Los Angeles Visit the rich and famous in LA for less!

Always wanted to spot a celebrity dining out or visit Beverley Hills?  Los Angeles, one of the most famous cities in the world, has long drawn budding actors and singers in the hopes of finding fame. Los Angeles hotels abound so finding accommodation will never be a problem. In fact, there is so much choice that you will have a problem choosing one.

Where do you want to stay?

When to visit based on price

If there is any “best time” to visit Los Angeles for the best price deals, it’s between September and May. Besides that, make your reservations as early as possible before your planned visit.

Key attractions

Greater Los Angeles offers some of the most famous attractions in the world, with Disneyland, Universal Studios, Six Flags, Knott’s Berry Farm and more. Other attractions that qualify as fun are of course beautiful beaches, including Santa Monica, Malibu and Venice Beach.

Having fun

You can spend a day or more at each of the attractions like Disney and Universal Studios having nothing but fun. Try to get there when the gates open, and have your map and key attractions you want to visit circled. This way you can hit those first before the crowds arrive. If there are front of the line passes available, they are well worth the prices in time.
You’re a hop skip and a jump from Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard, and oh what fun it is. Take drive or public transportation and spend a day in the Hollywood area.
You can see id your hand or foot fits that of your favorite movie star on the “walk of fame”, or shop till you drop on the famous Rodeo Drive. Always keep your camera and or smartphone handy, because you never know who you will bump into in Hollywood.
You are also in Southern California, land of some of the best gold courses in the U.S., so for the golfer, why not hit the links.


For women, shopping in Los Angeles is the best activity you could possibly hope for. From the Fashion District in Downtown LA, to Robertson Blvd and Rodeo Drive is the weight of your purse is weighing you down and needs to be lightened. Some of the more popular shopping centers are Hollywood and Highland, The Grove and Beverly Square to name a few. If outlet stores are your pleasure, you’re in luck with a visit to Desert Hills, the Citadel Shops and Camarillo Outlets.


An excellent day excursion is to take the ferry out to Catalina Island for the day. With its quaint little town, shops, restaurants and quiet beaches, it’s a nice relaxing change from the city. For the Scuba Divers, there are some awesome kelp beds to dive off this island too.
You can spend the whole day, after the short drive, on the Santa Monica Pier. Fasten your seatbelt and get the thrill of old times on the historic wooden roller coaster. There’s plenty to keep you occupied from the aquarium, restaurants and of course, the sandy beaches.
If you leave early in the morning, you can spend an entire day in San Diego south of L.A. Popular attractions include the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, Sea World and the newer LEGOLAND in Carlsbad just north of San Diego. For San Diego beaches, there’s nothing quite like an afternoon in Del Mar. Another exciting adventure is taking a San Diego Harbor Cruise to view San Diego from the water. An added experience is visiting Coronado Island, and maybe getting a glimpse of the Navy Seals practicing maneuvers.
If you stay for the evening in San Diego, you’re in for quite the experience visiting downtowns “Gaslamp Quarter”. Choose from over 100 excellent restaurants within walking distance, from family friendly to music and drinking pubs for the adults.

Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel

Starting From


Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport

Starting From


Holiday Inn Los Angeles - LAX Airport

Starting From


La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham LAX

Starting From


Hilton Los Angeles Airport

Starting From


The Mayfair Hotel Los Angeles

Starting From


The Standard Downtown LA

Starting From


Hollywood Inn Express South

Starting From


Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles International Airport

Starting From


The Westin Los Angeles Airport

Starting From


Crowne Plaza Los Angeles - International Airport

Starting From


Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles Beverly Hills

Starting From


Using Public Transportation in Los Angeles

Making your way around Los Angeles can be a challenge as the city is a sprawling metropolis but it does not have to be expensive. Public transportation not only will get you where you want, but it will save you money and it will get you there in a timely fashion. All you have to do is figure out where you want to go and what you want to do in Los Angeles.

