2024 Los Angeles Vacation Guide
If you’ve been thinking about visiting the beautiful city of Los Angeles in Southern California, you’ll discover that there are a wide variety of activities to take part in once you have arrived. Because of the location of this rather large Metropolitan area, you won’t really have to worry about the time of year you plan to visit. Although summertime will be the time of year when children are out of school and some activities will become a little more populated, overall, any time of the year will be a great time to enjoy many of the activities that are available. With that being said, let’s discover some of the top things to do while you are visiting the beautiful city of Los Angeles.
Home to celebrities, beautiful beaches and some of the most iconic landmarks in the United States, there’s no place quite like Los Angeles. The City of Angels boasts a wealth of attractions and sites of interest to see, including Hollywood icons, world-class museums, unique neighborhoods and much more. Whether you’re looking for leisure, entertainment or culture, you’re sure to find something in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is located in Southern California. The second-largest city in the United States, it is a global center of film, television, media, and trade. It boasts mild weather and plentiful sunshine year-round as well as spectacular beaches and mountain views. The city is accessed by Los Angeles International Airport, Amtrak, bus services and its extensive highway infrastructure.
The city holds some of the world’s most iconic and famous attractions and destinations. One of its most celebrated destinations is Hollywood, synonymous with the film industry and the city’s celebrity lifestyle. Hollywood boasts attractions like the famed Hollywood Sign as well as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, the Hollywood Wax Museum Grauman’s Chinese Theater, and much more. Another top destination in Los Angeles is the Westside, a wealthy district known for its spectacular beaches and laid-back lifestyle. The Westside is home to eclectic Venice Beach, the world-famous Getty Museum Center and Villa and some of the city’s best shopping and dining opportunities.
Downtown Los Angeles has undergone a dramatic renaissance in recent years and has established itself as a top visitor destination alongside Hollywood and the Westside. The district, the city’s flourishing epicenter, hosts a number of museums and cultural institutions worth visiting such as the fascinating Museum of Contemporary Art, the Grammy Museum, and the Japanese-American National Museum, one of the top cultural museums in the country. Downtown Los Angeles also holds a wide array of neighborhoods worth exploring such as Little Tokyo, Chinatown and Olvera Street as well as some of the city’s top dining, nightlife, and shopping destinations.
Yet another top travel destination in the city is Wilshire, home to many of the city’s top attractions. Here, visitors will find vibrant neighborhoods like Koreatown as well as renowned museums and galleries like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Petersen Automotive Museum, and the Page Museum. Other top attractions include Griffith Park, the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Echo Park, MacArthur Park, and the trendy Silver Lake area.
With so much to see and do, Los Angeles is a destination like none other. From Hollywood to Downtown to Venice Beach, the city is simply packed with amazing sights and unique attractions to see.
Downtown Los Angeles Visitors Guide
Relish the enriching and fun options Downtown Los Angeles offers. Discover a diverse city with a variety of splendid facilities and outlets that are accessed quickly from a selection of elegant hotel options. Indulge in a unique urban experience featuring world-renowned cultural institutions, live entertainment venues and an array of dining and shopping outlets.
Know that this area of Los Angeles has emerged as a wonderful setting for people to live, eat and work. Participate in the renaissance taking place in the downtown area at L.A. LIVE, the entertainment facility featuring a variety of restaurants, live music halls and nightlife spots such as the GRAMMY Museum, Regal Movie Cinemas and the ESPN Zone.
Adjacent to L.A. Live, find the Staples Center which hosts major sporting and live music events. The facility hosts the National Basketball Association (NBA) teams the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers, the National Hockey League (NHL) the Los Angeles Kings, and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Los Angeles Sparks.
Enjoy live music and theater productions nearby at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, a contemporary architectural wonder, featuring the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, the Music Center the Ahmanson Theatre, and the Mark Taper Forum.
