Learn more about this great destination and what it has to offer. Choose a section below for information on the area, including history and transportation details.
Los Angeles Guide
People either love it or hate it—but no matter what, Los Angeles makes no excuses and changes itself for no one. And you've got to admire that. Made up of dozens of communities, there is not one single experience that can sum up the life and heartbeat of this city. But what can be noted about Los Angeles by both tourists and locals alike is the hustle-and-bustle lifestyle, the vibrant and unique neighborhoods, and the extreme diversity that sets it apart from any other city. From the eternal sunshine and Hollywood glitz to all the small communities with their own distinct cultural personalities, this City of Angels will forever be many things to many people.
While not exactly in the center of town geographically due to the sprawling nature of the city,
The Miracle Mile/Hancock Park area is another of L.A.'s historical neighborhoods. Here you will find Wilshire Boulevard's
Ritzy West Hollywood is home to one of the city's most famous (or infamous) attractions: the
Beverly Hills & the Westside
This world-famous city with its world-famous zip code is synonymous with wealth, status, and celebrity. The understated elegance and grace of the residential neighborhoods are balanced out by
Santa Monica & Bay Cities
Back in the heyday of Route 66, Santa Monica was the end of the line. Today, this beachfront community offers the best in entertainment for all ages on its famous
The motto of the coastal community of Malibu is "27 miles of scenic beauty"—and that just about describes it best. The main attraction here is the drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, which takes you past beach after beach on one side of the road and million-dollar hilltop estates on the other. Make sure you have plenty of film and sunscreen. Even at night, the stars just seem brighter.
Venice, just south of Santa Monica, is the city's home to all things eclectic and many things downright bizarre. This small, artsy beach town offers one of the greatest collections of cafés, bars, galleries, antiques and one-of-a-kind shops around. Weekend afternoons on the boardwalk are definitely a memorable experience for any visitor to the city.
San Fernando Valley
On the other side of the Hollywood Hills sits "The Valley," as known by locals. It features a seemingly endless sea of suburban cul-de-sacs, strip malls, funky shops and restaurants. Hollywood makes its presence known in the cities of Burbank and Universal City, which are home to Warner Bros. Studio and
South Central & Compton
Although the South Central neighborhood of Crenshaw gained worldwide publicity as the center of the infamous 1992 riots, this area is rich in history and culture. South Central is also home to famous Los Angeles landmarks such as the
Long Beach & the South Bay
Long Beach is a fairly large city in its own right and is a neighbor to the well-known district of Orange County. Aside from a plethora of shopping and dining options, this beach community is perhaps best known for the
The South Bay is made up of smaller beach towns and quiet neighborhoods such as
Pasadena & Points East
Pasadena is one of the most prominent communities in the entire state of California.
East L.A., as evidenced by its name, forms the eastern edge of the city and is a great example of a neighborhood rich in cultural expression.
LAX & Inglewood
Inglewood features a wide variety of restaurants, music and sports venues. Here you will find the
California's earliest residents were Native Americans. Prior to the mid-18th Century, several native peoples dominated the area, most notably those from the Tongva nation.
The earliest key date in the development of Los Angeles is August 2, 1769. It was on that afternoon that a group of Spanish explorers from the east, led by Juan Crespi and Captain Gaspar de Portola, entered what came to be known as Los Angeles in the area around
Throughout the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, Los Angeles was only a small farm town that remained part of Mexico, until the Mexican-American War. On March 9th, 1842, Francisco Lopez discovered gold in the Santa Clarita Valley, and by 1845, U.S. troops began battling for control of California. On January 9, 1847, Commodore Stockton recaptured Los Angeles for the third and final time, and just days later Mexican general Andres Pico surrendered California to U.S. General John Fremont. A subsequent boundary dispute ensued as to where the borders of the city and county should be. But on April 4, 1850, the city of Los Angeles was incorporated, with California officially entering the union five months later.
The late 1800s and early 1900s saw Los Angeles grow exponentially. One reason for this was the railroads, which finally reached Los Angeles from the East. The railroads resulted in a major expansion of economy and population, as evidenced by the fact that L.A.'s population doubled in the last decade of the 1800s and tripled in the first decade of the 1900s. In 1913, William Mulholland built an aqueduct, which allowed water to be brought to Los Angeles from 200 miles north. This important event, coupled with the earlier railroad boom, is considered to be largely responsible for L.A.'s growth into a major population center.
By the 1920s, many industries were beginning to stake their claim in the city. The most popular of these industries was the budding film industry. Filmmakers from the East came to Southern California for its eternal sunshine and varied landscape. Where else in America could they find perfect weather and largely empty surrounding land, as well as mountains, lakes, forests and beaches all within an hour's drive? As movies and movie-making became more ingrained in American culture during the 1940s and 50s, millions began flocking to L.A. in hopes of becoming a star and striking it rich. By the mid-to-late 1950s, the population of L.A. had reached two million and appeared to be going nowhere but up.
As the city grew, more people meant more problems. In 1943, a clash between sailors, marines and local Hispanic gangs broke out, known as the Zoot Suit Riots. For several days and nights, downtown Los Angeles was transformed into a battle-zone. Although the riots were finally quelled by police, this would not be the last time the city witnessed large-scale urban unrest. Devastating race riots erupted in 1965 and again in 1992, after the Rodney King verdict, giving the city its reputation for being a hotbed of racial tensions. Riots, however, weren't the only problems that affected the history of Los Angeles. Runaway air pollution and the damage caused by several earthquakes—the largest and most memorable of which was the Northridge earthquake in 1994, with a total magnitude of 6.7—have also given the city its fair share of crises to deal with over the years. But with the 21st Century has come an increase in the improvement and gentrification of many parts of the city.
