Los Angeles City Guide
About Los Angeles
Los Angeles or the ‘City of Angels’ is the home of Hollywood, the premier film industry in the world. This world famous tourist destination is also the largest city in the golden state of California and the second most populous city in the US.
Los Angeles is a huge, sprawling metropolis which is, in fact, made up of eighty smaller cities. The downtown area of LA (as Los Angeles is popularly referred to) is located in the heart of the city while its surrounding areas make up the greater district of LA County.
Millions of visitors arrive for Los Angeles vacations every year to take in its various world renowned sights like Universal Studios, Disneyland and Beverly Hills; though many others also head to this ethereal city to find a slice of the ‘American Dream’ as well as to find fame and fortune in the movie industry.
Where to stay in Los Angeles
Los Angeles like any major global city, offers a wide range of hotel types that range from over the top luxury hotels, spa hotels, boutique hotels to discount hotels, which are known for their cheap hotel rooms. If you choose to make your hotel reservations through us at Fare Buzz you can be sure that you will receive the best hotel discounts even if you are compelled to make a last minute hotel booking for a trip to LA.
Los Angeles, unlike many other US cities, is a quite difficult city to navigate if you are a tourist. The downtown area of LA is not its most coveted district and in fact most tourists, like the residents of this enchanting city, concentrate their activities in the surrounding areas of LA.
Santa Monica and its beaches
This beach front community, which extends over sixty miles and includes the various beach front towns that lie between Malibu and Palos Verdes peninsula, is the most favored accommodation destinations for visitors to LA. This area is known for its milder weather and relatively less polluted environs. Santa Monica and its various beaches and towns, which are all connected via walking and biking paths, accordingly offer a wide variety of hotels that cater to all budgets and tastes.
Beverly Hills is perhaps the most famous enclave in LA and is famed for its palm tree-lined streets and palatial homes that belong to the biggest names in Hollywood. Beverly Hills also hosts some of the most opulent luxury hotels in the US if not the world.
Pasadena & Environs
Pasadena, which is located in LA’s San Fernando Valley, is an old world neighborhood which was primarily known for its old brick and stone commercial buildings that housed small elegant boutiques and restaurants. During recent years, however, the Old Town area of Pasadena has become a tad more commercialized and hosts several chain eateries and standard-issue stores. However, the neighborhood continues to be popular with visitors who seem to prefer it to areas in downtown LA.
While most tourists desire to stay in LA’s most renowned and expensive areas like Beverly Hills and Hollywood, which are home to numerous celebrities and great restaurants and shopping, other visitors to LA who are more budget conscious choose the many competitively priced hotels located around LA’s gargantuan and perennially busy international airport, LAX.
Places to see in Los Angeles
Universal Studios is a Mecca of film making and one of largest movie studios in the world. The main attraction here is the one hour studio tour, which is conducted by tram around the 420 acres that make up the studio. On this tour, you get to see the dressing rooms of the stars, production offices and also the sets that have been erected for various movies. The theme park offers many different rides and several live performances, which enthrall and entertain the enthusiastic audiences, who seem to perpetually throng this attraction.
Hollywood in Los Angeles hosts the world’s most prominent film community as it is the entertainment capital of the world. The famous Hollywood sign; which is located in the hills that surround the city and consists of 50 ft high letters is one of its most famous landmarks.
The heart of the movie industry in Hollywood is concentrated on Hollywood Boulevard which has hosts many world landmarks like the impressive Mann's (Grauman's) Chinese Theatre; famed for its Hollywood Walk of Fame. This Walk of Fame, which located on a sidewalk outside the theatre, is the ultimate tribute to the many leading lights of the city. Each bronze medallion, which is set in the center of star pays tribute to a famous television, film, radio, theater, or recording personality like Barbara Streisand, Jerry Lewis and Marilyn Monroe and many more. More than 2500 stars have been immortalized forever on this sidewalk until date. Other attractions on Hollywood Boulevard include the Capitol Records Building, the Kodak Theatre the home of the Oscars) Hollywood Guinness World Records Museum and the Hollywood Wax Museum.
The Richard Meier designed Getty Center, which is housed in a marble building located on a hillside in the Santa Monica Mountains, is a gallery that showcases one of the most awe-inspiring collections of art. This collection consists of Impressionist paintings, antique French furniture and many other decorative arts. The center also has many kid- friendly programs, which are geared towards entertaining young visitors so they do not get bored by a visit to the museum.
Chinatown, Koreatown and Thai town
The ethnic enclaves of Chinatown, Koreatown and Thai town are also worth exploring as they give you an insight into the history of the evolution of this great city. For instance, the origin of L.A's Chinatown can be traced back to the second half the 19th century when many Chinese people settled in Los Angeles during the California gold rush. Koreatown similarly evolved in the mid Wilshire area of Los Angeles in the 1960's and today the city of Los Angeles has more Koreans living in it than anywhere else in the word, outside of Korea.
La Brea Tar Pits
A fascinating phenomenon, which is located bang in the midst of this glamorous city, is the La Brea Tar Pits. The tar pits are made up of a stinky swamp of gooey asphalt that continuously bubbles and oozes to the earth's surface. This phenomenon, which is more than 40,000 years old once, attracted many animals and birds and they soon got trapped in the gooey mass forever. Scientists began to remove the remains of these creatures in the early 20th Century in order to study them. Today, the La Brea Tar Pits are a rich source for ice age fossils. Hundreds of the bones that have been excavated from the swamp have been cleaned, catalogued and stored at the George Pace Museum, which is located adjacent to the La Brea Tar Pits.
