Los Angeles Top 5 Travel Tips!
Planning a trip to Los Angeles can be daunting. After all it is one of the biggest cities in the world by total area, and the second biggest US city. Because it is so sprawling, it is hard to figure out what to do, and where to go to make the most of your time there.
Do you stay in Anaheim? Hollywood? or God forbid, Downtown?
Let’s get down to basics.
Disneyland is in Anaheim. If you want well priced accommodation, or if you are planning to spend most of your time at Disney, Book a hotel down here. It’s perfect for Families. Keep in mind Anaheim is a good hour away from the sights of Hollywood, Universal Studios and most malls. You are still around 30-45 minutes away from Malibu Beach. Do not stay down here if you think you will spend most of your time outside Anaheim. The time spent sitting on the freeway in traffic just isn’t worth it. In saying that, if you want a clean hotel room for under $100 a night, Anaheim is perfect!
Hollywood is the heart of the entertainment district. If your a young couple or group of friends, your probably planning on hitting up the trendy LA clubs like Drais and Teddy’s. You need to stay around Hollywood if you don’t want to spend $150 each night just on taxis.
Hotels in Hollywood and its surrounds tend to be at the higher end of the price bracket too, so expect to pay for the privilege of rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous. Within 20 minutes, you can visit Universal Studios, The Grove, The Beverly Centre, and with the right traffic, Malibu beach.
Downtown should be out-of-bounds for tourists. Sure, hotel prices are reasonable, and your close to everything, but it’s just not as safe as the other areas. Once you step outside you will still need to get a taxi to find a decent restaurant (unless you happen to be in the middle of Korea Town, then forget what I just said!) just avoid Downtown hotels unless you need to be there for something specific. Many businesses will book their staff into Downtown for business travel, that’s ok, but as a tourist? There’s just no point!
Now, what to do once you get to LA?
I’m sure you already have the basics on the list.
- Disneyland (get there early, and bang out the main rides first!)
- Universal Studios (get the front of the line pass!)
- The Chinese Theatre and Hollywood Walk of Fame
- A tour of the celebrity home
- Knott’s Berry farm
- San Diego day trip for the Zoo and Legoland
- Citadel Shopping centre
But perhaps you’re looking for something a bit different? Maybe you want to experience the other side of LA?
Watch a taping of the Ellen Show
This is easier than you think! Just jump on Ellen’s website before you travel and sign up! You will get a notification to line up and grab a number. This is important Get there EARLY. Make sure your number is below 150 to ensure you get a seat. If they have overbooked, you will sit out in the reception area watching on the big screen instead.
Tickets are free, but are issued on a first come, first served basis, and usually issued several weeks in advance.
Buy discounted Guess Clothing
Sure, visit Citadel. It’s fantastic too- your will save a fortune there. But if you want to get in on the clothes before they hit Citadel outlets, you need to get yourself to the factory outlet shop! Heels are $10 a pair, Boots $25. Handbags from $20. Jeans were $10- $30, and t-shirts started at $5. I was able to buy a Jacket for $20, and jewellery for $5+.
You will need a car, or taxi to get there, but it’s worth it!
1901 E 15th Street, Los Angeles Downtown. They are open Monday to Saturday 9am- 5pm
Visit the REAL beaches of California
This is going to mean hiring a car. Public transport in LA is atrocious. Grab a car to get around, and a good GPS. The beaches you want to head to include Zuma Beach and Santa Barbara in the North, and Newport, Huntington and Laguna beaches in the South. Sure Santa Monica is great for that Route 66 starting line picture, and the quintessential Pier shot, but if you’re looking for a decent beach for sunbathing and enjoying clean water? Head to the outskirts of the City!
Drive “Mulholland Drive”
For a good “LA City Pic” without having to trek Runyon Canyon(sure, it’s great for celeb spotting, but seriously, breaking out in a sweat on holiday? No thanks!) set the sat nave to Mulholland. If you drive the length of the infamous road, you will find a few places to pull in to take pictures, be wary that they do close these after sunset with chains, so don’t go wandering too far! The pictures you get of the city are fantastic, and the drive itself isn’t too bad either. Peer down into the gated communities, and attempt to spot someone famous, but maybe don’t break out the binoculars just yet, save that for the next spot!
The Hollywood sign
Skip the queues of tourists, and again, jump in that hire car of yours. You want to set the sat nav to Mt Lee Drive, this will bring you right up to the sign, and you can pose for cheesy pics such as the below… tacky, but oh so LA 😉