Los Angeles gets visitors for tourism, business, and global events throughout the year and has budget hotels to cater for all types. For business travelers, the chain hotels provide ideal accommodation such as Americas Best Value Inn, Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (around $235/night), and Holiday Inn Express Hollywood.
For visitors, look for independent budget hotels like the Stay on Main in downtown L.A. (about $45/night), Best Inn in Hollywood, and Santa Monica's Rest Haven Hotel; all are great budget options. If you're here for an event, The Ambrose, The Dixie Hollywood, and Ramada Los Angeles will get you in the zone.
In between the international airport and downtown, you can find cheap hotels in Los Angeles including the Travel Inn ($60/night), Copacabana Inn ($60/night), and the Rodeway Inn ($99/night), which are close to the Harbor Freeway ensuring you stay well-connected to tourist hotspots. The Manhattan and Redondo Beach areas offer great value just a few blocks from the beach including the Redondo Inn, Best Western Redondo Beach ($93/night), and Hi View Inn & Suites. Heading north beyond Hollywood, you can find cheap hotels such as the Canoga Hotel, Howard Johnson Inn ($109/night), and Suites and Star Hotel Inn L.A. where the vibe is more relaxed.
With Los Angeles being home to the Grammys, the Emmys, and the Oscars, luxury hotels in Los Angeles are a given. If you want to live the Hollywood lifestyle on vacation check out the Hollywood Roosevelt, Loews Hollywood Hotel, W Hollywood, and Hollywood Panorama Suites line Hollywood Boulevard. For those who want the Beverley Hills experience Beverly Wilshire Beverly Hills, Residence Inn Beverly Hills, Hotel Bel-Air, and SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills are great spots. For those who want beach views in Santa Monica, JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot, Shore Hotel, and Shutters on the Beach are luxurious options.
Los Angeles is well served with boutique hotels. Santa Monica's Oceana Beach Hotel is a great for health and wellness offering daily yoga in the park and hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains with in-room spa treatments to finish your day. On the edge of Beverly Hills is L.A. Sky Boutique Hotel with just 28 rooms offering a peaceful atmosphere away from Beverley Hills. In West Hollywood, you can find 14 cottages at the Charlie, where Charlie Chaplin used to live. Each of the cottages has its own personality and style with all the conveniences of home.
Many residents have spare bedrooms in the heart of downtown offering a local experience. The Comfortable Chinatown Room, The Trendy Bedroom in the Heart of L.A., and Modern Luxury in Historic Downtown are a sample of rooms available at prices comparable to boutique hotels. Thousands of rooms are available all over Los Angeles, and you never know what suburb you may find yourself in with Airbnb. For those who are traveling in groups, whole apartments are available like Manhattan Beach Adorable Cottage accommodating five people and located just minutes from the beach.
Hostels are great to book during the peak season as prices do not fluctuate so much (though they book fast). In L.A., hostels enable you to team up with other people to rent a car enabling you to cut the costs or if you are insistent on public transportation, they can give you the best routes and maybe some discount vouchers for attractions. As long as you don't mind sharing a room, it allows you to get right into the heart of popular areas at reasonable rates. Hostels in L.A. are nothing to shy away from.
LAX is just 30 minutes from downtown L.A. with no traffic, but to avoid the risks involved with beating rush hour traffic, you have a few choices. The closest hotel is the Concourse Hotel (formerly, Budget Radisson). Chain hotels nearby include Super 8 LAX and Holiday Inn Express, or you can choose a cheap hotel such as Nisei Inn or Royal Century Hotel. If you want to wake up with gorgeous views before catching a flight, options in Manhattan Beach are Rodeway Inn Gardena, Torrance Travelodge, and Airbnb option of Surf Sand And Beautiful Sunsets.
Los Angeles is warm year round, so the times to avoid visiting are school holidays and big holidays. A great time for tourists to flock to L.A. is in winter (December–February, outside of Christmas/New Year's) when you'll find deals on cheap hotels and airfares, though you may find yourself dealing with rain. Spring and autumn, the shoulder seasons are also good times to visit, with deals still available and no sweltering summer heat (or smog) to deal with. June–August is the peak season for visitors and, if possible, you should avoid Los Angeles at this time of year.
Los Angeles is a large city and navigation's tough when unprepared. Add in the random bursts of tourism outside of the usual peaks and you may not get to see everything you planned so always give each activity more time when you are planning to avoid disappointment. At Disneyland (which is in Anaheim) and Universal Studios, you are able to get express passes which are great if visiting during peak season.
