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The Observatory has been justly famous for decades as the location from Rebel Without A Cause. And a little less so for Steve Martin’s Bowfinger. With the release of La La Land, which has a whole musical number here, this location will be rediscovered by a whole new generation of movie lovers. Be sure to check out the bust of James Dean on the west side of the lawn outside the observatory. Also, for real star sightings: Go inside for the planetarium.
Get advice about the city from the people who know it best. Local hosts share their tips and recommendations for travelers like you.
“Sunblock California is sunny most of the time. be safe and don't forget your sunblock :)”
“Bring warm, cozy socks! Layers are key to staying comfy in los angeles weather.”
“Uber, lyft or rental car are the fastest ways to get around the city. Noho is... - 60 mins from lax - 10 mins from burbank airport - 40 mins from downtown la/garment district - 25 mins from beverly hills - 35 mins from venice beach & santa monica piers - 30 mins from dodger stadium - 30 mins from ucla - 40 mins from usc local bus lines: 158, 163/162, 164, 165, 167 & 237 metro local line. la county metro rail: red line & orange line”
“Drive, walk, bird! You're in la. drive, uber, walk as you see fit :) also - there is now an app called 'bird' (or lyme, or bolt, or jump)! that allows you to rent electric scooters on the fly for 15c a minute. you can pick up and ditch them anywhere, download the app to scoot your heart out.”
“Driving best times If you are driving in la- the best times to miss traffic are between 10-2pm then about 8:30pm onwards street are much clearer. the traffic flows mostly west in the mornings and east at night. so for example if you want to go to the beach (west) do not come back in the afternoon! the traffic will be at least an 1-2 hours. the best would be to stay there for dinner and return after of which you are looking at only a 20-30 mins trip. or go in the morning around 10 to miss traffic and head back no later than 2pm.”
“Parking/traffic at theme parks can be very bad If you're doing a day trip to disney, you can use uber/lyft to avoid traffic and wait times.”
“Fourth friday's on retro row! Fourth street's retro row, a vintage-focused shopping and dining district between temple and hermosa avenues, offers a free community event series. activating the business district on the fourth friday of every month, from 6 to 9 p.m., attendees can expect to enjoy extended store hours, food and drink specials, discounted merchandise, pop up shops, art shows, live music and more along the thoroughfare.”
“Restaurants are very busy weekend nights and brunch so try and make a reservation if you can. If you dont have a reservation, you can usually get a table at norah's on santa monica which is a joy as well as connie and ted's. i also like the hudson for brunch. the griddle always has a line so would try and go mid-week instead.”
“Universal city is a must for all! - universal citywalk: cinema, ifly indoor skydiving, restaurants, casual dining, quick-service eateries, snacks & refreshments, clothing shops, novelties & souvenir shops, universal studio store - universal studios hollywood: thrilling theme park, the world-famous studio tour, rides & attractions, dreamworks theatre”
“Eat before and after theme parks Theme park prices tend to be exponentially higher than nearby restaurants”
“Los angeles = la North hollywood = noho west hollywood = weho downtown los angeles = dtla a native/local = angelino”
Los Angeles is the ultimate insider's city, as first-time visitors quickly discover. The sprawl of strip malls and apartment buildings can seem anonymous and daunting until you consult friends or online guides who can direct you to the city’s electric cultural and artistic life. Los Angeles’s racial and ethnic diversity make it one of the most exciting culinary destinations in America, whether your appetite leads you to Korean, regional Mexican, or Persian food. One day may bring you to Venice Beach or the Santa Monica Pier for a stroll, and the next day on a strenuous hike in Topanga Canyon. Downtown Los Angeles’s art museums attract global attention for their forward-thinking collections. You can also spend several days walking — yes, walking — around Silver Lake or Beverly Hills, dipping into boutiques and stopping at cafes.
Traveling to one of the world’s largest cities is not hard. Thousands of direct flights arrive and depart LAX, the main Los Angeles airport, every day. If you’re staying in the northern part of the city, look for flights to the small, less crowded Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR). The city operates stations for national train and bus routes as well.
Los Angeles is a car city, and even driving between neighborhoods that look close on a map will take more time than you expect. If you’re staying in an outlying area such as Glendale or Long Beach, a car is a must. You’ll find car rental agencies near every point of arrival. However, if you’re staying in a central neighborhood, the LA Metro subway and light rail system is easy to navigate, the city’s bus system is extensive if slow, and rideshares are plentiful.
Idyllic weather is one of the reasons Los Angeles became the film industry capital, and you can count on heat and sun for most of the year. There’s a reason so many Angelenos wear sunglasses and carry water bottles.
After a hazy month of June (the locals call it “June Gloom”), LA’s hot season lasts between July and late September, when the average daytime temperatures are in the 80s Fahrenheit. Spring and fall deliver weather that is slightly cooler, but still pleasant enough for short sleeves and light clothing. December through February is the rainy season, when the lows can dip into the 40s. Your consolation is seeing the city’s gold hills turn bright green.
Los Angeles’s biggest park is more of a district, with more than 4,000 acres of trails, attractions, and serene picnic spots. You can wander around the famous Griffith Observatory, the backdrop to dozens of famous movie scenes, or bring your children to the historic Merry-Go-Round carousel. The western edge of the park includes several steep trails climbing to the Hollywood Sign.
You’re more likely to see a celebrity at some vegan cafe in Silver Lake than here, but the frayed glamour of Hollywood and the Sunset Strip still exerts its charm. Check the schedule to see if the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre is offering tours and screenings, or wander along Hollywood Boulevard, looking down to see whose famous handprints are pressed into the concrete.
Half of the reason people take the tram up to the Getty is for the museum’s art collections, which favor Greek and Roman statues and European paintings from the medieval era through the 19th century. The other is the setting: You can spend an hour or two meandering through the cultivated gardens, admiring a landscape that stretches to every horizon.