The LA Zoo
The LA Zoo has been a prime Los Angeles attraction for over forty years since it first opened its doors to the public in 1966. The Zoo houses more than 1200 animals from all over the world and is a delightful year around attraction for all the family.
One of LA’s most colorful areas and the epicenter of all things bohemian, Venice Beach is a fascinating must-do attraction for any tourist to LA. The paved beach path on Venice Beach is bordered with stalls that sell kitschy souvenirs like Mexican blankets, sunglasses, t-shirts and services for getting tattoos, piercings and Chinese massages et al. This location is an ideal spot for those who love to watch people as you will have chance to see all types of Los Angelenos including bikini clad skaters and bikers. Venice Beach is also the spot to witness a variety of live performers like mime artists, break dancers and musicians, who use the locale to showcase their craft to the many tourists and the casual passersby.
Best time to visit Los Angeles
Los Angeles with its year round warm and sunny weather welcomes visitors throughout the year. Summers in Los Angeles are hot, dry and sunny while winters are cool and wet.
Getting around in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is well served by its international airport and was the sixth busiest airport in the world. The airport is well connected with a majority of cities and flying to Los Angeles is one of the easiest things you can do. Book your cheap air tickets with us and save money as well.
LA does have a public transport system, which consists of the rail, express and local buses and taxicabs. LA’s public transport facility is operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (also known as Metro, MTA or LACMTA) however all these modes of transport do not cover all corners of LA and the city still remains very much a driver’s city and automobiles rule the roost.
The city is equipped with a complex network of freeways which can be intimidating and confusing for new drivers. LA is reputed to be one of the cheapest places to rent a car or even a limousine. We, at Fare Buzz also offer affordable, inexpensive car and limousine rentals in LA. If you need to hire a car for the duration of business trip or vacation in LA, we can offer you a wide variety of choices of hire cars, which cater to all budgets.
Where to shop in Los Angeles
One thing the ‘City of Angles’ does well is offer a plethora of shopping opportunities. Renowned shopping districts in LA include Melrose Place, a street made famous by the TV show of the same name. The stretch of Melrose Place, a popular celebrity haunt hosts several upscale stores like Fred Segal’s, Agent Provocateur, Alexander McQueen and various other trendy boutiques and vintage stores. Adjacent to Melrose is Robertson Boulevard, another preferred shopping haunt featuring upmarket boutiques, cafés and restaurants.
The Grove located within close proximity of Melrose Avenue, is yet another must-visit shopping destination that is populated with stores belonging to high-end labels like Barney’s New York, Tommy Bahama, Michael Kors, Anthropologie and so forth. LA’s Farmer’s Market is situated close to the Grove, serves as favored refueling stop for many a shopping expedition.
The ultra-luxe shopping stretch Rodeo Drive is perhaps LA’s most famous shopping enclave, which has been immortalized in countless Hollywood movies like ’Pretty Woman’ and ‘Arthur’. Rodeo Drive plays host to several luxe hotels and boutiques as well as stores belonging to the who’s who of luxury retail. Brands like Tod’s, De Beers, David Yurman, Bvlgari, Chopard, Hermes, Cartier, and Chanel amongst several others have a representation on Rodeo Drive along with outposts of upmarket department stores Neiman Marcus, Barney’s New York and Saks Fifth Avenue.
As for mall shopping, the mecca of shopping, LA, hosts a plethora of malls and shopping centers like Hollywood and Highland Center, Westfield Century City, the American at Brand, Glendale Galleria, all of which offer a multitude of shopping, dining and entertainment options.
Where to eat in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, like other urban centers in the US, is a rich mix of various cultures and culinary interests. The city offers a wide variety of eateries which serve up a smorgasbord of cuisines, aiming to cater to all tastes and budgets. Favored, must-try restaurants in LA currently include establishments like Spago (New American), Pizzeria Mozza, In-N-Out Burger Matsuhisa (Japanese), Dan Tana’s (Italian), Restaurante Guelaguetza (Mexican), Father’s Office (burger), The Apple Pan (diner), Animal (New American), Cut (steakhouse), Kogi (Korean bbq food truck), Baco Mercat (flatbread sandwiches), Spice Table (southeast Asian), Hinoki and the Bird (new American) and Jitlada (Thai).
Nightlife in Los Angeles
Los Angles is at the entertainment capital of the world. It is no wonder then that it offers endless entertainment options in the form of thumping nightclubs, bars, cocktail lounges, comedy clubs, live music venues and much more. Top nightlife haunts in LA currently include spots like Winston’s, Area, Opera, Das Bunker, Lucha VaVoom, Mayan, the Hideout, the Viper Room, Pour Haus Wine Bar, the Spider Club, the Standard, Tiki-Ti Cocktail Lounge, the Black Sheep and Jay’s Bar.
A point to note, while most clubs and bars in LA are open to the general public and not just celebrities, some of the most buzzing clubs tend to have stringent door policies that limit admittance to all and sundry.