Ponder the subtleties and rich history offered at various cultural museums like the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), housing an esteemed permanent collection and visiting exhibitions as well as Exposition Park featuring the California African American Museum, the California Science Center, and the Natural History Museum of LA County.
Select from a variety of elegant and comfortable hotel accommodations that meet the needs of every leisure and business traveler to downtown Los Angeles. Enjoy the comprehensive amenities offered by the accommodations including wireless networks, business centers, fitness gyms, fine dining, and cafes as well as indoor and outdoor swimming facilities.
Indulge in the wonderful diversions Downtown Los Angeles features for its guests. Regardless if you visit for pleasure or business reasons, look forward to the treasures and gifts the city offers. Come to L.A. and feel like the star of your own movie with wonderful hospitality enjoyed by all.
Los Angeles Downtown Hotels
Downtown Los Angeles has established itself as a destination for people to dine, work and reside. The renaissance experienced in the area has seen the growth of the entertainment venue L.A. Live abounding with a bevy of restaurants, music venues and diversions like the Grammy Museum and Regal Movie Cinemas. In downtown, professional sports enthusiasts can catch the basketball and hockey games with the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings, among other teams. Visitors who enjoy theater and music productions have access to wonderful shows at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Ahmanson Theatre. Guests seeking cultural stimulation can easily access the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) featuring a splendid collection and traveling exhibitions as well as the Natural History Museum of LA County. Hotels in the area feature comfortable accommodations abounding with the latest amenities for business and leisure travel including wireless networks, dining options, and swimming pools. Visitors to Downtown Los Angeles receive move star treatment with a bevy of activities and amenities that make them feel comfortable at home. Downtown Hotel Service offers Hotels near Downtown Los Angeles that are quality hotels at an affordable price. Use our Search box above or click here to see available hotels!
Los Angeles Weather
Visitors to the Los Angeles area, including its southern suburbs and the popular Orange County region, will enjoy a pleasant, Mediterranean climate all year round. Seasonal changes occur in the forms of dry summers and wet winters, but the transitions in temperature variations tend to be moderate. Autumn and spring daytime temperatures are pleasing and mild, with little activity in the way of precipitation and visitors will enjoy cooler evenings for sightseeing and socializing during these times. It should also be noted that the milder temperatures minimize smog and create a more comfortable breathing climate for those with allergies and asthma.
Average summer temperatures fluctuate from highs near 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) to lows around 66 degrees Fahrenheit (19 degrees Fahrenheit). It is not uncommon for high temperatures in the summer to exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) and can exacerbate Los Angeles’ smog issue. However, the coastal area is always pleasant during the hotter months and provides a refreshing atmosphere to thousands of overheated tourists. The mild winter temperatures average between highs of 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) and lows around 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius). The winter months, taking into account the mild temperatures, fewer tourists and lower hotel costs, are an ideal time to visit Los Angeles.
Rain is somewhat rare in Los Angeles which, despite its lush, green surroundings, is considered to be a high desert region. The highest amount of rainfall accumulations occur in February, but the rainy season generally gets its start in December and lasts until April, with daily rainfall amounts being difficult to predict. Rainfall from May until November is virtually nonexistent. Fortunately, snow tends to be extremely rare in Los Angeles. The exception to this, of course, is the greater snowfall accumulations within the higher elevations of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Visitors to Los Angeles should familiarize themselves with the infamous Santa Ana winds. Defined by the National Weather Service as “strong downslope winds that blow through the mountain passes in southern California,” the Santa Ana Winds will sweep through the Los Angeles area in the fall, winter, and occasionally, the early spring when the surface air in the desert becomes cooler. Despite their cooler formations, the Santa Ana winds are dry and hot. The winds can blow in excess of 45 miles per hour, although gusts can rip through the area at a greater amount and will usher in hotter, dry temperatures throughout the region.
