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Los Angeles travel guide

For a city of billionaires and dreamers, the City of Angels is wonderfully down-to-earth and takes its stereotypes firmly on the chin. Whether you're a lover of the sunny surf culture or a shopaholic, Los Angeles pretty much has you covered.

Los Angeles neighborhoods

There's so much more to the City of Angels than you'd expect. Home of the entertainment industry, this is a city of trendsetters and go-getters. Whatever your budget or travel style, this is a city filled with diverse neighborhoods that are just waiting to be explored so we've picked our top places to visit below.
Santa Monica Route 66 End of Trail sign

Santa Monica

Did you know Santa Monica actually had eight of its own mini neighborhoods? This is the perfect location to enjoy the best local restaurants, bars and theatres or kick back and relax on some of California's most famous beaches. Lovers of art and surf vibes will enjoy Main Street whereas Downtown Santa Monica is the perfect place for shopping.
A view of the beach in Long Beach

Long Beach

From coastal beaches to arts and culture, Long Beach is a relaxing way to explore Southern California in all its glory. Go on a Marine adventure with a visit to The Aquarium of the Pacific or visit the Museum of Latin American art before hitting the many local restaurants.
A road sign with Los Angeles City Hall in the background

Downtown Los Angeles

Most people might think of downtown Los Angeles as being a bit lacking in the activity department, but over the year's there's been plenty of things to see and do. Feast in Chinatown, Little Armenia or even Thai Town or pay a visit to the legendary Grammy museum and learn more about the history of recorded music and the award itself.
People shopping on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills

If you love the finer things in life, Beverly Hills is the place to go. Hop on a Starline Tour and celeb spot around some of Hollywood's most famous homes or wander through the iconic Rodeo Drive for the best in designer clothing.

Top things to do in LA

  • Hit the beach
    One of the greatest things about LA (aside from the glorious weather) is the awesome beaches. Hit the surf, boutiques, bars and boardwalk of Santa Monica beach, people watch and lay on the warm sand of Venice beach or if you're a lover of nature take a stroll through El Matador beach and watch the sunset just like you're in a Hollywood film.
  • Universal Studios
    A visit to Los Angeles and well California for that matter isn't complete until you experience the magic of Universal Studios. Go behind the scenes of some of Hollywood's most iconic films and take on some of the most thrilling theme park rides!
  • Shop 'till you drop
    Calling all fashion lovers! LA is the perfect location to go on a shopping spree like no other. There's something for everyone, from vintage markets to the legendary Rodeo Drive if you've got enough money to splash that cash.

Our favorite Los Angeles Hotels

An exterior shot of the Samesun Venice Beach Hostel

Samesun Venice Beach Hostel

• Swim, party and live it up at this classic travelers' hostel
• Situated on Venice Beach Boardwalk with ocean views
• There's free WiFi and breakfast is included
A view of the lobby of the HI Santa Monica Hostel

HI Santa Monica Hostel

• Perfect location to explore Santa Monica
• Watch a movie, play a game of pool or relax in the courtyard in front of fountains
• There's free WiFi and breakfast is included
The courtyard of the Banana Bungalow hotel

Banana Bungalow

• Social butterflies will love this super friendly, laid-back hostel
• Grab a mic and sing up a storm at the karaoke bar
• Clean, comfy and colorful with funky furnishings

Top tours and activities in LA

Jennifer Aniston's star on the Walk of Fame

Warner Bros Studio Tour

Gain a rare, behind-the-scenes insight into your favorite films and TV shows. Who will be working on a movie when you visit the Warner Bros Studios? This is an activity not to be missed!
Full day
View Tour
An explosion on a movie set as seen on the Universal Studios Hollywood tour

Universal Studios Hollywood

Go behind the scenes of the world's largest working studio and join King Kong, Optimus Prime, The Minions and more. Learn about the secrets of film-making and go on some of the studios most thrilling rides!
Full day
View Tour

When is the best time to visit Los Angeles?

LA's pretty much know for it's clear skies and sunny weather, so no matter when you travel you can almost always be sure to catch the sunshine. However, if you're looking for slightly cooler temperatures and more breathable air when walking around, the best time to visit is between March to May or September to November.

Need a little more inspiration? Check out the STA Travel blog!

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