You know what to expect when visiting Los Angeles: perennially sunny skies, palm trees and celebrities galore. But before you start exploring Hollywood, Venice Beach, Beverly Hills or other iconic SoCal spots, take in a few tips.
The best time to visit Los Angeles
People joke about the weather in Los Angeles perpetually being 70 degrees and sunny, and while the city does see some rainy days and legitimate boot-worthy temperatures, the climate is temperate for most of the year — which means L.A. is always an ideal location to visit.
Weather aside, we recommend that you plan your escape in the summer because there is no shortage of unique experiences to be had. From outdoor festivals, to pool parties and music everywhere, it’s the best time of year to visit the City of Angels.
What to pack for a trip to Los Angeles
Of course, you’ll need your swimsuit and suntan lotion for a jaunt along the Santa Monica shoreline, but pack layering pieces as well; the Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu beach towns can get chilly come evening.
Your best bet is to expect heat, so pack warm-weather duds, but be prepared for the occasional chill — you never know when a random rainy day will come along.
If you’ve planned a winter trip West, you’ll definitely want to bring a jacket and some long-sleeve pieces; L.A. may not get snow, but the temperature does dip down into the 40s during the colder months.
And no matter what time of year you plan your trip, you’ll want to read up on the latest-celebrity gossip and bring a camera; you never know what B-list (or C-list) celeb will be standing next to you at Urth Caffé.
Should visitors rent a car in Los Angeles?
The short answer is yes, especially if you want to experience all that Los Angeles has to offer — from exceptional restaurants and night spots in downtown, Hollywood and West Hollywood to shopping in Beverly Hills and beach fun in Santa Monica and Malibu.
Los Angeles is a sprawling metropolis — nothing is really within walking distance and it’s definitely not a “walkable” city like New York City or Chicago. So even though you’ll have traffic to contend with, renting a car is the best (and least stressful) way to explore L.A.
Public transportation in Los Angeles
Once a non-viable option to efficiently traverse the city, public transportation is vastly improving in Los Angeles. This is mainly due to L.A.’s subway/light rail, which now hits some of the city’s best attractions from Universal City to Hollywood, to downtown and Culver City.
But even with extensive improvements in recent years, L.A.’s metro isn’t as comprehensive as you would find in other big cities.
When locals and visitors want to get around without renting a car, some use the bus, which has a vast network of routes connecting the city, but most people rely on private forms of transportation: either by cabs or rideshare serves like Uber and Lyft.