If you have decided to choose Los Angeles as a vacation destination you may or may not have already heard that either public transportation is non-existent or the complete opposite, public
transportation has been completely revitalized in the city. Both statements are somewhat true and somewhat false at the same time.
Public transportation has come a long way in Los Angeles yet it has a long way to go to rival the programs found in other major cities both in the United States and around the world. If we only consider bus routes you could say that you can get virtually anywhere with a bus pass and some patience. The real determining factor of progress is light rail and while Los Angles has begun to create a sprawling network of rail lines they do have their limitations.
However, with a little help you should be able to navigate the city on the train for a small price.
These days, getting to the attractions and sights in Los Angeles is much easier and very cheap if you use metro rail system.

Where To Go And What To Do Using The Rail System In Los Angeles (from Union Station):

Union Station is located in Downtown Los Angeles and is the central station from which to start your rail adventure in Los Angeles. From this point you can also catch a Flyaway bus
that will take you to and from the airport as well as Metrolink commuter trains that travel farther distances within Southern California.
If you are looking to travel to other cities, Amtrak runs from this point as well with destinations outside of the Southern California area.

The Red Line to Hollywood Walk of Fame – You have seen the sidewalks lined with stars that celebrate famous and not so famous people who have made a contribution to the history of Hollywood and you know you want to take a selfie alongside one of your favorites. This area of Hollywood along Hollywood Blvd is popular with tourists who visit the shops and museums as well as Grauman’s Chinese theatre where movie stars have placed their feet in the cement. (Now called TCL Chinese Theatre).
The rail line has a station at Hollywood and Highland in the middle of all the action.

The Blue Line to Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific – The Long Beach area boasts attractive beaches, nightlife and the Aquarium. Take a stroll around the area where boat excursions and walking tours can be found. The train ride is about 45 minutes from Union Station and the beach is a short walk away. The Aquarium of the Pacific is open daily and you can often find admission tickets deals on the web. Buy a ticket for the Los Angeles Zoo and The Aquarium and you get a discount on admission cost.
Don’t miss the Shark Lagoon and the Southern California gallery where you get a view of what the waters off the coast hold.

The Gold Line To Old Town Pasadena – Head to Pasadena and visit Norton Simon Museum and take a walk in Old Town Pasadena where restaurants, bars and shopping line Colorado Boulevard

The Red Line To L.A. LIVE – Located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles LA Live is home to the Staples Center where the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings Hockey Club play their home games as well as the Nokia Theater. Restaurants, bars and hotels line the plaza and the area is alive with nightlife that ranges from Club Nokia to the Conga Room to Lucky Strike Lanes.

From Union Station: Olvera Street, China Town, Little Tokyo and the Artist District all are within walking distance of Union Station and stops along the rail lines that begin at this spot.
Read More

Los Angeles – Exploring Griffith Park

Visitors to Los Angels rarely realize that Griffith Park exists. Sure, they might look up at the Hollywood sign and realize that it is up on a hill and plenty of people notice the foothills in the distance from the beach but Griffith Park is that Los Angeles Attraction that most visitors tend to ignore.

If you are a baseball fan you’ll head to Dodger Stadium and oddly enough it is located in Griffith Park. Funny thing is that if you enjoy the stars the Griffith Observatory is also in the park, as is the Zoo, a few golf courses, the Greek Theatre, the Gene Autry Museum and some of the best views of the city from some of the best hikes in Los Angeles.

Exploring this huge public park is free and if you consider just how much you can do it is a shame to ignore it any longer.

Things To See and Do in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park

Old Zoo Hiking Trail – These ruins of an abandoned zoo are peculiar in a way that old cities tend to have hidden treasures. The funny thing is that Los Angeles is not really that old and this zoo was not abandoned hundred of years ago. Regardless, it is a good spot for an afternoon hike and very easy to get to. There are more hikes in the immediate vicinity and the views from up above at Bee Rock are very impressive. In Griffith Park follow Crystal Springs Rd and turn west on Griffith Park Dr. near the Golf Course. You’ll look for the merry go round and the old zoo is located in a canyon west of the parking lot. You’ll see large play structure area, find parking and make your way to the west along a paved trail that will lead you to abandoned cages and old animal exhibits. Bring along a picnic and a camera.

