Los Angeles Things to Do

5 Most Popular Los Angeles Attractions

You can call it the City of Angels, Southland and even lala-land. But no matter what you nickname Los Angeles, it really is one of the biggest and most fascinating cities in the United States, and one that is worth visiting. With year-round sunshine and sandy beaches, Los Angeles holidays provide many tourist attractions that can keep anyone entertained for days.

Universal Studios

Not only does Universal Studios make movies, it also has guided tours where visitors take a look at how movies are created, and entertaining rides with movie themes.

During the guided tours, you will learn the ins and outs of special effects, be a part of the movie-making experience, and perhaps even meet a few stars. Afterwards, enjoy many of the studio’s eateries and gift shops and hop onto a few rides for an adventurous time.


Whether you go by foot or take a narrated tour bus, Hollywood is one of Los Angeles’s most famous attractions. After all, people from all over the world go there to become stars.

In Hollywood, you will find many famous landmarks such as the notable Hollywood sign, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Hollywood & Highland Center, The Hollywood History Museum, The Kodak Theatre, the Madame Tussaud’s and the star-studded Walk of Fame.

Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive

As one of the most affluent areas in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills is certainly worth a visit. If you take a drive around the neighborhood, you can get a taste of the lifestyle of the rich and famous by peeking at their mansions and beautifully groomed yards.

Beverly Hills also has Rodeo Drive, which is a world-renowned shopping street known for its high-end designer shops such as Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. For anyone who loves high fashion and luxury goods, Rodeo Drive is the perfect place to browse around.

Santa Monica

If you want to spend a day on the beach, do some shopping, and then enjoy the nightlife, then head to Santa Monica. This area has a beach you can surf, run and tan at, a pier that offers a ferries wheel, fishing and classic arcade games, and a shopping street that turns into lively nightlife when it gets dark. You will find many people cruising on third street promenade at night, hanging out or enjoying street entertainment.

Venice Beach

Want to visit a quirky, beach-y place that represents L.A’s relaxed and artsy lifestyle? You should spend a day on Venice Beach. This vibrant place has a stretch of sand perfect for sunbathing, surfing, rollerblading and strolling, and is a great place to spend a lazy, relaxing day at. It is also home to many of Hollywood’s favorite stars like Julia Roberts, Kate Beckinsale and Nicolas Cage.

What’s your favorite thing to do in LA?

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Los Angeles Transportation

Bus Travel in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a huge city with quite a lot of districts. The largest city in California is famous for its nightlife, restaurants, shopping and being home to Hollywood. Whatever you do , at some point or another you’ll be using the public transportation. And although it’s not organized as well as it is in other Western cities , buses are cheap and you can get to the major tourist attractions pretty easily.

Public buses

The bus system in Los Angeles is operated by Metro (MTA) . The website is definitely the best way to figure it out as it offers timetables , maps and information about fares. The base fare is $1.50 (without connections) and the day pass is $5.00.

The buses are excellent if you travel within the central area of Los Angeles, as there are frequent connections.

If you need to get to the LAX airport, there are direct buses from various areas in the Los Angeles. A list can be found here (pdf).

Also, buses run during the night but many routes change, so make sure to check the timetable if you need to travel within the city by night. The Rapid buses have fewer stops and are efficient in the traffic.

Aside from the Metro buses, there are other companies which run buses within the city or connect to the neighboring cities (which have their own bus system). However, most of their routes are included in the MTA’s trip planner.

Private tours

Aside from the public buses available in Los Angeles, tourists can also choose the sightseeing private buses (such as those run by Starline Tours ) which go by the tourist highlights. There are Hollywood tours, Los Angeles tours and many more.

And yes, there’s also the possibility to choose Hop-On-Hop-Off ticket which has 50 stops and covers as many attractions.

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Articles Los Angeles

Why You Should Add Los Angeles to Your RTW Trip

All of the Why Go sites around the web are part of the BootsnAll network. Over the past several months, we have been working hard over at BootsnAll adding content to a section devoted to round the world trip planning.

If long-term, RTW travel is something you’re interested in, hopping over to our sister site and checking out the resources is something that will prove very beneficial. Another part of the RTW section over at BootsnAll is the destination guides on offer. If you are looking to travel to Los Angeles, this site you’re on now is fantastic and has all the resources necessary. The destination guides at BootsnAll have a different slant to them and offer tips and advice for adding Los Angeles to your round the world trip itinerary.

