Things to Know Before You Go to Los Angeles, California

From reliving your favorite cinematic moments to channeling your inner Harry Potter or Sirius Black, this blog sums up all the things to know before you go to Los Angeles

The city skyline of Los Angeles with palm trees in the foreground
The city skyline of Los Angeles with palm trees in the foreground

There’s no question how Los Angeles lives up to its title as the Entertainment Capital of the World. From Hollywood’s glitz and glamor to the vibrant music scene and thriving theater district, the city offers an unparalleled experience for entertainment enthusiasts. 

However, with so much to see and do, planning your trip to the City of Angels might be a little overwhelming. But no worries, because here, we’ll compile the essential things to know before you go to Los Angeles, so you can get the most out of your stay. 

When To Go & How To Get Around Los Angeles

Before we get lost in the bustling beauty of this side of SoCal, let’s kick off this guide with some basic things to know before you go to Los Angeles.

L.A. enjoys a pleasant, sunny climate year-round, making it a great destination at any time. However, the best time to visit depends on what you’re really looking to do. If you prefer milder temperatures and fewer tourists, spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are ideal. The weather during these months is comfortable, perfect for exploring the outdoors and the many festivals the city hosts.

On the other hand, L.A. is hot and crowded during summer, especially from June to August, when temperatures can soar as high as 80°F. If beach activities or outdoor concerts are your thing, summer is certainly the time to go. Of course, winter is cooler with occasional rain, but still mild compared to the rest of the United States.

And just in case you haven’t booked your flight yet, know that Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) isn’t the only option. To avoid the congestion often found here, consider flying into alternative airports such as Bob Hope Airport (BUR) in Burbank or Long Beach Airport (LGB), which is less hectic and closer to your destination within the city.

Moving on to the not-so-good news. Be warned, traffic in L.A. is pretty bad. So make sure to pack your patience as you go. While renting a car is common for visitors wanting to explore widely separated attractions, consider using the Metro Rail and bus systems to navigate through the city efficiently. 

Protip: Exploring L.A. on foot is still a fantastic way to discover the city, particularly in pedestrian-friendly districts like Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Downtown LA.

People walking inside Disneyland California
People walking inside Disneyland California

Know Before You Go: Things You Shouldn’t Miss When Visiting Los Angeles

There are indeed countless spots to visit and lots of things to do in Los Angeles. While it’s impossible to see everything on a short visit, there are certain attractions you simply can’t miss when visiting the City of Angels. 

That said, here are some activities that deserve a schedule on your L.A. itinerary:

  • Experience the iconic California beach scene at Santa Monica. With its famous pier, amusement park, and endless sandy beaches, it offers the perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment.
  • This guide about things to know before you go to Los Angeles isn’t complete without suggesting a visit to Disneyland. Besides, who wouldn’t want to be in the “happiest place on Earth”?
  • Strut down the Hollywood Walk of Fame to find the stars of your favorite icons embedded in the sidewalks. This one’s a must-do, especially for true blue film buffs!
  • Climb up the Griffith Observatory for the best views of L.A. and the iconic Hollywood sign. Inside, you’ll find fascinating exhibits on space and science, making it educational as well as scenic.
  • Relive your favorite movie scenes at Universal Studios. This part-theme park, part-movie studio offers an immersive experience with rides and shows based on some of the biggest films in history.
  • Visit Los Angeles County Museum Of Art (LACMA). It’s the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection of artwork that spans the geographic and artistic spectrum. 

You might also like: 20 Incredible Hidden Gems in Los Angeles

The Best Areas to Stay in Los Angeles

Of course, choosing the right area to stay is also crucial when visiting L.A. 

Here’s where you might want to consider booking your accommodation:

VENICE BEACH

Famous for its bohemian spirit, Venice Beach boasts eclectic shops, street performers, and its unmissable boardwalk. Accommodations range from funky hostels to stylish beachfront hotels.

WEST HOLLYWOOD

The heart of LA’s nightlife and luxury, West Hollywood is perfect for those looking to party and indulge. Here, you’ll find chic boutique hotels and other luxury accommodations.

KOREATOWN

A bustling neighborhood known for its amazing food scene and vibrant nightlife. Hotels here are generally more affordable, with easy access to public transportation.

LOS FELIZ

For a quieter, more residential experience, Los Feliz is ideal, offering charming guesthouses and boutique lodgings near Griffith Park.

See also: The Best Los Angeles Neighborhoods

The Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles with cars parked on the side of the street
The Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles with cars parked on the side of the street

Make The Most Out of Your L.A. Trip with ThisCityKnows

Indeed, Los Angeles is a place where the perfect blend of culture and entertainment exists. And as you plan your L.A. trip, remember that every corner of this city has a story to tell and an adventure to offer. Have fun, engage in diverse experiences, and make the most of every moment in the City of Angels.

And it goes without saying, ThisCityKnows is always here to ensure you’re well-prepared with all the things you need to know before you go to Los Angeles or any other spectacular city around the globe. From hidden gems to main attractions, we aim to equip your travels and broaden your horizons.

So snap that perfect photo at Griffith Park, catch a wave at Santa Monica Beach, or find your favorite star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and tell us all about it!

Lights, camera, action— your L.A. story starts now!

Katie
Author: Katie

Katie is all about hitting the road solo, always on the lookout for spots the internet hasn't fully discovered yet. She’s the one turning left when the map says right, hunting for those genuine, "you had to be there" moments. With a style that's as engaging as a late-night chat by the hostel fire, her stories aren't just about places, but the raw, unfiltered joy of exploring them on your own terms.

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