West Hollywood: Best Central Location
Hollywood itself the main drag is a bit of a tourist trap, if were being honest. The Walk of Fame really isnt that cool, and its crowded and dirty. Plus, prices can be inflated, and you dont really get a feel for the city.
Instead of staying in Hollywood, we recommend staying in West Hollywood, which is a short walk away from all of the sights but has more of a residential feel to the neighborhood and is closer to some of the food, drinks, and other parts of LA that we love.
West Hollywood is also the best place to stay in LA for nightlife. Sunset Boulevard is home to some of the best clubs in the world, and Santa Monica Boulevard is home to a huge concentration of LGBTQ+ bars and clubs.
Pros and Cons of Staying in West Hollywood
Pros: West Hollywood is THE place to be after dark. Plus, its super central, particularly to the areas on the east side, but not too far away from places like Santa Monica.
Cons: Its loud and boisterous, so if youre looking for a quiet retreat, this aint it.
West Hollywood Highlights
Where to Stay in West Hollywood
West Hollywood has a nice balance of hotels that offer a great value, and hotels that are splurge-worthy and great for special occasions .
Andaz West Hollywood
Kimpton La Peer Hotel
Sunset Tower Hotel
The West Hollywood Edition
Where To Stay In Downtown La
- Hotel Figueroa Downtown Sultry and boutique style, with retro furniture, modern artwork, and an all-around eclectic but put-together style, the rooms at Hotel Figueroa are polished and match the 5-star rating. The building itself dates back to 1925, making it yet another slice of LA history. When it comes to amenities, you can sip on cocktails in one of two bars, swim in its stylish pool, dine next to the pool itself, and eat delicious Mediterranean food at the restaurant Its all here. Location-wise, the Grammy Museum and the landmark Staples Center are within walking distance.
- Hotel Indigo Within easy walking distance of the Staples Centre and boasting a whole lot of places to eat, drink and shop at in the local area, Hotel Indigo is also a hop, skip and a jump away from the nearest subway station. Featuring its own restaurant open all day two bars , and even a fitness center, this 4-star offering packs rooms that are sleek and stylish its all about minimalism and natural tones mixed with muted color pops and stylish furnishings.
How To Get Around Los Angeles
Now that weve covered the best places to stay in Los Angeles, lets talk about a trickier subject how to get around the city efficiently.
Frankly, Los Angeles isnt known for its public transportation. Theres even a running joke amongst the residents that itll take you 20 minutes to get anywhere in the county and by car.
Since driving is the most efficient way to get around the county, you may strongly want to consider renting a car or driving into LA as part of a road trip.
However, Los Angeles has been working hard to increase the number of public transit options that residents, commuters, and tourists can take to get around the city.
While the transit system might not be as good New York, or even San Francisco, in terms of convenience, public transit in LA has improved remarkably over the past few decades.
For the vast majority of public transport in LA, youre going to need a Metro TAP Card or cash.
If you go the route of the TAP Card, make sure that its compatible with the transportation method you plan to use. For example, a TAP card with only a Metro day pass wont work for the DASH buses, and vice versa.
So far, heres what Los Angeles has available:
Metro Buses: If you want to hop on the bus, rest assured that there is at least one out of the almost 200 bus routes available that will take you anywhere you need to go.
The Red Line is the most visitor-friendly, connecting you from Downtown LAs Union Station all the way to North Hollywood.
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Is La Safe For Tourists
LA welcomes all types. The good news is that Los Angeles is safe to visit. The high crime rates MIGHT alarm you, but in comparison to other big cities in the US, Los Angeles has the largest decline in crime of any major American city according to the FBI. Its the countrys 5th safest large city.
Tips To Find The Best Deals
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West Hollywood: Within Walking Distance Of The Stars
Finally, you can also look in the West Hollywood area, a stylish and glamorous neighborhood close to Beverly Hills and Bel Air that has great shopping, art, and of course, cinematic attractions. Also ideal if you are looking for an area with a lot of nightlife.
For an exclusive overnight stay, you may want to consider the Chateau Marmont at 8221 W. Sunset Blvd, a charming castle-style property suitable for an unforgettable honeymoon, for example, with art deco furniture, a large garden, and sophisticated decor.
If you travel by car, which we strongly recommended in our article on how to get around Los Angeles, youll be within a good distance from the main attractions: 25 minutes from Downtown and Santa Monica and 10 minutes from Universal Studios and Beverly Hills.