Hollywood Sign trail – The name of the trail is the Hollyridge trail and the best way to get there is drive to the top of Beachwood drive. Once you get to the top of this street you’ll find parking and then you pretty much can follow the people walking to the sigh or the signs to the Hollywood sign. At times it may feel like you are walking in the opposite direction but just trust the crowd and you’ll soon get to the top of the hill and look out over Los Angels from behind the famous Hollywood sign. This is a great free attraction in Los Angels and it is free.

The LA Zoo – While this attraction s not free it does offer some value as you can spend an entire day roaming the exhibits and getting in some exercise at this large zoo situated in a canyon in Griffith Park. Years of renovations have converted this once aging attraction into a real tourist attraction with large enclosures that mimic the natural habitats of some of the animals on display.

The Greek Theatre – See a show under the stars in the middle of the park. Headliners perform here on a weekly basis and a show at the Greek Theatre can be memorable. Grab a picnic and eat in the park before you go into the venue and you’ll save money. If you don’t have tickets find a park bench and listen to the show for free.

Roosevelt, Wilson and Harding Golf Courses – If you want to get on the links three courses are situated in the Park. Roosevelt is a small 9 hole course and the most affordable, although each pf the courses are significantly less than major courses in most metropolitan areas. These golf courses do get crowded so prepare for a six hour round if you get there in the middle of the day.

The Griffith Observatory – This gem of an attraction is free and will surprise you with its quality. It recently was completely remodeled and the exhibits capture the excitement of the stars in such a fashion that you’ll be surprised that there is no fee charged. Make sure to take in the views of Los Angeles both day and night.
Read More

Mingle with the stars, visiting Hollywood, California

Recently while visiting Hollywood, I discovered there is more to just climbing a trail up to visit with the iconic “Hollywood” sign on top of the Hollywood Hills. This is after all, the entertainment capitol of the world you see. There’s entertainment on Hollywood Blvd. that won’t cost you a dime unless you decide its so good you just must tip! Street Performers are everywhere, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how really good they are. While visiting Hollywood, you should definitely plan on spending days walking Hollywood Blvd., meeting interesting characters, and you will find yourself in “selfie heaven”.

I’m sure most of the readers out there are very familiar with the all-familiar business in many tourist towns, The Wax Museums. Although many of these are just your basic tourist trap, the Hollywood Wax Museum is everything they are not. Go figure, why wouldn’t you expect the best from Hollywood? When you visit, be sure to bring your camera or smart phone, because photos with the like of Forrest Gump, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Edward Scissorhands await you. Trust us, you will swear that you are standing next to the real thing.
The fact is that West Hollywood is well known as “Walkable WeHo” for a reason, it is the most walkable city in the entire state of California. This equates to mega savings on your vacation, because if you fly into LAX and take shuttle or cab no vehicle rental needed. Top that with the hassles of parking and fees, and instead of driving for hours looking for parking, you can be relaxed and vacationing.
The great thing about this city, is within its 1.9 miles, you can walk Sunset Boulevard., stroll down Santa Monica Boulevard, dine at a café on Melrose Ave or visit the iconic Sunset Strip, all on foot.
Now we did say, “mingle with the stars”, and you have to be prepared at all times to bump into one. You never know whom you will find shopping or dining, but remember how upset you’ll be if Johnny Depp is standing next to you at a crosswalk, and you don’t have your camera!
While here you shouldn’t miss a visit to the Chinese Theater if not for a movie, to spend hours checking out the 200+ hand and footprints in the sidewalk of the “Stars”. It’s a pretty interesting way to spend some time, seeing if your prints will match your idols.
Of course the topping on the cake if this is your first time in Hollywood, is to visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Expect crowds but go with the anticipation of a fun experience. Strolling down the Walk at the Hollywood and La Brea Gateway, experiencing the brass stars embedded in “The Walk” is just part of the experience. The rest involves the many Lingerie stores, tattoo parlors and gift shops that seem to go on forever.
And then there’s “The Hollywood Sign”, seen from the boulevard, up in the Hollywood Hills. Everyone needs to walk the path and have a photo taken with this icon behind you. You can choose to take a guided tour or a shuttle to it, but you must visit this sight in person.
Read More

