The City of Los Angeles, California is commonly referred to as L.A. Located in Southern California, L.A. is a densely populated area and ethnically diverse. Known for its strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, educations, and medicine, it is no wonder why numerous tourists travel to this booming city.
The city itself is divided into approximately 80 districts and neighborhoods. The most popular areas include: Downtown Los Angeles, East Los Angeles, Northeast Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, the Harbor Area, Greater Hollywood, Wilshire, the Westside, and the San Fernando and Crescenta Valleys.
Top Attractions in LA
Santa Monica Pier and Beach
Slightly west of downtown Los Angeles lies one of the most renowned beach scenes in the United States. Spend the day soaking up the sun while lying of the warm sand. Not only is it a beach, but it also provides other entertainment including: delicious restaurants, nightlife spots, and a 22-mile bike path. The most unique attraction is the infamous pier featuring lively street performances and the coastal thrill rides of Pacific Park. If driving a vehicle, be prepared to pay anywhere between $6 and $15 for parking. 200 Santa Monica Pier | Santa Monica, CA 90401
For upscale shoppers, Rodeo Drive is paradise. Featuring designer label stores and private boutiques, be ready to dig deep into your pocketbook. Many fashion icons roam Rodeo Drive. Be on the look out for celebrities and some impressive luxury vehicles. Not willing to spend your life savings? No problem. Many shop owners welcome tourists who simply want to browse and take in the ambiance. Be advised that some stores do require appointments and are not freely open to the average tourist. For more information, visit the official Rodeo Drive website.
Modeled after the Italian city of Venice, including canals, the neighborhood beach does not offer merely sunshine. Although inspired by Venice, the area is clearly Californian. Here, visitors will feel the spirit of the wealthy as well as some unique people watching. Canalside mansions and eccentric boutiques and restaurants are some of the hotspots of the beach area. Located 20 miles west of central L.A., this tourist attraction is always packed with people. Sunbathe and swim, or dive right into the funky atmosphere among the locals. 1531 Ocean Front Walk | Los Angeles, CA 90291
Universal Studios Hollywood
As one of the most popular tourist attraction in the Los Angeles area, Universal Studios Hollywood offers its visitors exciting amusement rides themed by popular scenes and characters from iconic film and television. Enter the exotic world of “Jurassic Park” and lurk past the eerie Bates Motel from the movie, “Psycho.” This family-friendly excursion will make every child’s dream come true. Children can shake hands with some of their favorite television and movie characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Scooby-Doo. Due to its popularity among tourists, many buy the Front of Line passes that cost $139 and can be purchased online. Although pricey, $87 per adult and $79 for children, this is truly a memorable experience worth making. The amusement park is open daily from 9AM to 8PM. For the admission price, definitely take advantage of every aspect that Universal Studios offers.
Come visit the only remaining entertainment studio in the greater Hollywood area. For a true Hollywood experience, be sure to take a guided tour. The tour includes a ride on a golf cart across the site’s 65-acre property. As extremely knowledgeable tour guides, be prepared to share favorite television shows and films, as this will guide your specific tour. In order to visit the studio and take a guided tour, reservations are a must. The two-hour tour costs $53 per person. Tours are available daily starting every half hour from 9:30AM to 2PM.
Hollywood Walk of Fame and TCL Chinese Theatre
In operation since 1927, the TCL Chinese Theatre is a fine representation of Hollywood’s Golden Age with its exquisitely designed foundation. Tours are available daily from 10AM to 6PM at the cost of $13.50 for adults and $6.50 for children. While taking the tour, learn the history of the theater along with some fun facts about various Hollywood feature films. Reservations can be made online via the TCL Chinese Theatre website. Outside the theater, take a gander at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Here, hundreds of movie stars have left their handprints and signatures along the sidewalk. The most well known Hollywood names are conveniently located directly in front of the theater. Be advised that crowds swarm this area. Hollywood Blvd at Vine Street | Los Angeles, CA 90028
Experience sightseeing at its best along Sunset Boulevard. In older days, it showcased the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle longed for by so many. Recently, Sunset Boulevard has evolved as a popular nightlife spot. Hours vary among clubs, bars, and restaurants, but the scenery never sleeps. Also known as “Sunset Strip,” many classic music venues, including the Rainbow Bar & Grill and The Roxy Theatre, are popular among tourists. Tip: Head out to Sunset Boulevard during non-rush hour hours. Traffic can be crazy during peek hours.
Third Street Promenade
Most popular among shopaholics, this open-air shopping mall is complete with major chain stores and unique shops. In addition to the shopping, visitors will encounter several outdoor dining options, which serve foods grown locally. There is a farmers market every Wednesday and Saturday open from 8:30AM to 1PM. Come buy some fresh produce! Although spending money is hard to resist at this location, visitors can experience the views of sculpted shrubs, talented street performers, and an entertaining atmosphere. The promenade is located just a few blocks from the Santa Monica Pier. If heading in from downtown L.A., take the Big Blue Bus. 1351 Third Street Promenade | Santa Monica, CA 90401
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Nightlife and culture permeate the area through live concerts performed at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The architecture of the building is extremely unique. Therefore, buying concert tickets is not a must at this location. Tourists can take free guided and audio tours that are available several times daily. Located in downtown Los Angeles, a few blocks northwest of the Civic Center/Grand Center metro station on the red and purple lines, the hall is easily accessible. The stainless steel exterior curved in several directions will leave tourists awestruck.
Pick the time right!
Tourists visit Los Angeles from March to September
With plenty of sunshine throughout the year, Los Angeles averages only 35 days annually with measurable precipitation. The coldest month is January with temperatures ranging from 59 to 73 degrees. Obviously, even the chilliest month boasts warm temperatures. The heat wave blasts through in August; however, temperatures range from 79 to 90 degrees, but cool down to 64 degrees in the evenings. Since the climate stays fairly constant throughout the year, the best time to visit Los Angeles is from March to May or September to November as crowds lessen and temperatures are comfortable.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the main international and domestic airport in L.A. Located 16 miles from Downtown Los Angeles, it is the sixth busiest airport in the world. It serves as a hub fro American Airlines, Delta, United, Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, Great Lakes Airlines, and US Airways Express. LAX contains nine passenger terminals arranged in horseshoe style pattern. Passengers can access terminals via shuttle bus. Additionally, some airlines offer airside shuttle bus connection between terminals. The terminals lie immediately west of the Century Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard (State Route 1) interchange. Once landed, travelers can take the FlyAway Bus, the Los Angeles Metro Rail, taxis, and private shuttles to their hotels. Additionally, renting a car is an option. Several major rental car companies are conveniently stationed on the airport’s property.
Renting a car in Los Angeles is reasonable on the wallet. Being a car-crazed city with must see destinations sprawled out throughout the city, car rentals are popular choices among tourists. If renting a car is not an option, Los Angeles does offer public transportation. For short stops, busses are available. The basic fare costs $1.50 per person and transfers cost .35. The MetroRail system is another means of public transportation and is most popular among commuters. Finally, cab rates are high in comparison to other cities. A short trip can cost $20 or more.