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. Book your flights to Los Angeles to discover it all for yourself.
Be ready to be scared in October with Halloween shenanigans. November is a great month in LA, with a host of great shows, an ice rink and Thanksgiving at the end of the month. The festive period brings concerts, traditional ballets and Christmas cheer to Los Angeles.
Join Kanye West when The Saint Pablo Tour stops at the LA Forum on 29 October. Back on the road after five years, Kanye is sure to put himself back on the map with a show stopping live performance. Get into the Halloween spirit at the Hollywood Pantages theatre on 30 October at Alice Cooper. Spend a night with the pioneer of shock-rock, as you celebrate all things horror - drawing inspiration from movies, vaudeville and garage rock for the ultimate Halloween eve party. Then, on the 31 October join the largest street party in the world, the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval, which starts at Santa Monica Boulevard. This is one of the biggest events of the year and crowds of up to 500,000 come along to see the parade.
Starting the month with a fantastic new show at Los Angeles’s Hollywood Pantages, Hedwig and the Angry Inch comes on tour (1 to 27 November) from its Tony award-winning run on Broadway. Starring an East German transgender rock star, it is a heartbreaking and hilarious musical not to be missed. With the arrival of the outdoor Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square, it is definitely the beginning of the festive period. From 10 November, and throughout the holidays, you can skate the night away in style at Downtown’s Pershing Square. Then, enjoy a festive favourite transformed – the Hip Hop Nutcracker at The Saban on 17 and 18 November is a treat for all the family – with a modern twist. And finally, the LA Auto Show sees the Los Angeles Convention Center turned into a giant garage full of high-end motors between 18 and 27 November.
Start off December with a classical treat when the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra play on 1 December at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The concert, Dudamel and Russian Masters, sees the Venezuelan maestro bring Rachmaninoff's, Prokofiev's and Scriabin’s most difficult pieces to life with the celebrated LA Philharmonic. Head over to the Queen Mary II in Long Beach to the CHILL winter festival. Throughout December you’ll be able to ice skate and enjoy some Christmas cheer. Or between 14 and 18 December, the 108th Christmas Boat Parade hits Newport Beach, where boats are dressed up like Christmas trees with sparkling lights galore. Don’t miss the Los Angeles Ballet's version of Tchaikovsky’s, The Nutcracker, at venues across the city.
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. See the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and the iconic Hollywood Sign. Visit Universal Studios HollywoodSM – the world’s largest working movie studio – a must for any film buffs. Mingle with LA’s elite on Sunset Strip, or shop in upscale Melrose Avenue and stay at 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.