Los Angeles, the city of the movie stars and other celebrities.
Making pictures of the Hollywood sign, walk around at the Rodeo Drive and go for a drink at the famous Beverly Hills hotel are just a few examples of what to do in Los Angeles.
Read further on the Real Travel Blog about Los Angeles!
Things to keep in mind about Los Angeles.
Like many places in the United States, renting a car is a must. Public transport is not widely available and will cost you a lot of time going around. Distances are big, so you really need a car.
Plenty of options in Los Angeles. Hotels around Sunset Boulevard or any other major point of interest are very expensive. We chose to take a hotel in a less expensive area, as we had anyway a rental car.
In our opinion that is the best option, unless you have a big budget. Moreover, as during a city trip you will not spent a lot of time in your hotel. We prefer to spend more money on a hotel when we are going for a beach vacation, as you will spent more time at the hotel premises.
For example in Cabo San Lucas, where we went during the same vacation, we chose a more expensive hotel.
Things not to miss:
- The Hollywood hills to make a few nice pictures of the famous Hollywood sign.
- The walk of fame in Hollywood where all the footprints of famous people are.
- Rodeo drive, the fancy shopping street. If you are lucky you will spot some famous people.
- If you are lucky and there is a movie premiere when you are in Los Angeles, it is worth to go to watch the red carpet.
Los Angeles is a long flight from Europe. A direct flight from Amsterdam is around 11 hours. You can either choose for a direct flight, or connect somewhere on the west coast, to break up the time you must spent in the plane.
As for us spending a whole vacation in a city like Los Angeles, we would prefer the option and combine with other interesting cities in The United States like for example New York.
We arrived in Los Angeles driving from Las Vegas. Combining these cities in a trip is an advice from the Real Travel Blog. The drive is about 4 hours but is an interesting drive through the dessert.
Los Angeles has a pleasant climate, but it is not a destination where you can go to the beach the whole year. We went early November, but we did not spent time on the beach as it was not warm enough.
On the other hand, if you want to explore the city and do sightseeing, then it is a good period as it is not too hot.
If you plan to spend most of your time on the beach, you need to stick to the summer months. In our opinion if you want to spent your vacation on the beach, it is better to go to for example Playa del Carmen or Cancun beach.
Major cities in the United States all have areas which are unsafe. Some cities even have higher homicide rates than for example Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo.
Like a tourist these areas you have no interest to visit. The east side of the Inglewood area is considered unsafe. Before heading to cities like Los Angeles it is always good to do some research which areas to avoid. And then make sure to look at recent information as it can change quite quickly. It can be that an area is cleaned up with a lot of police force but therefore crime moves to some other areas.
One thing always to keep in mind that areas called downtown are not always the best to stay. It are areas which are lively during the day as a lot of business are located in these areas.
We had quite an unpleasant experience as our car was towed while we were having dinner. To recover our car, we had to go to a shady neighborhood. The staff at the place gave us a very strange feeling. We did not get our car, as the necessary documents where in the hotel. When we went back to the place where we had to recover our car, we were considering calling the police as we felt very uncomfortable and we had the idea that part of the staff was on drugs.
At the end we got our car back without police assistance.
Parking your car in Los Angeles can be tricky. The signs on the street are very confusing and you have no idea if you can park or not. If you are not sure, better to find a parking.
Food and drinks
What we found a let down of Los Angeles is that entering in a trendy club is hard. You either need to get on the guest list or need to wait in a long queue. This made our nightlife experience a bit disappointing. We tried many places but ended up in a average club as we did not waste our evening waiting outside.
Good and fancy restaurants are plenty in Los Angeles. We had dinner at the BOA steakhouse. We can for sure recommend this restaurant as the food and service is excellent.
Don`t expect these kinds of place to be cheap. On the contrary with the mandatory tip of 20% these are expensive place, but worth the money when you are in Los Angeles.
Fancy restaurants and clubs is something which makes Los Angeles famous, so therefore we think you must go at least once to a trendy club or restaurant.