Four epic LA road trips
Los Angeles was made with cars in mind, but once you’ve got your wheels, you’ll find there are plenty of reasons to explore beyond the city. Mike MacEacheran shares his four great drives from Los Angeles.
Have a Hollywood-style holiday
The Hollywood Walk of Fame
comprises more than 2,600 stars
is the most filmed city in the world
All the culture of the city, all the fun of the beach: why would you want to go on holiday anywhere else? If it’s good enough for Hollywood’s finest stars, then it’s good enough for us. We love LA, and we want you to love it, too. We can help you plan and book your perfect LA holiday.
Take in the latest art exhibition at The Broad, hunt down the best stores on Rodeo Drive, or check out the celebrity handprints on Hollywood Boulevard. Don’t miss Disneyland® Resort – and if you’re going down the whole theme park route, try Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios, too – where film buffs can see museum-worthy props and their kids can go crazy on the rides.
If Los Angeles is just the starting point and you’ve got a big trip planned, with multiple cities – you can book that with us too – just use our multi-centre trip planner. If you’re staying in LA, that’s ok, too. But we wouldn’t want you to go without knowing about the best bits of the city – our travel guide is full of tips and videos. Start getting ready for your amazing holiday in Los Angeles.
The LA hotel scene has seen its fair share of celebrity guests. Discover which hotel put up Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin (not at the same time) and find the best place to stay if you’re doing Disneyland. Edmund Vallance picks his top six hotels in the city.
LA-based British writer
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Hit the hills of Hollywood and look out for A-listers at the The Hollywood Roosevelt, Los Angeles. Located on the Walk of Fame, this four-star hotel played host to the first Academy Awards and bursts with iconic movie glamour. Are you ready for your debut? Visit ba.com/hollywoodroosevelt #hollywood #losangeles #california #hotelroosevelt #celebrityspotting #travel #britishairwaysholidays
Whether you’re looking to have your own La La Land moment, have a Pretty Woman-style shopping spree, catch the latest underground art exhibitions or chill with the beach gods and goddesses, you’ll find it all in our local’s guide to four of LA’s most-loved districts.
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
LA insiders: dos and don’ts
Los Angeles is a large city with lots of diverse neighbourhoods, making it easy to find somewhere to suit every budget. Our handy budget planner will help you work out how far your money will get you each day, covering your hotel, food, activities and more.
Where to stay
If you’re taking the family on a theme park adventure, book in to Clarion Anaheim Resort, with standard rooms accommodating up to four and Studio Suites sleeping up to six. You’ll be just moments away from Disneyland® Park, Disney's California Adventure® Park and Downtown Disney® District.Book a stay
Cheap eats are easy to find in LA
Good cheap eats are easy to find in LA, with plenty of food trucks offering everything from fried chicken to vegan wraps. Venture to Koreatown for affordable dishes from all over the globe. Sticking to Anaheim? Don’t miss In-N-Out, a great West Coast burger chain – and a celebrity after-party favourite.
Hike up Runyon Canyon
Hike up Runyon Canyon for a great view of the city, or drive up to Griffith Observatory – both free ways of taking in LA. Wander the markets of Koreatown – taking in the sights, sounds and smells won’t cost a thing.Things to do in LA
Where to stay
A shuttle direct to Universal Studios, a cinema and a famous former owner: there’s a lot to enjoy at The Garland, once owned by Hollywood actress Beverly Garland. Her chic, retro hotel has Spanish-style décor, a leafy outdoor pool area, and a lovely restaurant out front.Book a stay
Cheap and cheerful places to eat
After strolling on the beach and taking in the sights, head to E Anaheim Street and Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach where you will find plenty of cheap and cheerful places to eat – from Thai cafés to Honduran food, and some of the best burritos around.Save with a Go Los Angeles card
Visit the Queen Mary
While in Long Beach make sure you visit the Queen Mary. This British ocean liner, built in Clydebank in 1930, has been docked in LA since 1967. Tour the boat, learn about its fascinating history, eat on board – and even stay the night in one of its cabins.
