City of Stars: Traveling to Los Angeles

January 1, 1970

by Alicia Kohel

Whether it’s your first found article on a topic of ‘must know + must do when traveling to LA’, or another one of a zillion you have already gone through, it’s just the very one that keeps answers not only for a good dozen of million questions of yours, but for the one which should go first (especially if you’re a tourist on a tight budget, half of which already went for a flight ticket to the US): should I take a trip to Los Angeles while being in the US? Let’s find it out together!

Must do before you go to Los Angeles

Decide where you want to stay.

LA is immense, so you want to make sure you’re staying close to places which are on top of your list to visit. As soon as ghetto areas are not on it, make sure you google them and then keep your nose out of them.

If Hollywood sign goes on it by number one and you’re up to nightlife, then Downtown with its skyscrapers or Hollywood itself are good towns to go. If you still want to be able to get to those areas in less than 20 minutes, but prefer a quieter and cheaper location, then you want to check out Koreatown with its nice church architecture and delicious Asian food. Beverly Hills is perfect in case if you want to spend bunch of time doing shopping on Rodeo Drive. And last but not least, Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Yes, they are close to the ocean and have a different atmosphere than the rest of the city.

How can I get to…?

When you’re ready, come and get it. Ready for what, you’re saying? For the longest traffic in the world! No exaggeration. The second longest one is in Moscow. Get what, you’re saying? A car! Americans know that their nerves worth a rental car. But the longest traffic? It’s still not going anywhere! Whether you’re using Uber, Lyft or going by bus, the traffic is what makes LA LA. And the reason I mentioned nerves is that waiting for a bus can take as long as learning all Chinese dialects for a non-native speaker. The chances of your ability to learn them all equal the possibility that that very bus can just never come.

So don’t forget to put ‘becoming a part of the longest traffic in the whole Universe’ on your list and cherish hope that subway may save you from time to time.

Take most comfy shoes and high resolution camera you have.

Find out why in the next paragraph.

Must do when in Los Angeles

Hike to see Hollywood Sign.

No other comments. It’s just worth doing and seeing. And it’s free!

Go to Santa Monica.

Green palms, golden sand, the ocean as blue as skies + Ferris wheel!
If you visit Los Angeles in the middle of October, you can be lucky to see neon waves as I call them. Don’t miss out on the most beautiful sunsets. Walk to the 3rd Street Promenade for good food, shopping, and street artists. This town may become your favorite. Get a bike and explore.

Take a picture by LACMA.

You can also visit this Art Museum in Beverly Hills to see their unique exhibition but people usually just stop by it for an awesome photograph which will get hundreds of likes.

Try surfing at Venice beach.

Take a lesson or surf by yourself. Take pictures by the famous booths with tall, tan, handsome lifesaver who reminds you so much of Nick Jonas! Remember beach scenes in Jonas Brothers series? That’s exactly where they filmed them.

Meet Hugh Jackman.

Oh, don’t you know that everything is possible in City of Stars? Run into him while taking a walk to the beach in the morning in Santa Monica. That’s how it happened to me. What about that fancy vegan cafe in Venice? Oh my, you want to say that was Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts with their kids? But if fancy is too fancy for you, maybe Jarred Leto will politely ask you to not block him the way to yogurts at Ralphs supermarket by Hollywood Boulevard as it happened to my friend. Now no wonder why they call this city this way.

See how they film TV shows and get paid for it.

You want to see how magic works behind the camera and later be able to watch yourself on TV, or you just simply lost all your money? I know what to do. You can surely get to Ellen show, but they won’t pay you for that. They pay for clapping and laughing audience at some other popular shows, which you can find on for $12 per hour, while wants you cheering for up to $20 per hour. Don’t wait for a sign that says ‘Laugh’, rely on your instincts.

Watch whales in the open ocean.

Now when you earned some extra cash you should get a fun company and go to Davey’s locker in Newport Beach. You can get a Groupon and then it only costs you about $10. You will definitely enjoy dolphins on the ride. Watch out for whales, it can appear right in front of you or on a horizon when the sun sets down.

Have a picnic on the grass at Griffith Observatory.

It’s beautiful inside and out . Come with some time in advance to see masterpiece which skies paint before the whole town plunges into the darkness, you won’t even see a star then, and enjoy the view that puts the whole city on a palm of your hand.

LA or not too late… to change your mind.

Is Los Angeles really a must see when living or traveling in States? You’ve highly likely heard various impressions about it. And this just can’t be any other way because you may label it one of the most diverse cities on the planet. LA is as much City of Stars as City of Fallen Stars. Thousands of people including international folks come to Hollywood every year, chasing their dreams. You are sweetly naive if you think, first what they see once their plane landed must be Hollywood sign. What they actually see is a path to that sign all overspread with homeless people, which has quite overclouding effect on both tourists and dreamers. But the good news is there is a path. And you can feel yourself as in a movie without green screens behind you and cameraman in the front. So, are you still thinking if you should visit Los Angeles?

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