It’s one of the world’s most iconic cities and the jewel in the crown of the Californian coast, but what makes Los Angeles so special? L.A. has an amazing cityscape, is surrounded by dense forests and has a fantastic beach and iconic neighbourhoods such as Hollywood, the epicentre of the film industry. It also has the same cosmopolitan feel as New York and San Francisco. With around 17 million people living here, you never know who you’re going to meet! L.A. is a good place to catch a show, watch a premiere or take in a sports game – American football, baseball and basketball are all huge over here. A trip to the beach is also worth considering as L.A. sits right on the Californian coast.
Even though LA is a difficult city to drive around at times, a small car makes it easier to drive in the central area. Given the low urban speed limit, you won’t need anything too powerful.
Driving in Los Angeles
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Traffic is a big problem in L.A. at times. The freeways can get clogged during rush hour, so it might be best to plan ahead if you want to drive.
There are two tourist information centres in L.A. – at the Hollywood & Highland Center and at Union Station. There are also kiosks at the Port of Los Angeles.
In some of the northern suburbs of L.A., it’s imperative to keep your doors and windows locked while driving, but driving here isn’t as harmful as you might think.
Highlights & Hotspots
The Getty Centre is one of the most impressive cultural venues in LA. Aside from being a great art gallery, it sits atop the Santa Monica Mountains, giving you great panoramic views of the entire city and the Californian coast. The rose gardens are worth a look, too.
The Page Museum at La Brea Discoveries on 5801 Wilshire Boulevard is a great place to explore ancient natural history. Fossils of mastodons, bison and even sabre-tooth cats are on display here. It’s a good place to escape the hubbub around Hollywood.
A visit to Hollywood is well worth your while for a variety of reasons the impressive theatre district, studio tours where you can see films and TV shows in production, guided tours of the area and curious venues such as the Hollywood Wax Museum all make Hollywood an intriguing part of town.
Sport is a big part of the city’s makeup. The Staples Center is a great place to watch basketball – the L.A. Lakers and L.A. Clippers both play here, while the Dodger Stadium is home to the Dodgers, the city’s main Major League Baseball team.
The main airport here is Los Angeles International Airport, known as LAX. Flights to and from destinations worldwide come here. The second busiest is LA/Ontario International Airport, which is based outside the LA Metropolitan area. Other airports are John Wayne Airport, Bob Hope Airport and Long Beach Airport.
To get to LAX, it‚Äôs accessible via Interstate 405 on Century Boulevard or Interstate 105 onto Sepulveda Boulevard. It is 16 miles from Downtown LA. LA/Ontario is near Interstates 10 and 15, as well as State Route 60, but is 38 miles from central LA.
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