Los Angeles Tourist Tips

Los Angeles Korean BBQAfter a 10 hour flight from Fiji, LAX was a more than welcome sight. Even more so was the vision of a good friend – and his snazzy car – who had come to pick me up and accommodate me for a couple of weeks in his shared abode in Hawthorne. Having moved here from the UK six years ago, his advice as both an outsider and now a fully-fledged resident of the sprawling cityscape that is Los Angeles was pure gold. Plus, I had my own chauffeur.

Tip 1: Hire a car

Public transport is almost non-existent
It’s easy to get in and out of LA (Megabus has recently set up a US branch and striving for Greyhound’s customers makes them wonderfully cheap) but transport within the city is somewhat lacking. There are a few buses but you really have to know the system. There’s no way you’ll get to see the tourist hot spots without a car; everything of interest is so spread out you have to take the highway to get anywhere. Parking near Hollyweird Boulevard (as it’s lovingly termed by the locals) is surprisingly easy with meters on each connecting street and LA folk tend to let you know when they’ve left early and have some meter time left over for you to use.

Tip 2: There’s no need to go food shopping

One of the greatest things about the diverse culture of LA is the food. You can sample the cuisine of every nationality you can think of, with Mexican being the most abundant and arguably the most delicious since it’s toned down a little for the Western palette. The household favourite takeaways are rock bottom prices here and there’s something new to try on every block. However, Korean BBQ is the way forward. It’s cheap, it’s all you can eat, and you cook it yourself on a hot table stove. Make a night of it, it’s superb.

Tip 3: Hermosa Pier is the new Santa Monica

The piers in LA are characters unto themselves, each promising a delightful night upon the tiles in their own special/peculiar way. Hermosa Pier is hardly mentioned in most cases of drunken debauchery and that’s because it’s a classy old promenade, at least until 10pm. Pier Avenue hosts a range of pubs and clubs which liven up with college students after dark. Step back on the main road and you’ll find gourmet restaurants with tasteful dishes which are a must for any travelling foodie who likes to dine uptown. Get your posh frock on, tantalise your taste buds, then get your rocks off down on the pier.

Tip 4: Some helpful hints for the traditional tourist

i. You can’t get up to the Hollywood sign anymore. Park at the Griffith Observatory and take your pics from there. Plus, the planetarium is a great day out.

ii. Visit the Westwood Village Memorial Cemetery. It’s hidden behind a library so slightly hard to locate, but you’ll see more famous people in that small patch of land than you will anywhere else, albeit the less animated type of celebs.

iii. Summer is the time for festivals and music in LA. Head up to the Getty museum on a Saturday night for an assortment of live bands or head out to West Hollywood for flesh fest pool parties which are mostly open to the public.

Los Angeles Korean BBQ

About sara_d

Sara is a high school English teacher, travel blogger and global traveller!