Los AngelesThe Hollywood sign, Paramount Studios, the purple and yellow of the Lakers. These iconic images bring one city to mind -- Los Angeles. For years, people have been arriving in the city of Angels for their shot at being the next breakthrough star. For certain, some have had their dreams fulfilled, while others aren't so lucky. However, if you plan a Los Angeles travel adventure, you don't have to worry about luck; you're practically guaranteed to have the time of your life!
Arriving in Los Angeles
The primary point of entry when you travel to Los Angeles is the famous Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The airport features nine terminals and is one of the largest airports in the U.S. Visitors can also get into the city by way of Amtrak or Greyhound. If you already live in California, the Megabus can bring you into the city for a small fare.
Traveling Around the City of Los Angeles
For all intents and purposes, a car is the best means of travel throughout the city. Whether you drive into the city in your own vehicle or you rent one there, you will definitely have more freedom with your own form of transportation. While it is true that the Los Angeles traffic can be quite heavy, visitors will become accustomed to it quickly. If you are arriving from another major U.S. city, you'll find that it is not much more of a difference than what you are used to. However, once you leave your Los Angeles hotel, you should always have a map at the ready so you can plan an alternative route for when gridlock becomes very bad.
What to See in Los Angeles
As if the million-dollar homes and the occasional movie star aren't enough, a visit to Hollywood Boulevard will provide the epitome of Los Angeles sightseeing. Enjoy walking along the Hollywood Walk of Fame and take in the stars bearing the names of past and present Hollywood legends. Hand and foot prints memorialized in concrete can be viewed at the famous Chinese Theatre, and across the street, take in a taping of the Jimmy Kimmel Show. The Hollywood Wax Museum can also be found on the boulevard, so if you can't find your favorite star to get a photograph with, you can get the next best thing.
The historical side of Los Angeles can be discovered with a visit to El Pueblo. This is where the oldest building in the city is located and guests can enjoy the delicacies of the traditional Mexican restaurants of the area.
Los Angeles also has its fingers solidly on the pulse of culture with the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Getty Center. Of course, how can you not have your photo taken with the dinosaurs at the La Brea tar pits, one of the most interesting Los Angeles attractions?
Where to Stay in Los Angeles
The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey
Ideally situated next to a recreational marina, the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey offers an incredibly luxurious stay in Los Angeles. In close proximity to many of the area's top attractions like Rodeo Drive, Venice Beach, the Sunset Strip and others, the Ritz is in one of the most convenient locations in the city. The hotel features a heavenly Boutique Spa, poolside cabanas and the award-winning Jer-ne Restaurant. Designed completely with the comfort and the entertainment of the guest in mind, the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey provides exactly that! The hotel has 304 rooms that start around $269 per night.
True to the trendy style of the Westside, Sky Hotel is incredibly styled throughout its 28 rooms. Although it is small, the hotel never fails to deliver top-notch service and convenience. Perfectly situated close to Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and many other shopping hotspots, the trendsetting visitor will have a hard time finding more ideal accommodations. The modern rooms of the Sky Hotel start around $250 per night.
Hotel Oceana Santa Monica
In Santa Monica, the Hotel Oceana just finished their $15 million renovations and the change is quite noticeable. The atmosphere is warm, friendly and refined. The hotel itself sits overlooking the Pacific Coast and is just steps from the Santa Monica Pier. The rooms feature the latest amenities like plasma televisions and wireless high-speed Internet access. Guests can have all of their culinary expectations fulfilled at the Ocean Lounge Restaurant, the creation of famed restaurateur Jonathan Morr. With only 63 rooms, space is limited, but can be enjoyed for around $355 per night.
Where to Eat in Los Angeles
Drago's authentic Italian cuisine can be found making people smile on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. One of the city's best Italian eateries, Drago offers an extensive wine list and superior service. The chef's signature dish is Piedmontese beef rib eye, although the menu is filled with rustic, flavorful dishes designed to satisfy and delight.
For sublime seafood, it can be difficult to beat Sushi Hirosuke on Ventura Boulevard. The restaurant is extremely popular and once you taste the sushi, you'll soon understand why! The menu also features vegan dishes as well as dishes like teriyaki beef for guests who don't love seafood. If visiting on the weekend, arrive early as lines do form!
You simply can't talk about Los Angeles restaurants without mentioning Wolfgang Puck's famous eatery, Spago! The perfect place to spot a celebrity while enjoying elegant fare, you can expect only the best service and quality of ingredients at Wolfgang's flagship restaurant.
Planning a Trip to Los Angeles
L.A. is one of the largest cities in the U.S. and the attractions, hotels and restaurants in Los Angeles listed here are only a tiny fraction of what is available there. Use the Internet to discover more about Los Angeles and to begin planning your memorable trip. Who knows, while you're there, a famous director may spot you dining in Spago, and simply must have you in his next feature film! Hey, this is Los Angeles, anything can happen!