Skyline view of Downtown Los Angles with tree and hillside homes in the foreground at sunset

Los Angeles Travel Guide

By Patricia Doherty
March 01, 2021

Los Angeles, at around 500 square miles, is the largest city within Los Angeles County which includes more than 100 cities and communities. Known for its entertainment industry, miles of coastline, mountains, shopping, sports, ethnic diversity, and culture of creativity, L.A.'s vibe ranges from upscale to hip to surf-casual and everything between, defying a label for the city as a whole.Several areas comprise Los Angeles, mainly Downtown (DTLA), the Westside, West Hollywood, Hollywood, the Beach Cities, and the Valley, with other communities within those districts. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), served by all major airlines, is about 16 miles from Downtown. Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR), also known as Bob Hope Airport, is located about 20 minutes north of downtown. Union Station is the main railway station in Los Angeles, and it's the largest railroad passenger terminal in the western United States.Visitors seeking outdoor activities can choose mountain hikes, seaside bike rides, golf, boating, surfing, or just enjoying the sunshine. Spectator sports abound, and depending on the season, there's basketball, football, baseball, and soccer. Live theater, film complexes, museums, and art galleries provide opportunities for cultural activities. The Los Angeles dining scene boasts elegant restaurants, casual outdoor cafes, and ethnic foods that include Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Ethiopian, Korean, Italian, Israeli, and many more. Fresh seafood from local waters and produce from California's farms are always available.

Time Zone

Pacific Standard Time. (Daylight Savings Time is observed seasonally)

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Best Time to Go

Year-round moderate temperatures, low humidity, and cool evenings make any month a good time to visit Los Angeles. Summers are warmer, especially in the Valley, while coastal areas see cooler temperatures and often begin with morning clouds that burn off to sunny afternoons. Rainfall is generally less than 20 inches annually, with December through March considered the wetter months.

Summer is popular with vacationers, and with miles of beaches, there's always room for your blanket and umbrella. The 26-mile bike path along the coast from Torrance Beach to Pacific Palisades gets a bit more traffic in summer, but bikers, joggers, walkers, and skateboarders happily share the scenery and ocean breezes year round. In winter, Los Angeles is the perfect escape from colder climates when visitors can trade their down jacks for sweaters or windbreakers. 

Things to Know

Los Angeles is known for its car culture, although public transportation is available in most areas. The city is infamous for its freeway traffic, and visitors are advised to keep this in mind when planning outings around the city.

There's a lot of ground to cover and so much to see. If time allows, book a hotel in the area you want to explore. You'll get to experience different neighborhoods, and you'll save time getting around. Get familiar with the "big picture" of Los Angeles while you make plans to get a better idea of where your destinations are located.

The weather varies from the coastal towns to the inland valley, and the temperature difference can be 20 degrees or more. Check the weather and keep a light jacket handy. 

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How to Get Around

Metro Rail Lines: Six light rail and subway lines connect various locations within Los Angeles. Check the online map, website, or use the GoMetro mobile app for planning.

Metro Bus System: Local, Rapid, Express services are available throughout the Los Angeles area, with nearly 200 different lines. Many connect to Metro Rail stations. Visit the Metro website for details.

DASH Bus Service: Los Angeles Department of Transportation operates frequent bus service in DTLA and in 27 neighborhoods. Visit the DASH website for details. 

Driving: Hundreds of miles of freeways connect various sections of Los Angeles and can be efficient for traveling. Plan your route, avoid commuter rush hours, and expect some traffic to get the most out of driving in Los Angeles. GPS apps will be helpful. 

Uber, Lyft, taxis: You can let someone else worry about directions, parking, and traffic by using your preferred app.

Union Station: (800 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012) is a major transportation hub for Amtrak, Greyhound Bus, auto rentals, taxis, Metro bus, light rail and subway, Metrolink heavy rail service, Megabus, and Zipcar.

Transportation from Los Angeles International Airport

LAX FlyAway Bus Service provides regularly scheduled non-stop service to several locations. Check the website for current schedules.

Taxi Service: Taxis may drop passengers off at their terminals on the Upper/Departures level. Arriving passengers may get taxis at three locations: next to Terminal 1 (either by walking or taking the free shuttle to LAX-it.), inside Parking Structure 3 (between Terminals B and 3), or at the far end of Terminal 7, outside of baggage claim.

Ride-sharing Apps: Lyft, Opoli, and Uber are the authorized providers for LAX. They can drop off passengers at terminals on the Upper/Departures level. Arriving passengers may be picked up at the LAX-it lot next to terminal 1. Walk or take the free LAX-it shuttle.