There are tons of reasons why anyone would want to travel to Los Angeles, whether it be for a weekend, a week, or an extended period of time. If you can get over the crowds, traffic, and smog, you can visit some of the most popular sites in the United States. Rubbing elbows with some of Hollywood’s elite on Mulholland Drive, partying at some of the country’s best clubs on the Sunset Strip, visiting Chinatown, and shopping in Beverly Hills are just a few of the activities tourists can take part in in the city of angels.

RTW travelers tend to be a little different, and you may be looking for activities that aren’t quite as touristy. There are plenty that can get you away from the crowds and the high prices, and adding LA to your RTW trip will be beneficial in other ways as well. LAX is a major international hub, and flights from Los Angeles can take you all over the world. It’s much shorter, easier, and often cheaper to get to places like Hawaii, Australia, or New Zealand from LA, and the RTW traveler is always thinking about that next destination.

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Los Angeles Things to Do

Los Angeles in April

By now the winter rains have ended but El Nino can bring showers until the middle of the month. Still, it’s warm and nice to explore the city and the surrounding areas. Many festivals take place in April and of course, there are plenty of things to do in Los Angeles anytime of the year.


The average high temperature in April in LA is 71F/22C and the average low is 54F/12C. Short sleeve shirts and long pants are a good option for April. Sometimes it’s warm enough to wear shorts. If you’ll stay right by the ocean, pack a light jacket for the evenings.

>>read more about Weather in Los Angeles

Flights and accommodation in April

April still falls during the shoulder season but the weather gets warmer and many tourists choose this month to travel to LA. So don’t expect to find bargains for flights or accommodation , but the prices are typically lower than during the high season. You can always choose to stay in a hostel or a vacation rental , especially if you travel with a group of friends.

What to do

Doo Dah Parade takes place each April in Pasadena. What started as a parody of the Rose Garden Parade is now a quite exotic and unique parade and became a tourist attraction.

If quirky parades aren’t your thing, maybe the Toyoda Grand Prix is. The weekend long car race through the streets of Long Beach is an excellent option for those passionate about the cars and everything related to them.

If you are passionate about reading, come to LA during the Festival of Books. The festival started in 1996 and now brings together adults, children, writers, readers and a lot of books.

Fiesta Broadway takes place on the last weekend of April and is the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the entire world. Try the foods and watch the performances.

Should you visit LA on a rainy day, head the art galleries within the Huntington Gardens. Or visit the museums, spend the evening at the cinema and enjoy a hot tea (or coffee) is a cozy café.

You can also rent a car and drive on the Malibu Coast. Another romantic thing to do is spending half a day on Catalina Island. Walk hand in hand, plan a picnic on the beach and just relax.

Don’t forget about Disneyland, especially if you travel with the kids. Try to avoid the weekends though and also remember that there are plenty of theme parks in the area.

You should definitely head to Hollywood and take a walk along the Walk of Fame . Or you can shop ‘til you drop on Sunset Boulevard or Rodeo Drive.

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Los Angeles Things to Do

Los Angeles in March

March might just be one of the best months to visit Los Angeles. Sure, this means you don’t exactly get a tan while here, but no one stops you from taking a romantic walk on Catalina Island. It’s usually affordable to visit LA in March but book in advance.


The average high temperature in March in LA is 69F/21C and the average low is 51F/11C. Pack a jacket for the evenings and nights. A combination of shirts and sweaters is an excellent option for this month in LA. During the night it might be warm enough for t-shirts.

>>read more about Weather in Los Angeles

Flights and accommodation in March

March falls during the shoulder season, when it’s typically cheaper to travel anywhere. That’s the case of LA as well, so although it’s a good idea to book the flights in advance, you’ll be able to find good deals, especially if you avoid flying during important events (such as the LA Marathon).

Since more and more travelers choose to travel during the shoulder season, make sure to book the accommodation . Still, you’ll be able to find good deals but you can also consider a hostel or a vacation rental , especially if you travel with a group of friends.

What to do

LA Marathon takes place in March, so expect crowds to flock here for the event. You can cheer along the route, from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica Pier.

March is the month when the nature comes back to life so the Huntington Gardens offer an amazing display of colors. If you happen to get to LA on a rainy day, visit the art galleries within the gardens. Or visit the museums, go to the cinema and enjoy a hot tea (or coffee) is a cozy café.

March 14 marks St. Patrick’s Day and there are plenty of events taking place in LA. Plus, it’s a good excuse to try the local clubs, right?

For a super display of colors, rent a car and head out of the town to see the poppies bloom. Or watch the swallows come back to town on March 19.

Especially if you travel with the kids, plan a visit to Disneyland. Or you can head to other theme parks in the area. Try to avoid the weekends, when it’s busiest.

If you travel with your significant other, you can head to Catalina Island and walk hand in hand.