Andaz West Hollywood
Rest your head at the Andaz West Hollywood, where you can enjoy bed and breakfast in this boutique hotel near the upmarket neighbourhood of Bel Air and Hollywood Boulevard.Book a stay
Mexican food with a twist
Head over to Gracias Madre on Melrose Avenue for upscale Mexican food with a twist – it’s organic and vegan. Try their heart of palm ‘crab cakes’ with chipotle aïoli and to-die-for guacamole.Where to dine like a star
After eating, wander down Melrose Avenue. The shopping is second to none in Los Angeles, with everything you need, from women’s fashions to housewares. Take the weight off your feet with an ice cream at Cold Rolled, where you can ‘build your own’ tailor-made creation.
Hitting the road is one of the best ways to explore the USA, and Los Angeles is no exception. This really is a city built around cars – there’s ample parking and valet services everywhere. Add Los Angeles car hire to your holiday booking with us – with no hidden costs and 24-hour support – for all your travel needs.
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Unlike many other cities, Los Angeles doesn’t have a centre as such. Instead, it’s made up of many different neighbourhoods, each one with something unique to offer.
WeHo is right in the heart of LA – within easy reach of many of its sights. The Design District and the MAK Center for Art and Architecture are both in the area, and you could drive just north of here to reach Runyon Canyon park – the place where locals like to hike. Cruise down Santa Monica Boulevard and Sunset Strip – once home to the area’s most famous clubs and bars – and book into Grafton On Sunset, a good-value boutique hotel with a pool.
Restaurants with farm-to-table menus and ‘avo’ toast, a pier with an illuminated, solar-powered Ferris wheel, and a relaxed pace of life: staying in Santa Monica, right on the beach, is close to idyllic. The area prides itself on being less car-choked and a little more eco-conscious than the rest of LA. There are plenty of bike paths, so you can breeze straight down from Ocean Avenue to the pier, then all the way down to Muscle Beach and Venice Beach beyond. The beaches here are busy, but big, sandy and beautiful, with crashing Pacific surf.
Downtown isn’t just for business travellers. The Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by LA-native Frank Gehry, is the home to the LA Philharmonic, but it’s no longer the only eye-catching building in the area. The Broad, a contemporary art gallery, opened here in 2015, and there’s also the FIDM fashion museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Stay at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown so you can stay out and experience the Downtown nightlife.
Even the zip code is famous: 90210, Beverly Hills – like Bel-Air and Brentwood – is one of the expensive areas of Los Angeles Westside. Street names here will be familiar from films, songs and musicals: like Rodeo Drive, the swanky shopping strip that famously featured in Pretty Women. You aren’t far from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, one of the west coast’s biggest art galleries. If you want to stay here, try the Beverly Hilton, one of the area’s most iconic hotels.
An entertainment district like no other, Hollywood has a mixed reputation. It’s exciting and busy – but you’ll need to stay on your toes to avoid getting enticed into any tourist traps. Hollywood Boulevard has the Walk of Fame, and celebrity signatures are immortalised in cement outside the Chinese Theatre. If you’re a film nut, go see the film props and fast rides at the famous Universal Studios. Above it all, nine white letters, almost 14 metres tall, shine from Mount Lee: the immortal Hollywood sign.
A perfect mixture of hip and easy-going, seek out the Los Feliz neighbourhood if you’re after a lively, community feel. Expect old-school dive bars, restaurants to suit every budget, a single-screen cinema where films are still shown on the reel, Frank Lloyd Wright-designed constructions and Griffith Park on your doorstep (great for good views of the Hollywood sign). It’s a winner with younger visitors.
There’s one massive, mouse-shaped reason you’d visit Anaheim: Disneyland® Resort. The city is dominated by the resort and its surrounding expanse of family-friendly hotels. Kids will love it here. There are two parks: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, and a heap of magical activities.
Whatever type of LA holiday you are looking for, you won’t be short of places to go and things to see. Here are our top five suggestions:
Our top tip? Book tickets in advance wherever possible – it’ll save you having to queue, leaving you more time to explore this sprawling city.
We fly direct between London and four California destinations: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego. Surely the most famous route is the drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco, via Big Sur. Let the incredible Pacific coastline lead you – what’s around the next headland? With our multi-centre booking tool, below, it’s easy to turn a great trip to LA into a truly unforgettable adventure.Customise your trip
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