Rental Cars: Offices are located off airport. Shuttles meet arriving passengers under the purple "Rental Car shuttles" sign on the Lower/Arrivals level islands.

Public Transportation: Several public transit providers serve LAX, including L.A. Metro, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Torrance Transit, and Beach Cities Transit

Hotel Shuttles: Many major airport area hotels provide courtesy transportation from LAX terminals. Shuttle stops are located on the Upper/Departures level by Red curbside pylons.

Metro C Line at Aviation Station: Wait at the Pink Shuttle sign on the Lower/Arrivals level and board "Metro C Line (formerly Green Line) Shuttle."

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Best Hotels

Downtown DTLA

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Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown
Credit: Courtesy of Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown

Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown

Address: 900 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (800) 424-6835
Website

In the center of downtown, this 73-story hotel boasts spectacular views and a convenient location. Its Spire 73 rooftop lounge is the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere, and a sushi bar, steakhouse, and buffet restaurant offer quality dining and service. 

World's Best Hotels in Los Angeles
Credit: Courtesy of Hotel Figueroa

Hotel Figueroa

Address: 939 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Phone: (213) 627-8971
Website

This historic hotel opened in 1926 as lodging for professional women and has since seen major renovations that maintained its original Spanish Colonial style. Comfortable rooms, art-filled lobby and corridors, a coffin-shaped outdoor pool, restaurants, and cocktail lounges welcome visitors to its 268 rooms and suites.

The Wayfarer Downtown LA

Address: 813 S. Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 285-4400
Website

Convenient, comfortable, and budget-friendly, The Wayfarer features private rooms, shared rooms, a rooftop bar, cocktail lounge, and an entertainment venue. It's a new way to stay in Los Angeles, perfect for solo travelers.

O Hotel

Address: 819 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 623-9904
Website

Located in the Financial District, this hotel includes a spa, fitness center, restaurant, and bar. Complimentary breakfast, a business center, and free Wi-Fi are among the hotel's amenities. The hotel is conveniently located near the 7th Street Metro Center.

Beverly Hills/Century City

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Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, A Four Seasons Hotel
Credit: Courtesy of Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, A Four Seasons Hotel

Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel

Address: 9500 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90212
Phone: (310) 275-5200
Website

Overlooking Rodeo Drive, this elegant hotel is a Los Angeles classic. Accommodations include plush guestrooms, specialty suites, and even a rooftop veranda. Guests dine at Wolfgang Puck's Cut steakhouse, the poolside cafe and bar, or The Blvd, an all-day restaurant and lounge.

Intercontinental Los Angeles Century City at Beverly Hills

Address: 2151 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA  90067
Phone: (310) 284-6500
Website

Views of downtown, the Pacific, and Beverly Hills from private balconies create a luxurious L.A. experience. Convenient to shopping, entertainment, and business centers, the hotel offers a spa, fitness center, pool, California cuisine at Mari, and Copper Lounge for cocktails.

Fairmont Century Plaza

Address: 2025 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067
Phone: (310) 246-4770
Website

This completely reimagined mid-century modern hotel is located in the heart of Century City, offering 351 guest rooms and 49 suites, all with private balconies.  A guest-only private rooftop pool and bar as well as four dining options make the hotel an ideal destination just blocks from Beverly Hills and Westfield Century City shopping center.

Courtyard by Marriott Los Angeles Westside

Address: 6333 Bristol Parkway, Culver City, CA 90230
Phone: (310) 484-7000
Website

Conveniently located near shopping, restaurants, and entertainment, the hotel includes an outdoor pool, fitness center, room service, and 260 rooms and suites. A 24-hour business center is available along with executive boardrooms and meeting space.

West Hollywood WEHO

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The West Hollywood EDITION
Credit: Courtesy of The West Hollywood EDITION

West Hollywood Edition

Address: 9040 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA  90069
Phone: (310) 953-9899
Website

This stunning, modern hotel by Ian Schrager features 190 guest rooms, 48 suites, two penthouses, and 20 luxury residences. Expansive outdoor terraces offer views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Hills. Amenities include a luxurious spa, fitness center, and a variety of dining spots including the popular Ardor and The Roof, for tropical-inspired cocktails and panoramic vistas.

Pendry West Hollywood

Address: 8430 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (310) 928-9000
Website

In the heart of the iconic Sunset Strip, the Pendry features 149 luxury guest rooms, 40 Pendry Residences, rooftop pool and bar, fitness center, and multiple food and beverage concepts helmed by famed Chef Wolfgang Puck. Spa Pendry offers signature treatments and customized services in a comfortable, healing environment.

