The nation’s second largest city can be extremely intimidating to first, second, third, fourth time visitors – and so on. It takes one numerous visits to the city before one may start to feel comfortable.
The freeways are enormous, spread out, and often filled with many lanes of traffic. When traffic isn’t clogging the freeways, people drive especially fast. Major intersections are 3, 4 and 5 stack interchanges with many ‘moving’ parts. Before maps spoke to you and told you where to go, it was extremely difficult navigating freeways – often not known which side of the freeway to exit from and other pitfalls.
Visitors to Los Angeles should focus their efforts on one part of the city rather then trying to see it all. Los Angeles is spread out widely and it can easily take hours just to go from one side to the other.
And use these other suggestions wisely:
Bring a friend
This is especially helpful if driving. The freeways in Los Angeles generally have a 24/7 high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane for 2+ people per car. Some freeways have toll only lanes – this can be a significant time saving during certain times of the day, especially rush hour in the early mornings and late afternoons.
Visit lesser known attractions
Ideas here including kayaking the Los Angeles River. Visit eclectic places such as the Magic Castle (hint: stay at the affiliated hotel next door to get admission passes – otherwise one needs to know a member). Take a graffiti tour of the city. Start with the Graff Lab, a legal place for artist to showcase their grafitti.
Use the Metro
The Los Angeles Metro has developed greater covered in the 21st century and this is an affordable way to get around town. One can travel on the metro from downtown Union Station to places like Santa Monica and the beach or to several stops in Hollywood.
Visit during the slower season
The peak season for tourism in Los Angeles is in the summer. However, visit during the winter – ideally midweek in January or early February.