Los Angeles Transportation
Getting to Los Angeles: Since the Los Angeles area is served by one of the biggest international airports in the world, most travelers opt to arrive by plane. The Los Angeles International Airport, or LAX, is located just a short drive from the downtown area of the city, but there are also a number of smaller airports that are popular with travelers. Depending on the final location or accommodation destination in the Los Angeles region, other airports like Long Beach Airport, Orange Country John Wayne Airport or the Bob Hope Burbank Airport might be a better option. It is also possible to arrive in Los Angeles by taking the train, which operates along the coastline and offers trips to and from places like Seattle, Portland and San Diego.
Driving in Los Angeles: Most locals who live in Los Angeles have their own vehicles. Unlike other major cities in the United States, such as New York City or Chicago, the area is sprawling and can be difficult to get around with public transport. While it is not mandatory to rent a car while in Los Angeles, doing so will undoubtedly make the trip more enjoyable for all involved. It is important to note that traffic is an issue in Los Angeles. Traffic jams are common, even when drivers are careful to avoid rush hours in the morning and evening. However, spending time in a rented vehicle will probably be more enjoyable than waiting an hour or more for certain bus routes or paying huge fees for taxis.
Using Public Transportation: There are several reasons that travelers might not want to rent a car while in Los Angeles. Not having a valid driver’s license, being on a tight budget or only exploring a small area of the city are a few great examples. Thankfully, there are some public transport options that are available to visitors. Tourists who plan to spend the majority of their time in the downtown area of Los Angeles will want to get familiar with the L.A. metro system. The system is relatively new, having only been built in the 1990s, but it stops at all of the major attractions like Chinatown, Hollywood, and Pasadena. In addition to buying individual trip tickets, travelers can buy daily, weekly or monthly passes that allow for unlimited travel on the metro. Taxis are another great option for getting around in Los Angeles for those who don’t have a vehicle, but it is rare to find an empty car to flag down. Instead, travelers will need to call and book a specific pickup.
Los Angeles Attractions
If you’ve never had a chance to visit Disneyland, this is a must-do activity. Whether you are an adult, or you are an adult with children, you’ll discover that there are so many things to do in Disneyland that you and your entire family will leave with an unforgettable experience. This is one of the most memorable theme parks in the area and rightly so because it’s been around for over 55 years. You will be able to enjoy shows, rides, nighttime activities, parades, and a variety of other types of themes that will not be found in any other type of fun park in America.
Universal Studios Hollywood
If you’ve allotted some time to visit Disneyland, you will definitely want to visit Universal Studios. This is another very exciting theme park that provides shows and rides that will be loads of fun for the whole family. Universal Studios is a working movie studio set that provides a unique experience for the whole family to enjoy a theme park-like environment while learning about movie production in the wonderful area of Los Angeles.
With plenty of rides and attractions for the entire family, Universal Studios Hollywood is a rare treat in the tourism industry. You can enjoy rides that simply take your breath away, including the recent Transformers ride that was just made. There are also plenty of games and good places to eat when you’re not waiting for the lines to open up for the rides. You never know what you might find around every corner at Universal Studios Hollywood. The entire family will remember this one.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
If you would like to hear a unique and dazzling symphony play their best music, then you should check out the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Not only will you get to hear a great musical show, but you’ll also enjoy the sights of one of the most well-built concert halls in the world. The way the building is made makes the acoustic inside better. That means the sound is much crisper inside the hall. Enjoy your music and architecture here.
The Staples Center
If you’re in Los Angeles during basketball season, do yourself a favor and go see a Lakers game. The show put on at the Staples Center is unmatched by any other arena in the NBA. You’ll, of course, get to see the talented Lakers team play a rousing game of basketball, but you’ll also see celebrities in attendance. Jack Nicholson is a regular attendee of Lakers’ home games at the Staples Center. You just might be able to get some autographs from players and Hollywood celebrities, too.