You should definitely head to Hollywood and enjoy the Walk of Fame . Don’t forget to take a photo of your favorite celebrity’s star. During the day, shop on Sunset Boulevard and Rodeo Drive, while at night go club hopping.

>>read more about Things to do in Los Angeles

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Los Angeles Things to Do

Los Angeles in December

The less fun part about Christmas in Los Angeles is that you won’t find snow here…unless you head to the mountains. Usually winter brings the most visitors to LA, as they want to escape the cold weather where they live.


Los Angeles weather varies so much that you might just end up here during a bright sunny day during December and you haven’t packed the shorts. However, it’s almost always cool in the evening and during the night, especially on the coast. If you want to blend in at the trendiest restaurants, do pack the trendiest clothes you have. While if you plan to attend a theatre show, bring dress clothes.

The average high temperature is 68F/20C and the average low is 50F/10C. December is one of the wettest months , so don’t forget the umbrella and the rain jacket. Generally, it’s ok to pack long sleeve shirts and some sweaters.

>>read more about Weather in Los Angeles

Flights and accommodation in December

Everything is busy during this time of the year, particularly close to Christmas. Parents often taken kids to Disneyland during the Christmas holiday and travelers generally flock to warmer places. So, expect flights to book up quickly and to be more expensive than during other times of the year. Book ahead, use the saved miles and look for low cost flights.

As for accommodation , you can consider staying in a hostel or choosing a vacation rental , especially if you travel with a group of friends. Book in advance.

What to do

The two highlights of December are Christmas and The New Year’s Eve. Plenty of Christmas parades take place in the city and the Christmas lights are also fun to watch. As for the party between the years , you can choose among public and private celebrations.

If you love photography, go out and play after a rainy day when the skies are clear. And if you happen to be in LA during a rainy day, don’t worry as there are plenty of things to do. Visit the museums, go to the cinema, enjoy a hot tea (or coffee) is a cozy café, try your skills in a flight simulator at Air Combat USA or explore the art galleries within the Huntington Gardens.

Especially if you travel with the kids, plan a visit to Disneyland. Try to avoid doing that right before Christmas though. There are other theme parks in the area, of course, so choose the right one for you.

Catalina Island is an excellent choice if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of LA. Or you can rent a car and drive the Malibu Coast.

Don’t leave LA without taking a photo of your favorite celebrity’s star on the Walk of Fame . During the day, shop and explore Sunset Boulevard, while at night you can check out the clubs. If your budget allows it, shop on Rodeo Drive.

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Los Angeles Transportation

Getting from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara (and return)

“Riviera of the West” or Santa Barbara is perfect for a day trip from Los Angeles . Located about 100 miles from the City of Angels, Santa Barbara is well known for its beaches, wineries and the many shopping options. You might know it to be the playground of the rich and famous, but don’t worry, a day or two here won’t break your budget.

Quick summary

If you choose the afternoon train between Los Angles and Santa Barbara, then that’s the cheapest option: $16* one way. Otherwise, buses remain the most affordable way to travel between the two cities ($19.35 one way).

Flights from Los Angeles (airport code: LAX) to Santa Barbara

Although LAX is the closest large airport to Santa Barbara, the city is served by its own airport Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA), which handles about 30 daily flights to/from US cities, including Los Angeles. The airport is located about 7 miles from downtown.

Flights to/from Los Angeles are operated by American Eagle and United Express. The flight time is 40 minutes. In late December 2011 or late March 2012, expect to pay from $91 one way on American Eagle or United Express.

>>read more about Flights to Los Angeles

Trains from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara

Amtrack provides eight daily connections between Los Angeles Union Station and Santa Barbara. The first train leaves Los Angles at 7:35 a.m. and the last at 9:10 p.m. The first train leaves Santa Barbara at 6:46 a.m. and the last at 6:59 p.m.

The travel time is 2h 25 min. The cheapest fares are in the afternoon: just $16 for a single adult ticket. On the morning train, the fares start at $36 one way.

Buses from Los Angles to Santa Barbara

Greyhound offers four daily buses between Los Angles and Santa Barbara. The buses leave Los Angeles at : 6:10 a.m., 1:25 p.m., 6:10 p.m. and 10:20 p.m. Buses leave Santa Barbara at 6 a.m., 9:30 a.m. 2:45 p.m. and 8:10 p.m. The journey time is between 2h 10 min and 2h 40 min. The web only single adult fare is $19.35.

Driving from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara

You can rent a car and drive the 95 miles via US-101 N between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Part of the road is along the coast, so you’ll be rewarded with superb views. The travel time is 1h 45 min.

