Picture this: watching the sunrise spill over Hollywood Hill in the morning. Roller skating down the Venice boardwalk by afternoon. Dropping it like it's hot at some of the world’s hottest clubs by night—and enjoying a late-night snack at a legendary food truck.
Or maybe you’d prefer a lazy day sipping matchas at a beachside cafe, followed by a leisurely stroll through LA’s Arts District. That’s the beauty of Los Angeles: there’s something for everyone, and more than enough to go around.
If you’re headed to this Pacific Coast city or are just adding it to your long list of places to go in the summer, you’ll need a Los Angeles itinerary to ensure you squeeze everything on your agenda into your trip. Get the scoop on where to stay, where to eat, and what attractions to put on your list with BÉIS’ glittering LA travel guide.
Where to Stay: How To Live Like an LA Local
From the breezy, ultra-chill Venice Beach to the nightlife hum of Downtown LA, Los Angeles boasts some of the best hospitality in the world throughout its diverse neighborhoods.
So before we curate your personal Los Angeles guide to travel, let’s review some of the best places to stay while you’re here.
If this is your first trip to the City of Angels, Hollywood should top your list of places to stay. Beyond the iconic Hollywood sign, this neighborhood boasts famed Los Angeles sight-seeing attractions like:
- The Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Griffith Park and Observatory
- Universal Studios Hollywood
- Sunset Strip
- La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
But even beyond the best-known sights in the area, Hollywood boasts plenty of lesser-known diversions to make any visitor feel at home. From eccentric cinemas like the Chinese or Egyptian Theatres to moonlit night walks up the Hollywood Hills, there are endless ways to find your groove in LA’s most star-studded neighborhood.
Nestled between Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey, Venice Beach is an eclectic LA. neighborhood brimming with colorful streets and a carefree (and contagious) bohemian vibe.
Venice Beach is full of the surfers, artists, and free spirits that come here to seek refuge from the hustle of city life. Here are a few ways to take a cue from the locals and let the good times roll while you’re here:
- Soak in some sun while you stroll the Venice Beach Boardwalk
- Explore the eclectic beach houses along the Venice Canals
- Experience a riot of color at the 1940s-era Mosaic Tile House
With its sky-high buildings, buzzing nightlife, and accommodations for every budget, downtown LA is the commercial heart of the city—and it does not disappoint. To make the most of your time here, be sure to:
- Delight your senses with all of the sights, sounds, and tastes of LA’s Chinatown
- Head to the Broad and immerse yourself in artist Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms
- Sip a handcrafted cocktail at Downtown’s resident speakeasy, the Roger Room
What to Eat: Where To Enjoy The Best Food in Los Angeles
The green juice craze surrounding LA is all hype—people in this Southern California city love to eat. While you’re here, these are our top picks for merrily munching your way through the city’s best restaurants:
- Sherman Oaks: Anajak Thai Cuisine – This Thai staple has all the classics plus its own menu of fusion fare. Stop in during the work week for Thai Taco Tuesday to taste a masterful Thai-inspired take on a Mexican classic.
- Melrose: Crossroads Kitchen – Crossroads boasts an expansive drink menu and Mediterranean-inspired vegan cuisine. If looking for an elegant ambiance and a delectable meal, both plant-based eaters and flexitarians are sure to leave satisfied.1
- San Fernando Valley: Cupid’s Hot Dogs – This LA-based chain serves some of the best dogs in the state. For the truest Cupid’s experience, head to the Valley and devour an American classic from their no-frills corner shop.
What to Do: Must-See Attractions in Los Angeles
Whether you’re ready to tour around the area’s most iconic venues or prefer to explore hidden gems, these tried-and-true activities are perfect for anchoring your LA agenda before making this Southern California city your own.
Top Tourist Attractions
Don’t let the crowds get you down! Sure, tourist attractions tend to attract a crowd, but the these LA spectacles are well worth the hype:
- Rodeo Drive – Channel your inner Pretty Woman and treat yourself to a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive. Even if you’re just window-shopping, trust us–you’ll feel as awestruck as Julia Roberts (ehem, Vivian Ward) as you stride by A-list storefronts like Gucci, Prada, and Jimmy Choo.
- Santa Monica Beach and Pier – There’s nothing like a stroll down three miles of sandy beaches to transport you to California in the 80s—Santa Monica Beach was the backdrop for Baywatch, after all! When you’re finished reminiscing, wander down the Santa Monica pier to soak in the briney aroma of the Pacific Ocean mixed with the carnival foods nearby. Take one last dose of nostalgia by embracing your inner 12-year-old and riding some roller coasters or the famed Pacific ferris wheel.