Music lovers will enjoy what they see and hear at the Grammy Museum. Each month features a different band to have on the spotlight. The Beach Boys were recently the featured band at the museum, and guests enjoyed handwritten samples of the music they wrote, rare photos of the band, and unique recordings of Beach Boys songs. You could take the guided tour or strike out on your own in the museum. Give yourself at least four hours to see everything inside the museum.
Runyon Canyon Park
Have you ever dreamed of seeing the Hollywood sign in person? If you have some time to pass waiting for a flight out of Los Angeles, you should take a hike up a small section of Runyon Canyon Park. Not only do you see the Hollywood sign, but you also get a rare view of the entire city of Los Angeles. You’ll want to take plenty of pictures of what you see there.
Hollywood Stars Walk of Fame
Speaking of movies, for those who love actors and celebrities, you will simply have to visit the Hollywood walk of fame. You will find many new and older stars, celebrities and actors you have fallen in love with over the years. This is a must-see and a must-do when visiting Los Angeles.
John Paul Getty Museum
For those who would like a little quiet time while enjoying something peaceful and informational, the Getty Museum will surely provide this type of atmosphere. Now, it’ll be important to remember that there are two locations, one being in the city of Los Angeles, while the other is in Malibu. If you’d like to visit, you will not be disappointed because you’ll have the opportunity to view items such as early European and American photographs, decorative arts, early manuscripts, sculptures, drawings, and a wide variety of European paintings.
Santa Monica Pier
When visiting Los Angeles, you will not want to get away without visiting the beaches. And one of the areas you will surely want to visit is the world-famous Santa Monica Pier. Once there, you will not only be able to walk along the beach, but you’ll also be able to enjoy shopping, entertainment, fine dining, an amusement park, and the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium provided by Heal the Bay.
Once you’ve taken some time to visit Santa Monica, you’ll want to journey further south on I-405 to I-710 West, so you can visit the Long Beach Queen Mary. To be honest, this is probably one of the most amazing sights you’ll ever see. This is one of the oldest cruise liners still floating. There is a lot of history to be observed, and you will have the opportunity to do so while visiting this wonderful area. So, by reading through the information provided above you’ll see that there are many activities you be able to take part in while visiting the beautiful city of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Dining
The city of Los Angeles, California is notorious for being associated with a wild celebrity party scene, outrageous clothing, and exquisite dining. With a diverse blend of cultures and personalities, Los Angeles certainly offers some of the best cuisine in the world. As you read this article, you’ll learn more about the best restaurants in this city and what makes them so attractive.
Los Angeles is overflowing with a plethora of restaurants, of various different ethnic backgrounds, whether you prefer Asian, Italian, French, and more. One of the finest dining establishments in the area is Cafe La Boheme. This contemporary cafe is ideal for any foodie because it has an extensive menu that offers a wide range of appetizers, pasta, salads, and more including dates wrapped in bacon, filet mignon tacos, crispy blue crab cake, chicken liver pate, heirloom tomato salad, wild mushroom risotto and more. The entree selection is also quite generous featuring: miso-glazed salmon, grilled Berkshire pork chop, and seared sea scallops. With such a broad selection of French and Italian foods, you can rest assured that you’ll have an impeccable meal at this restaurant.
Another remarkable eatery in the LA area is The Lazy Ox Canteen. The specialty here is tapas, focusing on smaller plates with big flavors like charcuterie with prosciutto and rabbit liver pate, a French feta cheese plate with olives and almonds, Brussel sprouts sprinkled with lemon juice, caramelized cauliflower with pine nuts, lime, and chili flakes, smoked salmon, braised short ribs and more. This menu is undeniably quite intricate and the time spent on details like compatible flavors and textures is obvious from the first bite.
