THE CITY OF ANGELS is highly energetic and home to everything from lifestyle gurus, wanna-be-stars and some of the world’s biggest stars and celebrities. Bright lights, big billboard ads and the coolest cars: everyone will find a reason to love L.A. Millions of visitors travel here every year anxious to experience the California dream, walk in the footsteps of their biggest idols or attend concerts or events. The fantasy worlds of Disneyland and Hollywood, the lifestyle of the rich and famous in Beverly Hills and the blooming Malibu beach culture are just some of the attractions in the City of Angels. While not really a city but rather a widespread metropolis, it’s home to over eighty communities connected by an advanced network of busy freeways. Downtown is a mixture of about everything: traditional basketry in Chinatown’s Bamboo Lane, the great sushi bars and Japanese gardens of Little Tokyo, and shopping for souvenirs at the historic Olvera Street. Residents of the city come from 150 countries and speak nearly a hundred languages. First-time visitors to Los Angeles get often overwhelmed: where do you begin? And how to navigate all the highways? The best tip is: keep your cool and make a few priorities and plans in advance.
For those interested in the TV- and film industry, Hollywood or Universal Studios are two great starting points (so are Studio City and the Burbank studio tours). For the best beaching, you obviously have many choices in the area: stroll along the Venice- and Santa Monica Beaches for the most popular nearby beaches, or venture to Malibu or Orange County for some of California’s most scenic beaches. Looking to spend time in the great outdoors? LA’s city park, the Griffith Park, is the largest urban park in the nation and home to animals such as mountain lions, bobcats, and more. An alternative is the many hikes in the nearby Santa Monica Mountains for the most outdoorsy LA limo customers. For those with an interest for culture, a great starting point could be the Getty Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) or Norton Simon Museum. For the most urban start, head to the Sunset Strip or the Universal CityWalk. For those interested in California wines and vineyards, venture out in nature on Santa Barbara, Temecula or Malibu wine tours guaranteed to offer great wine-tasting and gorgeous sceneries.
- HOLLYWOOD: Honor your favorite stars at the Hollywood Walk of Fame or head to the Hollywood & Highland Center for great shopping and views of the Hollywood Sign. If you’re into filming and films, definitely see the Kodak Theater where the Oscars takes place, or spend an hour at the Hollywood Museum. Music interested tourists that recently ordered LAX airport transfer through us decided to head straight to the famous music shop, Amoeba Records. Catching a movie at the Chinese Theater is another signature Hollywood experience. So is visiting a couple of the area’s popular nightclubs after dark.
- UNIVERSAL STUDIOS: One of Los Angeles’ most popular attractions is the Universal Studios Hollywood, said to be the world’s largest movie-studio. The main attraction is the Studio tour, a guided tram ride through the enormous filming complex, for instance by the stars’ wardrobes and scenes from various films such as the Back to the Future movies, Jurassic Park, American Psycho, Jaws, and Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives. There are also various popular rollercoasters, carousels and other rides, often based on movies including the Mummy ride, the Jurassic Park water ride, and more.
- WARNER BROS: The guided tour offered at Warner Bros. is offering larger and more technical insight on how the studios operate. The two-hour long tour often includes live filming of popular television series, and many of our Los Angeles limousine service clientele have told us about seeing different celebrities here including Ellen DeGeneres and others. For other studio tours, check out the Sony Pictures Studio Tours and the Paramount Studio Tours, or the Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio & Museum or Paramount Ranch.
- WEST LA: This part of town is where the stars live, shop and go out on town. West L.A. includes some of the most affluent and prestigious LA neighborhoods, including Bel Air and Beverly Hills. You can go on a guided tour to discover the homes of the rich and famous, or buy a map and do the tour on your own. Some of the region’s best restaurants, most trendy restaurants and late-night bars are found along Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. Sunset Strip, which is a part of the larger Sunset Boulevard, is known for its energetic nightlife with numerous nightclubs, bars and fashionable hotels.
- BEACHES: Miles of sandy beaches are stretching out along the Pacific coast and is a signature part of the Los Angeles lifestyle. Malibu might be the most beautiful seaside city in the county, with its broad beaches, green parks and larger homes. On Santa Monica Beach is where we find the iconic Santa Monica Pier, known for its 1920’s carnival rides and lovely eateries. Venice Beach will give you the classical L.A. experience with beautiful, tanned bodybuilders on Muscle Beach and roller-skaters cruising up and down the boardwalk. Venture a little further south for the nicest beaches in the county, see for instance Manhattan-, Hermosa- and Redondo Beaches. 1,000 Steps Beach in Orange County might be one of America’s most gorgeous beaches and is absolutely worth visiting for a day for relaxation on the beach.
- GETTY CENTER: Contrary to popular belief, L.A. has an intellectual and refined side. The Getty Center has a larger collection of paintings, photographs and other art collections on a spectacular hill overlooking the Santa Monica’s, the Pacific Ocean and the City of Angels. And best of all, the Getty Center has free admission for every visitor!EAT & DRINK
A recent celebrity chief in a LA limo told us that the L.A. kitchen represents the most creative and experimental cooking in the Western Hemisphere. The city is situated in a global intersection with influences from a cosmopolitan mix of people, foods and culinary traditions.
