Travel Guide

by Peter Baxter  

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Traveling to Los Angeles for pleasure, business, or a mix of the two? You’re not alone. Millions of travelers enjoy Los Angeles’ scenes and sights each year and flock to the warm sunny beaches and world-class theme parks, museums, restaurants and bars.

Whether you’re scouting colleges before sending off applications to USC or UCLA, trying to negotiate that next big business deal, or hoping to be discovered by the entertainment industry, you’ll need a car to navigate this city efficiently. Public transportation does exist and is the best way to get between places like your hotel and Disneyland or the Dodgers game, but you’ll be severely limiting your ability to enjoy the rest of what Los Angeles has to offer. One notable exception to this rule is if you’re staying at a hostel. Hostels around LA offer shuttles for little or no cost and they go to most of the popular parts of town and tourist attractions.

Convenient Airports

But before you figure out your car, you’ll need to figure out your flight. Los Angeles has five airports serving different parts of the city and you’ll thank yourself for figuring out which one is more convenient to your eventual destination before you go. Los Angeles International is the biggest airport and you’ll arrive here if you’re coming to Los Angeles from overseas. The airport is situated near the beach and if you’re staying on the coast or in Downtown you’ll find that it’s fastest to fly in to LAX.

If you’re staying anywhere east of downtown, like Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank or Santa Clarita, flying in to the Bob Hope Burbank Airport (BUR) will save you the hassle of fighting traffic for 45 minutes (or more) to and from the airport. Traffic can be bad on Interstate-5, especially during the morning and evening commute times.

John Wayne airport (SRA) and Ontario Airport( ONT) serve Orange County and the southeast inland area, respectively and Long Beach airport provides domestic flights for those coming in to or leaving from the southern coast of the city.

Get to Know Los Angeles

Once you’re in the city, star tours and historical sights abound. If you’re interested in the history of the city and how it came to be the second most populated city in the United States without having any natural irrigation or natural resources, be sure to take a historical tour of the city from the LA Conservancy. Tours detail the rise of the LA skyline, Little Tokyo, Highland Park, and many of the city’s other historical sights.

For tours of the homes of movie stars and media moguls, Starline Tours will show you the Hollywood you already know from TV and film and allow you to say “I was there” whenever you see most anything on the silver screen. The tour also takes you past the mansions of today’s Hollywood elite and yesterdays stars like Gregory Peck, Lucille Ball, and Frank Sinatra.

Even the leader of the Rat Pack would feel at home dining in the restaurants in Los Angeles. LA is home to some of the finest dining in the world from the several offerings of celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck to the French treat La Cachette and Hollywood’s conference room: the Ivy.

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