When you think of America, Los Angeles is one of those cities that definitely stands out as one of the country’s most must-see cities. As one of the most beautiful vacation spots for tourists across Southern California and across the States, Los Angeles is an urban oasis with fantastic weather and warm, welcoming locals, in addition to tons of other tourist attractions. If a unique vacation with thousands of memories is what you’re after, LA is the perfect destination for you. However, just like any other trip, you need to be prepared for what you’re about to experience. Things like climate, traffic, and local prices make a big difference when you’re visiting a foreign destination. You need help finding the best deals for hotels and flights to LA, and most importantly, which tourist attractions deserve your time and money. Here’s an in-depth guide to maximizing the enjoyment of your trip to Los Angeles. 

Choose Your Hotel Based on Your Planned Activities

As a large, sprawling city, there’s so much to do in LA. The type of activities you plan for your trip decides where you should be staying. For example, beachgoers would really love the scenery and nature in Santa Monica, while those chasing LA’s urban setting would prefer Downtown LA. You may already know that Hollywood is the heart of the city and the spot with the most tourist attractions. 

You also need to know where you can find great food that doesn’t cost you half of your trip’s budget. Many places will have restaurants that offer their most popular dishes as lunchtime specials. Most of the time, visitors will enjoy free tickets to certain tourist attractions such as museums, television tapings, and cultural events.

Select the Airport

The airport you choose is a very important part of your trip and the first place you visit once you land in Los Angeles. LAX, or Los Angeles International Airport, is the most popular one; however, it’s one of the most hectic airports around that area. Not to mention how frequent delays can be in LAX due to the high number of visitors. Alternatively, you can try Burbank (BUR), Long Beach Airport (LGB), or Orange County’s John Wayne Airport to dodge the crowds. These are close enough airports that won’t cost you extra compared to Los Angeles International Airport. You also need to make sure the weather is welcoming before you land. It’s not always sunny and perfect in LA like most people think. So check the weather before booking your tickets to ensure you don’t ruin your first day. 

Hollywood and Beverly Hills

The museums in Hollywood contain a large number of memorabilia from movie history. These include mementos like celebrity footprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the Walk of Fame. However, movie stars rarely live in Hollywood or Beverly Hills. Don’t waste your time and money planning for movie star home tours; the maps sold on the roadside will only cost extra money and won’t lead you anywhere. If you’re really into the idea of seeing real movie stars, try to get tickets to a Los Angeles studio audience entrance. This way, you’re guaranteed to see some movie stars.

LA’s Geography   

Did you know that LA’s metropolitan area is large enough to cover five countries? If you attempt to drive north to south, you’ll waste your entire day driving. To enjoy your time in the metropolitan area, mark the locations you would like to visit on the map and make the time for each group rather than driving between locations that are far apart. Focus on the Los Angeles attractions that exist in the area you’re staying in, then attempt to visit other locations on separate days. For example, if you’re staying in one of the beach sites, focus on going to the beach and taking in everything that nature has to offer before planning to visit LA’s museums in Hollywood.

Visit the Beach 

Even though the water can be a bit too cold if you’re not wearing a wetsuit, like most surfers and hardy swimmers do, it doesn’t seem to stop locals and tourists from heading to the beach. One of the best activities you can get involved in is going to  Redondo or Hermosa Beach and watching beach volleyball games as you walk along the beach. These beaches are also perfect spots for cyclists, runners, and rollerbladers. If you’re more into surfing or building sandcastles, Orange County’s Newport Beach is the beach you’re looking for. You can also head to Venice Beach for a unique taste of the unusual.

Avoid the 405 Freeway

The 405 is notorious for being one of the busiest and most gridlocked freeways in LA. This is noticed especially in the section between Long Beach and the 101. The freeway is always jammed, and people driving on it can randomly get stuck in traffic any day of the week and any hour of the day. However, the map and GPS provided in your rental car will come in handy as it will guide you through the best routes in Los Angeles. Consider using the Metro Rail, if your destination allows, instead of driving in a foreign city and potentially getting lost.

It’s important to take time off to explore destinations that you’ve never been to before, and if there’s one place you need to have on your list, it’s definitely the city of Angels. To really be able to make the most of this visit, it’s important that you keep the suggestions made here in mind. Los Angeles is the home of many Cinematic memorabilia and historic studios. Many people go there to see movie stars and hoping one of those fake maps sold on the roadside will take them to the homes of their favorite celebrities. However, there’s a lot more to discover when visiting Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Head to the beach if you’re there for the beautiful, but cold seawater and join the locals in their warm beach activities. Make sure you know where you’re going to stay and that the climate conditions allow for a peaceful, sunny trip to the city of angels.

Photo by Cameron Venti on Unsplash




I've been writing since 2008 about a wide range of topics. I also love making furniture in my spare time, and birdwatching with my wife near our home in southern England.

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