World's Best Hotels in Los Angeles
Credit: Courtesy of Kimpton La Peer Hotel

Kimpton La Peer Hotel

Address: 627 N. La Peer Drive, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (213) 296-3038
Website

Set in the walkable Design District neighborhood steps from the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, this hotel is stylish, comfortable, and tasteful. A secluded pool, 105 luxury guest rooms and suites, restaurants, and courtyard cocktail lounge make it a local favorite. 

Hollywood

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Dream Hollywood Hotel

Address: 6417 Selma Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90028
Phone: (323) 844-6417
Website

The hotel's stylish mid-century modern guestrooms and suites are conveniently set near Hollywood's attractions, with panoramic views from its rooftop pool, restaurant, and cabanas. Dine at the rooftop Highlight Room, Tao Asian Bistro, or Beauty & Essex.

Kimpton Everly Hotel

Address: 1800 Argyle Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90028
Phone: (213) 279-3532
Website 

This hip boutique hotel boasts a ground-floor coffee bar, outdoor pool, hosted evening social hour and morning coffee, yoga mats, and in-room Chromecast streaming devices. Pet-friendly accommodations, room service, and dining at Jane Q complete the picture.

Hollywood Historic Hotel

Address: 5162 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90038
Phone: (323) 378-6312
Website

Dating to 1927, this newly reopened Hollywood landmark is on the National Register of Historic Places. Located near Paramount Pictures and Raleigh Studios, many of the hotel's rooms offer views of the Hollywood sign. Its walkable neighborhood boasts cafes, restaurants, and shops.

Hollywood Roosevelt hotel
Credit: Courtesy of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Address: 7000 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Phone: (323) 856-1970
Website

Located on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, this hotel offers luxury and style along with a stunning David Hockney outdoor pool and cafe. Guests enjoy cocktails at the Spare Room, the hotel's prohibition era-style lounge with vintage bowling alley, and dinner at Nancy Silverton's The Barish, an Italian steakhouse.

Beach Cities

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Poolside cabanas at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, California

Shutters on the Beach

Address: 1 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Phone: (310) 458-0030
Website

Understated luxury in New England style beachfront rooms and suites defines the hotel, just steps from the sand. Spa, pool deck with cabanas, and excellent dining options make a stay at Shutters memorable. Choose from Coast, 1 Pico, or the Living Room for food and drinks with a Pacific view.

Beach House, Hermosa Beach

Address: 1300 The Strand, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Phone: (310) 374-3001
Website

As close to the beach as a hotel can get, this oceanfront boutique offers 96 studio suites, most with views of the Pacific. Patios, balconies, fireplaces, fitness center, refrigerators, and outdoor hot tub are among the amenities. Complimentary Wi-Fi and continental breakfast are included.

Hotel Erwin

Address: 1697 Pacific Avenue, Venice, CA 90291
Phone: (310) 452-1111
Website

Overlooking the Pacific and the lively Venice boardwalk, the Hotel Erwin's rooms, suites, and balconies provide comfort and a front-row view of the action. The High Rooftop Lounge is the place to be for sunset, with creative cocktails and delicious menu offerings. Erwin's Kitchen + Cocktails serves breakfast and dinner.

Hotel June

Address: 8639 Lincoln Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA  90045
Phone: (888) 435-5070
Website

Hotel June is set in a prime location minutes from LAX, Playa Del Rey Beach, Playa Vista, Venice Beach, and Marina Del Rey as well as restaurants, shops, and parks. An expansive pool surrounded by lounges and the Caravan Swim Club offering Baja-inspired dishes and creative cocktails make Hotel June a destination as well as a convenient airport hotel.

Malibu Beach Inn

Address: 22878 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
Phone: (310) 651-7777
Website

Set along Malibu's coastline with views of the Pacific, this boutique hotel offers 47 guest rooms, a restaurant, and an on-site spa suite. Hike Malibu's nearby trails, spend time at the exclusive beach, or just enjoy watching the waves and relaxing to the sounds of the surf.

The Valley

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Hilton Los Angeles Universal City

Address: 555 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City, CA 91608
Phone: (818) 506-2500
Website

A block from the entrance to Universal Studios, this hotel offers a complimentary shuttle to make it even more convenient. Outdoor swimming pool, whirlpool, and fitness center are among the amenities included. Poolside dining, Coffee Corner, and Cafe Sierra are dining options, and at the Atrium Lounge, beverages and snacks are served each evening along with live piano music.

Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport

Address: 2500 Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505
Phone: (818) 843-6000 
Website

Conveniently located near the airport, Universal Studios, Warner Bros. Studios, and the North Hollywood Arts District, the hotel offers free airport shuttle service. The Daily Grill is open all day, and E. D. B. (Eat, Drink, Be) is their casual outdoor restaurant open for lunch and dinner. Outdoor pools and a fitness center are available for guests.

