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Los Angeles

Los Angeles may be famed for its celebrity culture, Hollywood glitz and A-list postcodes – but this is only the beginning. LA is home to eclectic neighbourhoods and some of the best beaches in the world. Love it or hate it, you’ll find a side of the city’s personality that captivates you.

From iconic neighbourhoods like Beverly Hills, which was immortalised by Julia Roberts' shopping spree in Pretty Woman, to the illuminated Ferris wheel on Santa Monica Pier and the celebrated Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles has it all. Simply a walk along the familiar streets of LA can feel like you’re starring in your favourite movie or TV show. For a true LA experience, hang out with the locals at a buzzing gastro pub in Downtown LA, see the iconic Hollywood sign from the Griffith Park Observatory or cycle along the bustling Venice Beach promenade. Sit courtside at an LA Lakers game or spend an adventurous weekend at Joshua Tree National Park.

Los Angeles

What's on in Los Angeles in April 2014?

There’s always something going on in Tinseltown - this month indulge in some British-led retail therapy at Brit Week, get stuck into a good book or two at the Festival of Books or immerse yourself in Los Angeles’ musical history at the Troubadour.

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LA beer festival.

1-7 April

If you happen to be strolling along Wilshire Boulevard on 1 April stop by the former May Company department store, adjacent to LACMA, to see the impressive display of 200 mannequins retelling the story of Diane von Furstenberg: Journey of a Dress.

The 6th annual LA Beer Festival takes place at LA Center Studios on 5 April. With over 50 selections of both international and domestic drafts on tap, a dozen or more food stations and live music to entertain - it’s the perfect celebration of America's favourite beverage.

 

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Chocolate Easter eggs.

8-14 April

Pico Park turns into an Easter Eggstravaganza on 12 April. The Easter Bunny and friends hang around for pictures, while kids go on an egg hunt, have their face painted and take part in the hula hoop contest.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is a great place to bring kids too. Get inspired by the literary talent – discover new authors, watch screenings and enjoy live music at the University of Southern California from the 12 to 13 April.

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NYC Open Ceremony.

15-20 April

For one of the coolest venues for live music in LA, look no further than the famed Troubadour. Marsha Ambrosius: Friends & Lovers Tour is one not to be missed on the 19 April. Grab a salted margarita and see for yourself why Marsha has been honoured by BMI as their Songwriter of the Year.

Go back to the 80s and relive the Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular at the House of Blues in Anaheim. The multisensory, psychedelic laser show will be recreated for one night only, on 19 April. So you Pink Floyd die-hards and intrigued concert goers can enjoy this unique experience once again.

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Tribeca Film Festival.

21-30 April

BritWeek returns to Los Angeles from 21 April - 4 May and takes over the city with events throughout Los Angeles – from its star-studded Red Carpet Launch to music, film, fashion, art, theatre, and cultural events.

This week is your last chance to catch The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century Park. Celebrating the power of photography to explore, educate, inspire, document and preserve the world around us, this free event ends on 27 April.

Find out what's on in Los Angeles in May

Immerse yourself in LA’s vibrant social scene and infectious community spirit as you find out what’s hot in this buzzing destination. Join the local artisans at home-grown markets – where the offerings will tantalise your taste buds. Embrace the art scene, both mainstream and the less conventional. Then find out what the Angelino’s do to let their hair down.

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1-7 May

From Friday 2 May you can catch No Further West: The Story of Los Angeles Union Station at LA Central Library. Understand why locals take so much pride in the interior of Union Station, as this exhibition honours and examines its extraordinary design.

It’s ‘treat yourself Tuesday’ at Pearl’s Liquor Bar on Sunset Boulevard. From 4pm to closing time - dine out on $3 bubbly Champagne, $1 half oyster shells and two for $6 grilled oyster appetizers.

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8-14 May

From 13 May you can sing along to this Green Day album -turned musical, as American Idiot arrives at Pantages Theatre - recollect your adolescent years (and teenage angst), as you sing along!

Taking place between 11-18 May, the Amgen Tour of California is the Golden State's answer to the Tour de France. This 800-mile race follows a route through the California redwoods, across wine country and down the Pacific Coast and raises money for a great cause.

Every second Thursday of the month, you can enjoy a self-guided tour on the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk – which takes place in various locations.

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US-LAX-SOMMELIER-ISTOCK.

15-21May

Or if you’re in the Santa Monica area, enjoy a two-hour wine lesson with one of LA’s top sommeliers, Adem Sash at Sommelier Saturdays at Del Frisco’s Grille You don’t have to be a vino enthusiast to enjoy sipping California’s finest and nibbling hors d'oeuvres.

Kick off the summer with the California Strawberry Festival, which is taking place on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 May. Embrace the light-hearted activities, with strawberry pie eating, a strawberry tart toss and the strawberry relay race.

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22-28 May

As one great show ends its reign, another begins on its rise to stardom.

Running until 31 May, don’t miss your chance to see The Book of Morman. Famously penned by the creators of South Park, it has gained a reputation as both hilarious and offensive – see it yourself to find out what all the fuss is about.

Or see a new 25th anniversary production of one of the best known musicals of all time, Les Miserables. Showing from 30 May to 22 June – this epic stage show will not disappoint.

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US-LAX-SUNSET-STRIP.

29-31 May

Late May brings the UCLA Jazz Reggae Festival – an outdoor event that incorporates food, music, dance and culture. Attracting over 30,000 fans - see some of the year's hottest performers.

