Cheap Flights To Los Angeles

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Cheap Flights To Los Angeles

Overview
When to Go
Airport Information
Weather
Things to Do
Local Attractions
Must See Sights
Insider Tips
Getting Around

Overview
When most people think about Los Angeles or Hollywood, what comes to mind is show business, celebrities, glitz, glamour, beaches and "beautiful people." Well, Los Angeles offers all this, but so much more!

Located in Southern California, most tourists use the term "Los Angeles" as an all-encompassing phrase to include Hollywood, West Hollywood, and other well-known communities, like Beverly Hills, Westwood, Santa Monica, Venice Beach and Studio City, to name just a few.

While Downtown Los Angeles is a major city, most tourists actually spend the majority of their time exploring surrounding areas, where most of the motion picture and TV studios, tourist hotels, attractions, theme parks, trendy clubs, and amazing shopping opportunities located.

Whether you’re visiting the Los Angeles area in hopes of seeing your favorite celebrities, want to have fun at a theme park, shop for the latest designer fashions on Rodeo Drive, dine at gourmet restaurants, bask in the California sun, or "be seen" at one of the world’s most trendy nightclubs, people of all ages can always find plenty to see and do, all year long, in Los Angeles.

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When to Go
Thanks to generally beautiful weather throughout the year, there’s no bad time to visit Los Angeles. However, during the summer and early-fall is when you can best enjoy the beaches, so this is a popular time to visit and peak tourist season.

Because the temperature cools down a bit in the winter, prices for hotels and airfares tend to drop. The best time to plan a Los Angeles trip is in the fall, when the temperature is warm, but the impact of the region’s smog problem is at a minimum.

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Airport Information
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Distance from Downtown Los Angeles: 23 miles
Drive Time: 30 to 90 minutes, depending on traffic

LAX is the busiest international airport in Southern California. It’s located within a 30 to 60-minute drive from most of the region’s beaches and tourist attractions. However, in Los Angeles, traffic is a huge problem, so drive times are very hard to predict, even during non-rush hour periods. Often drive time is often measured by the time of day you’re traveling rather than the actual physical distance of your trip.

When visiting the Los Angeles area, you’ll definitely want to rent a car. LA’s public transportation isn’t convenient, and taxis are extremely expensive. There are shared, door-to-door shuttle buses, like the SuperShuttle (800-258-3826, www.supershuttle.com) that offer inexpensive service between the airport and any location in the region. The Los Angeles area is very sprawling; while walking in a neighborhood is often fun, getting from one place to another on foot isn’t always an option.

All of the major domestic and international airlines use LAX, so finding inexpensive airfares is almost always possible. From most major U.S. cities, direct flights to LAX can be found for between $200 and $300 round-trip.

As you shop for low fares, be sure to check nearby regional airports, including Long Beach Airport (LGB) and Bob Hope Airport (BUR) in Burbank.

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Weather
While you won’t see the leaves change color in the fall, and you won’t experience a white Christmas is the winter, Los Angeles does experience seasons. In the winter, between November and May, the nights will be cool; during the day, temperatures will still often climb into the 70s.

In the summer, the Los Angeles area is hot and sunny, especially as you move away from the coast. During these warmer months, the region’s smog problem can be at its worst, which can be a problem for asthma sufferers. Other times of the year tend to be mild, warm, sunny and very comfortable.

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Things to Do


Stay
There is a hotel, motel or resorts throughout the Los Angeles area to fit every budget. Here, you generally get what you pay for. For clean, comfortable, three-star accommodations in popular tourist areas, plan on spending between $200 and $300 per night. During the summer, accommodations near the beach tend to be more expensive, but rates drop considerably during non-peak travel times.

The Los Angeles area is also home to many upscale hotels, like The Four Seasons (Los Angeles), The Peninsula (Beverly Hills), The London (West Hollywood), Chateau Marmont (West Hollywood), Mondrian (West Hollywood), The Beverly Wilshire, Shutters on the Beach (Santa Monica), and The Ritz-Carlton (Marina del Rey). Rates start at $350 and go up considerably, depending on the season and room or suite type.

Shop
If you want to give your credit cards a major workout, you’ll definitely want to shop along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, where you’ll find boutiques and flagship stores operated by major designers. Another hotspot for fashion is Fred Segal in West Hollywood, while celebrities and socialites often shop at Kitson LA in Los Angeles.

For the ultimate in trendy attire, there’s no better place to shop than along Melrose Avenue. However, two extremely popular outdoor shopping centers that attract celebrities and tourists alike are The Grove and Hollywood & Highland (called "H and H" by the locals, ). In Santa Monica, the Third Street Promenade is a wonderful outdoor shopping and dining destination located within a few blocks of the ocean.

Crossroads Trading Company in Hollywood and Santa Monica sells like-new, second-hand designer label clothing at a fraction of their original prices. This is a great place to find true clothing bargains.

