Los Angeles Travel Guides

Founded by Spanish settlers, the small town of El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula was named as an homage to the Virgin Mary. The City of Angels, as it was nicknamed, eventually had its name shortened to Los Angeles. Now with the even briefer moniker of L.A., this culturally diverse city has residents employed in a multitude of industries, including finance, fashion, retail, restaurants, entertainment and much more. Its weather, sights and proximity to other parts of Southern California make L.A. the perfect place to work, play and vacation, with tourists numbering more than 45 million per year.

Where to Stay

Hotels in Los Angeles are so abundant that you may have a hard time figuring out the best one for you. Los Angeles covers a sprawling 503 square miles, and because of its famous tangle of freeways and street congestion, distance is often measured in minutes — or hours — rather than miles. To avoid as much traffic as possible, find a hotel central to the attractions you plan to visit. If you want to be among the sights and sounds of L.A., consider Hollywood, which is buzzing with shops, theaters and tourist attractions along the Walk of Fame, or Downtown, which has shopping, entertainment and restaurants of all cuisines. If the beach is a must-go, check into a hotel in Santa Monica or Venice, near the glorious Pacific Ocean. If you're planning to take the family to a theme park such as Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm, you'll want a kid-friendly hotel closer to these locales, possibly in Anaheim, about an hour's drive from Los Angeles. If you're looking for peace and quiet, you may want a hotel in the more subdued San Fernando Valley.

Airports

Los Angeles International Airport is located in the heart of L.A., and is a top choice of travelers the world over. Its congestion leads some travelers to seek other flight options, however, including Ontario International Airport in San Bernardino County and Orange County's John Wayne Airport. If you're staying in the city, be prepared for freeway traffic on your way to your hotel, no matter where you fly in. Smaller, less busy airports in the vicinity are Bob Hope Airport in Burbank and Long Beach Airport in Long Beach, but your flight selections are more limited than that of Los Angeles International Airport.

Top Things to Do

There aren't too many locales that have near-perfect weather year-round, plus the diversity of sights, scenes and socializing that you'll find in L.A. If it's TV-familiar spots you want to see up close and in person, try the iconic Santa Monica Pier or the Venice Boardwalk. Don't forget Hollywood, where you can step into the shoes of celebrities at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, stroll along the Walk of Fame and visit Madame Tussauds or Ripley's Believe It or Not! If you love fresh food along with your history, visit Olvera Street or the Original Farmers Market. Or take in the Hollywood Bowl for musical delights and Griffith Park Observatory for a glimpse of the constellations. Local and nearby theme parks include Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott's Berry Farm, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

Weather/Seasonal Information

With temperatures averaging annually in the 60s and 70s, Los Angeles is one of the top spots for travel year-round. If you're venturing outside the city limits to Orange County or one of the nearby valleys, those temperatures will rise — especially in summer. The good news is that the beaches and mountains generally have cooler annual temperatures, no matter the season. Rainfall isn't common in Los Angeles, but it does happen occasionally. Check the local forecast before you hop on your plane so you know exactly what to pack.

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