Los Angeles Trip Planner

Posted May 20, 2024 in Destination - Last updated April 10, 2024


Sunny, buzzing, and glamorous are words that best describe the vibe of Los Angeles. Known for being home to the stars and a land of endless opportunities, Los Angeles is certainly one of the most famous cities in the world, and what’s great is that it is also a travelers’ paradise. Read on to find out what else this enigmatic location has to offer and what you need to include in your Los Angeles trip planner.

Los Angeles, often referred to as L.A. is a city in the state of California, USA. It is the most populous city in the state and the second-most populous city in all of the United States. L.A. is the commercial, financial, and cultural center of Southern California and the center of the nation’s film and television industry. Known for being attractive and glamorous, Los Angeles has a sprawling metropolis and is home to some of the most popular beaches in the USA. L.A. is famous for being the entertainment capital and home to Hollywood, which is an integral part of the city’s culture. If you wish to embark on a vacation that is relaxing, entertaining, and one-of-a-kind, L.A. is the place to be!

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Fun Facts About Los Angeles

  • Los Angeles is a global melting pot, home to people from more than 140 countries who speak 224 languages. Its rich diversity shines through in its food, cultural practices, and various neighborhoods.
  • “Los Angeles” translates to “The Angels” in Spanish. The city was first established by Spanish settlers. It was a part of Mexico until it became part of the United States in 1848.
  • Los Angeles County is a place full of variety, with everything from beaches and mountains to deserts and forests. It’s a great spot for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, surfing, and rock climbing.
  • L.A. is an amazing place for sports fans. It’s home to many pro teams. You can watch basketball with the Lakers and Clippers, baseball with the Dodgers, or football with the Rams and Chargers. There’s always a thrilling game going on.
  • A lot of famous TV shows like “Friends,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” were filmed in Los Angeles.

Brief History of Los Angeles

For many centuries, between 5,000 and 10,000 Tongva and Chumash Indians lived in the area and enjoyed a simple way of life. Everything changed in 1542 when a Spanish sea expedition arrived in Santa Monica Bay. The Spanish named their new home “El Pueblo de la Reina de los Angeles”, or “The Village of the Queen of the Angels,” which was later shortened to Los Angeles. By 1822, Spain’s control over California ceased, and the Mexican government made Los Angeles a city in 1835.

Once the Mexican-American war (1846-1848) was over, California became part of the United States. In 1850, it officially joined as a state, and Los Angeles became an American city. Los Angeles began transforming into a leading city in the 1870s. A significant step towards modernization happened in 1876 when the Southern Pacific Railroad connected it with San Francisco.

By 1980, Los Angeles had transformed into a world-class city. It was thriving in all aspects, with its distinctive skyline, busy freeways, attractive tourist spots, thriving film industry, top universities, insightful museums, and dynamic sports franchises, including its very own Los Angeles Times.

Top Things to Do in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is definitely the land of possibilities, especially for tourists. There is so much to see and do in this city. Let’s have a look at the main attractions that should have a place in your Los Angeles trip planner –

1. Visit the Magical Griffith Observatory

If you are keen on getting a good view of this bustling city, the Griffith Observatory is a must-visit. Set on the slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains, this location offers tourists unparalleled views of the beautiful city. Los Angeles’ clear night skies and captivating sunsets look absolutely stunning from this location, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike. You can also catch a glimpse of celestial objects from the Zeiss Telescope, which is located inside the observatory.

2. Soak in the Movie Mania at Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood, located in California, is one of the oldest working movie studios. In addition to being a film studio, it doubles up as an amusement park that offers a variety of activities. This includes exciting roller coaster rides, live-action shows, and a tram ride. The theme park uniquely combines these attractions with insight into the behind-the-scenes action in movie production and special effects. If you’re a fan of Hollywood, this location is a must-see.

3. Fun at the Beach

Los Angeles is home to beautiful beaches such as Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and Malibu. Here, guests are welcome to sunbathe, swim, surf, or just take a walk by the scenic shore. Venice Beach, in particular, is a must-visit. You’re likely to encounter a local enthusiast cycling around with loud music, along with magicians, street performers, and artists. Don’t forget to try the blend of exotic and traditional street food that will make your mouth water.

4. Get Artsy

LA has become one of the top spots for art in America recently. There are great galleries like The Broad and the Grand Avenue MOCA featuring modern artists such as Andy Warhol and Jean‐Michel Basquiat. But the real showstoppers are the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Getty Center. The LACMA has a vast range of art and artifacts dating back thousands of years, while The Getty focuses on paintings, sculptures, and photos. If you are an art-lover, you will be thrilled with the various types of art, from traditional to modern, at these locations.

5. Shine Among Hollywood Stars

The famous Hollywood district in northern LA is the birthplace of big studios like Warner Bros, Paramount, and Universal Studios. It’s a great place to spend a day exploring various iconic landmarks and attractions, including the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theatre, and Dolby Theatre.

You can’t picture Los Angeles without the famous Hollywood Sign. You can catch a good view of it from various locations in the district, but true movie enthusiasts choose to hike up to the sign via several accessible trails.

Overall, L.A. is bustling with things to do on a daily basis – so make the most of it by adding these activities to your Los Angeles trip planner.