“Escape from L.A.” when you can’t take any more “busy”

Whether you are planning your first vacation to the City of Los Angeles, or your tenth, there will come a time when you say to yourself, “it’s time for a break”! Especially if you are coming from small town USA, the crowds, traffic and just all massiveness is bound to get to you. We are going to give you some suggestions for your escape plan that will release some of the pent up steam.
By far one of the most relaxing places nearby and one chosen by many who live in greater L.A. is a trip out to Catalina Island for the day. You can drive to or take a cab to the Long Beach ferry terminal and enjoy the peaceful journey out to the island, which takes about an hour. Once on Catalina you can walk the beaches, shop or just hand in a local bar or restaurant and enjoy a day of Island Life. If you are thinking of getting wet, you can snorkel or dive in the kelp beds or the National Underwater Preserve waters. You can also take a guided tour of the island wildlife, including bald eagles and wild buffalo.
So everyone has head of Palm Springs but have you ever been there? This is another possibility for a day trip. Leave in the early morning hours and in under two hours you’re there. Whether you are a golfer, want to hit a spa or one of the hot springs, or maybe a great restaurant, its here.

Another excellent day trip is down to San Diego and the pristine beaches there. You can rent a surfboard and jump the waves in Carlsbad, or maybe spend the day at the San Diego Zoo. If you brought you clubs along on vacation, bring them along and maybe get in a back 9 at the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course in Del Mar. If you left early in the morning and brought your passports you can jump over the boarder and visit Tijuana, Mexico for a cerveso and a couple fish tacos. Just mind your p’s and q’s down there and make sure to come back across the boarder before dark. Hot Tip: You should walk over the boarder, don’t take your car.
Another special adventure especially if you are in the Long Beach area is to visit the Historic British liner, the Queen Mary that is docked there. You an take an exciting tour of this magnificent vessel, getting behind the scene info and history by story telling guides. You can also book a room and actually stay in a stateroom overnight if you desire.
Down the coast a bit you can visit Santa Barbara and its iconic pier, for some shopping, a carnival ride or two, a hot dog, and some great people watching. There are some great little shops and this is a terrific destination to pick up some souvenirs. There are some excellent restaurants on the pier and in town for lunch or dinner is that dog isn’t so appealing. And don’t forget a selfie on the old Ferris wheel for those at home.
Then there’s Venice Beach, the historic old beach where bodybuilding became famous. Just finding an empty park bench along this iconic beachfront community and watching who or what walks by is a photographers dream. From colorful street performers to dangerously unclad skateboarders and hard-body weightlifters the entertainment is unlimited.
Read More

Best of Los Angeles for summer adult vacations

If you are planning a summer vacation in beautiful Los Angeles, California, congrats to you, you’re hitting the best time of year. Sure, anytime is a great time to visit this vibrant city, but summer just shines brighter. Read on to get idea’s on some of the best see and do in L.A, and maybe save some of your hard earned money at the same time.
Los Angeles is well known as not only the movie capitol but also a music capitol as well. You would do well to check out one of the many sweet concerts during your visit. But, did you know that summer also brings many free outdoor concerts as well? Head to Downtown Los Angeles’s Grand Park at lunchtime and enjoy food from the food carts instead of expensive restaurants. After you grab some delicious treats spread a blanket down and enjoy a free summer afternoon concert. The program is called the noontime “Lunchtime” where local food trucks rotate attending the program every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am-2 pm.
Another awesome free event happens every Monday evening on Silver Lakes “Satellite stage. The exciting thing about this venue, id these bands are the “up and coming” stars of the music industry. Local L.A. music groups play for you, but don’t forget to get there early enough to catch the “opening” bands as well. Some of the top new bands play here, with names you should remember, like Tantrums and Fritz.