- Griffith Observatory – The Griffith Observatory is one of the best ways to take in breathtaking views of Los Angeles from on high. Get your step count in by taking one of the hiking paths to reach it (if you prefer to relax, you can also drive!). Once you’re there, learn about astronomy at the Oschin Planetarium and use the observatory telescopes to gaze deep into the cosmos.
If you’re visiting LA for the first time, checking off those travel bucket list items is a must. But let’s not forget this major city is home to some majorly cool and covert haunts that seldom make it onto tourist’s lists:
- The Hollywood Forever Cemetery – This funeral home-slash-cemetery is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As the final resting place of renowned stars from Judy Garland to Mickey Rooney, it also spotlights cultural events like outdoor movie nights in the summer months. If you happen to be here during a film showing, pack a picnic, bring a blanket, and enjoy a classic film beneath a blanket of stars.2
- The Last Bookstore – Whether you’re a book lover or are just curious about seeing the bookstore with the most books in California (over 300,000 and counting), the Last Bookstore is one of the quirkiest businesses in the country.3 This two-story behemoth provides an eclectic mix of new, used, and rare books with genres spanning from the classics to graphic novels. And for the audiophiles out there, they even sell vinyl records!
- No Vacancy – Tucked away on a Hollywood Boulevard side street, find this vintage speakeasy inside an iconic prohibition-era hotel. Once you’ve found your way up the creaky stairs and into the dimly lit cocktail bar, indulge in some of LA’s best handcrafted cocktails while you dance the night away to the haunt’s vibrant live entertainment.
Know Before You Go: 4 Los Angeles Travel Tips
While visiting LA can feel like a travel fantasy come to life, there are some practicalities every wanderer should account for before getting starstruck by this West Coast city.
Similar to our New York City travel guide and Seattle travel guide, be sure to keep these four travel tips in your back pocket to feel confident and ready to roll the moment you roll your luggage out of LAX (Los Angeles International Airport):
Pack appropriately – Be sure you understand the principles of how to pack a suitcase efficiently. Although LA is known for having some of the most pleasant weather in the country, it’s still best to check the forecast before packing for your trip. Keep a light jacket with you while you’re sightseeing—while it’s sunny most of the year, you never know when you’ll run into a random fit of rain or feel a chill in the evening!
Rent a car – Different neighborhoods may boast that they’re the heart of the city, but the truth is that Los Angeles is so spread out that you’ll need a vehicle to hit every destination on your bucket list. If you plan on venturing out past the district you’re staying in, it’ll be a lot faster to zip from one place to the next if you have a rental.
Take advantage of the free museums – Don’t be fooled by the glitz, glamour, and excesses of this city—there are countless ways to enjoy LA’s riches on a budget. For a taste of culture, check out the city’s long (and legendary) list of world-class museums, many of which are open to the public. Enjoy the Getty Center, the Broad, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), and the Hammer Museum—all for free.
- Be aware of your surroundings – LA is still considered to be a relatively safe city, but it never hurts to follow your mother’s sage advice before heading out for the night! While you’re on the town, keep your valuables safe in your hotel or AirBnB and keep an eye on your belongings. Ensure your purse or backpack stays zipped up and with you at all times, and do your best to park in well-lit areas (or, if it’s on budget, take advantage of LA’s ubiquitous valet service!).
Make Los Angeles Your Own with BÉIS
With your ultimate guide for traveling to LA in tow, there’s one last thing to check off your list before you land in LA: dressing like a local.
Check your clothes, look the part, and get to know LA by heart with BÉIS’ impeccable catalog of luggage, travel bags, and travel accessories. Whatever your travel style—and whatever you’ve planned for your trip—BÉIS must-haves fuse luxury with functionality so you can take LA by a storm.
Shop the latest and travel sleek by checking out the full collection today.
- “Crossroads Kitchen.” Crossroads Kitchen Los Angeles.https://www.crossroadskitchen.com.Accessed 12 July 2022
- “Cinespia at the hollywood forever cemetery."Cinespia.https://cinespia.org/how-to/cemetery. Accessed 12 July 2022
- “FAQ.” The Last Bookstore, www.shopthelastbookstore.com/faq. Accessed 12 July 2022.