- RESTAURANTS & EATERIES: Some of our dining picks would be Ciudad for top-notch tapas and Latin-American meals, and Mélisse for fine French dining with crystal chandlers and many flowers. With its extensive wine menu, the A.O.C. wine bar has become an alternative to Temecula- and Malibu wine tours by serving great local wines accompanied with great food. Asanebo is a relatively undiscovered restaurant known to many as “the world’s best Japanese restaurant.” Try some of their specialties such as the hummer cocktail with caviar or the tasty tuna with onion cream. Hidden away in the fourth floor at the Omni Hotel is one of the city’s most experimental restaurants, Noé, where you for instance can try out the famous shrimp martini(!) To start the day off right with a French omelet and a cappuccino, head to Angelieque Café and enjoy this cozy French-inspired café. For breakfast all day long, check out Square One Dining in West L.A.
- BARS & NIGHTLIFE: A week of nightly events in the city can give you the taste of everything from celebrity hangout clubs, designer- and salsa bars, and some of the best standup comedy there is. What could possibly be more quintessential Los Angeles than to go party bus barhopping in Hollywood? For some of the best views of Downtown, many head to the Standard hotel for a drink on the rooftop bar overlooking the city with beautiful views. To dance the night away, check out the Avalon, Sound, or Elevate Lounge. At Elevate Lounge you can enjoy views of Downtown from the 21st floor of a skyscraper with panoramic city views. Exchange L.A. is another pick in Downtown, while the Avalon- and Sound nightclubs are the most visited in Hollywood. You’ll enjoy the Spanish music at the Conga Room and the Laugh Factory is definitely an underrated place of fun often visited by celebrities such as Chris Rock and others. Many of the standup comedy venues offer free admission and makes for a great outing. Keep in mind that most of the famous comedians began their careers doing complimentary comedy, this is your chance of discovering the stars even before they’re known!
SHOPPING & ACCOMMODATIONFor shopping, Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade are two beloved destinations for any Los Angeles limousine service. Hollywood and Highland is another great pick for shopping, while your best bets for souvenirs may be the Venice Boardwalk or Downtown’s Olvera Street. Do you wanna see celebrities? Try the boutiques on Robertson Boulevard. For boho-chic-clothes, check out the vintage stores and brand new designer shops on Melrose Avenue and Melrose Place in West Hollywood (Marc Jacobs, Marni, Paul Smith.) The more special stores along Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice is another place worth visiting. Montana Avenue and Third Street Promenade are two streets in Santa Monica worth checking out, including the Santa Monica Place shopping mall is a must for shoppers in the region. For designer stores, antiques and art galleries – see Beverly- and Robert Boulevards and Melrose Avenue. For the best selection of unique clothing, see Echo Park, Silver Lake or Los Feliz. A unique Hollywood experience can be to visit a few of the music dealers in town, some which often sign deals with various stars. Amoeba Music on Sunset is a must with its gigantic selections of CD’s and vinyls.
Lodging options are plenty in the L.A. area and you can find a motel, hotel or resort to fit not only your pocketbook, but preferences in location, dining, views, shopping, and so on. For a hotel right on the beach, try out Shutters on the Beach, located on 1 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica. All the rooms have luxurious bathrooms with bubble baths and spa items. The nice location on the beach and the one-in-a-kind interior make this hotel one of the most popular luxury hotels in the region, and a popular LA limo guest destination. The elegant 1927 Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel was home to the first Oscars. The hotel was popular for local stars and glamour in Hollywood’s golden years, and the hotel bar Teddy’s is still a favorite hangout spot for many of the city’s celebrities. The USA Hostels Hollywood is an energetic and affordable place of accommodation in walking distance from Hollywood’s late-night bars and dance clubs.
GOOD TO KNOW
- THE AIRPORT is fifteen miles southwest of the city. A free airport bus goes from the airport to the Metro Rail Green Line Aviation Station, leaving from the downstairs level on every terminal. You may also take the airport buses to the bus terminal, where you can connect to buses going throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area. Taxis are an option, even though a cab can easily cost more than $50 to your final destination in the L.A. area. An option more convenient may be to order an LAX airport transfer with guaranteed timely arrival.
- LOCAL TRAFFIC can sometimes be a hazard. The city is so spread out that traveling without a car can be frustrating and time consuming, but so can the local traffic be. A popular option is to rent a car at the airport or car rental company and try to maneuver the freeways. The complicated freeway system may seem intimidating if you are not familiar with driving in big cities, but a rental car and GPS are still the best ways to explore the city. It is possible to get around by bus, but you’ll unfortunately often have to change buses multiple times. The metro system has three lines but covers just a minimal portion of the city, but the metros come and go often which make them a fast and effective way to get around town.
- LGBT TRAVELERS will enjoy West Hollywood – embraced as “America’s first gay city” when it first was incorporated in 1984, a year the city also elected a lesbian mayor and included the rainbow flag onto its official city flag. Here you will find an array of LGBT-owned and LGBT-friendly businesses, nightclubs, shops, services, bars, hotels, and everything in between. For an iconic Hollywood experience, bring your friends for party bus club-hopping in colorful WeHo!