When visiting California from out of state, taking the opportunity to taste some of the famous as well as unknown wines from here is almost a must do. That being said, driving out of L.A. proper to visit any of the wine regions is time consuming, traffic frustrating, and probably defeating your purpose. Instead, why not take advantage of a couple of the local wine bars instead, for a sip or three?
May we suggest visiting Silver Lake Wine Store in the downtown Art’s District, a favorite of locals and visitors alike? They feature both domestic and European wines, and offer special tasting on weekends, with reservations. But wait, during the week there’s not much of a crown, with tastings Monday and Thursday all day.
Without a doubt the most famous and popular beach area in L.A. is Santa Monica, and if possible you should plan to spend a day there. Yes, summertime its pretty crowded, but well worth it. Be ready to take tons of photo’s with some of the best scenery in California, from the beach to the distant mountains.
After a quick dip you can head over to the Santa Monica Pier for a ride on the iconic Ferris wheel, visit the Aquarium or play a few games and win your mate a stuffed animal. Take a stroll south of the pier and visit the original “muscle beach” that Arnold made famous years ago. Still busy today, but more often occupied by “in-shape female gym chicks”, they give you quite the show as the work out.
At the end of the day, there’s nothing quite like a California sunset, on one of the rooftop bar/restaurants, enjoying a chilled cocktail, glass of wine or cold micro-brew.
The three most popular rooftop bars in L.A. include the High Rooftop Lounge featuring DJ’s and excellent views of the boardwalk below. Perch is a French Bistro that offers sunset views of the L.A. skyline. And then there’s the Rooftop Bar, where you can continue your party into the evening. Be sure to wear your bathing suit, with appropriate cover-up, because there’s a party pool here.
Read More

What you should know before heading to Los Angeles on vacation

I can tell you that after living in Southern California for many years, locals get used to the crowds, the highway backups for miles, the long lines at restaurant’s etc. But those are some of the things that just aggravate the first time visitor who come to vacation in the big city from rural America. Let’s take a look at what you should know in advance, and how to avoid these irritants.
You can begin eliminating the crowd and transportation issues upon arrival by looking into flying into the Long Beach Airport or John Wayne in Orange County. Sure, LAX has more flights into it, but it dumps you right in the middle of the mess that can be downtown L.A. and the highway exchange. Of course, if you get a flight in at Midnight, you will be comparably in heaven.
As far as the highways, no matter what time of day, evening during evening hours, traffic can be gridlocked, especially on the 405. You can also expect lots of construction and lane closures to further cause issues.

That’s why we highly suggest eliminating these frustrations by taking the Metro Rail from LAX to your hotel area if flying into LAX. If you need a vehicle rental for a day or two during your stay to visit outlying destinations, rent one. Most of the popular hotels in town have car rental booths in them. The fact is, taking the rail or public transportation is your best bet to eliminate all that frustration.
Although everyone out there believe it’s sunny and hot all year long in California, this really is a false belief. Even during the summer months, it may be sunny and in the 80’s in downtown L.A. but hitting the beaches is a whole different story. Yes, plan to work on your tan at noon, but temperatures do dip in late afternoon, even in the summer. Arrive in late summer and you may just welcome in “June Gloom” and never see the sun during your stay. Another fact to keep in mind is the fact the waters are cold.
If you have done any kind of research you already know everything in Los Angeles is expensive, right? Wrong! In fact you can find lots of choices that are exciting and much cheaper than one might expect.
Take for instance dining out. Surly in L.A. you really don’t expect to see tons of celebrity stars in restaurants, but wait, we can offer you a good shot, but it will cost. If that’s on your “bucket list”, make reservations at Fig & Olive or The Palm in West Hollywood.
Getting back to eating more on a lower budget, let’s check out what the average L.A. locals do for lunch and even dinner. Both in Venice Beach as well as Santa Monica you will find tons of ever-popular “Food Trucks” lining the streets. Choices range from standard hot dogs, to awesome tasty taco variations.
Top Taco Suggestion: When you can find it, try a “beef tongue taco”.
That may not trip your trigger, but if it doesn’t, grab a fresh fish taco because this is where you get the very best.
The bottom line is try to do all the planning before you arrive, like what area’s you absolutely must visit, what you want to see and do. You can plan to hit the Steel Pier, Santa Monica Pier and Muscle Beach, all in a day. However, this is a massive city, so keep in mind, you can’t see everything in a week, which just begs for a return visit.
Read More