Fireplace and lounge area at The Garland hotel in Los Angeles
Credit: Courtesy of The Garland

The Garland

Address: 4222 Vineland Avenue, North Hollywood, CA 91602
Phone: (818) 980-8000 
Website

This boutique hotel, created by actress Beverly Garland in 1970, is set on seven acres in the heart of Los Angeles. Now updated, its guestrooms, suites, and kids rooms boast modern decor, and its restaurants offer new menus. Free trolley rides to Universal Studios, CityWalk, and Universal City Metro Station are a favorite amenity.

Cara Hotel

Address: 1730 N. Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: (323) 672-8990
Website

A serene oasis off a busy intersection in trendy Los Feliz, Cara Hotel's local craftsmanship and food sourced from nearby farms make it a true California experience. Its 60 rooms, dressed in white with wooden accents, come with balconies overlooking the courtyard tranquility pool lined with palm trees. Under 10 minutes from iconic LA sights such as the Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Greek Theater, Cara is an ideal base for first-time LA visitors but will likely be a spot you'll want to return to.

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Best Restaurants

Downtown L.A.

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Q Sushi

Address: 521 West Seventh Street, Los Angeles, CA 
Phone: (213) 225-6285
Website

Q Sushi offers traditional omakase served in a serene atmosphere by talented chef Hiroyuki Naruke. Fresh fish flown in from Japan and presented simply creates a memorable dining experience at his small downtown sushi bar.

Bestia

Address: 2121 East Seventh Place, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Phone: (213) 514-5724
Website

Delicious and creative Italian dishes served in a lively warehouse-style atmosphere make Bestia a top spot. From pizza to pasta with a tasty selection of antipasti, Bestia's food is memorable and the experience is fun.

Bavel

Address: 500 Mateo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone: (213) 232-4966
Website

Fresh ingredients and a variety of cooking techniques showcase Middle Eastern foods that include flatbreads, spreads, hot and cold small plates, salads, and more. Cuisines of Israel, Morocco, Turkey, and Egypt are represented with style and attention to detail.

Nightshade

Address: 923 East Third Street, Suite 109, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone: (213) 626-8888
Website

This contemporary Asian restaurant is helmed by Top Chef winner Mei Lin who skillfully blends the cuisines of Japan, Korea, China, and more into tasty seafood and meat dishes. Set in the Arts District, the decor is modern and the food is creative.

Howlin' Rays

Address: 727 North Broadway #128, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 935-8399
Website

From a successful food truck to a Chinatown location, Howlin' Rays has been serving Nashville hot chicken to his fans in Los Angeles since 2016. Diners choose their favorite level of heat from Country (no heat) to Howlin' (HOT), and side dishes include fries, slaw, pickles, and collard greens.

Beverly Hills/Century City/West Hollywood

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Jean-Georges Beverly Hills

Address: Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, 9850 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Phone: (310) 860-6666
Website

This elegant spot is known for exquisite service and cuisine helmed by chef Jean-Georges. His eight-course tasting menu is lovely, and with wine pairings, the experience is sublime. Reservations required.

Spago

Address: 176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Phone: (310) 385-0880
Website

Excellent service, inventive seasonal dishes, and sleek atmosphere define this Wolfgang Puck restaurant. The cuisine and style have consistently earned awards, including two Michelin stars.

Eataly

Address: 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90067l
Phone: (213) 310-8000
Website

In addition to an array of wines, cheeses, meats, seafood, baked goods, and more, Eataly offers several dining spots. Il Pesce Cucina presents fresh seafood by acclaimed team from Michelin-starred Providence, chef Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto. Terra, on the third floor rooftop, features seasonal ingredients prepared on a wood-burning Italian grill. La Pizza & La Pasta serve the best of those Italian favorites. Reservations suggested.

Piccalilli

Address: 3850 Main Street, Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232
Phone: (424) 298-8540
Website

This ultra-creative restaurant successfully combines Cali-Asian flavors with influences of the Lowcountry of the Southeast. Delicious and artistically plated dishes, modern atmosphere, full bar, and outdoor patio make this a popular spot.

E.P. and L.P.

Address: 603 N. La Cienega Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (310) 855-9955
Website

This restaurant features an Asian-fushion menu, rooftop bar with views of the Hollywood Hills, and Las Palmas rooftop with Tulum-inspired dishes and cocktails.

