeles has an extensive bus system with many transit agencies and buses are a good option to reach most popular tourist spots. Some destinations require walking or hiring a cab after getting down from the bus. Cycling is a good to explore beach cities like Santa Monica or Hermosa Beach; these cities also offer guided bike tours.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN LOS ANGELES
Take a stroll among the stars at Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hundreds of movie stars have left their handprints and signatures along the sidewalks directly in front of TCL Chinese Theatre. You will also get to see many famous actor’s hand-writing. Along with handprints and signatures, the Walk of Fame also has as many as 2600 brass stars embedded on the sidewalk. This is a free attraction and the best way to search for the most famous and noteworthy names from the entertainment industry is to follow the crowd and squeals of delight from fellow visitors.
Enjoy the excellent acoustics of the Walt Disney Concert Hall
Walt Disney Concert Hall, the most iconic building in LA Downtown, is built to be the most acoustically sophisticated buildings in the world. Visitors enjoy experiencing its unique architecture. Its beautiful curvy, stainless-steel exterior has made the concert hall a top tourist attraction. Apart from attending concerts, visitors can also take a free hour-long guided audio tour of the interior and exterior of the hall to enjoy this venue.
Pay homage to the glitz of Hollywood at the Chinese Theatre
TCL Chinese Theatre is one of Hollywood’s most iconic and memorable sites. Originally named as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, this theatre opened in 1927 and represents the golden age of Hollywood. The theatre also offers 30 min guided tours of the foyer and exhibits; the tour is rich in Tinseltown history and shows secret walkways and more.
Splurge on the latest styles at Rodeo Drive
For the uninitiated, Rodeo Drive is a two-mile street in Beverly Hills. This street adorned with the likes of Gucci, Versace, Cartier and Prada is a shopper’s paradise with its high-end brands and upscale merchandise. Window-shopping is a fun way to explore the area.
Hang out at the Santa Monica Pier and Beach
Santa Monica Beach, located to the west of Downtown LA, is considered to be one of the best beaches in the United States for its beautiful, panoramic views, an abundance of fine-dining restaurants and excellent night life. The Santa Monica Pier has a Ferris wheel, roller coasters, live street performances, and more on the pier for families.
Admire the contemporary art in The Broad
Relatively new, The Broad opened in Fall of 2015. Since its opening, the museum has become the talk of LA’s art scene. The museum building itself is beautiful with its honeycomb-looking exterior. The Broad houses almost 2000 pieces of contemporary art by more than 200 artists. Visitors can enjoy beautiful works of art by prominent artists like Jean Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons, Kara Walker, etc.
Watch the stars settle over the city at Griffith Observatory
Named after a Welsh industrialist and philanthropist, Griffith J. Griffith, Griffith Observatory is a popular tourist attraction. The Observatory grounds offer excellent views of the city, Hollywood Sign and the Pacific Ocean. The Griffith Observatory has an extensive collection of science and space exhibits.
Take a VIP tour of the movie studios to experience life in Hollywood
LA is home to Hollywood, the film industry, and most of the studios in LA are open to the public for guided tours. Most popular studios include Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures Studio, and Warner Bros. Studios. The tours allow visitors to view famous movies and TV series sets. The more pricey VIP Tours give visitors an opportunity to get up close with their favorite movie sets and props.
Watch out for the Hollywood sign
The Hollywood Sign is a famous American cultural icon situated on Mountain Lee in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles. The 45-foot tall letters were put up in 1923 as an advertisement for a real estate development project. Since then the sign has gathered wide recognition and is now a permanent feature of the city.
Take a selfie with the celebs at Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Hollywood is the place to click a selfie with your favorite movie stars. Located on Hollywood Boulevard, this three-story museum hosts around 125 wax figures of celebrities. Some of its featured celebs include Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Depp, Jim Carrey, Clint Eastwood to E.T. and King Kong.
Discover your inner child at Disneyland Anaheim
Dubbed as the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland delights and entertains children and adults alike. Multi day park tickets are worth their while since the Disney Parks at Anaheim offer many excellent rides, attractions, shows, hotels, and clubs. Time spent at Disney with your family and loved ones is magical and a great way to create memories.
Shop for fresh produce at the Original Farmers Market and gawk at celebrities at the Grove
This beloved LA spot for fresh produce is situated in the south of West Hollywood. Opened in 1934 by a collective of farmers, this farmers market now consists of many fresh produce and meat stalls as well as ready-to-eat food vendors. Adjacent to the Original Farmers market is a more contemporary shopping destination called The Grove. It features many shopping dens, dining venues, and a movie theatre. The Grove is a perfect place to spot celebrities going about their daily life.
Enjoy a relaxing picnic at Runyon Canyon Park
Runyon Canyon Park, located a few blocks from Hollywood Boulevard, offers beautiful views of San Fernando Valley, Pacific Ocean, Hollywood Sign, and the Griffith Observatory. This urban park is easily accessible with several hiking trails and with its picnic tables and play areas is an excellent spot for family picnics. Old mansions and estates that are scattered throughout the park provide old Hollywood charm to the park.
Surf the Pacific at Zuma beach, Malibu
Zuma beach, one of the largest and popular beaches in LA County, is located along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California. With its long, wide beach and exquisite surf, Zuma Beach attracts lots of water sports enthusiasts.
Up your fun quotient at Six Flags:
Six Flags Magic Mountain Theme Park is located in Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles. The park boasts 19 roller coasters and is a must for theme park lovers. Quench your thirst for adventure with topsy-turvy rollers coasters like the Goliath, Batman and more.
There are many other things to see in Los Angeles. With its beautiful beaches, mountain ranges, valleys and wide range of tourist attractions, one visit to this great city is never enough. Rest assured that each visit will be a unique experience!