Los Angeles Destination Guide
“Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.” American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous statement certainly rings true for La La Land. More than just beautiful people and organic cafes, Los Angeles is a veritable sponge that continues to absorb a mishmash of influences and ideas.
In between dodging the paparazzi along Melrose Avenue and cruising the Santa Monica Boardwalk, Los Angeles is yours for the taking. LA is a sunny Californian chameleon with its own coastline and canyons. On a Los Angeles holiday, you can mix the cuisine of Chinatown, the clubs of Koreatown and shopping Downtown, before cooling off with a swim at Santa Monica and getting stars in your eyes in Hollywood.
Whether you're here for a week or a day, there's green LA, gay LA and free LA to find. This 'town' does both budget and luxury in its own style, but a Beverly Hills brunch is recommended at least once. The Getty Centre and California Science Centre are among the top free cultural attractions.
Satisfy your cultural cravings at...
- Walt Disney Concert Hall
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art
- Annenberg Space for Photography
You probably already know all about Disneyland, but another of the big-ticket things to do in Los Angeles is Universal Studios. Mixing a movie theme park with behind-the-scenes studio tours, it's a winner for anyone wanting to feel like part of Tinseltown.
Sports fans will appreciate the chance to see the Lakers, Dodgers or Galaxy in action in their iconic stadia while, for a broader cultural experience, you won't want to miss The Getty Centre and the oh-so-classy Museum of Contemporary Art.
While a visit is incomplete without the obligatory tourist stops (we’re looking at you, Walk of Fame and Rodeo Drive), consider venturing off the well-worn path to find your own gems. Cycle Manhattan Beach, hike Runyon Canyon, admire ‘The Valley’ from Mulholland Drive – the choices are endless.
Don’t leave L.A. without...
- Seeing a local sports game
- Visiting a theme park
- Walking along Venice Beach
Foodies, you’re going to get very spoilt in Los Angeles! Local eateries span Michelin-starred establishments to the far less formal but often just as tasty gourmet food trucks. Chef-prepped food tends to be flavoursome rather than fatty here, and neighbourhoods aren't just defined by their multicultural elements but their culinary contributions too.
Go to Glendale for delectable Middle Eastern food; Pico Boulevard has 'kosher restaurant row'; vegans are catered for across the city and in 'Little Osaka' in West LA. High end picks for flavour sensations and fine wine include Bastide (on Melrose Place, yes, it does exist) and Spago in Beverly Hills.
Dine alongside Hollywood stars at...
- Pizzeria Mozza, Hancock Park
- Fig & Olive, Melrose Place
- Madeo Restaurant, West Hollywood
Though Los Angles is a city that never sleeps, you’ll never have a problem finding somewhere to do so with options ranging from budget motels all the way through to luxury resorts frequented by the rich and famous. Los Angeles hotels with easy access to top attractions include the Hilton Los Angeles (Universal Studios), The Shore Hotel (Santa Monica Pier) and Hotel Amarano (LA Zoo). If staying near the airport (LAX) is a priority, then you can't go past the welcoming hospitality at the Inn at Playa del Rey.
Even if you don’t decide to sleep like a star, there are some Los Angles hotels you’ll at least want to visit. Millennium Biltmore has featured in many episodes of hit TV show Mad Men, while The Beverly Hills Hotel and Hollywood Roosevelt have been go-to destinations for Hollywood film shoots for decades.
Grab a drink at these hip hotel bars...
- Chateau Marmont
- The Standard Hollywood
- Ace Hotel Downtown LA
If you've got no concern about splashing your cash while shopping in Los Angeles, make a beeline for Rodeo Drive and Robertson Boulevard. In West Hollywood, The Grove is a premier mixed shopping/dining/entertainment area and is home to a range of top local and international brands. The Hollywood & Highland Centre sports a similar mix of shops and has the added advantage of being right next to the red carpets when films premiere.
If you're more of a bargain hunter, you'll be in good company closer to Anaheim where many of the city’s factory outlets are located. Serious fashionistas, make sure you check out Echo Park and Downtown LA, while record collectors can’t miss a visit to Amoeba Music – the world’s largest independent record store.
Shop iconic LA destinations...
- Sunset Strip boutiques
- Rose Bowl’s flea market
- Venice Beach surf stores
Los Angeles like a Local
The 'City of Angels' may enjoy a Hollywood backdrop, but there’s more to Los Angeles than just a glitzy celebrity culture. 'Angelenos' know their city is huge – there are more than 80 districts – and become accustomed to driving everywhere to get anywhere.
It can take at least a couple of hours to get across the city if you're driving, so keep that in mind when planning an itinerary. If you're not up for the hire car option, you still have plenty of ways to get around on four wheels.
The local public transport system is affordable but slow, so a better idea is to pre-arrange a hotel transfer, take up an organised tour, hire a taxi or use the popular Uber App.
Go for a jog along...
- Runyon Canyon Park
- California Coastal Trail
- Santa Monica's Palisades Park