Los Angeles Travel Tips

I could put together a Los Angeles travel guide as long as a novel because this destination has so much to see and do. In fact, planning a Los Angeles vacation can be a bit intimidating. You could spend an entire vacation visiting theme parks and doing studio tours, or just as easily sunbathe away a week on the city’s gorgeous beaches. Whatever brings you to LA, the advice on this page and the articles below will help you make the most of your time here.

Los Angeles Hotel Tips

There’s no ideal list of the best places to stay in LA because the city is so vast. That means that where you should stay will depend on what you plan to do. Of course, I do have my favorite Los Angeles hotels, which I’ll summarize in case you need some ideas.

Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

For all its luxury amenities and five-star service, the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills feels cozy and homey.

Hilton Los Angeles

This is a great option for anyone who wants a hotel within walking distance of Universal Studios Hollywood®.

H Hotel Los Angeles

Do you need a hotel near LAX? The H Hotel is a modern boutique hotel that may be small but is comfortable and a big step up from most airport hotels.

InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown

I love this vibrant, comfortable, and luxurious downtown Los Angeles hotel — especially the Club Level rooms and suites.

Sheraton Universal Hotel

This is another hotel within walking distance of Universal Studios Hollywood, and I really loved the old Hollywood decor throughout and the delicious in-room dining.

When you’re ready to book a Los Angeles hotel, I can get you exclusive VIP amenities as an Independent Consultant of Cadence® Travel. If you book through my Los Angeles Virtuoso page, you’ll enjoy extras like complimentary breakfasts, room upgrades, spa credits, and more.

Traveling Tips for Los Angeles Beaches

A lot of Los Angeles travel guides focus on the beaches — and for good reason. There are so many beautiful beaches in Southern California. Don’t miss:

El Matador

Getting to this secluded beach northwest of Malibu is a trek, but you’ll be rewarded with crystal clear water, hidden coves, and a truly romantic vibe.

Surfrider Beach

There are perfect waves here for those skilled enough to catch them, though novices may simply enjoy watching the pros ride the waves.

Santa Monica Beach

This is one of the best beaches in LA, and the perfect place to go for a bike ride, play volleyball, catch some waves, and visit the Santa Monica Pier.

Venice Beach

This beach is home of the world-famous Ocean Front Walk, where everyone from hardcore bodybuilders to chainsaw jugglers to street artists congregate to do their thing.

Tips for Los Angeles Travel with Kids

Many parents visiting Los Angeles with kids flock to the theme parks, but there’s actually plenty to do with children here, even if they’re young, beyond theme parks. Most Los Angeles travel guides don’t do enough to emphasize how great a destination LA is for families.

Looking for interesting things to do with kids in Los Angeles? There’s the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, which is a must-see attraction for anyone with dino-loving little ones. The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is one of our favorite zoos, and we’ve loved doing the ‘extras’ like feeding the giraffes, seeing hippos up close, and taking behind the scenes tours. When kids need nature time, Griffith Park has hiking trails, pony rides, and plenty of space to run around. And if you’re in LA to celebrate a special occasion, American Girl Place Los Angeles offers birthday packages and “A Day Of American Girl” experiences that my daughter absolutely loved.

Activity Tips While Traveling in Los Angeles

Of all the Los Angeles travel tips I share, the most important ones have to do with getting around. Creating an itinerary is a must when you’re visiting LA, simply because there’s so much distance to cover. Making the most of your time in this city is largely a matter of doing the following:

Keep In Mind that LA Is a Sprawling City

Some Los Angeles travel guides neglect to mention how huge LA really is. It actually covers five counties! You could easily spend a day in the area’s notorious traffic trying to get across the city.

Choose Your Home Base Carefully

What you want to do will determine where you’ll want to be. Downtown Los Angeles, for instance, is the hub of sports in LA (you’ll find Dodger Stadium and the Staples Center here), along with restaurants, performance venues, Little Tokyo, Chinatown, and great shopping. Hollywood is where you’ll find the Walk of Fame, the famous footprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, and lots of movie museums. But if you’re here for the beaches, make Santa Monica your starting point.

Pick Your Top Spots

Accept that you won’t be able to see and do everything in Los Angeles in a single visit. Picking your must-hit sights and attractions ahead of time means you can figure out the best way to get from point A to point B and then back to your hotel. Check out my guide to how to see Universal Studios Hollywood and Warner Bros.® Studio in the same trip for an idea of what I mean.

Take Advantage of Discounts

There are lots of ways to save money on Los Angeles attractions. I have put together a comprehensive guide to finding discounts on California theme park tickets, including:

And one of the easiest ways to save money on Los Angeles attractions is by buying the Go Los Angeles pass.

Skip the Movie Star Home Tours

There are still companies offering movie star home tours in Hollywood and Beverly Hills, but the fact is that when most of the working studios moved out of those spots, so did the stars. The best way to see your favorite actors and actresses is to grab tickets to a studio audience during a taping of their shows.

Dining Tips for Eating in Los Angeles

No list of Los Angeles travel tips could be complete without some information about eating your way through the city. There are so many great five-star dining experiences in LA that it’s hard to choose just a few. The fact is, you’ll find amazing food everywhere in the city, so the best thing to do is research your options ahead of time. Some travelers even prioritize certain restaurants on their itineraries. Just make sure you make reservations in advance whenever possible because LA’s hottest restaurants book up insanely fast and chances are you won’t get a table if you just wander in.

17 Best Hotels Near Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles

17 Best Hotels Near Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles

Most people stay in one of the hotels near Universal Studios Hollywood because they’d like to visit the park over multiple days, want the convenience of being able to go back and forth to a hotel room (which families traveling with small kids like), or prefer the often lower hotel rates than might be available…