We decided to stay in downtown, which is quite opposite from it’s name because everything ‘happening’ in the city is not here at all. The beaches, the fancy boulevards are all a good drive from here. But it worked in our budget as LA is an expensive city and we decided to drive around and save a few bucks rather than staying in fancy neighborhoods.
YUM is the word, I am in love with the food scene in LA. We decided to try the taco trucks and the In n Out burgers during the day and sit down for a fancy meal in the evening. Do try Koreatown and Indian restaurants too, as well as the wide range of Mexican, Lebanese, Japanese and Armenian fare. I had been using http://www.consumingla.com/ for great restaurant ideas.
Public transport is not a great option for LA as the transport facilities are meagre. Do plan on renting a car to be able to move around. Even taxis are rare to find and might only be available at select tourist spots.
The LA traffic is infamous for a reason, it just does not move! Traffic jams everywhere you go and an encounter with rash driving is not too uncommon. You could be stuck for over 40 minutes on a short 5 mile drive. So plan ahead, use google maps. Avoid the interior parts of the city as much as possible, and plan to walk. Apps like uber and lyft also make life much easier for short distances.
Start early, the earlier the better because you will need a car and the traffic grows exponentially in this city. I promise you, by midday you would have surely been stuck in traffic a few times.
1. Walt Disney Concert Hall – This is the major place we wanted to see in LA downtown, near out hotel so we started from here. It’s a beautiful building – iconic both inside out with beautiful gardens. Would have been ideal to attend a musical performance here, but we didn’t happen to be there at the right time. Plan ahead for a concert/show in advance.
7. Rodeo Drive – If you are in Hollywood, you cannot miss the Rodeo drive. Parking was impossible here, so we just drove around to see the beautiful blocks of upscale boutiques and stores with their effervescent LA shoppers.
8. Beverly Hills – There are detailed tours available, which take you around Beverly hills and point out homes of stars and give details about the history of the place. We decided to just drive around and look at the sprawling mansions all over the place – see the glamorous cars exiting the luxurious homes, stopping at a vantage point in Beverly Hills to see a glorious sunset to bring an end to a perfect day in LA.
- I have heard great things about the Getty museum and it’s beautiful structure. I wish I had time to see it, but do plan to visit this in my next trip.
- Do check out a live TV show taping if you can. Some require booking in advance but they last for only about an hour or two and I have heard it’s great fun.
- If you have kids, visit la Brea tar pits for dino fossils, really cool place.