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Note:*at the time the article was written

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Los Angeles Things to Do

Catalina Island , a gem still well hidden

Over the years I’ve started to enjoy exploring places that are not over run by tourists. Even when I visit a popular destination, I manage to find hidden places where there’s no rush , no lines and you can soak up the atmosphere.

Such is the case of Catalina Island, of the little known American islands . It is located off the coast of Southern California and is a popular day trip destination for both locals and tourists.

It can be reached from either Los Angeles or Orange County, so do a little research and figure out which flights are cheaper. Flights to Orange County from New York start at $570 RT per person in mid-August, while to Los Angeles, you’ll pay from $520 RT per person for the same period. Depending on which city you choose to fly into, you then need to catch a ferry from Long Beach, San Pedro, or Dana Point into Catalina Island.

Most tourists come here for snorkeling and scuba diving. The underwater life can be viewed from a submarine or glass-bottom boats, as well. Another option is to play golf while you are here. If you want to be active but don’t fancy spending time in the water of playing golf, then choose one of the many hiking trails and explore the island (but you need a permit).

You can also spend some time in Avalon to explore the sights. The Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden are open year round and you can see plants native to the island. The Catalina Island Museum is located within the Casino and displays the history of Catalina from the early Gabrielinos through Catalina’s heyday, as a playground for the rich and famous.

You can book one of the hotels on Catalina Island but the prices aren’t very low so your best alternative would be to stay in one of the near-by cities.

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Articles Las Vegas Los Angeles Things to Do

Go Beyond the Weekend Road Trip

Weekend road trips are a summer staple – jump in the car and head a few hours away for a few days’ change of pace. But if you’re itching to get away for longer, there are plenty of options for extended road trips from Los Angeles. If you have a week or more, consider planning your next road trip to Yellowstone National Park.

The first National Park in the world and home of the famous Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone is comprised of 3,468.4 square miles of  lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges that stretch from Wyoming into Montana and Idaho. Driving is one of the best ways to visit Yellowstone National Park on a budget – particularly if you’re comfortable camping in a tent or in a small popup trailer.  But you don’t have to make the 2300 mile, 36+ hour drive in one stretch; that would take all the fun out of it!

Instead, take your time. You could stop in Las Vegas or spend a day or two hiking around the Grand Canyon and then make your way through Zion National Park to Salt Lake City, Utah. From there, swing by Jackson Hole, Wyoming or head straight to the park for camping, hiking, fishing, horseback riding and wildlife viewing. The drive around Yellowstone is one of the best road trips for nature lovers, with the park home to Grizzly Bears, wolves,  bison, elk and hundreds more species of animals that roam freely.

You’ll want to devote at least a few days to Yellowstone as the park is massive and there is so much to see and explore. If you’re short on time, you can return your rental car at the airport and fly home, or take the meandering drive back, stopping at places you missed on the way out. The drive from California to Yellowstone, through Nevada, Utah and Idaho, is a classic summer road trip you won’t soon forget.

Photo by Jim Dollar

Articles Los Angeles

Visiting Yosemite National Park

Though Los Angeles is known more for crowds, traffic congestion and movie stars, within a few hours you can leave the urban sprawl of LA behind and find yourself in the middle of nowhere in Yosemite National Park. Fly from LA to Fresno-Yosemite, airport or make the five hour drive to the park’s entrance and the busy pace of LA will soon be a distant memory.

Long a popular summer vacation spot for families, Yosemite is also one of the best places to hike in the US. This giant park has dozens of waterfalls, hundreds of lakes, jagged mountains, quite meadows and even some relaxing beaches. And there are over 800 miles of trails that will take you past this beautiful scenery. From easy (and sometimes crowded) paved trails to challenging backcountry trails, there’s something for every hiker in Yosemite. Half Dome, Bridalveil and Yosemite Falls, and Mirror Lake are some of the most popular trails in the park. Be sure to stop by the visitors center when you arrive to get the scoop on current conditions int he park. There are also some national park iPhone apps that can help you plan your time according to your interests.

The Yosemite is one of the most well-touristed National Parks in the US, a visit doesn’t have to be expensive. Especially if you are driving yourself, it is easy to travel to Yosemite National Park on a budget. Camping or staying in one of the tent cabins will be the cheapest options for lodging. But you cann make reservations at only some of the campgrounds in the park, and those will book up fast in the high season. Booking about six months in advance (during high season) is ideal.

High season is during the summer, with June-August being the most popular times to visit. Opting for May-June or  September-October can mean lower prices and fewer crowds, just be prepared for unpredictable weather at these times.

Photo by Rennett Stowe