9 Things to Know Before Visiting Los Angeles

Travel Tips
Travel Tips
Nov 23, 2022


  • 1. First Time Traveling to Los Angeles
  • 2. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • 3. Getting Around LA - Los Angeles Transportation
  • 4. Best Time to Visit Los Angeles: Temperatures and Climate
  • 5. 3 Must-See Attractions in Los Angeles, California
  • 6. Food in Los Angeles
  • 7. Shopping in Los Angeles
  • 8. Local Customs in Los Angeles
  • 9. Travel Experiences in Los Angeles
    • Travel Experience in Los Angeles ①: Santa Monica Beach- Happening Beach
    • Travel Experience in Los Angeles ②: Hoxton Hotel
    • Travel Experience in Los Angeles ③: The Hoxton Downtown LA
    • Travel Experience in Los Angeles ④: Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
    • Travel Experience in Los Angeles ⑤: Los Angeles Airport Marriott
    • Travel Experience in Los Angeles ⑥: Must See in LA - The Getty Centre
    • Travel Experience in Los Angeles ⑦: Urth Cafe, Los Angeles
  • Show More

Famed for the glitz and glam of Hollywood, white sandy beaches and palm trees, and year-round sunshine, there’s no shortage of reasons for people to visit Los Angeles at least once in their lifetime. One of the most popular tourist attractions worldwide, Los Angeles – also known as the City of Angels or LA – offers visitors a vibrant food scene, world-class museums, rich and diverse culture, and much more.

Los Angeles is the largest and the most populated city in California and the second-largest city in the United States after New York. Sprawled across from the Pacific Ocean to the mountains in the north, the city of LA is one of some 90 incorporated cities in the much larger Los Angeles County, which include well-known towns like Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and Long Beach. In fact, LA County is larger than the State of Delaware and Rhode Island combined, and it is home to more than one-quarter of California residents.

First founded as a Spanish settlement in 1781, the Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels as it was initially called, became part of the US in 1848. Through a number of industries like the discovery of oil, the orange groves, and later on the film industry, the city’s population and wealth grew. Today Los Angeles has a diverse and robust economy, not just in the professional and cultural fields, but also as the busiest container port in the Americas.

Most visitors to Los Angeles will fly into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), while it’s the nearest and largest international airport in LA, domestic travelers also have the option to use other airports in the region like John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Hollywood Burbank Airport, and Ontario International Airport in San Bernardino County. Besides renting a car, visitors have several transfer options to go from the airport to the city center, such as the Metro, taxis, private shuttles, and LAX FlyAway Bus.

9 Things to Know Before Visiting Los Angeles

Besides the beaches, museums, theme parks, and shopping malls, LA also has many natural wonders and the locals love a good hike. With 300 plus days of sunshine, visitors can hike up to the Hollywood sign, relax in the gardens of the Huntington Library, and enjoy the amazing panoramic views of DTLA skyline from Echo Park. And if you go a little further to surrounding counties, you’ll discover the beauty of Joshua Tree National Park, Big Bear Lake, and Angeles National Forest.

If you are visiting Los Angeles for the first time, then here are some useful travel tips to help you along to a memorable trip. First up, when to go? While you can visit LA year-round, but weather-wise and to avoid extreme crowds, the best times to explore the city are Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to November). If you don’t mind the heat and love time on the beach, then summer is perfect for you.

Next up, is LA a city, or a county? Actually, it is both. The entire LA metropolitan area is made up of many smaller cities. The City of Los Angeles mainly consists of the downtown area (DTLA) and many outlying municipalities. So when people say LA, they tend to mean LA County which includes cities like Beverly Hills, Burbank, Calabasas, Culver City, Long Beach, Malibu, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood.

Now, what about where to stay? Many tourists’ first instinct is to stay Downtown. While there are several attractions in DTLA like Grand Central Market, The Broad Museum, and Little Tokyo, but that’s just a small portion of the area. For families and solo travelers especially, there are still many parts that are not as gentrified or even safe for tourists, e.g. Skid Row. Instead, if you love the beach and the coastal vibe, consider Santa Monica or Marina Del Ray. For high-end restaurants and designer shops, stay in Beverly Hills. Westwood and West Hollywood are two safe and central options, plus Westwood is a young and trendy neighborhood with affordable dining options.

One other thing worth mentioning to first-time visitors is that people don’t walk in LA. For such a busy and populous city, you’ll rarely see anyone walking on the streets, except in tourist attractions, around bus stops, or people exercising in their neighborhoods. Whether it’s due to the heat, lack of pedestrian facilities (continuous pavements), or long distances between places, people in LA drive everywhere.