Certain things can always be trusted to thrive in L.A.: cultural diversity, beautiful weather, the well-known traffic on the 405 Freeway, and eager souls arriving each day to the City of Angels in search of their own piece of heaven.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
+1 310 646 5252
LAX is located 16 miles/26 kilometers from downtown.
LAX provides service to the following airlines:
Aeromexico ( +1 800 237 6639 / http://www.aeromexico.com/ )
Air New Zealand ( +1 800 262 1234 / http://www.airnewzealand.com/usa/ )
Airtran Airways ( +1 800 247 8726 / http://www.airtran.com/ )
American ( +1 800 433 7300 / http://www.aa.com/ )
Alaska Airlines ( +1 800 252 7522 / http://www.alaskaair.com/ )
British Airways ( +1 800 247 9297 / http://www.britishairways.com/ )
China Airlines ( +1 800 227 5118 / http://www.china-airlines.com/ )
Delta ( +1 800 221 1212 / http://www.delta.com/ )
Frontier ( +1 800 265 5505 / http://www.frontierairlines.com/ )
Hawaiian Airlines ( +1 800 367 5320 / http://www.hawaiianair.com/ )
Japan Airways ( +1 800 525 3663 / http://www.jal.co.jp/ )
Korean Airlines ( +1 800 438 5000 / http://www.koreanair.com/ )
Lufthansa ( +1 800 241 6522 / http://www.lufthansa-usa.com/ )
QANTAS ( +1 800 227 4500 / http://www.qantas.com.au/ )
Singapore Airlines ( +1 800 742 3333 / http://www.singaporeair.com/ )
Southwest ( +1 800 435 9792 / http://www.southwest.com/ )
Sun Country ( +1 800 359 6786 / http://www.suncountry.com/ )
United ( +1 800 241 6522 / http://www.ual.com/ )
US Airways ( +1 800 428 4322 / http://www.usairways.com/ )
Airport Map & Information: http://www.airguideonline.com/WIDirports/WIDirport_lax.htm
Airport Services: http://www.airguideonline.com/WIDirports/WIDirport_lax2.htm
Airport Transportation: http://www.airguideonline.com/WIDirports/WIDirport_lax3.htm
From the Airport
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Airport Parking Service:
Park 'N Fly at Park One ( +1 800 763 6895/ http://www.pnfnetwork.com/ )
A free shuttle bus service provides transportation from the airport to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bus Center ( +1 800 266 6883 / http://www.mta.net/ ). From there, city buses are available to serve the Los Angeles area. Other Public bus companies include Culver City Bus Lines ( +1 310 253 6500 ), Santa Monica Big Blue Bus ( +1 800 266 6883 ) and Torrance Transit ( +1 800 266 6883 ). The shuttle can be picked up under the LAX Shuttle & Airline Connections sign on the Lower/Arrival Level in front of each terminal.
Metropolitan Express ( +1 800 338 3898 ) is a bus service that provides transportation from LAX to downtown Los Angeles. Union Station/LAX FlyAway (+1 866 435 9529) is a 24-hour service that provides airport shuttle service from Union Station to LAX for a small fare.
The following companies provide taxis that can easily be located at the Lower/Arrival Level in front of each terminal:
Authorized Taxicab Supervision (ATS) ( +1 323 776 5324 )
Beverly Hills Cab Company ( +1 310 273 6611 )
Independent Taxi Owners Association ( +1 213 666 0040 )
Checker Cab ( +1 213 482 3456 )
Alamo ( +1 800 327 9633 / http://www.goalamo.com/ )
Avis ( +1 800 331 1212/ http://www.avis.com/ )
Budget ( +1 800 527 0700 / http://www.budget.com/ )
Dollar ( +1 800 800 4000 / http://www.dollar.com/ )
Enterprise ( +1 800 736 8222 / http://www.enterprise.com/ )
Hertz ( +1 800 654 3131 / http://www.hertz.com/ )
National ( +1 800 227 7368 / http://www.nationalcar.com/ )
Another attractive ground transportation option is Zipcar, which operates in certain U.S. cities. This new breed of rental car allows you to rent on an hourly basis rather than a daily basis. Be sure to register online before your trip.
Zipcar (+1 877 353 9227 / http://www.zipcar.com/)
Amtrak (+1 800 872 7245/ http://www.amtrak.com ), located at 800 North Alameda Street, provides service to Los Angeles via several national routes including Coast Starlight, Pacific Surfliner, Southwest Chief and Sunset Limited.
Greyhound ( +1 800 231 2222/ http://www.greyhound.com/ ) accesses Los Angeles from major cities around the country. The downtown bus station ( +1 213 629 8401 ), located at 1716 East 7th Street, is open 24 hours daily.
Approach Los Angeles from the east by Interstate 10, from the northeast and southwest by Interstate 5 and south via Interstate 5 and take Interstate 110 from the south.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (+ 1 800 266 6883 / http://www.metro.net ) provides local and express bus service throughout Los Angeles and to major surrounding attractions including Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood. Other services include the Green Line light rail and the Metro Red Line subway.
If rollin' like a celebrity is your wish, call on New Century Limo (+1 800 250 9434 / http://www.newcenturylimo.com).
To find out city traffic information go to http://www.traffic.com/
If traveling overseas, take the safety precaution of registering your trip at https://travelregistration.state.gov and for helpful, practical advice about traveling technicalities and safety standards check out http://travel.state.gov/.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a recommendation. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., is not responsible or liable for any errors or inaccuracies with respect to the information contained on this page.
Portions of above content, Copyright © 1999-2007 wcities.com. All Rights Reserved.