View of Los Angeles, California, at night from the Hollywood sign

Los Angeles Guide

(Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)

Why you should visit Los Angeles

As the home of the United States’ entertainment industry, Los Angeles attracts people from all over the world hoping to find fame, which has transformed the city into a melting pot of diverse cultures. As a result, L.A. overflows with international cuisine, making it a foodie’s dream. Not to mention that the city’s four million-strong population comprises artists, musicians, actors and other creative types who keep L.A. at the forefront of all things trending.

As the second largest city in the country, L.A. is plagued by traffic. While it might take a little longer to get from point A to point B, the many iconic landmarks that fill the city – from the scenic Griffith Observatory to the star-studded Hollywood Walk of Fame – are worth the wait. And if you start to feel overwhelmed, you can always take a quick drive to some of California’s favorite ski resorts.

Ski Resorts Near Los Angeles

What to do in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is so large that you won’t run out of things to do. There are always events going on throughout the city that are worth keeping an eye out for. During the summer there are free concerts on the Santa Monica Pier. Chinatown holds a huge party like food event called Chinatown Summer Nights . In Arcadia, an Asian night market is held called 626 Night Market . In Venice, shop on Abbot Kinney, stroll alongside the canals and then down the boardwalk of eccentric street performers and art vendors.

L.A. Is also home to a wealth of cultural institutions. Get ready to be fascinated by the ever-changing exhibits at The Broad , though make sure to make reservations in advance as this museum is in high demand. The Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art (LACMA) is another great option for art lovers. For the car fanatic, wander through the Petersen Automotive Museum , the world’s largest automotive museum. With panoramic views of Los Angeles, make your way to the Getty Center , one of the largest art organizations.

Catch some of your favorite performers at the Hollywood Bowl or the Greek Theatre . Buy a record at Amoeba Records , the world’s largest independent record store and then catch a flick at the vintage cinerama dome across the street. Or, for higher-end souvenirs, head to Rodeo Drive and shop the finest brands in the world.

Where to stay in Los Angeles

It’s important to consider how you want to spend your time in Los Angeles before deciding on a hotel, as choosing the wrong location could leave you sitting in traffic for hours. For example, if you are hoping to warm up after a weekend on the ski slopes with a day at the beach, you’ll want to look for properties around Venice or Santa Monica. If you want to enjoy a bit of everything, consider booking a hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, which will place you equidistant to many of the city’s key attractions. In this part of town, The Standard, Downtown LA is a hip (albeit pricey) option with a rooftop bar and a lively beer garden.

Meanwhile, PodshareDTLA is a unique and convenient spot to stay as this co-living space located in the heart of L.A’s Arts District is only 50 minutes from the slopes at Mt. Baldy Ski Resort.

Hollywood also has plenty of hotels that are worth staying at. Mondrian LA on Sunset Boulevard is a swanky luxury boutique hotel with a stunning rooftop bar to enjoy anytime of the day. The Hollywood Roosevelt is an historic property situated right on Hollywood Boulevard. It even has its own bowling alley.

Where to eat in Los Angeles

Not only is Los Angeles recognized for its entertainment scene, this bustling city is also known as a true foodie haven.

For breakfast head on over to Homestate , a local favorite in the heart of Silverlake where you can devour some breakfast tacos with house-made queso. Feel at home while sipping on a steamy latte and delighting in fresh-baked pastries at one of Urth Caffe’s charming locations.Enjoy Joan’s on Third , a trendy marketplace dishing out sophisticated sandwiches and salads.

Santa Monica is filled with restaurants, especially ones that are on the health-conscious side. Enjoy vegetarian delights at The Butcher’s Daughter , a plant-based restaurant on Abbot Kinney where you can find acai bowls for breakfast and cauliflower pesto and kale pizza for lunch. If vegetarian cuisine doesn’t fit your fancy, grab some fish tacos at James Beach , an infamous restaurant featured in the Paul Rudd and Jason Segel film I Love You, Man .

Pace , a romantic restaurant tucked away in the hills of Laurel Canyon, a neighborhood within Hollywood, is the spot to go to for quality, homemade pasta.

Family-friendly Activities in Los Angeles

Spend the day with the family at Griffith Park where you can enjoy a picnic or take a nice walk on one of the many trails within this 4,200-acre urban landscape. At the top of the park you will find 360-degree views of Los Angeles at the Griffith Observatory , and at night, star-gaze and explore the exhibits within the planetarium.

Get starstruck walking down the historic Walk of Fame in Hollywood, or keep your eyes peeled for celebrities at the TCL Chinese Theatre , a historic movie theater where film premieres are typically held.

Ride the attractions at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park and immerse yourself in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter , or walk down the end of the Santa Monica Pier where you will find Pacific Park , an old-fashioned amusement park packed with rides, games and food.

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