Wild adventures during your Los Angeles Vacation

Whether you have visited L.A. in the past or not, visiting the most popular attractions is just something you must do. Alcatraz Island, Disney, Hollywood,
Just to name a few. But there are some other places to visit that may not make your top 10 lists, but should.
One of the most beautiful and relaxing places to visit when in Las Angeles and need a day or more out of the big city is Catalina Island. This is a popular getaway for those living in L.A., and surprisingly, there are many residents that have never experienced this close channel island. You can take the one hour Catalina Express Ferry round trip to the island.
For those rolling in money”, you can also take a private plane or helicopter out to the island arriving in about fifteen minutes.

Hot summer tip: Get discount tickets for the ferry at Costco.
You can pick up the ferry to Avalon in San Pedro, Dana Point, Marina Del Ray, Long Beach and Newport Beach, depending on where you are staying.
The beauty of visiting this peaceful island is that all transportation I by foot, bikes golf carts, trolley or taxi. If you want to bring your car, put it on the wait list, which at this time is about fourteen years.
Ready to “get wild”? How about going on a guided snorkel or dive trip into the Casino Point Dive Park? There are some of the most beautiful kelp bed dives off the coast with fish galore, including colorful Garibaldi. You can get up close and personal with bass, rays, blacksmith and much more. For Certified Divers, the experience is awesome, with a great shipwreck on the south side of the casino point at about 90 feet. Most times expect 50-60 ft. visibility.
Other excitement on this summer vacationland island include zip-lining, high-speed yachting, awesome food and pubs, and ever popular “late night bar crawling”.
Have you ever heard of the Queen Mary? Did you know it is docked in Long Beach?
You can board her and take a guided tour aboard the 1950’s ocean liner that served as a troopship in her day. Today she is known as “the haunted ship, mainly for paranormal activities aboard. We highly suggest taking one of the evenings “Twilight Tours” that will introduce you to some of those still living on this vessel from beyond. You can take the Twilight Tour, Paranormal Ship Walk, Paranormal Investigation Tour, or for the truly brave, the Dining with the Spirits”, and we aren’t talking alcohol.
If you are looking for a wild and also quite chilling place for that morning run, why not visit L.A.’s oldest cemetery, from back in the 19th Century. That’s right, Evergreen Cemetery of the final resting place for most of the people the city streets are named after. Names like Van Nuys, Bixby and Lankershimm to name a few. You’ll also notice many old actors, musicians, Mayors and decorated war veterans.
And yes, it’s quite popular as a jogging trail is actually cut through the cemetery, but we wouldn’t suggest piping music through your ears while you run.
Lastly, lets take a look at one of the weirdest places to have a picnic lunch, ever!
The original Los Angeles Zoo build in Griffith Park back in 1912 was abandoned in 1966 when the new L.A. Zoo was built and opened. Here is your opportunity to experience life as those 15 caged animals did. The original cave enclosures have been “updated” with picnic tables and grills, for your picnic / barbeque pleasure.
Picnic in the “bear grotto” or climb around the monkey enclosure. It may all seem a bit weird, but it is fairly popular today.
Read More

Fun “off the wall” ideas for your Los Angeles Vacation

L.A is just one of those busy cities that attracts millions of vacationers every year, and mostly to the same old places. Universal Studios, Disneyland, Hollywood Walk of Fame, come on, why be so boring? Lets take a look at other sort of popular or not places that can bring some excitement into your vacation this year, and maybe even some awesome stories and pics.
Lets start with a day on Venice Beach, well known for its weird characters walking about with body jewelry, tattoos and of course bulging biceps and butts! Just to sit on a bench and watch who comes walking past while you sip a latè is just a hoot!