Olivetta

Address: 9010 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (310) 307-3932
Website

This stylish restaurant on West Hollywood's restaurant row offers coastal European cuisine for fine dining and late-night cocktails. Chef Michael Fiorelli draws inspiration from the classics of Italy, Greece, France, and Spain capturing the spirit of dining on a Mediterranean vacation.

Strings of Life (S.O.L)

Address: 8535 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (310) 734-7190

This all-day Australia-inspired casual spot serves specialty coffees, fresh baked goods, sandwiches, breakfast dishes, salads, burgers, and more under the direction of Culinary Director Monty Koludrovic with Pastry Chef Jaci Koludrovic.

Ardor

Address: 9040 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (424) 310-1572
Website

Showcasing vegetable-forward dishes in a beautiful setting, Ardor's menu includes a balance of meat and plant-based dishes. Award-winning Chef John Fraser combines fresh local organic ingredients with international techniques in such dishes as crudo, ceviche, and as an example, Harrison Ranch Chicken with vegetables a la Grecque. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. 

Hollywood

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APL

Address: 1680 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Phone: (323) 416-1280
Website

Chef Adam Perry Lang has created a contemporary steakhouse with seasonal produce-driven dishes to complement his famous dry-aged beef. Creative lighter fare is served along with modern steakhouse favorites and a world-class wine and cocktail program.

Gigi's

Address: 904 North Sycamore Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Website

This chic restaurant set in Hollywood's Media District serves California-inspired French bistro cuisine along with an extensive bar program for dinner and late-night dining. The menu includes roast chicken, seafood, steak tartare, and a 32-ounce dry-aged rib-eye steak. 

Providence

Address: 5955 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA  90038
Phone: (323) 460-4170
Website

Seafood in creative presentations that are both gorgeous and delicious is the focus of this prix-fixe dining experience. Led by James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Cimarusti, this Michelin-starred restaurant is the place for special dinners and superb service. 

L' Antiqua Pizzeria da Michele

Address: 1534 North McCadden Place, Los Angeles, Ca  90028
Phone: (323) 366-2408
Website

Pizza, pasta, salads, and a wide variety of appetizers make this more than a pizzeria, although the pizza has a great following. Breakfast and brunch specialties are favorites too, as are the cheese and charcuterie boards. 

Beach Cities/West Side

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Fig

Address: 101 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: (310) 319-3111
Website

This lively bistro at the Fairmont Miramar serves fresh, local ingredients in Mediterranean-style preparations. Open all day, they offer happy hour specials and an exceptional selection of international and domestic cheeses.

Avocado toast with a fried egg
Credit: Courtesy of The Rose

The Rose Venice

Address: 220 Rose Avenue, Venice, CA 90291
Phone: (310) 399-0711
Website

Modern California cuisine in a casual atmosphere. Great baked goods, indoor/outdoor dining; extensive takeout selection. 

Cafe del Rey

Address: 4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Website

Serving cocktails, brunch, lunch, and dinner with views of the marina, Cafe del Rey focuses on local ingredients, fresh seafood, prime steak, and seasonal vegetables. Friendly, professional service and inviting atmosphere make it a popular local spot.

Little Sister, Redondo Beach

Address: 247 Avenida del Norte, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Phone: (424) 398-0237
Website

South Bay locations in Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach (also DTLA ) serve Southeast Asian cuisine in a seasonally evolving menu. Favorite dishes include green papaya salad, a variety of spring rolls, Vietnamese crepe, and shaky shaky beef.

The Valley

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Casa Vega

Address: 13301 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Phone: (818) 788-4868
Website

Operating in the San Fernando Valley for more than 62 years, Casa Vega began on Olvera Street downtown. An extensive menu of Mexican favorites, cocktails, beers, and wines served in a friendly, festive atmosphere.

Asanebo

Address: 11941 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604
Phone: (818) 760-3348
Website

One of L.A.'s top Japanese restaurants, Asanebo has been recognized with Michelin stars. Traditional sushi and sashimi in addition to their signature dishes like halibut truffle, toro tartare, ceviche, and more are served along with a selection of sake, beers, and champagnes.

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Things to Do

Downtown

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LA Live

Address: 800 West Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Website

This entertainment complex features movie theaters, a concert hall, restaurants, convention center, and special events. The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles, JW Marriott, and Staples Center are adjacent to the complex.

Staples Center

Address: 1111 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90001
Website

This multi-purpose arena hosts concerts and sports events for the Kings (NHL hockey), Lakers, Clippers (NBA basketball), and Sparks (WNBA basketball). 

Music Center

Address: 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Website

This performing arts center includes the Los Angeles Opera, Ahmanson Theater, Mark Taper Forum, L. A. Master Chorale, L. A. Philharmonic Orchestra, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Dining venues include Abernethy's, Cocina Roja, cocktail lounges, and casual cafes.

