Los Angeles

About Los Angeles

Los Angeles, with its 75 miles of beaches and year-round sunshine, is known as the entertainment capital of the world - and with good reason. This cultural mecca boasts more than 300 cultural institutions and some of the best theme parks ever built, as well as world-class shopping, dining and drinking. And of course, this is the place to catch a glimpse of stardom – or just to get a taste of the A-list life yourself.

A proper 'to do' list for the visitor would be endless – it would take a lifetime to experience the full extent of LA's offerings. Whether you're planning on window-shopping on Rodeo Drive, cruising the Pacific Coast Highway, visiting the Getty Center or checking out Santa Monica pier on a Segway, LA is one big dream come true – with something for everyone.

The city spans a widely diverse geographical area, with altitudes ranging from 10,080ft above sea level to nine feet below. Primarily a desert basin, it's enveloped by the San Gabriel Mountain range and divided by the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains. To get an idea of LA's vastness, travel to the Griffith Observatory and take in the stellar views of the city stretched out below. Alternatively, take a hike up Mount Lee, where you can peek over the tops of the 45ft high letters of the Hollywood sign and gawp at the view.

Los Angeles Travel Tips

  1. If you hire a car, one of the best ways to get your bearings and see the city in the process is to hit Sunset Boulevard. Beginning near the downtown area of El Pueblo and winding through several distinctive neighbourhoods, the Boulevard stretches for nearly 25 miles to the Pacific Ocean, taking in Silver Lake, historic Hollywood, Sunset Strip and the exclusive Beverly Hills and Bel Air, as well as UCLA and the Pacific Palisades.
  2. LA promises one of the most dynamic dining and drinking scenes in the US. Foodwise, you'll find everything from fantastic street food to Michelin-starred restaurants. For an A-list dinner, Wolfgang Puck's CUT Beverly Hills is an exclusive steakhouse favoured by the stars, as is AGO (Italian) and KOI(Japanese). Those with a sweet tooth absolutely have to go to Sprinkles, which offers every cup cake flavour under the sun. For pre- or post-dinner drinks, try Whisky a Go Go, home of go-go dancing and the epicentre of the LA rock scene during the 60s, 70s and 80s. Mixology bars are a definite must-try too: try The Varnish or the Stark Bar for some of the best cocktails ever created.
  3. For the quintessential California beach experience, head for Santa Monica and Venice Beach. The Third Street Promenade is a great place for a stroll, as is the well-preserved Santa Monica Pier, with its collection of classic carnival rides, souvenir shops and original 1930s merry-go-round. Don't miss the farmers' market along Montana Avenue, where local and professional chefs hunt down the best seasonal produce and put on cooking demonstrations. A stroll down Venice Beach Boardwalk, which runs along the white sandy beach, is also a treat. Once the epicentre of LA's famous hippy scene, there's still a bohemian vibe here. Think inexpensive cafes and stalls, street musicians, rollerbladers and beach bods constantly on parade.
  4. The Space Shuttle Endeavour is a permanent part of the California Science Center, much to the excitement of locals and tourists alike. It's housed in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion, a 200,000sq ft expansion which features the Shuttle as well as lots of engaging, hands-on science exhibits. Admission to the centre is free, but admission to Endeavour requires a timed entry ticket costing $2 (reservable online). For an additional $8.25, turn your visit into an all-day science adventure by taking in an IMAX film on the centre's seven-story IMAX screen.
  5. For one of the best days or nights out LA-style, pack a picnic and head for the Hollywood Bowl. America's largest natural amphitheatre is the perfect place to enjoy a meal al fresco, and on a clear night the stars are spectacular. Home to the LA Philharmonic Orchestra during the summer, the Bowl also hosts regular rock concerts.

The best Los Angeles has to offer, from TripAdvisor users

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