Most visitors to LA will arrive at the Los Angeles International Airport, also known as LAX. It is the nearest and largest international airport serving Los Angeles County and Southern California. For people flying in from US cities, other airport options are available in LA and surrounding counties such as John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Hollywood Burbank Airport, and Ontario International Airport in San Bernardino County. Located on the coast about 28 km (16 miles) from Downtown LA, LAX is one of the busiest airports in the world offering hundreds of daily nonstop flights to 100 domestic cities and 88 cities in 44 countries. There are 9 passenger terminals organized in a U-shape. Passengers traveling between terminals need to first clear security, walk or hop on a shuttle bus to the other terminal, and re-clear security.

Traveling by car is the most convenient way to get to and from the airport or to travel around town, but LAX has many transfer options all over the city and surrounding counties, including airport buses, door-to-door shuttle vans, light rail, taxicabs, rideshare services, and rental cars. For nearby areas like Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, it is easier to catch a taxi or ride-share option as the cost will be reasonable and is hassle-free.

To use public transportation, a free shuttle bus connects LAX with the Metro Rail Green Line’s Aviation/LAX Station. The LAX FlyAway Bus service is a quick and budget-friendly option for non-stop transportation between the airport and Union Station, then from there, visitors can hop on the Metro and rail service to your final destination. LAX-it is an area next to Terminal 1 where all taxis, ride-shares, and shuttle pickups are carried out. So visitors need to get on the LAX-it shuttle on level one, outside bag claim, and once there, look for the lines for your specific mode of transport.

Similar to most US cities, the easiest way to get around is by car as public transportation systems are often not as convenient or extensive as cities in other parts of the world. If visitors do decide to rent a car for their trip, the best place to pick it up is at the airport, then head straight for the highway as it’s the fastest option to reach your destination. It’s worth noting that parking can be difficult and expensive in LA, so be prepared to parallel park into that tight street parking space, or fork out 10-15 USD for a parking spot near popular areas like Venice Beach and DTLA. Alternatively, ride-share services are very popular and plentiful in LA, so for short distances or traveling with a group, it is a cost-effective and easy way to explore the city.

The Metro is the name for LA’s main public transportation system which includes bus and rail (subway). For easy payment and reduced fares, visitors should first get a Transit Access Pass (TAP card). To get the reloadable TAP card, the rider must pay an additional 2 USD (or 1 USD at TAP vending machines) on top of their first fare payment. For the subway system, there are currently 6 lines and 93 stations which can take passengers to most parts of LA. Tickets start at 1.75 USD per ride, 1-, 7- and 30-day passes are available. A number of famous attractions can be reached by subway. For example, if you’re staying in Downtown and want to go to Universal Studios Hollywood, take the Metro B Line (Red) from 7th Street/Metro Center Station to Universal/Studio City Station. What about Santa Monica? E Line (Expo) can take you from DTLA to Downtown Santa Monica Station.

Los Angeles has a subtropical climate which means year-round mild-to-hot temperatures and mostly dry climate. While visitors come to Los Angeles throughout the year due to its sunny days and stunning beaches, the best times to explore the city are Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to November). During these periods, the air is clearer, it is less crowded and the average high temperatures range from 21-28 °C (70-83 °F). Summer runs from June to September, the hottest months are July and August when the scorching heat peaks at 38 °C (100 °F). Though never freezing and snow is rare, LA Winter will see a mix of rains, winds, and clouds. The coldest month is January when temperatures range from 9-20 °C (49-68 °F). Remember to pack an umbrella in the winter, you’re bound to encounter a little rainfall in January and February.

In terms of weather, the best times to explore Los Angeles are Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to November). But they also happen to be the shoulder seasons and best times to avoid the crowds. Peak tourist seasons are the summer, winter holidays, and spring breaks when school is out. Crowds are also at their peak during Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday periods. If spending your days at the beach is your main goal, then the best time is summer when the ocean is at its warmest and most pleasant in July and August.

From stunning beaches, famous film locations to quaint historic towns, there are so many world-famous attractions in Los Angeles, deciding what to see during your trip may be harder than you think.

If LA is famed for its sun, sand, and surf, then Santa Monica is the postcard-perfect version of that laidback and fun family beach vacation. Visitors can ride on the iconic Ferris Wheel, take a dip in the ocean, people watch on the Santa Monica Beach Pier, and eat and shop your way down the 3rd Street Promenade. The pier is also the end-of-the-trail location for Route 66, so if you drove across the country, get a Route 66 completion certificate at Santa Monica Visitor Center. Other visit-worthy beaches in LA include Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Malibu.

You can’t visit the home of Hollywood without seeing its stars! Easily reachable by LA Metro, the most popular stretch of the Hollywood Walk of Fame is located along Hollywood Boulevard between Gower Street and Vine Street. Visitors can search for the stars of their favorite actors, take photos with celebrity impersonators, or admire the legendary TLC Chinese Theater. Expect these streets to be packed with tourists, as well as street performers and other vendors. If you fancy doing some shopping, especially for those Hollywood-related souvenirs, the Hollywood and Highland shopping complex has everything you need and more.

