Los Angeles may be “The City of Angels”, but there are plenty of shenanigans to get into in this American hot spot. As the home of modern cinema and 24-hour taco deliveries, LA has a little fun for every traveller. Catch some rays and charge some waves on the beach, or go full fangirl or guy at a movie premiere.
For the best homework assignment ever, book one of our Los Angeles holidays and get started on Californian cultural anthropology—er, we mean binge on movies like Point Break, Clueless and Drive. You’ll learn quickly that LA has beauty, brains and brawn…some more than others.
Located on the Southern California coast, the largest city in the Golden State welcomes millions of visitors year-round—but don’t worry, it’s easy to find accommodation in Los Angeles. With hotels everywhere from downtown to the Hollywood Hills and near every beach, you can book places to stay in Los Angeles faster than you can sing “Hotel California”. Speaking of…you can book California accommodation and tour the state.
Things to Do in Los Angeles
Heck yes, you’re looking forward to matching hand prints with James Brown on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and screaming through the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. But you also want to squeeze as much local flavour into your holiday as possible, right?
If that’s the case, start with California burritos—they have French fries rolled inside!—from one of the city’s many food trucks. Seriously, some of the best food in Los Angeles is on four wheels. With your belly full of SoCal cuisine, take a hike through Griffith Park in the Santa Monica Mountains, a reminder that LA is all about natural beauty—bahahaha, no it’s not.
You can count spray tans on The Sunset Strip, though, or spend an arvo at Venice Beach, where it’s guaranteed to get more than a little weird. Clean up and keep it classy for a visit to the Getty Center, an art museum west of University of California, Los Angeles.
Getting To & Around Los Angeles
Fly to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), located about 25km southwest of downtown. The airport is so close to the coast that you could stop at Dockweiler State Beach for a waterfront picnic before cruising to your cool Los Angeles accommodation. Downtown LA does have a metro system, but this is driver’s territory, so check our awesome car hire options for a flashy convertible.
In London you have the prim and proper Wimbledon. In Anchorage you have the Igloo Building World Championships (okay, we made that up). It only makes sense that at the end of every July, Los Angeles plays host to the U.S. Open of Surfing. It’s, like, totally gnarly to watch the world’s best shred some waves!
If you prefer to stay on dry land, then perhaps the LA County Fair is more your style. This huge fair at the in Pomona will prove that cows, sheep and pigs do exist in Los Angeles, but don’t be surprised to see beamers sitting shoulder-to-shoulder next to John Deere tractors in the parking lot. We’re still in Hollywood town, after all.
One of the best times to visit Los Angeles is in October. Not to brag, but LA really goes to town for Halloween. The theme parks dress to impress, and it seems like every community space mysteriously turns into a haunted house. For a truly insane experience, head to the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival. We suggest you dress like an adult baby—that diaper might come in handy when the creepy clowns and ax murderers come out to play!
New York might call itself “The City that Never Sleeps”, but Los Angeles doesn’t get much shut-eye either, especially on the weekends. Lots of Los Angeles hotels are located near the party hot spots, so go wild…well, maybe stop short of punching out the paparazzi. Only celebrities get to do that.
The city is filled with major concert venues, like the Pantages Theatre, Hollywood Bowl and Staples Center, so see which mega-superstar is playing during your stay and get ready to give your vocal chords a workout. If you’d rather show off your own slick moves, you can drop-pop-and-lock it at sizzling clubs all over town. Sunset Strip is the place to go for high profile. Hey, is that your blurry face in the background of that tween pop star’s latest selfie?
Hollywood Boulevard is also a popular clubbing standby. Be prepared for a long wait to get into the most popular clubs, especially on the weekends, unless you happen to be a supermodel or have one on your arm. We think you’re gorgeous, but that burly bouncer isn’t convinced.
If you’d rather chill at a trendy dive bar, Uber over to Silver Lake or Echo Park…Park…Park for craft beer, tasty wine and everything hipster. You might need to cab it back to one of our hotels in Los Angeles, though.
If you need to fill one day in Los Angeles, how about getting out of the city for a spell? We know that you’ve been itching to whirl around in a massive tea cup (who hasn’t) and to give your favourite princess a hug. Drive just 45km due south and enter “The Happiest Place on Earth”. Yeah, you’ve totally earned those Mickey ears. Go get ‘em.
If you’d rather indulge your inner adult rather than your inner child, continue south 139km and enter the up-and-coming wine country of Temecula. It’s growing fast, and you’ll have dozens of beautiful wineries to visit, from small family-run setups to stunning hotel-winery-resorts. Get your vino on!
Ready to book your flights to Los Angeles and star in your own Hollywood blockbuster? lastminute.com.au is way ahead of you. Mix and match our travel deals and start your holiday of California Dreaming.
On the big screen
Film buffs will appreciate a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the magic of the silver screen at Universal Studios Hollywood, and music fans should make a stop at Capitol Records' circular tower on Vine Street. The label's studios are renowned for their unique acoustic properties, and are the home of big-name artists such as the Beastie Boys, Frank Sinatra, and Lily Allen.
If the hype and glamour of Tinseltown gets to be a bit too much, take a break at one of Los Angeles' famous white sandy beaches. Stretching over 72 miles, there's something to suit every taste, from colorful Venice Beach to Malibu's epic surfing beaches. Or you could hire an open-top car and take the Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica past LA's multi-million-dollar beachside mansions. This state highway offers one of America's best scenic drives, from wild coastal scrub to expansive beach views. And with a mild year-round Mediterranean climate, you'll find it easy to while away a lazy afternoon in the sun.
As the second-largest city in the United States, and with more than 220 different languages spoken by its residents, Los Angeles has a truly diverse identity. Used as a backdrop to films including 'Rush Hour' and 'Lethal Weapon 4', Chinatown is the perfect place to catch an independent art exhibition or sit down to a Peking Duck.
Step back in time along Olvera Street, regarded as the birthplace of Los Angeles, where Mexican and Latino culture is kept alive with traditional market stalls and restaurants. Or check out the many clubs and karaoke bars (noraebangs) in Koreatown, well-known for its thriving nightlife.
Rodeo Drive, baby
Of course, Los Angeles is all about retail therapy, and where better to indulge than in one of the city's legendary shopping enclaves. See and be seen along trendy Melrose Avenue, where big international designers vie for attention, or dig out some rare vintage finds on La Brea Avenue. For the ultimate in LA style, have your own 'Pretty Woman' moment on Rodeo Drive, where the rich and famous top up their Chanel, Gucci, and Cartier collections.
A city of style and opportunities, it's no wonder Los Angeles has long been a magnet for travellers and young hopefuls alike. With its mix of fame, glamour, and natural beauty, there's no doubt the magic of the City of Angels lives on. Hide