Make the most of your Los Angeles holiday
Feel like a Los Angeles native in no time with our guide to the best areas to visit.
Where are the best places to stay in Los Angeles?
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.
Centro da cidade
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.