The Best Time to Visit Los Angeles

Los Angeles is one of the few places that has something to offer throughout the year and for all seasons. If you’re planning a trip in the Summer (June to August), you’ll be greeted with warm temperatures and sunny skies, which are perfect for spending time at the beach. You’ll also find many fun concerts, beach festivals, and events scheduled during this time. Since it’s peak tourist season, be prepared for crowds and ensure you book everything in advance.

In the Fall (September to November), you can enjoy pleasant temperatures, which is ideal for outdoor activities. Don’t miss out on the LA County Fair and Halloween festivities in the city. Wintertime (December to February) comes with cooler temperatures but nothing harsh. You can check out New Year’s Eve parties and the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.

The Spring season (March to May) is perfect for experiencing outdoor activities, as you can enjoy the mild temperatures and avoid big crowds. Events around this time include the L.A. marathon, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and other cultural fests.

Pick the dates you want and add them to your Los Angeles trip planner based on your priorities and preferences.

What Do You Need to Do Before Traveling to Los Angeles?

Los Angeles is known for its traffic congestion and long hours spent getting from one place to another. It’s best to plan your transportation accordingly and find out more about the public transport and ridesharing options available based on your Los Angeles itinerary. L.A. can also be an expensive city to visit, so prepare a budget for your Los Angeles trip planner and take into account accommodation, food, transport, and activities. You can also avail of a tourist pass for additional savings. The city can also get crowded during certain times of the year, so ensure that you make your hotel reservations in advance – be it luxury or budget-friendly accommodations. Plan your travel to Los Angeles ahead of time and pre-book tickets for activities like theme parks, museums, and concerts, so that you don’t find yourself in a pinch at the last minute.

What to Expect from the Culture of Los Angeles?

L.A. is home to the rich and famous, but it has a laid-back casual vibe that sits well with many travelers. Here are some important things about L.A. culture and etiquette you need to make note of in your Los Angeles trip planner.

  • If you plan to drive in L.A., get familiar with the traffic etiquette in the city. It’s best to be patient and courteous on the roads and pay attention to signs. It’s also a pedestrian-friendly city, so avoid aggressive driving at all costs.
  • The city has a prominent tipping culture, so be ready to expend close to 15-20% of your total bill to your server. Since a lot of eateries witness rush hours, it is also customary to wait for your host or hostess to find a seat for you.
  • Being one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, it’s important for tourists to be respectful of all people and different cultures, traditions, and beliefs. The city also has a large LGBTQ+ population. Stereotyping or commenting negatively on someone’s background or orientation is strictly frowned upon.

Is it Safe to Travel Solo to Los Angeles?

L.A. is considered one of the safer cities for tourists in the USA. According to data from the Economist Intelligence Unit Safe Cities Index 2021, Los Angeles ranked 18th on the list of the safest cities in the world. Even though L.A. is known for its wealth and glamour, crimes are not completely uncommon. But, in general, women report feeling safe in the city – especially in well-lit and populated areas.

Pickpocketing is common in more tourist-centered areas, so it’s important to keep your belongings close and within sight. Scamsters may also prey on tourists in popular sites, so be aware at all times and do not entertain anyone who doesn’t seem trustworthy. Avoid going to downtown L.A. at night time, especially if you are a solo traveler. It’s also best to avoid areas like Skid Row. Stay vigilant and you can have a great time in L.A. without any troubles.

Best Ways to Get to and Around Los Angeles

Tourists usually land at the Los Angeles International Airport, and traveling to the city is easy and convenient with options like Amtrak trains, buses, and cars. To get around to different places in Los Angeles, you can opt for rental cars or ride-sharing options like Uber and Lyft for shorter distances. Public transportation like the Los Angeles Metro and the Metro Bus operate all around the city. People who wish to get around by themselves on a budget can opt for bikes from rental services or even choose to walk. These options help you move around in a convenient and enjoyable way. Electric Scooters are also a popular option, but be sure to read up on local regulations.

Budget for Los Angeles

Your budget for traveling in Los Angeles will depend on the duration of your visit, the type of accommodation, the activities you plan on doing, and other expenses. On average, travelers report spending close to $280 per day for meals, accommodation, and transport.

Budget hotels, which have either a two-star or three-star rating, offer rooms starting from $125 per night, whereas a higher-rated hotel can charge over $250 per night for a room. L.A. has plenty of Airbnb options, with private rooms starting at $85 per night and entire homes and apartments starting at $150 per night. It’s very important to make your booking early to get the best price.

As for food and meals, there are definitely pricier options, but if you are looking for more budget-friendly eats, opt for food trucks. You can eat a satisfying meal for about $10-$15 at these places. At high-end restaurants, you may have to shell out at least $50 for a three-course meal.

For your activities, you need to book early to get the best prices and also stay within your budget.

Make Your Los Angeles Trip Exciting with Travel-Wise

Not only is L.A. one of the most famous cities in the world, but it is also an excellent option for your next holiday destination. With its rich culture, stunning beaches, and picturesque locations, you’ll surely enjoy what Los Angeles has to offer.

Choose Travel-Wise as your Los Angeles trip planner! Our AI-powered itinerary generator provides templates, itineraries, maps, and collaboration tools to design personalized travel plans. Organize each day of your trip in detail and keep a journal to share your adventures with fellow travelers. Need more inspiration? Explore our Country Guides to plan your next amazing vacation. Join Travel-Wise today and start creating unforgettable memories on your Los Angeles holiday!

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