Famed for its connection to Hollywood and the celebrities which tag alongside, Los Angeles is perhaps overlooked as a city of culture and beauty. Look behind the glamourous façade and find out what makes LA tick.
Los Angeles is a sprawling city, made up of many different towns and small cities. Stretching from the beautiful beachfront paradises of Santa Monica and Venice to the artistic enclave of Silver Lake and suburban Eagle Rock. There are amazing museums and cultural hotspots dotted all over the city, like the Grecian beauty of the Getty Villa and the kitsch Hollywood Bowl. Find out about prehistoric California at the La Brea Tar Pits, before heading to Koreatown for amazing food and hip bars. Discover why Downtown is now a trendsetting place to be, with its many bars and cool hotels. But don’t be afraid to venture further out, into the rolling parkland of Griffith Park in the north, where you will find a stunning view from the Griffith Observatory across LA’s vast expanse.
Holidays in Los Angeles
Combine flights + hotel with British Airways to create a brilliant holiday on the west coast. Los Angeles has it all – stunning beaches, the glitz of Tinsel Town, superb restaurants and brilliant shopping. Don’t miss a trip to the iconic Disneyland®.
Our flexible car hire, in partnership with Avis, gives you the freedom to create your own itinerary around LA’s sprawling city streets. Wind your way around the Hollywood Hills, take in the view from Griffiths Park or visit Santa Monica Beach.
June brings plenty of opportunities to get your cultural fix in Los Angeles, particularly for film buffs. Then in July, LA’s summertime spirit comes alive, kicking off with the Fourth of July celebrations. August is all about the music – with soul, rock and opera greats bringing sweet sounds to LA.
If indie film is your thing, then don’t miss LA’s premier exhibition of visionary work from seasoned, and newly-emerging, independent film-makers. The LA Film Festival is a key launching platform for innovative film, TV and online content, so expect great things – at various venues from 1 to 9 June. Then Shakespeare’s celebrated tale of star-crossed love, Romeo & Juliet will be mesmerisingly translated into dance, when the Los Angeles Ballet bring their flawless interpretation of Frederick Ashton’s masterful choreography to the UCLA’s Royce Hall on 4 June. Or if a solid dose of rock is more to your taste, don’t miss Zoso: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience – perfectly recreating the legendary sound of Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones – at the Teragram Ballroom on 5 June. Then finally, sample mouth-watering vegan fare and top-notch craft beers when the Los Angeles Vegan Beer & Food Festival brings together the region’s premier vegan caterers and clothing specialists at the Rose Bowl, on 18 June.
July in Los Angeles begins with the spectacular Fourth of July festivities. Celebrate Independence Day in style at Hollywood Bowl’s July 4th fireworks spectacular from 2 to 4 July. This year, legendary rock ’n’ roll band Chicago join the patriotic fun. From 19 July you can see Broadway favourite CABARET at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. Sing along to the memorable soundtrack of this captivating story, which tells the tale of a decadent club in pre-WWII Berlin – where only the alluring nightlife can distract from the looming situation. Or take advantage of the warm temperatures at LA’s premier outdoor movie, food truck and live music event, Eat See Hear. This summer-long celebration rotates venues around the city. Catch 80s comedy Coming to America on 2 July or Hitchcock classic North by Northwest on 16 July, both at Autry Museum in Griffith Park.
Don’t miss soul songstress extraordinaire, Gladys Knight, belting out a dizzying array of hits from her decades-long back catalogue. The RnB icon will be taking to the stage of the equally iconic Hollywood Bowl for one night only, on 3 August. Youngsters can explore their artistic flair on Family Day at the excellent Pasadena Museum of Californian Art, on Saturday 13 August. Then sit back and enjoy the mesmerising score of Puccini’s operatic masterpiece, MadameButterfly, performed by a 75 piece-orchestra in the picturesque setting of Marina del Rey, on 18 August. Finally, don’t delay booking your tickets to see British rock behemoths Coldplay, on the LA leg of their global Head Full Of Dreams Tour, at the Rose Bowl on 20 and 21 August.
Los Angeles areas
Find out what each of LA’s unique neighbourhoods have to offer.
Downtown Los Angeles has undergone a cultural rebirth in recent years, it is no longer the stuffy business-heavy district it once was. DTLA, as its acronym suggests, is a hip and urban space with a lot to see and do. The Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall has striking modern architecture. Journey through the Art District’s wildly-decorated buildings on your way to Koreatown for a bite to eat. Downtown is also home to LA Live, an entertainment complex key to the area’s new success. Stay at The Standard, Downtown for one of the best bars in town – The Standard Biergarten.
Hollywood, the epitome of western glamour and a symbol of the film industry everywhere, is one of LA’s most popular neighbourhoods. Home to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Grauman's Chinese Theatre, this is also where you can find the iconic Hollywood Sign. Mingle with LA’s elite on Sunset Strip, or shop in upscale Melrose Avenue – you will find some of the city’s best spots in this area. Like the Andaz West Hollywood, a sophisticated hotel in the heart of Hollywood. Be sure to travel up the hill to Griffith Park, a sprawling space of local flora where you will get the best view of LA from the Griffith Observatory.
West Hollywood is a great place to be for bars and clubs, and has a big LGBT culture. Liberal and accommodating, West Hollywood has some of the best shops, and restaurants in the city. Also, as bars close at 01.30 across LA, West Hollywood’s clubs stay open until much later. Beverly Hills is synonymous with wealth and celebrity status and is home to many a famous face. Affluent and chic, the neighbourhood is full of high-end shopping, like the designer boutiques on Rodeo Drive. Don’t miss out on a stay at the luxurious Beverly Wilshire, a Los Angeles landmark.
Anaheim, in Orange County, is the ultimate family destination. It is home to an extensive array of world-class theme parks, including LEGOLAND®, Knotts Berry Farm and Adventure City. But the big draw is the Walt Disney-designed Disneyland®, which opened in 1955. Classic rides and all your favourite characters are there to greet you. The brilliant Downtown Disney is great for themed restaurants and bespoke shops, you can even go to the AMC cinema. Anaheim is also home to its own ice hockey team, The Anaheim Ducks (formally the Mighty Ducks), and the Anaheim Angels baseball team.
These three neighbourhoods are the hip places to be. Silver Lake, just east of Hollywood, is teeming with bohemian hipsters and brilliant bars serving craft cocktails. Here you can shop in thrift stores and eat at gourmet cafés. Echo Park is a historic area which houses the iconic Dodgers Stadium, but is also home to live music venues and record stores. If you love rummaging through vinyl, then this is for you. A bit further afield in Eagle Rock, you can find a multicultural and artistic enclave with a calming atmosphere. Packed full of cafés and restaurants, you will find a great bite to eat here.
LA: the most rock’n’roll night in history?
High Life Magazine
On 27 August 1965, Elvis met The Beatles for the first and only time. High Life discovers what really happened on that historic night in Los Angeles.