LA has so many museums and art galleries, visitors on a short stay may not have enough time to see them all. Head to the Museum Row, home to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Petersen Automotive Museum and Craft Contemporary, and Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. You will be impressed by the world-class artworks inside and by the ultramodern, and sometimes outlandish, exteriors of these venues.

Los Angeles’s food scene is dynamic like its culturally diverse population. With a wide array of culinary choices, visitors can sample the world one meal at a time. So, what are the must-eat local delicacies?

If you love a juicy French dip sandwich, Philippe The Original is one of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles and is renowned for claiming to be the inventor of this delicious sandwich. Located near LA’s Union Station, fans are treated to a variety of meat filling like roast beef, roast pork, leg of lamb, turkey, pastrami, or ham.

Another LA specialty is its Delis. There are several century-old delicatessens still in operation serving some of the most delectable bagel and smoked fish, pastrami or corned beef sandwich, and matzoh ball soup in the country. The most famous delis include Art’s Deli in Studio City, Greenblatt's Deli on Sunset Boulevard, and Canter’s Deli on Fairfax Avenue.

Don't miss the famous Hollywood tourist spot - Pink’s Hot Dogs. Operating since 1939, this Mom and Pop hot dog stand is a major draw for foodies from all over the world. So make sure to tuck into a Martha Stewart dog, Brando hot dog, or Lord of the Rings dog.

Home to Hollywood film stars, millionaires, and influencers, it’s not surprising that Los Angeles has some of the best shopping in the country. Tourists can shop till they drop in an upscale mall or spend the afternoon strolling in a trendy neighborhood, the City of Angels has it all.

For your ultimate LA shopping spree, first up head to The Grove, a one-stop destination for all your shopping, dining, and entertainment needs. Located next to the world-famous Farms Market LA (1934), La Brea Tar Pits, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), visitors can do some retail therapy, then catch a breath at one of the gourmet restaurants or watch a movie at the theatres.

Rodeo Drive located in Beverly Hills and is undoubtedly one of the poshest shopping areas in Los Angeles. This glitzy location has more than 100 world-renowned stores and hotels. One can find all the high-profile brands here, and this place is also a perfect spot for photography in the city.

Why not find your style at Citadel Outlets? Located in the City of Commence, the massive outlet mall has over 130 stores of local and international brands together with attractive savings. Visitors can easily spend a day browsing the coolest stuff in the shops while enjoying all the dining and entertainment options on offer.

The United States of America, also known as the USA or the United States, is the world’s fourth-largest country by size, covering approximately 9.8 million square kilometers (3.8 million square miles). Located in North America, the United States shares land borders with Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. There are 50 states and a federal district, as well as Indian reservations, and unincorporated territories. Population-wise, the USA ranks third in the world with roughly over 330 million people. Los Angeles is the largest city in the State of California, and it is also the second-largest city in the country.

The most commonly spoken language in the United States is English (American English). In Los Angeles, other than English more than 90 languages are spoken. For example, Spanish is widely used and commonly spoken languages include Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Armenian, Chinese, and Farsi.

There are six time zones in the US, and Los Angeles resides in Pacific Standard Time (PST). It is 8 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-8). From mid-March to early November, Los Angeles time will enter Daylight Saving Time (Pacific Daylight Time), hence it will be 7 hours behind GMT (GMT-7).

With 35 million tourists visiting every year, LA is considered a safe place. While there is undoubtedly crime in a large metropolitan city like LA, but these crimes are mainly localized in certain neighborhoods, like Skid Row due to its homeless community, South Central, and Compton. With standard precautions and be aware of which areas to avoid, tourists should have a pleasant and safe stay. For emergencies, dial 911 for police, fire brigade, and ambulance services.

Like elsewhere in the United States, the US Dollar ($ or USD) is the official currency. Tipping is hugely important in the US, the standard tip in the country begin between 15-20%.

Santa Monica is just an hour away from city of Los Angeles. It’s a weekend place for people who looks away from a Rush of Los Angeles City. Beach is beautiful and Specially sunset. It has pier and several restaurants and shops. It is also end point of Scenic Route 66. You can take Subway from city and can reach. Ot hire a Taxi. Relax and sit on beach with Coffee or bear. Have Pizza from the lane just near the beach. You can also visit Venice Beach which is just a walk away from here. #santabarbara #losangeles #california #beaches #beach #beachphotography #pier #santamonica #touristattraction #travellocal

I stayed at the Hoxton Hotel in Downtown LA on New Years Eve and I was not disappointed. From the moment I entered the hotel I was greeted by friendly valets, doormen, and hotel staff. They offered me a complimentary beer at check in, which was a great start to the night. My co workers and I then went to an LA Kings game before coming back to the Ritz for dinner and drinks. The hotel staff was more than willing to accommodate our request for 30 tequila shots and 30 beers. We drank a little at the room, then went downstairs to the bar and danced the night away before coming back to the room and ordering hamburgers from room service.

#thanksgiving #mapletrees #luxuryhotel #skiing #nationalpark