Los Angeles: Tips for the First Time Visitor

Los Angeles is not only a city full of celebrities and traffic, but there are beautiful scenic drives, awesome hiking trails, sunny beaches and even skiing. Here are some tips to get the best out of your visit to the City of Angels.

The city of LA is home to about 4 million people, so it is easy to feel lost or overwhelmed when you are one of 42 million people who visit the area every year.

The best time of year to visit is from April through September, when it is not quite as crowded. You can spend about $200 a day, including your hotel and meals, so be prepared.

There are several cities that connect to form this awesome area, and it can seem bewildering getting around on the massive freeways, but it doesn’t have to be a hassle. Let’s start with one of the most famous areas, Hollywood.

One of the hottest spots in the city would be TCL Chinese Theater, which was once known as Grauman’s. It opened in 1927, and has been a popular sight, not only for the awesome architecture of the building itself, but for the thousands of celebrity hand and footprints placed around the building in the cement. The Hollywood Museum is where you will find props, costumes and photos from many classic films.

The Dolby Theatre is where you can find the awesome red carpet so famous at the Academy Awards. You can see the Hollywood Sign through the archways of the Hollywood & Highland Center, which is next door to the Dolby. Here you can find some awesome eateries offering foods of all types.

If you feel like hiking, check out Griffith Park. Here you can do some stargazing at the observatory, or just hike the trails and see the spectacular views of the city around you.

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is an icon you won’t want to miss. This is where the first Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929. Loews Hollywood Hotel is another place you can star search, especially on Oscars night.

Santa Monica & Venice Beach are the perfect spots for people watching. Here you will find surfers, volleyball games, cyclists, skateboarders and plenty of street performers to entertain you. Santa Monica Pier is home to the only beachfront amusement park in the area. The Venice Beach Boardwalk is another place to spot all sorts of performers, from bodybuilders to magicians, dozens of craft vendors, and entertainment all around you.

In Downtown Los Angeles you can relax at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The Museum of Contemporary Art has an awesome art collection from the 1940s to the present. Find works by Mark Rothko, Dan Flavin and Joseph Cornell, among many others.

Be sure to bring a small jacket or sweater when visiting in the evening as it can get chilly. Remember it is illegal to use your cell phone while driving, so be sure to have a hands free device, or just wait till you reach your destination before using your phone.