Buddha’s Belly is the third highly-rated restaurant in Los Angeles. Here, you’ll find some of the best Asian cuisines in the whole city ranging from traditional meals from Korea, Thailand, Japan, and China. An immense list of rice, pasta, fish, beef, and soups are available, sure to please any palate. There are many flavorful and unique items including spicy garlic edamame, seaweed salad, teriyaki glazed salmon, ahi tuna burger, pad thai, Thai green curry, and more. Pairing any meal with a traditional shot of sake, a lychee martini or chilled soju will give you the opportunity to truly relish in the Asian culture.
Clearly, the LA restaurant scene offers something that even the pickiest eaters will savor. Regardless of what your favorite kind of food is, you can be sure that you will have a memorable experience of delectable foods at any of the fine restaurants listed in this article.
Los Angeles Events
Los Angeles, California, is known around the world as one of the foremost centers of the entertainment industry. The film industry, in particular, is quite prominent in Los Angeles, and there are numerous annual events that take advantage of the city’s unique position in the world of filmmaking. Los Angeles hosts more film festivals than virtually any other city in the world, most of which occur each year. One of the most popular film festivals in the city is the Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival. This event occurs over the course of two weekends, and it features family-friendly entertainment in the form of more than 150 short films made specifically for kids and teens. Other notable film festivals in the city include the Going Green Film Fest, the Festival of Film Noir, and AFI Fest.
Those who visit the city of Los Angeles at the end of February or the beginning of March can involve themselves in the hoopla surrounding the annual Academy Awards ceremony. Although it is nearly impossible to gain entry into the event itself, movie fans can see their favorite stars as they walk up and down the red carpet on Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Dolby Theater. The city buzzes with excitement during this event, and film fans are encouraged to join in the fun.
Of course, not all events in Los Angeles are centered around the film industry. The LA Marathon, for example, is one of the city’s most popular annual events, and it draws thousands of athletes and spectators to the city each March. Those who do not participate in the LA Marathon can learn more about fitness by attending the Health and Fitness Expo, which is presented at Dodgers Stadium in concert with the race.
Since Los Angeles is located on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, conditions are fantastic for surfing during much of the year. Fans of surfing can see some of the sport’s best athletes by attending the annual US Open of Surfing, which takes place at nearby Huntington Beach every August. Surfers compete for prizes and glory, while spectators get to enjoy one of the most beautiful sports ever devised.
For family fun, few Los Angeles events are more appropriate than the annual Los Angeles County Fair, which takes place in nearby Pomona. This event occurs at the beginning of September each year, and it features a wide variety of rides and other attractions. Admission is reasonably priced, and visitors can find a large number of dining and entertainment options while they are inside the fairgrounds.
Family Fun near Downtown Los Angeles
From outdoor sports to amusement parks to exhibits that educate about science, astronomy, and culture, Los Angeles is a city that has activities to please all ages. With so many interesting and exciting attractions to keep the kids entertained, parents should plan their schedules carefully to enjoy as many as possible during their visit.
Griffith Park is located in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. It is one of the largest urban parks in the United States, offering a miniature railroad, full-size locomotives, star-gazing, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, picnicking, playgrounds, tennis, and a variety of sports fields.
La Brea Tar Pits
The La Brea Tar Pits are one of the most fascinating natural phenomena to be found in the Los Angeles area. The tar pits were formed by seepage of asphaltum from deep within the earth. As animals wandered into the pits and became trapped, they would perish and sink into the asphalt. The bones were then preserved by the action of the asphaltum. Visitors can walk around the tar pits, see life-sized models of the prehistoric species found within the pits, and visit the Page Museum, which has many exhibits and information about the fossils discovered in the tar pits.
Zimmer Children’s Museum
The Zimmer Children’s Museum is another favorite for the younger kids when in Los Angeles. Children can interact in a variety of exhibits, from being an airline pilot to acting on stage. Water and bubble exhibits are always fun for the little ones. The museum holds a number of public programs, including a storytime, block party, sing-a-long, open art studio, and other events.
