From traffic jams to crowded beaches, here’s what travelers to L.A. shouldn’t do.

Even seasoned travelers can step into popular destinations like Los Angeles. Los Angeles typically receives more than 50 million tourists annually. There’s no wrong way to visit L.A., but here are some common mistakes travelers make when visiting the City of Angels and how to avoid them to get the most out of your trip.  

1. Underestimating Traffic

Visitors always seem surprised to learn that L.A.’s notorious traffic jams are worse, if not worse than they’ve heard. But the city has been ranked as the busiest in the United States for years, according to GPS navigation company TomTom.

Drivers lost an average of 101 hours (that’s 4 days, 5 hours!) in rush hour last year. So avoid the morning and evening drives around town and get inspired by Angelenos who know how to plan off-peak travel times. 

2. Trying to See the Entire City on One Trip

The City of Los Angeles is only about 500 square miles, but it encompasses Los Angeles County, where many of the area’s attractions are found, covering about 4,100 square miles and home to nearly 10 million residents.

It’s busy so don’t try to see everything in one visit. Not only will you spend more time in the car, but you’ll miss out on interesting areas if you drive past the highway. Instead, pick one or two areas of focus, such as: B. Downtown and East Side or Santa Monica and Venice. 

3. Renting a Car, or Not Renting a Car — It Depends..

If you plan to drive a few miles between different parts of the city, it’s a good idea to consider a rental car as an affordable means of transportation. When parking, read the road signs carefully as you don’t want to break your daily ticket budget. Ridesharing in L.A., on the other hand, is relatively cheap compared to other cities if you limit yourself to one side of the city. Depending on where you’re staying, you may be able to hop on and off on any of the 6 subway lines at 93 stations, with $7 or $25 1-day or 7-day passes available, respectively.  

4. Only Booking Flights to LAX

Los Angeles International Airport is the largest and busiest airport in Los Angeles, but it’s not the only option in the area. You may be able to find cheap flights to other airlines. “Be sure to check fares for all LA airports, not just LAX,” advises Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Airlines.

“According to Department of Transportation statistics, the average fare to nearby Burbank (BUR) is 12% lower than the average fare to LAX, and Long Beach (LGB) is 20% lower. Ontario (ONT) and Orange County (SNA) Average fares to are higher than to LAX, but can actually be cheaper on certain trips, so broaden your search.”  

5. Leaving Your Hiking Boots at Home

People may not walk Los Angeles, but Los Angeles County has more than 2,000 miles of public roads to hike for unparalleled panoramas of the city, hidden waterfalls and gentle meanders to beaches. increase.

“For great ocean views and spring wildflowers,” recommends Christina Parker, her AllTrails program manager for Solstice Canyon. “For those who want to get right out of town, Vasquez Rocks is a unique area with impressive rock formations and a chance to escape the crowds,” she says.She has compiled a list of curated hiking gems. rice field. 

6. Not Exploring Smaller Beaches

L.A. has 75 miles of coastline, many of which are wide, sandy public beaches. But not all beaches are the same. Enjoy the quirky characters on the Venice Boardwalk or join Santa in his volleyball game pick-up with his moniker.

But along Malibu’s coast, there are secluded beaches like the rock-encrusted El Matador State Beach and family-friendly Paradise Cove, as well as cliff-lined Avalon Cove with its vibrant tide pools. There are also beaches further south. 

7. Staying in L.A. for a Visit to Disneyland

Disneyland is only 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles, but it can take 90 minutes or more to traverse those 30 miles. If the purpose of your trip is to visit the ‘happiest place on earth’, book a nearby Anaheim hotel.

Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain are also good options if you have young children and want to avoid the mouse house. 

8. Skipping Smaller Neighborhoods

It is debatable whether Dorothy Parker, who lived in Los Angeles for 30 years, actually said that Los Angeles is “72 suburbs in search of one city.” Parker meant it as a thorn, but L.A. Today, according to her Times’ latest estimates, he’s staying away from the tourist traps and exploring lesser-known parts of the city. please give me.

For example, Angelino Heights is a mix of hipster hangouts and restored Victorian mansions near Dodger’s Stadium. Alongside Boystown’s brightly lit bars, West Hollywood is home to some of LA’s trendiest bistros and hip boutiques.  

9. Spending a Day on a Celebrity Tour

The Only Thing Worse Than Traffic in L.A. Touring celebrity homes sounds like fun, but chances are you’ll only see empty homes where celebrities lived decades ago. Please skip. 

10. Missing Out on Museums

You may come for the beaches and theme parks but don’t forget to visit some of LA’s finest museums. “Many museums in Los Angeles are both hands-on and cultural,” says Baxter Gaston, Traitor Tour Guide at Museum Hack.

“From the priceless artifacts and gardens of Malibu’s Getty Villa to the meticulously recreated ancient plans that almost exactly recreated the authentic Roman villa that existed near Pompeii, to the ornate grounds. and collections… from Huntington [Botanical] to Pasadena’s gardens, many Los Angeles museums offer unique and stunning settings in which to spend hours strolling, picnicking, and sipping a drink. ” 

12. Staying in a Huge Chain Hotel

L.A. has a sizeable share of Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott, including big names like The Beverly Hilton. “But staying in a more prestigious hotel is more fun,” says Jay Johnson, president of Coastline Travel Advisors, a Virtuoso member.

“The pools, views, and food are amazing and every hotel has a ‘cool’ factor. For example, the Beverly Hills Hotel is iconic and you meet celebrities every time you go to the Polo Lounge. If a client is looking for a small property and has kids, I recommend Shutters on the Beach because it’s close to Santa Monica He Pier with the Ferris Wheel and other attractions. ” 

13. Thinking You Can Hike Right Up to the Hollywood Sign

You might think you’ll be able to walk straight to Los Angeles’ most famous landmark thanks to the magic of cinema, but the Hollywood Sign is actually off-limits. “There are hiking trails in Griffith Park that take you close to the sign, but you are not permitted to hike directly over the sign,” said the man who oversees his PR and communications for his Hollywood Sign Trust.

RBI’s Diana explains his light. “The iconic sign sits on a steep hill, is barred from unauthorized access, and is monitored day and night. That said, there are plenty of great hiking trails with great views.” If you just need one, Wright recommends hiking along the fire road that follows the Griffith Park Observatory sign. “I see great views of the city and big white letters. It’s the perfect place to say ‘I did it’. ” 

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