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Local Attractions

Disneyland - This is the original theme park that Walt Disney created in 1955. It now includes the Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure theme parks, multiple resort hotels, dozens of restaurants, plus the Downtown Disney shopping and dining area. There are literally hundreds of inexpensive hotels and motels, plus chain restaurants surrounding Disneyland, in Anaheim, which is located about one hour from Downtown Los Angeles.

Getty Center - The Getty houses a vast collection of artwork from around the world, featuring some of the world’s most prominent artists. It’s one of the most popular museums in the LA area. The Getty also offers guests a wonderful garden and view of the city on a clear day. There are two locations (one in LA, and one in nearby Malibu).

Hollywood Blvd. / Hollywood Walk of Fame - Located along Hollywood Blvd., you’ll find shops, the Hollywood & Highland mall, the historic Mann’s Chinese Theatre, The Kodak Theatre, plus dozens of popular attractions, including the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum and the Max Factor museum, as well as the world famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. To find your favorite celebrity’s star, visit www.hollywoodchamber.net.

Universal Studios Hollywood - Universal Studios Hollywood is both a working television and motion picture studio, plus a family-friendly theme park that features rides, shows and attractions based on TV shows and movies. The adjacent Universal CityWalk area offers restaurants, shops and movie theatres.

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Must See Sights

See The Stars
The Los Angeles area is where many of your favorite celebrities live and work. So, seeing popular celebrities from television, movies and the recording industry shopping, dining and enjoying the area’s nightlife is extremely common.

Many of the popular studios, including Universal Studios Hollywood, Paramount Studios and Warner Brothers Studios, offer guided tours, plus you can participate in guided van tours (from companies like StarLine Tours, www.starlinetours.com), which takes you to see many celebrity homes.

If you want to be a studio audience member, tickets to television sit-coms, game shows and talk shows that film in Los Angeles are free. Find out what shows you can reserve tickets for by visiting HollywoodTickets.com, tvtix.com or tvtickets.com.

The Beach
Miles of public beaches line the Los Angeles shoreline. Santa Monica is a great family-friendly beach, complete with a boardwalk (the Santa Monica Pier) with carnival-style rides and games. The beaches in Malibu tend to attract tourists as well as surfers, while Venice Beach is an amazing place to enjoy the sun and people watch. Los Angeles’ popular South Bay beaches are also very family-friendly.

At many of the public beaches, you can rent bicycles or in-like skates, be entertained by street performers, and enjoy low-cost foods (like burgers, pizza and ice cream) purchased from nearby concession stands.

Lifeguards are on duty at many of the Los Angeles beaches (although it’s not really like what you saw on the hit TV show Baywatch). You will, however, share the sand with plenty of beautiful people.

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Insider Tips

  • During rush hour, between 7:30 am to 9:00 am, and again between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm every weekday, expect to encounter serious traffic on all of the LA area’s freeways, especially the 101, 5 and 405. Plan on doubling or tripling your anticipated travel time. Even during off-peak periods, Los Angeles is often plagued by heavy traffic, so plan accordingly.
  • The Los Angeles area is very spread out and encompasses a large area. Either rent a car with a GPS system, or bring your own portable GPS from home, and plan to rely on it heavily as you explore the area.
  • If you are traveling from the beach areas inland, such as Downtown Los Angeles, the Valley, Anaheim or Pasadena, for example, keep in mind that the temperatures can vary by 20 degrees, so pack accordingly.
  • Some of the best places to see celebrities are at The Grove shopping center, along Rodeo Drive (at Mr. Chow or Spago’s restaurants), shopping at Fred Segal, or at the bar/lounge located in the Chateau Marmont hotel.
  • LAX really is a busy airport. Arrive at least two hours prior to your scheduled departure time, especially if you need to return a rental car, and then check luggage with your airline. TSA security lines also tend to be long.
  • When exploring Los Angeles, pay careful attention to crosswalks, parking rules, traffic lights (many of which are equipped with cameras for photo enforcement), and speed limits. The police strictly enforce all of its traffic laws and moving violation fines are hefty.
  • The LA area’s nightclubs, bars and lounges are legendary. However, the true "hot spots" change as frequently as celebrities go in and out of rehab, so ask your hotel’s concierge for recommendations, based on the night of the week you plan to go out. Be sure that you dress to impress, and plan on spending $5 to $15 or more per cocktail.
  • For help planning your trip, visit the Los Angeles Convention & Visitor’s Bureau website. Here you’ll find information about special events, plus all of the attractions, tours and sights worth seeing. You can also get dining and hotel recommendations.

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Getting Around
Without a doubt, you’ll want to rent a car with a GPS system to get around the Los Angeles area. Taxis are available, but they’re expensive and must be called in advance - unlike New York City, you can’t simply hail a taxi in LA. Limited mass transit is available, but isn’t convenient and typically is not used by tourists, especially at night.

Visitors best bets are to rent a car from one of the many rental agencies, all have booths at LAX (Avis, 800/831-2847, Enterprise 800/736-8222, Hertz 800/654-3131, or National 800/328-4567).

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More on Los Angeles

Motels in Los Angeles

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