The Broad

Address: 221 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Website

A contemporary art museum with more than 2,000 works, The Broad includes a permanent collection and special exhibits. General admission is free, but reservations are recommended and can be booked online. A standby line is available, and waiting time varies.

Downtown LA Walking Tours

Address: 600 West 9th Street, #603, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Website

Offering both public and private tours, the knowledgeable and engaging guides take visitors through L.A.'s highlights including filming locations, historic sites, and landmarks. Stories and background details on the locales make the tours entertaining and educational.

Grand Central Market on August 05, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Credit: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Grand Central Market

Address: 317 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Website

More than a hundred years old, the market offers a variety of vendors for produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, coffee, ice cream, prepared foods, and more. It's a popular spot for takeout or for a quick bite at the adjacent outdoor tables. 

Beverly Hills/Culver City

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The Original Farmers Market

Address: 6333 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Website

A historic landmark and home to specialty markets, restaurants, prepared foods, produce, and more, the Original Farmers Market is a favorite for both locals and visitors. Baked goods, ice cream, coffee, and ethnic dishes keep the market hopping from breakfast through dinner.

Sony Pictures Studio

Address: 10201 West Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA  90232
Website

Their two-hour guided walking tour takes guests through a working studio where movies and TV shows are filmed. There's also a three-hour VIP Lunch Tour. Tours are presented on weekdays only, and reservations are required.

Getty Center, wavy architecture seen from Arrival Plaza.
Credit: Getty Images

Getty Center

Address: 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Website

This striking hilltop white travertine building houses permanent collections, special exhibits, and a magnificent garden as well as an excellent restaurant and casual cafe. Admission is free and there is a charge for parking. Check the website for visiting information.

Melting Pot Food Tours

Address: 8484 Wilshire Boulevard, #515, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Website

Sampling and tasting along the way, guests learn about the various ethnic foods of Los Angeles neighborhoods including East L.A. Latin Flavors, Thai Town, and Little India. Visit the highlights of Old Pasadena or enjoy tapas and paella on La Espanola VIP Tour.

Hollywood

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Griffith Park

Address: 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Website

Set in the Santa Monica Mountains on more than 4,210 acres, Griffith Park is one of the country's largest municipal parks. Activities include hiking, bicycling, camping, horseback riding, swimming, golf, picnicking, and tennis. The Greek Theater outdoor concert venue, Travel Town Museum, Griffith Observatory, and Los Angeles Zoo are part of Griffith Park.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA  91608
Website

This theme park and studio includes rides, shows, attractions, and tours of sound stages and movie sets. Adjacent CityWalk offers shopping, restaurants, entertainment, theaters, and iFly, a vertical wind tunnel.

Hollywood and Highland

Address: 6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA  90028
Website

The Hollywood Walk of Fame, Dolby Theater (home of the Academy Awards), restaurants, shops, entertainment, and views of the Hollywood Sign attract visitors to this famous corner. You'll probably encounter costumed characters from favorite films for Instagrammable selfies.

Beach Cities

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South Bay Beaches

Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach
Website

White sand shores, cool breezes, and ocean waves welcome swimmers, surfers, and sunbathers to the beaches of the South Bay. Restaurants, outdoor cafes, shops, and fishing piers in each city attract visitors to the beaches during the day and, after sunset, to the nightlife in town.

Santa Monica Pier in California
Credit: Stella Levi/Getty Images

Santa Monica Pier

Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA  90401
Website

A classic arcade, amusement park rides, shops, and dining venues line the pier, the official beginning of Route 66. Watch the sunset, visit the aquarium, fly on a trapeze, or just enjoy people watching on the always lively pier at the end of Colorado Boulevard. 

Venice Beach

Venice Boulevard and Ocean Front Walk
Website

Browse the kitschy shops or street vendors, watch skateboarders at Venice Skatepark or workouts at Muscle Beach Gym, stop for a bite to eat, or just stroll along the Strand to enjoy the unique atmosphere of Venice. A few blocks inland, take a walk along the canals, crossing quaint bridges, and ogling homes that range from tiny cottages to contemporary mansions.

Malibu Wine Safari

Address: 32111 Mulholland Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
Website

Sample delicious Malibu wines while you explore the vineyard aboard a custom-built open-air Safari vehicle. Enjoy the scenery and the wines as you meet up with zebras, water buffalo, alpacas, bison, and Stanley the Giraffe. 

