You'll never fall into the tourist traps when you travel with Frommer's. It's like having a friend show you around, taking you to the places locals like best. Our expert authors have already gone everywhere you might gothey've done the legwork for you, and they're not afraid to tell it like it is, saving you time and money. No other series offers candid reviews of so many hotels and restaurants in all price ranges. Every Frommer's Travel Guide is up-to-date, with exact prices for everything, dozens of color maps, and exciting coverage of sports, shopping, and nightlife. You'd be lost without us!
Completely updated every year (unlike most of the competition), Frommer's Los Angeles features gorgeous full-color photos of the sights and experiences that await you in the City of Angels. Frommer's hits all the highlights, from Hollywood to Malibu, and is on top of the latest developments in this ever-changing city. Our guide is simply much more complete and authoritative than its major competitor.
Our author, a lifelong resident, has checked out all the city's best hotels and restaurants in person, and offers honest opinions that will help you find the choices that suit your tastes and budget. You'll also get up-to-the-minute coverage of shopping and nightlife; fun features on everything from celebrity spotting to becoming a TV game-show contestant; in-depth coverage of all the best beaches; excellent maps; and side trips to Disneyland, Santa Barbara, and Palm Springs. Exploring L.A. has never been this fun! Frommer's Los Angeles also includes a free color fold-out map and an online directory that makes trip-planning a snap!
About the Author
About the Authors A native of Los Angeles and an avid traveler, antiques hound, and pop history enthusiast, Stephanie Avnet Yates believes that California is best seen from behind the wheel of a little red convertible. Stephanie has authored Frommer's San Diego and Frommer's Wonderful Weekends from Los Angeles, and cowritten Frommer's California, in addition to contributing to several other regional guidebooks and websites. Online, she can be reached directly at email@example.com. Cheryl Farr Leas (Accommodations chapter) was a senior editor at Frommer's before embarking on a freelance writing career. She also authors Frommer's New York City, New York City from $80 a Day, California For Dummies, and Hawaii For Dummies. You can write her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read an Excerpt
1 Frommer's Favorite L.A. Experiences
Driving Along the Coast: This has to be the quintessential Southern California activity-one that never loses its appeal, even for the natives. The ocean has a spirit all its own in every season of the year: August's respite from the glaring inland heat; January's surprise warmth under wide blue skies; March's gray, bleary, almost New England-like chill; and the first warm breezes of summer in June. Stop wherever catches your fancy-a Malibu cantina, a Santa Monica boutique, or a South Bay beach; your day along the shore can be whatever you make it.
Watching One of Your Favorite TV Sitcoms Being Taped: Alternately boring and fascinating, being in the audience is your chance to wander the soundstage, marvel at the cheesy three-wall sets that look so real on TV, and get an inside look at the bloopers that never make it to broadcast-and are often far more entertaining than the scripted dialogue.
Dining at Spago (or The Ivy, or Patina, or Matsuhisa): Less expensive than admission to Universal or Disneyland, dining at one of L.A.'s über-trendy A-list celebrity watering holes is an experience to be filed under "only in L.A." Hear dialogue straight out of The Player while eating fine food prepared for some of the world's pickiest eaters.
Going to the Getty Center: Everyone who comes to L.A. wants to visit this multifaceted cultural center looming large over the city. The ultramodern facility, more airy and inviting than it looks from below, features a museum housing the impressive art collection of deep-pocketed industrialist J. Paul Getty, a postmodern garden, and breathtaking views of L.A. A sleekly high-tech funicular whisks you from freeway level to this city in the clouds.
Paying Your Respects at the Cemetery of the Stars: Visit Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Karen Carpenter, and all their friends at Forest Lawn in Glendale. This palatial and often-garish "memorial park" was satirized by expatriate Brit Evelyn Waugh in his classic novel The Loved One.
Reliving Rebel Without a Cause: For a view of the city-and a film memory-without compare, head to Moderne masterpiece Griffith Observatory, virtually unchanged since the 1954 filming of scenes from James Dean's quintessential portrayal of youthful angst.
Going Gidget: This is, after all, L.A.-so get thee to a beach! Watch a volleyball tournament in Manhattan Beach, a bikini contest in Marina del Rey, or weight lifters doing their thing at Venice Beach. Surfers hang ten at Malibu, and families pitch umbrellas at Zuma.
Visiting the Happiest Place on Earth-Disneyland: Go on a weekday to avoid the crowds, or during the off-season, between January and April. The park's worldwide appeal is evident in the virtual United Nations of revelers traipsing between Adventureland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland; you'll hear lots of international voices without even having to endure "It's a Small World."
Spending a Day Downtown: Visit the cutting edge Museum of Contemporary Art, stop in for a snack at the bustling Grand Central Market, pick up some inexpensive Mexican handcrafts along colorful and historic Olvera Street, and have dim sum in Chinatown.
Taking a Specialty Tour of the City: You might think that guided tours are for the imagination-impaired, but consider the following: an L.A. Conservancy walking tour of Downtown's extravagant abandoned movie houses, their ornate glory intact; an "Insomniac's Tour" of builders, bakers, and farmers at work in the wee hours before the sun stirs the city; or an LA Bike Tours ride through the flat, landscaped streets of Beverly Hills, viewing the homes of the rich and famous (or just plain rich). If you're a do-it-yourselfer, see the Hollywood Homes driving tour in chapter 7.
Shopping 'til You Drop: You'll see "I'd Rather Be Shopping At Nordstrom" license-plate frames on Lexuses all over L.A., evidence that spending money is a major pastime here. Whether it's $5 vintage bowling shirts, $10, Beverly Hills baubles, or anything in between, you're sure to find it in L.A.'s cornucopia of consumerism. Even window-shopping doesn't get much better than kooky Melrose Avenue or tony Rodeo Drive.
Strolling Wilshire Boulevard's Museum Row: Natural history meets pop culture meets modern art with the La Brea Tar Pits, the Petersen Automobile Museum, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art all shoulder to shoulder in the heart of L.A. The only problem is that it's too much to see in 1 day! Pick your favorite for an in-depth visit, and just browse the bookstore/gift shops at the others.
Visiting Venice's Oceanfront Walk: In-line skate, or stroll along, taking in the human carnival around you; nosh on a Jody Maroni's haute dog; and pick up cheap sunglasses, silver jewelry, or ethnic garb, all while enjoying the wide beach, blue sea, and assorted performers along the boardwalk. You can even rent a bicycle and pedal along the bike path.
Taking a Gourmet Picnic to the Hollywood Bowl: What better way to spend an L.A. evening than under the stars with a bottle of wine and some naturally amplified entertainment? In addition to being the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Bowl hosts visiting performers ranging from chamber music quartets to jazz greats to folk humorists. The imposing white Frank Lloyd Wright-designed bandshell always elicits appreciative gasps from first-time Bowl-goers.
Cruising Mulholland Drive: Ogle the homes with million-dollar views, then pull over to catch the view yourself, particularly at night, when the lights of the city twinkle below. Canine lovers should stop by the dog park just west of Laurel Canyon Boulevard; ever since city parks tightened leash laws, many owners have been bringing their pooches to this doggie free-for-all nestled in the hills.
Table of Contents
List of Maps.
What's New in Los Angeles.
1. The Best of Los Angeles.
2. Planning a Trip to Los Angeles.
3. For Foreign Visitors.
4. Getting to Know Los Angeles.
5. Accommodations (Cheryl Farr Leas).
7. What to See & Do in Los Angeles.
9. Los Angeles After Dark.
10. Side Trips from Los Angeles.
Appendix: Useful Toll-Free Numbers & Websites.