For me, Los Angeles is a huge metropolis sprawling with a sense of wonder and adventure. With distinct “neighbourhoods” and probably the most diverse foodie culture I’ve ever seen.
I’ve had the opportunity to visit the “City of Angels” a number of times over the past few years; and each time I’ve seen something new. If you’re travelling on business or leisure, here are some tips to make the most of your time in the area.
Where to stay
There are almost 1000 hotels in LA, ranging from the modest budget-friendly Best Western’s to the hip Loews on Santa Monica beach. Typically hotel prices can vary from as little as $130 to upwards of $400 a night; but always keep an eye out online (and on social) for special offers. Some of my favourite hotels are:
- JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE (Downtown LA)
- Sheraton Universal (Universal City/Hollywood)
- Le Meridien Delfina (Santa Monica)
Where to eat
As I said before, the foodie scene in LA is probably the most diverse that I’ve ever experienced. There’s everything from the A-list friendly healthy plates, to the (somewhat unhealthy) California institution that is In-N-Out Burger. It was pretty hard thinking of which ones to mention, but here’s a few which I love… and they love business travellers too.
- Del Frisco’s Grille (1551 Ocean Blvd, Santa Monica)
- Malibu Seafood (25653 Pacific Coast Hwy) – Ok it’s not in “LA” but it serves up the best Fish + Chips I’ve ever eaten.
- The Honor Bar (122 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills)
- Urth Cafe (Various locations) – Serving organic coffee and temptingly delicious treats.
Got a few emails to send? Most coffee-shops offer free WiFi and you’ll find one on almost every block. Literally.
What to do
When you’ve finished work, there are plenty of things to pass the time. From being a typical tourist and setting of on a sightseeing adventure, to meeting with the locals and catching a wave or two. Here are a few of my favourite things:
- Hire a car and take a scenic drive along the PCH or Mulholland Dr.
- Take a stroll along the beach and the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
- Change-up your wardrobe and take advantage of the many shopping outlets in the area.
- Love movies? Take a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood, or visit Warner Bros. in Burbank.
Another great tip is to look-out on the world wide web for special events. You might be able to score last-minute tickets to a TV show recording, meet other business-travellers over a pub quiz and so much more. I belong to a few groups on social media which is how I keep up-to-date with the latest happenings and learn about scheduled meet-ups.
If driving is not your thing, then don’t worry – there are other ways you can get around LA. Whether it means taking advantage of a ride-sharing service or even using a bus or Metro – it’s all pretty cost effective. Speaking of which, the Metro service from Downtown LA has just been extended to serve Santa Monica. Journey time from the city is around 46 minutes – sometimes you’ll find that beats the infamous LA traffic!
So there are just a few tips on how to make the most of your time in LA when travelling on business or even leisure. To be perfectly honest, they are all things I’ve done myself and had been recommended by friends before my trips. If you still need some ideas, it’s always worth asking the flight attendants as you make your way to the city too.
Are there any other things you could recommend for business-travellers who want to make the most of their time in Los Angeles? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.