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Los Angeles Travel Guide and Information
It is difficult to describe Los Angeles as it is not exactly a city, it is a state on its own, it is a multitude of cities and cultures and countries all in one go. Much has been said about LA but still there is some sort of 'bad attitude' towards Los angeles: some will describe LA as a humid boiling hot dangerous place and some will describe it as a rich but plastic looking sort of huge town, but in fact Los Angeles is a huge megalopolis full of contrats as well as beauty, rich in flavours with more to discover then any other city in the USA.
We love Los Angeles and always enjoy it when we're there for meetings, new contracts and whatsoever, so why shouldn't you give it a try. Again LA is not exactly A city, but it is more likely to be correctly defined as multiple cities all in one, in fact as most of you already know Downtown LA is LA, but Beverly Hills is LA and again Santa Monica is LA, Hollywood is LA, etc...
One thing we always enjoyed in Los Angeles is exactly the fact that it can't be described in a single word, nor with thousand words, but every single square mile has its character and the visitor generally tends to enjoy it very much and appreciate it very much and hate it again every single minute driven through its limitless streets. We are in the travel and activities business since quite some time and you can be sure that Los Angeles it is exploding in terms of tourism and as well in terms of renovations, investments, new projects, arts, culture as well as enterteinment and much much more and it will be soon be recognized as the New York City of the west.
Well.. difficult to suggest something in particular now since people are driven to LA for very different reasons, may it be theme parks, sightseeing, 'star chasing', business, seaside, nice weather or whatever else, but yet we'll try; if you're a first time visitor in LA then we suggest you start by booking a nice hotel in one of the following areas: Beverly Hills (if you do avoid areas just next to Rodeo Drive you'll be able to find quite some good deals around, to mention one, try the Avalon Hotel, nice 'trendy-friendly' boutique hotel in Beverly Hills), Downtow LA (but at first avoid venturing in dark shady areas outside the main well.. highrise area, check out the historical grand Biltmore Hotel, home of many stars and us presidents as well, or try the Westin), Santa Monica (ahh the beach it is great over there and walking down the easygoing streets is as easy as it is enterteining (The Viceroy Hotel is really good - somewhat similar to The National hotel in Miami if you ever been there before) and West Hollywood (but be somewhat careful when you walk the streets by night heading east - try the Sunset Tower Hotel, we liked it).
On the other side we really suggest you to stay away from around Disneyland in Anaheim if you're not yet exactly familiar with the area and for sure you should avoid South Central by night. Another choice in terms of accommodation if you want to experience something slightly different from the 'main stream' of tourists is 'Little Tokyo' near Downtown (especially if you like sushi and japanese food in general), we tried and reviewed more than once the New Otani Hotel and we have to say that we would like to stay there again because of the following reasons: nice clean comfortable modern rooms, wonderful japanese garden (a tourist attraction itself) and great food (not only japanese, but yes the japanese restaurant is indeed extremely nice). If you're on a budget do not worry too much since yes LA is an expensive city if you want to stay in 'hotspots', but syill you'll be able to find very good deals in cheap accommodation options in nice areas especially if you book in advance, better if on the net (in fact as you surely know it is full of websites out there that offer great discounted rates.
Now... talking about things to see in Los Angeles, first of all we would like to suggest you to see Universal Studios (I know it sounds quite obvious, but still many people think they are far too mature to visit such attractions, but they are very wrong... we thought the same and we're not too much into theme parks and similar, but Universal Studios are really really cool and fun places to see and besides the traditional 'adventures' the backlot tour is defenetly not to be missed, differently from Orlando the studios in LA are very lively and it is interesting to ride through the sets where they are actually filming and see sets where major blockbusters have been filmed (for example the greatest scene of 'War Of The Worlds' among many others). Apart Universal Studios, regarding the same subject, of course, there is Disneyland to see (but again we wouldn't suggest to sleep in an hotel in the area).
Second suggestion now: defenetly buy a ticket for a show in LA and do not miss the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los angeles if you're into classical music, since the music and the sound is great and the new building itself is incredible (you shouldn't miss it even if you're not going there for a concert - it is a good spot for photography enthusiasts too). No need to say that if you' into stars on the floor you know exactly where you're going to find such stars... in Hollywood, Sunset Strip and Hollywood Blvd. but make sure you do not get fall into tourist traps, unless you want to of course. And yes there is art too in LA besides the more conventional museums if you just have a deeper look into local newspapers you surely will find many options in terms of original artwork and experimental arts.
One place to go if you wish to see how and where the 'stars' live is Malibu for sure and guess what it does really look good and even if there is no way you're going to get passed the guards of where the 'neighborhoods of the stars' are, you are allowed for law to walk along the beach if you do stay near the water (that is where 'paparazzis' can sometimes be found as well). Most of all LA is a city that has to be explored neighborhood by neighborhood too really taste the metropolis in full and exploring LA's many different areas it is a true cultural experience.