The Valley

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Warner Bros. Studios

Address: 3400 Warner Boulevard, Burbank, CA  91505
Website

Visitors can explore a working studio, backlots, and sound stages on guided tours, including a special Classics Tour that focuses on the Golden Age of film and TV. Casual dining and souvenir shopping are available. Purchase tickets in advance of your visit on the studio website.

Orange Bridge with blooming cherry trees over calm water.
Credit: Getty Images

Descanso Gardens

Address: 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge, CA  91011
Website

Gardens include the Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Camellia Collection, Oak Forest, Ancient Forest, and displays of native and edible plants. Ride the Enchanted Railroad through the gardens, stop at the gift shop, or enjoy a casual meal at Cafe Descanso.

NoHo Arts District

Address: Magnolia Boulevard at Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA  91601
Website

This small but thriving arts community boasts theaters, cafes, shops, live music, art galleries, dance studios, acting workshops, and a Saturday farmers' market. The Valley location is convenient to a Metro Red Line station, making it easy to visit and probably contributing to the ongoing development of the area.

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Best Shopping

DTLA

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FIGat7th

Address: 7th Street and Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA
Phone: (213) 955-7170
Website

Shops include Nordstrom Rack, H & M, Zara, Pink, Sunglass Hut, and MAC Cosmetics. Concerts, kids' activities, films, and special events add entertainment. A variety of casual eateries and free Wi-Fi are available.

The Bloc shopping center
Credit: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

The Bloc

Address: 700 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 454-4926
Website

Spanning a downtown city block, this center includes Macy's, Nordstrom Local, a 24-hour Fitness Center, and a variety of eateries. The Sheraton Grand Hotel is in the center, and the 7th Street Metro station is conveniently nearby.

DTLA Fashion District

Website

This favorite area for bargain hunters and shopping fans includes the Flower Market, the largest in the United States, the Fabric District, Gallery Row, and Santee Alley's open air shops. The district is open to the public as well as the trade. 

DTLA Jewelry District

Website

Nearly 5,000 retail jewelry businesses feature diamonds, gold, silver, beads, watches, pearls, gemstones, and custom jewelry designers. Buyers paying wholesale prices can save about 50% compared to retail.

Citadel Outlets

Address: 100 Citadel Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90040
Phone: (323) 888-1724
Website

Everyone loves a bargain, and there are many to be found among the more than 130 designer and brand name stores at the outlet mall in the City of Commerce. Stores include Armani, Hugo Boss, Carters for Kids, Coach, Disney, Kate Spade, Oakley, and Vans.

Beverly Hills/Century City

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Beverly Center

Address: 8500 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (310) 854-0070
Website

This pet-friendly center offers valet and self-parking in a newly renovated eight-story building. Designer shops, restaurants, specialty boutiques, and entertainment are featured in this popular shopping destination.

Westfield, Century City

Address: 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90067
Phone: (310) 277-3898
Website

Nordstrom, Macys, Bloomingdales, and a variety of specialty and designer stores along with Eataly, Din Tai Fung, and other eateries attract shoppers to this newly renovated mall. The walkways, furnishings, and inviting plazas make browsing a favorite activity. 

Mid-City

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The Grove

Address: 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: (323) 900-8080
Website

This stylish shopping center is renowned for its retailers that include Barneys New York, Apple, Crate & Barrel, Shinola, and more, along with dining and a 14-screen art deco movie theater. Fountains, an exclusive concierge service, and concerts attract visitors as well as shoppers.

Hollywood

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Hollywood & Highland

Address: 6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA  90028
Phone: (323) 817-0200
Website

Restaurants, shops, entertainment in the midst of Hollywood glamour describe Hollywood & Highland. Stores include Skechers, Forever 21, Victoria's Secret, Hot Topic, and more. A variety of restaurants, cafes, and dessert spots are available.

Universal City, CA 91608

Address: (818) 622-9841
Website

Adjoining Universal Studios theme park, this two block stretch of shops, restaurants, souvenirs, and entertainment is a popular date-night and family-friendly destination. Live music, dancing, and movie theaters are part of the fun.

Beach Cities

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Del Amo Fashion Center

Address: 3525 West Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90503
Phone: (310) 542-8525
Website

This three-level luxury mall in Torrance includes a new Nordstrom, Macys, Anthropologie, AMC movie theater, and dining at Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, P.F. Changs, Lemonade, Pink's Hot Dogs, and many more. Natural lighting and open areas make shopping there a pleasure.

Santa Monica Place

Address: 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: (310) 260-8333
Website

Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Disney Store, Coach, Free People, and a host of popular retailers attract shoppers to Santa Monica Place. There's dining, concierge service, and a children's museum.