Hollywood is the home to entertainment broadcasts all over the world. Seeing the stars of your favorite entertainers along the walk of fame is a must. Pose with celebrities at Madame Tussaud's, view the Hollywood Sign in the flesh, and maybe you can get to a TV show screening. Hollywood is also home to Universal Studios and Griffith Observatory; both are must-visits.
Sunset Blvd stretches 13.5 miles from West Hollywood to Santa Monica and encompasses a L.A. cultural experience. Clubs, restaurants, shops, and exclusive neighborhoods all make up Sunset Boulevard. The Sunset Strip may seem quiet during the day, but as the sun goes down, you can watch the area light up with neon lights.
Downtown L.A. is your chance to see TV crews in action, with many car TV adverts filmed downtown. Twice a month you can watch a movie at the Electric Dusk Drive-In where they show cult films on the side of the building. For something different, check out the Last Bookstore, an entire floor of books for $1, and the Piñata District. The creativity they show with piñatas is delightful.
The Hollywood Hills and Griffith Park are just outside of downtown L.A. yet you feel miles away out of the traffic. There are plenty of easy-moderate hiking trails through various canyons. While you're at it, you might find yourself taking in the Hollywood Sign up close or the stunning views over Sunset Blvd and the L.A. Basin. On the outskirts, bordering Los Angeles are the Santa Monica Mountains hugging the coastline and Angeles National Park where there are great hiking and running tracks for all levels.
Santa Monica is home to the oldest pier on West Coast of America. You can catch the trapeze show in action or walk the pier gazing up at the stars. Jump on a bike and ride along the rolling pavement, taking in the sight of human strength at Muscle Beach. Walking along Venice Beach will introduce you to many interesting buskers, independent artists, and eclectic stores.
Malibu is affluent area with less tourists than Santa Monica, making it perfect for a day trip. Malibu's Pepperdine University is often voted most scenic campus in the U.S. The Getty Villa museum will acquaint you with Ancient Greek and Roman culture before you head to Zuma or Westward Beach for a relaxing afternoon.
Beverly Hills is one of the U.S.'s most expensive suburbs. Take a walk along Rodeo Drive for world-class shopping. Take a drive through the suburbs and keep an eye out for celebrities who live in the area, including Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and Rhianna. Afterwards head to Mulholland Drive where you can take in large sweeping views of Los Angeles.
Technically L.A. has only two subway lines, part of the six routes that form Metro Rail. There has not been great development for the network and the city is not considering expanding the lines making the bus network a lot more comprehensive. Take a look at the subway routes to see if they are of benefit; otherwise stick with other forms of transportation.
Los Angeles has many taxi companies (and Uber), though they aren't allowed to cruise the streets (it is also illegal to hail a cab in areas), which means you will need to call a company to send a cab to you. With a high part of L.A.'s population being car owners, taxis are notoriously expensive and with the county so spread out, you could find yourself waiting a very long time for a ride. Before you arrive in L.A., download a taxi app to make sure you can easily get access to a cab if required.
Bus transport throughout Los Angeles is inefficient unless you are going direct from A to B between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. (to avoid rush hour). If you are going to visit multiple sites in one day using the bus system, be ready for many frustrations with different bus companies. Some of the bus routes run 24 hours a day while others finish in the early evening, so research ahead ensuring you are not stranded in a random Los Angeles hotel.
Los Angeles is sprawling with freeways. However, driving here is not for the faint hearted. You may find yourself taking hours to drive a few miles in the notorious traffic jams. Finding a parking spot is the cause of many frustrations. If you're staying in downtown Los Angeles, walking is okay. Otherwise you are best to drive. Plan your route well and it's best to avoid driving during rush hour traffic. On the freeway if you are not comfortable driving fast, stick to the right where traffic might follow the speed limit with locals often going 20+ mph over the limit.
There are six professional sports teams (in the top five pro sports leagues) that call Los Angeles home. The two teams with the biggest history are the L.A. Lakers and the L.A. Dodgers. Playing out of the Staples Center and Dodgers Stadium respectively, you will be able to see at least one of these teams play year round given their leagues schedules (NBA runs from October to April and MLB from April to October). The remaining four teams are the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Kings, and L.A. Galaxy.
Use City Maps 2Go to get an offline map of L.A. in case you get lost. The Los Angeles Street Food app is great for those who want to find a cheaper food spot and mingle with the locals and, of course, get the Free Wi-Fi Finder app to satisfy your social media needs.
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© 2018 Hipmunk and Concur Hipmunk™ are trademarks of Hipmunk, Inc. and Concur Technologies, Inc.