See a different side of one of LA’s most iconic areas at the weekly Sunset Strip Market. More than a farmers market - you can enjoy live music, movie screenings and plenty of California-grown produce. The garden makes farm-to-table dining (washed down with beverages from local California wineries and breweries) a truly enjoyable experience.

Find out what's on in Los Angeles this June

The summer sunshine has arrived and brought with it a host of outdoor things to do – with diverse festivals, colourful charity events and plenty of opportunity to get your cultural fix.

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1-8 June

From 3 – 22 June Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat will be residing at the Pantages Theatre – this family favourite will not disappoint.

Join in with the festivities at the LA Pride festival between 6 – 8 June at the West Hollywood Park - don’t miss the flamboyant parade on Sunday along Santa Monica Boulevard.

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9-15 June

12 - 29 June brings the Hollywood Fringe Festival to town - theatres, parks, clubs and other unexpected places host productions by local, national and international arts companies.

The 36th Anniversary Playboy Jazz Festival comes to Hollywood Bowl on Saturday 14 June and Sunday 15 June. Let the mellow harmonies and smooth jazz grooves fill the air.

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16-22 June

Show your true colours at the Color Run , which takes place at the Dodger Stadium on 21 June. Show up in a white t-shirt and prepare to get messy as you get covered in a kaleidoscope of coloured paint.

Dwell on design 2014 , Americas largest design event, will be at the Los Angeles Convention Centre from 20 - 22 June. Curated by the editors of Dwell magazine, this three-day event brings together the industries brightest products, services and innovators.

Immerse yourself in the spectacular celebrations of Hollywood Bowl opening night on 21 June, with live music and fireworks.

Or help raise money for Free Arts for Abused Children as you tuck into food and beverages at the Calabasas Malibu Wine and Food festival  from June 20 - 21.

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23–30 June

Pre-book tickets for Ghost at the Pantages Theatre, from 27 June, to relive the iconic moments from the Oscar-winning movie.

In Focus: Ansel Adams will be at the Getty Center until Sunday 20 July. Don’t miss the opportunity to admire the work of one of the best-known photographers in the world – seeing how his style developed over time.

Los Angeles neighbourhoods

Hollywood and West Hollywood

Hollywood and West Hollywood

Associated with movies, glitz and glamour, Hollywood and West Hollywood are a ‘must see’ for celebrity spotters and film fanatics. One of LA’s most popular neighbourhoods, this area is home to the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. Immerse yourself in the world of movies and experience thrilling family attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood. Mingle with LA’s elite at trendy nightclubs on the Sunset Strip or shop until you drop on upscale Melrose Avenue. This desirable area offers some of the city’s finest hotels and provides a more affordable alternative to those found in nearby Beverly Hills.

LA Beaches

LA Beaches

You’ll be spoilt for choice with the wide range of fantastic beaches that LA has to offer. Back in the heyday of Route 66, Santa Monica was the end of the line. Now it is better known for the bustling Santa Monica Pier, with its illuminated Ferris wheel. Just south of Santa Monica, you’ll find the eclectic Venice Beach. Stroll along the boardwalk or embrace the bohemian vibe in the cafes, bars and galleries. Admire the exclusive houses along Malibu Beach or grab your surfboard and take to the waves at Huntington Beach.

Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills

Home to the world-famous zip code that is synonymous with wealth, status and celebrity. These uber-chic, ultra-posh and overly pricey neighbourhoods are home to many famous faces, including Madonna and George Clooney. Head to Rodeo Drive for designer shopping and small private boutiques. This area is popular with wealthy shoppers, sunglass-wearing celebrities and tourists hoping to see their fashion icons. Don't forget to look at the road itself; you'll spot some impressive and high-priced vehicles parked up.

Anaheim

Anaheim

Orange County is the ideal family destination. It’s home to an array of world-class theme parks, which include Disneyland Resort, Knott’s Berry Farm and Legoland. Downtown Disney has something for everyone, from restaurants to bespoke shops and an AMC movie theatre. Create your own unique toy car at Ride Makers. Block at Orange and GardenWalk offer plenty of opportunity for retail therapy, with arcades and bowling to keep the kids happy.

Downtown

Downtown

Downtown LA is home to the city’s premier red carpet venue, LA Live. This thriving entertainment complex is a great place for seeing a movie or grabbing a bite to eat. While Watercourt at California Plaza is a whimsical urban park with fountains – a popular location for films or music videos. If you hang out long enough, you’ll probably see someone filming something. In this area renowned for its cultural diversity, admire the striking architecture of the Walt Disney Concert Hall or watch baseball with the locals at the nearby Dodgers Stadium.

When best to go?

Prepare for the weather before your Los Angeles holiday

Average seasonal temperatures°C/°F
  • 18°Jan
  • 19°Feb
  • 19°Mar
  • 21°Apr
  • 22°May
  • 24°Jun
  • 27°Jul
  • 28°Aug
  • 27°Sep
  • 24°Oct
  • 23°Nov
  • 19°Dec
Average monthly rainfall (mm)
  • 79
  • 76
  • 71
  • 25
  • 10
  • 3
  • 0
  • 0
  • 5
  • 15
  • 31
  • 66
Average daily sunshine (hours)
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 10
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8

Why I love LA

High Life Magazine

Hugh Laurie playing guitar.

Hugh Laurie shows us that this beautiful city offers much more than the brash Hollywood stereotype.

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