On the previously mentioned California trip I took after college I also visited LA. After the trip my friend and I both felt like LA was a total let down and after that I wasn’t a huge fan. Looking back and knowing a little more about LA, I can say I’m sure that not being old enough to rent a car or knowing much about the city significantly contributed to how much fun we had.
Since then I’ve been back several times to stay with our friends there and it’s grown on me more every time. Strangely enough LA feels more relaxed than San Francisco which is something I really liked. And, there’s tons of creative stuff happening. Want a cool new restaurant? Or an obscure art store? Or a particular piece of mid-century furniture? You can get all that and more. There are lots a little pockets of cool stuff and it makes for some fun exploring.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit:
1. Rent a car – seriously. Do it. Everything in LA is really spread out and so hard to get to via public transportation. Even if you can get there without a car it’ll take you much longer than if you drove.
2. Plan strategically – this goes hand-in-hand with renting a car, but plan where and when you’re going around high traffic times. That’s another thing that’s made a recent visits so much better. Our friends know when to drive across town and when to stick close to home and avoid hitting the road. Do some research ahead of time about the busiest times.
3. Research your visit – because everything is spread out it helps to really know what you want to do before you go. Then you can look at where everything is and make sure you hit all the stuff in one area before going somewhere else. Plus, a lot of the best stuff in LA is a bit off the beaten path, so doing some deeper research will help you find even more of what you’re looking for.