- Mondrian Los Angeles in West Hollywood: Located in an area full of very luxurious hotels, this beautiful 4-star hotel is up to par with the other hotels in the area, but it remains a little more accessible. The hotel has excellent rooms and is geared towards couples, however, it is not too family-friendly.
- Ramada Plaza West Hollywood Hotel and Suites: There are lower rates for this hotel, which offers spacious rooms at a good price. It has a great location between Hollywood and Santa Monica.
Find accommodations in West Hollywood
Long Beach: Young And Energetic
Long Beach is one of the beaches of Los Angeles most suitable for young people, since it combines the attractions of an important city with the vitality brought by the students of the nearby university, not to mention the long beach, which is a place suitable for practicing any type of beach or water sport.
The central area around Pine Avenue, which has many shops and restored homes, is a pleasant place to stay and is also well connected to downtown Los Angeles via the Blue Line. Long Beachs 2 main attractions are the Queen Mary, a 1930s flagship docked in the bay and transformed into a charming art deco hotel, and the Aquarium of the Pacific, which has a stunning display of marine life from around the world.
Another of Long Beachs main advantages is its proximity to Disneyland Park, which is just 40 minutes away. If you are interested in staying close to Disneyland Park, continue reading and you will find a paragraph about this. Here are some tips on where to find accommodations in the area:
Find accommodations in Long Beach
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Venice Beach Where To Stay In Los Angeles On A Budget
Venice Beach is the ideal spot if you want to experience some amazing California beaches and a very cool and fun atmosphere sounds like a great vacation place, right?
Venice Beach is one of the coolest and most interesting places for all kinds of tourists out there, especially if youre a bohemian interested in vintage things, but its also THE place to be for tourists traveling to the city on a budget. Youll find plenty of great hostels and dorm rooms here for as little as US$40-50, which will help you save some pennies for sure.
While youre in the neighborhood, make sure to take a walk on Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Main Street , soak in some California sun on Venice Beach , see the Mosaic Tile House, explore the Venice Canals by boat or simply relax and soak in the unique atmosphere.
One of the best things about Venice Beach is that its super walkable thats why I recommend exploring it as much as you can!
Where To Stay In Anaheim
Most of the Anaheim-area hotels where Disneyland is located are spread along Harbor Boulevard. A few of them are right across the street from the Disneyland Esplanade. The Esplanade connects Disneyland Park with Disney California Adventure Park. It’s a five-minute walk, making these locations as convenient as some of the Disneyland Resort hotels. Some offer family-friendly pools with waterslides, perfect for cooling off in the middle of the day before heading back to the parks, such as the Howard Johnson Anaheim or the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance. Many others along Harbor Boulevard are still within walking distance, and many offer shuttle service, such as Delta Hotels Anaheim Garden Grove. The Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim is one block from Disneyland and has a splash zone. The Pirate-themed suite can accommodate up to 8 guests.
Of course, Disneyland also has three on-site hotels that range in price and accommodations. Did you know that you can now book discount rooms for Disneyland hotels through Undercover Tourist? You can stay at the luxurious Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel with a special entrance right into Disney California Adventure Park! You can book the original Disneyland Hotel for as low as $406 a night. And Disney’s Paradise Pier offers beachin’ accommodations as low as $381 a night. All three on-site hotels are within walking distance of the parks, offer character dining and have pools with waterslides.
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Best Hotel In Venice Beach: Hotel Erwin
If you want to stay as close as possible to the beach, you cant find a better place than this stunning hotel. You have unrestricted views of the sea, beach and promenade from your private balcony. Theres also a massive rooftop where you can have a couple of drinks with your friends. In addition to that, you can also make use of the in-house bicycle rental or head to the gym with your day pass, which is included in your booking. If youre getting hungry but dont want to go out again, youll be happy to hear that the hotel has its own restaurant as well.
The Best Hotels In Santa Monica:
Views of the Pacific or downtown Santa Monica, plus lavishly appointed rooms make a stay at Hotel Shangri-La a great way to experience the city. The hotels maritime style is designed to emulate an ocean liners first-class staterooms.
1301 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401, 394-2791, shangrila-hotel.com
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Where To Stay In Los Angeles In The Heart Of Tinseltown
Visitors wanting to be in the heart of Hollywood will find an abundance of places to stay along Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, many of which cater to children and families, including the famed Beverly Hills Hotel.
The location is ideal for sightseeing. It’s near many of the most famed locations in Los Angeles, including Melrose Boulevard and Rodeo Drive, and the nearby Hollywood Walk of Fame. West Hollywood is also convenient to Universal Studios Hollywood in nearby Universal City.