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Just north of Los Angeles, lies the amusement park known as Six Flags Magic Mountain. From its opening in 1971, Magic Mountain has become an icon of Los Angeles family fun, drawing millions of residents and visitors to enjoy the numerous rides and entertainments the park offers. Since its early days, the park has grown and renovated, continuing with new roller coasters for visitors to experience and enjoy
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium features sea life that can be found around Southern California. The Sandy Beach exhibit, Bioluminescence exhibit, and whale exhibits are among the favorites for kids and adults alike. You can learn many interesting things about the marine environment that makes up the California coast. The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is located in the San Pedro community in Los Angeles.
Shopping near Downtown Los Angeles
Visitors to Los Angeles may know about the city’s famously sunny weather and thriving movie industry, but for many, it comes as a pleasant surprise to find it is also a great shopping destination. Los Angeles’s sprawl means that neighborhoods have formed their own distinct subcultures, so the boutiques and stores that line the streets of the east side of Los Angeles have a different vibe from those on the west side. For shoppers, it can feel like having the opportunity to shop in several cities over the course of the afternoon.
Luxury in Beverly Hills
For many travelers, Rodeo Drive is the first place that comes to mind when it comes to shopping in Los Angeles. Those with plenty of money to spend should consider Rodeo Drive a must-visit. People with expensive taste will find plenty to love, including fine jewelry, luxury handbags, and exotic sports cars. Visitors with lighter wallets can still enjoy world-class window shopping and people watching.
Unique Finds in Venice
If you want a shopping experience utterly unique to Los Angeles, head to the Venice Beach Boardwalk. A plethora of quirky shops offer everything from typical souvenirs such as sunglasses and T-shirts to one-of-a-kind, handmade collectible items. In addition to the shops, you’ll find street performers, food options, and the unbeatable view of the Pacific Ocean.
Hot Trends in West Hollywood
If you’re looking to shop in the same places as your favorite celebrities, West Hollywood has you covered. From the chic boutiques of Robertson Boulevard to the cool street styles of Melrose Avenue stores, West Hollywood is the ideal location for the shopper in search of the latest trends. You may even see a star or two browsing the racks alongside you.
Vintage in Silver Lake
If you want to take a break from the glitz and glamour of other parts of Los Angeles, make your way to low-key Silver Lake, a favorite of the city’s creative artists and personalities. Like the neighborhood itself, the shops are charming, eclectic, and filled with vintage treasures. Whether you’re after mid-century modern furniture, vinyl records, or the perfect vintage dress, Silver Lake is the place for the shopper with subtle good taste and an appreciation for history.
Los Angeles is a fantastic city for shoppers of all tastes and budgets. However, navigating the sprawl of the city can be a challenge if you do not have access to a car. You may want to check if you will be staying in or near the same area in which you will be doing most of your shopping. No matter where you decide to go in Los Angeles, blue skies, abundant sunshine, and fabulous stores are sure to welcome you upon arrival.
Map of Hotels in Los Angeles
- Los Angeles International Airport – Find hotels in Inglewood, Motordrome & Marina del Ray.
- Los Angeles Downtown – Find hotels in East Los Angeles, Chinatown, Vernon, Wilshire Center, & Hollywood
- University Southern California – Find hotels Jefferson, View Park Windsor, Huntington Park
- Hollywood – Find hotels in West Hollywood, Silver Lake, Griffith Park & Oakwood.
- Chinatown – Find hotels in Wilshire Center, Los Angeles & Silver Lake.
- Elysian Park – Find hotels Cypress Park, Los Feliz, Hollywood & Chinatown
- Dodger Stadium – Find hotels Elysian Park, Echo Park, Chinatown
- Redondo Beach – Find hotels in Hollywood, Chinatown, Oakwood & Wilshire Center.
- Silver Lake – Find hotels Near River Forest and Elmwood Park
- Huntington Park – Find hotels Vernon, Maywood, Walnut Park, Bell & South Gate.