The eccentric atmosphere of this sometimes-bizarre beach community is reflective of the old Haight Asbury area of the 60’s, but instead of painting on pants its on bodies. In fact, if you have ever wanted to get a tattoo, this area is well known for having some excellent artists, as well a places that specialize in removing them, on TV! While there you must check out the “hard bodies” on Muscle Beach of course, and keep in mind, there are as many ladies as men these days.
Hot Tip: Get your eats at the Figtree’s Café.
For the couple looking for a little quiet romantic time of un-crowded granules of sand and surf, take a drive to Leo Carrillo State Park. You definitely won’t find the party animals of Venice Beach, or riff-raft hanging around here. In fact, there’s almost 1.5 miles of un-crowded beautiful beaches available to you. If you have always wanted to try surfing, this is your place, especially if you don’t want crowds gawking at you. For just that reason, years ago I took my long board many times to this beach, and you can rent one and do the same. The main attraction to you, and probably me is the mellow waves that usually don’t get higher than your chest.
There are also some nice trails to explore, as well as tide-pools that can hold some interesting creatures.
Now for some of the “off the wall” adventures I promised. One of the things I usually tell people visiting this city especially with small children is visit the zoo. For you I have something really special to do instead. How about discovering the Abandoned Old Zoo at Griffin Park? That’s right, abandoned when the new zoo opened; it sat for years, growing over with vines and whatever. It still has the original cages, like the monkey house, where today, a picnic table has been placed. What a perfect way to experience what the animals did, and enjoy a picnic lunch and peaceful walkabout too.
For the history buffs, how about visiting the site where the famous people that have their names on street signs now rest? Visit Los Angeles’s oldest cemetery. This cemetery is full of religious leaders, mayors, actors and actresses, musicians and more.
Lastly I will give you a roadmap to an adventure not many realize exists in L.A. Put on your jeans and walking shoes and head over to Temple Street, and the Hall of Records. In the back of the building there’s an easy to miss elevator that will take you below the city to the underground tunnels of Los Angeles. These are still there from the days of Prohibition, some eleven miles of tunnels. There were little bars selling hooch (supplied by the Mayor’s office staff” available for purchase. Don’t go alone, but see if you can find some other adventurous visitors to join you.

Read More

Check out some of the best Day Trips from Los Angeles, California

Lets face it, after a few days of fighting crowds in L.A., elbow to elbow at local attractions and trying to fins a parking space, and bumper-to-bumper traffic, maybe its time to get out of town. There are many excellent sights and sounds to visit, many under an hour’s journey by car or boat, some a bit farther but worth the trip, so lets take a look.
Stroll the 21 miles of beaches of the famous Malibu beach town located just thirty-three miles from downtown L.A. Here you can enjoy the views that Hollywood stars have enjoyed for decades, and many have homes on the cliffs above. Malibu is well known for it’s surfing because of the super waves created by the shoreline. Its still a great place to spread your blanket, get some sun, and enjoy the view and surfers. Beware that these beaches really aren’t good for swimming, but still a great outing.

The three beaches include the Malibu Lagoon State Beach, famous for surfing, Zuma Beach with pure white sand, and El Matador where you can examine its sea caves.
Another excellent choice for day tripping is visiting Balboa Island, which is under an hour away in Newport Beach area. Drive down and take the ferry over to the island, where it will unload you near the famous Ferris wheel. This seaport town is perfect for relaxing and strolling the town’s streets, checking out local shops and some very excellent restaurants. There’s a calm sandy beach for sunning and beach picnics. If you want to experience something exciting and new, there are always sailing, jet ski rentals, paddleboarding and other water sports.
One of my personal favorites is taking the ferryboat out to Catalina Island for the day. You can take one from Newport Beach, Dana Point, San Pedro or Long Beach. Island life, pretty much on any island calms you down a few steps onto dry land. You’ll enjoy strolling the streets of Avalon, with its quaint hotels, restaurants and stores. This island is famous for its sunbathing community, hikers and bicyclists, all available to you. For active watersports, you can find paddleboarding, kayaking and snorkeling. For PADI certified divers, the underwater park is an excellent place to spread your bubbles.
No visit to Los Angeles is really complete without a visit to a town everyone has heard of, Hollywood. Whether you want to stroll Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame, or Sunset Boulevard with its fantastic nightlife, you will enjoy yourself. You can easily include any of these in a day visiting Universal Studios.
If visiting Los Angeles during the “gloomy season” you might want to head out to Palm Springs for the day, with its almost all year long sunshine. Golfers will have no excuse if they don’t play a round on one of it famous links. To truly get a look at the area, you just have to ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway up to the top of Mount San Jacinto.
Still another option, would be to drive down to Santa Barbara, which is a couple hour drive, but well worth it. This town, known as the “Riviera of the West”, offers its sandy beaches, golf courses as well as some fantastic restaurants. You can plan a day full of Channel Islands via sea kayaks, or head outside town for some wine sipping.
Traveling a bit farther down the coast brings you to another popular area, Carlsbad. Once known as a great place to surf and walk the beaches, it now if extremely popular to youngsters. The reason is the new LEGOLAND Complex. If you are vacationing with small children, they won’t be complaining about the drive if they know this is the destination.
Read More