There are closer accommodations to Universal Studios, including two mid-priced hotels on property that offer shuttle service: the Hilton Universal City and the Sheraton Universal Hotel. Both are a short walk to the entrance of Universal Studios and and CityWalk. The Sheraton is a little further away and down a steep hill.
Here are more helpful resources on where to stay in Los Angeles if you’re visiting Disneyland:
The Best La Neighborhood To Stay In For Nightlife: West Hollywood
The Sunset Strip, a nearly two-mile section of Sunset Boulevard passing through West Hollywood, has been known for music, entertainment and nightlife for nearly a hundred years. Live music clubs like The Troubador, Roxy, Whisky a Go-Go, comedy clubs including Laugh Factory, Comedy Store, and The Groundlings, and small theaters like Largo at the Coronet were the starting point for many popular entertainers. There are nightclubs, bars, lounges, and glitzy rooftops featuring music from retro to jazz to hip-hop. This LGBT-friendly area includes venues from casual to fancy as well as restaurants and boutiques.
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Hotels Vs Vacation Rentals In Los Angeles: Which To Choose
One thing I do want to touch on is vacation rentals in LA.
If you didnt already know, Los Angeles is in the midst of a full-fledged housing crisis, and while I wouldnt point to vacation rentals as the primary cause, theyre certainly a contributing factor.
I have mixed feelings about staying in vacation rentals in cities.
On one hand, as a traveler who has Celiac Disease and usually needs access to a kitchen, they are a godsend that has allowed me to travel to places that just would not have been easy to visit if I had to stay in a hotel, where I MIGHT get a mini-fridge.
On the other hand, in cities where theres a housing crisis driven by a lack of supply and surging demand , vacation rentals contributes to the problem by taking long term rental units off the market, since the landlord can usually make more money by renting it out for a weekend at a time.
There are certainly pros and cons to staying in vacation rentals. To be a responsible traveler in LA, our recommendation would be to choose hotels in Los Angeles. There are tons of great hotels, so youll have no problem finding an amazing place to stay.
Now that weve gotten that out of the way, lets talk about the best places to stay in Los Angeles.
Read more of our California travel guides to help you explore the Golden State, our home for over a decade now.
Where Not To Stay In Los Angeles
There are a few areas that youll want to steer clear of when it comes to staying in Los Angeles.
If you take a look at a map, in a very general sense, the most exciting destinations that youll want to check out are located within the areas from Downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica/Venice on the east and west, and Hollywood and Mid-Wilshire on the north and south. With that in mind, youll want to stay as close as possible to these areas.
Outside of the City Center
Some of the neighborhoods on the outskirts of the areas mentioned above are still fine places to stay, but you want to avoid straying too far away.
Staying in Malibu, Redondo Beach, Pasadena, or far north in the San Fernando Valley likely wont be the best options, as youll spend a lot of time in the car. Of course, use your own judgement here if you plan to spend your entire trip surfing and hiking in Malibu, then by all means, stay in Malibu!
Another area to avoid staying in is Hollywood. The image that people have in their head of Hollywood is a lot different than the reality of it. The center of Hollywood gets incredibly crowded with tourists especially during the summer and it definitely doesnt have the glamorous feel that a lot of people associate with it. On the outskirts of Hollywood, there are just apartments and homes nothing too exciting.
West Hollywood, on the other hand, makes a great home base thanks to its central location, which well get to in a second.
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North Of Hollywood Neighborhood/los Feliz
Los Feliz is a trendy neighborhood North East of the Hollywood area.
It is best known for having a young vibe and affordable amenities for both residents and tourists.
The best part is that it offers awesome proximity to attractions like Griffith Park with its amazing nature trails and facilities like easy access to the Hollywood/Western Subway Station and therefore the Metro network.
The PodShare Los Feliz is a truly unique experience for the budget traveler in Los Angeles.
The pods take shared-living to the next level with their unique concept which is a modern and classier take on backpacker hostels .
You get to enjoy a super comfortable bed with free Wi-Fi, laundry facilities as well as air conditioning and central heating.
The neighborhood has many low budget restaurants including Best Fish Taco in Ensenada. It is famous for the authentic homemade Mexican dishes from fresh guacamole to shrimp tacos.
Another good and affordable eatery to try while in Los Feliz would be All Time. This is a quaint little café that is perfect for those lazy morning brunches after a day of exploring LA.