Los Angeles is the pinnacle of laid-back luxury. It’s no wonder this sprawling metropolis was the birthplace of American cinema; its gleaming beaches, sun-drenched streets, and mountain-dotted landscapes are enough to inspire a world of movie sets.
For the purest peek at the city’s silver-screen past, start your Los Angeles vacation in Hollywood. Here, you’ll be able to step into Marilyn Monroe’s footprints outside TCL Chinese Theatre, search for big names on the Walk of Fame or stroll through nearly 200 celebrity figures at the Hollywood Wax Museum. Tourists tend to focus their vacations on buzzy Sunset Boulevard, but in-the-know travelers make a beeline for the so-chic eateries and vintage boutiques lining both La Brea and Robertson. Los Angeles deals abound in this area, too, so consider booking a cheap hotel for easy access to the top sights.
You’ll find just as much California dreaming well beyond Hollywood’s borders, however. While you may not have time to explore each of the city’s nearly 100 neighborhoods, the best Los Angeles vacation packages let you cozy up to the cream of the crop. Venture to the newly revived downtown district to rub elbows with the trendy set at the Museum of Contemporary Art, or head to Beverly Hills to browse can’t-miss discounts at the chichi shops on Rodeo. Want a little inside advice? Check out off-the-beaten-path areas like Atwater Village and Silverlake. You’ll find the most innovative restaurants, cutting-edge art galleries, and alternative music venues perched along their palm-lined streets.
Of course, no trip to LA is complete without some beach time. Santa Monica is paradise for fun-loving families — the pier’s carnival games and sweet treats will keep even your littlest ones entertained — but there’s something especially magical about the eccentricity of Venice. Hop aboard a gondola for a ride through the canals, scope out Muscle Beach for some of the city’s best people watching, or explore the funky shops on Abbott Kinney Boulevard. The neighborhood is like a microcosm of Los Angeles travel itself; no matter where you base your holidays, there’s always something to see.