The Valley

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Westfield Topanga & The Village

Address: 6600 Topanga Canyon Boulevard,Woodland Hills, CA 91303
Phone: (818) 594-8732
Website

Located in the Canoga Park area of the San Fernando Valley, the indoor Westfield mall and outdoor Village include luxury stores, boutiques, spa, salons, and a Costco warehouse. Visitors can dine at The Cheesecake Factory, Il Fornaio, Larsen's Steakhouse, and more.

Sherman Oaks Galleria

Address: 15301 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA 91430
Phone: (818) 382-4100
Website

This open-air business and lifestyle center includes office space as well as retail and entertainment space. The mall has been a shooting location for several films including "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Valley Girl."

Neighborhoods to Know

Within each major section of Los Angeles are neighborhoods with their own character, style, and dynamics. We describe several here, and with the ever changing nature of the city, you're likely to discover other interesting communities as you explore Los Angeles.

DTLA 

  • The Arts District, formerly an industrial area, is becoming home to galleries, studios, media companies, and hip dining spots.
  • Chinatown is the place for a variety of restaurants, shops, herbal stores, antiques, and bustling alleys.
  • The Fashion District is the center of the apparel industry, with wholesalers, designers, retailers, and bargain shopping.
  • Olvera Street at Historic El Pueblo is the birthplace of Los Angeles where visitors finde Mexican food, crafts, music, and cultural events.

Beverly Hills/Century City

  • Brentwood/Bel Air - upscale homes, UCLA, shops, restaurants, and Getty Center on a hilltop overlooking the area.
  • Beverly Hills is the place for designer shops on Rodeo Drive, top restaurants, and elegant homes.
  • Century City's high-rise buildings and Westfield Mall define the neighborhood once dominated by 20th Century Fox Studios.
  • Culver City's restaurants, galleries, and Sony Picture Studios make this eclectic neighborhood worth a visit.

Hollywood/West Hollywood

  • Hollywood & Vine, the Hollywood Walk of Fame sidewalk stars, Hollywood & Highland complex, Hollywood Bowl, and Chinese Theater define its role in show business.
  • West Hollywood's Design District, Pacific Design Center, restaurants, walkable streets, and Sunset Strip nightlife make it a must-visit neighborhood.
  • Los Feliz is a blend of hip and historic, with Frank Lloyd Wright homes and eclectic eateries.
  • Silver Lake's trendy cafes, street art, music venues, architecture, and walking trails add to the appeal of this residential neighborhood.

Beach Cities

  • The South Bay area includes Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach, all with white sand beaches, shops, restaurants, nightlife, and a relaxed vibe.
  • Santa Monica's amusement park on the pier, its walkable streets, stores, restaurants, and hotels make it a popular destination. 
  • Malibu is known for its exclusive beaches, opulent homes, celebrity sightings, and ocean views as well as its hiking trails and canyons.
  • San Pedro offers an aquarium, fresh seafood at waterfront restaurants, the Battleship USS Iowa, and Ports o' Call Village for shopping and browsing.

The Valley

  • North Hollywood (NoHo) is not in Hollywood, but the north end of the Valley, with entertainment, restaurants, and the Great Wall of Los Angeles art mural.
  • Studio City is known for movie studios, including CBS Studios, NBC, and Warner Brothers.
  • Ventura Boulevard boasts trendy restaurants, boutiques, and vintage shops.
  • For hiking and outdoor activities, there's Wilacre Park and Fryman Canyon Park.
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Weather

Los Angeles weather — temperature, cloud cover, humidity — varies significantly over the large area of the city. Coastal areas are generally cooler, and mornings are often cloudy with clearing by early afternoon, mainly a feature of early summer weather. The valley and inland areas are warm and dry, often as much as twenty degrees warmer than the coast. Most of the annual rainfall occurs in winter. 

The following are average Fahrenheit lows and highs by month.

January 46 - 67
February 48 - 69
March 49 - 69
April 51 - 72
May 55 - 74
June 59 - 78
July 62 - 84
August 64 - 85
September 62 - 83
October 57 - 79
November 51 - 72
December 46 - 68

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Apps to Download

Discover Los Angeles app: Provides information on daily events, accommodations by neighborhood, film locations, and free Wi-Fi locations.

Google Maps: Useful for navigating, directions, and trip planning.

Uber & Lyft: Let someone else do the driving.

Open Table and Resy: Provide restaurant reviews, locations, cuisine, and reservations.

Transit: The official Metro Los Angeles app helps plan your trip with options that include public transportation, bikeshare, scooter, and rideshare.

Universal Studios Hollywood Mobile app: Navigate the park and CityWalk with interactive maps, wait times, show times, and more.