Most popular L.A. Events to plan your vacation around

Planning a visit to Los Angeles can be quite exciting, and visiting the popular attractions like the millions of other visitors is part of the excitement. You may be visiting for the first time, or maybe your tenth, and want to experience some of the events that the local enjoy. Here are a few of the top events and festivals that you might want to experience.
Let’s start with the ever-popular Los Angeles Beer Festival held in the L.A. Center Studios on Saturday April 8th this year. This will be the 9th year this exciting sudsy event will happen, and with more than eighty breweries serving 200+ tasty malts, it’s a beer lover’s dream event. Doors open at 3 pm and close at 8 pm so get there early. Sip your suds, browse the food booths and enjoy the live music.

If you miss this beer event and are still looking for a “sudsy” experience, there’s always the Orange County Beer Festival; on May 6 every year.
Another exciting happening in the L.A. local this year is the much anticipated Orange County Fair, July 14th –August 13th.This offers you a whole month to target your vacation so you can attend this year. Not only do you get to enjoy the rides, food booths and events, you also get to enjoy some of the top entertainers from the music industry. This year’s artists include names like Kenny Loggins, The Band Perry, Huey Lewis, Steve Miller and the B-52’s to name a few.
And then there is the largest food and wine festival offered in Los Angeles, the LA Food and Wine offered for your sipping and munching pleasures. This event will occur August 25-28th, and will feature stars from the wine industry as well as the food industry. With top chef names like Emeril Lagasse, Robert Ervin, and Rick Bayless showing off their cooking skills, how could you go wrong?
Featuring over 100 international wineries and their best wines, make sure you have a designated driver, or better yet, take a cab home.
If you are planning your vacation at the end of October start planning now for your best Halloween costume, because you’ll be in the city offering the world’s biggest Halloween party, in West Hollywood. We are talking about the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval, or “WeHo”. This is one massive street party with at least 500,000 adults in various theme costumes walking the streets. Keep in mind, this is not a family event, but should be classified “adult only”. Not for the faint of heart, everyone is dressed to a “T” with outfits from movies to drag queens. This party begins around 11 pm on the 31st of October on Santa Monica Blvd. and officially ends on the streets around 11 pm, when it moves into the various bars. Keep in mind that that no bags are allowed, and that’s camera bags, backpacks etc. If you’re looking for a wild adult party, this is it, and expects lots of wild fun, and occasional “accidental nudity”.
On that same note, for those “Zombies” out there, or those interested in becoming one, we have an awesome event for you. The Long Beach Zombie Festival is a “deadly event” happening October 20-22nd this year at Rainbow Lagoon in Long Beach. Here’s you perfect opportunity to attend a free makeup zombie clinic and learn the choreography to the infamous “Thriller Video”. Attend “Zombie Flash Mob workshops”, and meet stars of the TV series, “Walking Dead”. You can enter the Zombification Zone, and get a free Zombie make-up by professionals. And one of the top destinations by all, is getting lost in the 3500 sq. ft. haunted maze.
Read More