GMT -8 hours
A trip to Los Angeles is an all-round pleaser, from contemporary museums and art galleries, to family-friendly theme parks, fabulous shopping malls and 12 kilometres of beaches, plus culinary options from small pavement cafés to fine dining.
Los Angeles is a jigsaw of diverse neighbourhoods with plenty of things to do. Wherever you base yourself – from Santa Monica with its classic palm-fringed boulevards, boardwalk and iconic Muscle Beach, to Pasadena with its celebrated fine-dining scene, famous Rose Bowl flea market and Victorian architecture – Los-Angeles will welcome you. Thanks to its sprawling size, Los-Angeles is best explored with a car.
Head to the Griffith Observatory for views of the city below, or try Venice Beach for that easy-going Californian vibe – think buzzing cafés and beachside fitness. Spend a day in upscale Brentwood, home to the Getty Center, where you’ll find ultra-modern architecture alongside Renaissance art, and visit the Brentwood Country Mart, a favourite celebrity shopping location. In Koreatown, once dubbed America’s hippest neighbourhood, you can eat out 24/7, treat yourself to a spa without breaking the bank, and visit one of the district’s shopping markets.
Take a trip to Anaheim where you’ll find the wonderful world of Disneyland, or visit the San Fernando Valley and spend the day at Universal Studios where among the spectacular amusements, you can enjoy King Kong 360 3D.
In a city where people spend more time in a vehicle than their houses and there’s no such thing as foot traffic, running a food truck can be challenging. You have to have good reason to go out of your way in this sprawling city for a quick, convenient bite – which is why Los Angeles has some of the most inventive, delicious and competitively priced food trucks in the USA. Local writer Eve Barlow tracks down eight of the city’s best moving feasts.
LA insiders: dos and don’ts
I love the diversity of experiences in LA, from nightclubs and dive bars, to beaches, to mountain hikes, there’s always something different to do and a lot of it, particularly the outdoorsy stuff, is free
As a photographer, I love that you can make anything in this town – the best people in the industry are here. If you can dream it you can do it here
LA insiders: seasonal tips
“Go to Venice Beach and have Sushi in Abbott Kinney, the weather is usually the perfect temperature.” – Diana Gomez
“Spring is the ideal time to see at concert at Hollywood Bowl.” – Diana Gomez
“Dress in layers as there can be a 20 to 30-degree difference in temperatures in various parts of the city and at night.” – Lilly Dong
“Always go out with water, sunscreen, and sunglasses – you’ll regret it later if not. Avoid walking round the East Side in the heat too.” – Lilly Dong
“Checkout the festive ice rink at Pershing Square Downtown. Also, a lot of people go snowboarding in Big Bear, Mammoth, or Tahoe for most of the weekends during winter. It’s such a beautiful place with clean mountain air, a few casinos, and a decent amount of nightlife.” – Hendo Bayer
“Go to Big Foot Lounge. This bar on Culver City is super-cosy, curl up on a couch in the living room-like bar and drink a warming whisky cocktail.” – Jana Devino
“Go for a sunrise hike – the light and fresh air are both wonderful.” – Jana Devino
Best time to go
All year round
15-20% of your bill