Five things the tourist board doesn’t want you to know about Los Angeles

David Whitley July 21, 2015 Comments Off on Five things the tourist board doesn’t want you to know about Los Angeles

Star quality on the walk of fame, I'm sure you'll agree.

Star quality on the walk of fame, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Baywatch glossed over the often grim water quality of LA’s beaches – with the one at Malibu Pier having consistently gross bacteria counts. Most beaches are particularly bad after rain – check brc.healthebay.org before swimming or surfing.

 

The city likes to downplay its car-centric reputation – and public transport does cover much of the sprawl. But very, very slowly – it’s an hour by bus from Santa Monica to Hollywood. Stay close to the Red Metro line to reduce taxi dependence.

 

Beverly Hills is billed as the shopping hotspot, but it’s a giant outdoor mall of globally ubiquitous high end designers. Try strolling Montana Avenue in Santa Monica for classy individuality.

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BOOK YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

The following sites are usually my first port of call when booking a trip - so I recommend them as somewhere to start when booking your own holiday.
HOTELS: Hotels.com (£) or Agoda (£)
FLIGHTS: Skyscanner (£) Kayak or Roundtheworldflights.com
CAR HIRE: Car Rentals (£)
GUIDE BOOKS: Amazon (£)
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES: Viator (£)

 

Don’t expect to see too many stars in Hollywood – none of the studios are actually there. Try Burbank or Culver City instead – that’s where the mid-filming grazing goes on.

 

LA’s frequent smogfests reduce the much-vaunted city views from Runyon Canyon and the Hollywood Hills to disappointing greyness. Check the weather and save the hike for a clear day.

 

This was originally written for the Sunday Times Travel Magazine.

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