One of the biggest, and most popular, cities in all of America is Los Angeles, California. LA is home to deep cultural roots, lovely beaches, a vibrant nightlife and tons of attractions. There is no shortage of things to do and sites to see when in the capital of the western United States.
That being said, Los Angeles can be very overwhelming if you don’t know where to stay and what to do. Thankfully, there are some places to focus on and some places to avoid while in the city. Do you want to go celebrity hunting in Hollywood, or do you need to be by the beach? No matter what you want to accomplish while in LA, it can be achieved.
So, to make the most of your time in this extremely busy city, be sure to pick the right neighborhood for your needs. Here are five of the best places to stay while visiting Los Angeles!
To kick off the list, we are going to talk about West Hollywood. This is one of the more well-known neighborhoods of LA and is the stereotypical Hollywood that you may think of. A lot of the fancy shops and expensive nightclubs that might bring you to LA are located in West Hollywood.
This area wasn’t all it cracked up to be and just recently has been gentrified and revamped as a high-end part of Southern California. So, if nightlife is an important factor to you while on vacation, West Hollywood can satisfy those needs. Be sure to gather your friends and head out on the town to experience a true LA experience.
Some of the other cool features include the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, eating at one of the many fine-dining or Mexican restaurants, and so much more. To get a genuine LA experience, part of your time should be spent in West Hollywood.
Best place to stay in West Hollywood
Hotel Petit Ermitage. Address: 8822 Cynthia St, West Hollywood, CA 90069, USA.
Although Downtown La often gets overshadowed by Venice and Hollywood, there is the Arts District that has a lot to offer to its visitors. This is actually one of the more underrated spots in the city. What was once a haven for dreamers and up-and-coming artists is now partly that but also a nice area full of restaurants and cafes. In reality, this has become a melting pot of cultures and attractions as there is a little bit of everything here.
Even with all of the changes, there is still a thriving art scene that calls the Arts District home. When visiting, it is not hard to find huge art galleries or art-related events. This is a cool perk to the city and is worth checking out when in the area.
When venturing Downtown, be sure to visit some galleries, eat some fantastic food, and see a unique side of LA culture.
Best place to stay in Downtown LA
Hotel NoMad. Address: 649 South Olive Street, Downtown LA, Los Angeles, CA 90014, United States of America.
One of the more unique areas in LA is Venice. This is a place that just about every tourist finds themselves in at some point or another. However, most visitors quickly realize that this isn’t the nicest place to stay. What many people don’t realize is Venice is going through a major transformation and renovation. Venice is trying to drop the seedy, homeless vibe and become a hub for youth.
All of this considered, Venice has a beautiful beachfront and some nice accommodations. During the day, be sure to visit the famous Venice Beach boardwalk and take a dip into the Pacific Ocean. You can also walk along and enjoy the Venice Canals that snake through the neighborhood.
There is a much different side to Venice that meets the eye. Yes, there is the beach area that is a little sketchy, but there is a side that has beautiful architecture and public areas. Whether you choose to stay here or not, visiting Venice is a must while in LA.
Best place to stay in Venice, LA
The Rose Hotel Venice. Address: 15 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291, USA.
If going to LA is on your bucket list but you don’t necessarily want to be in the heart of the Hollywood business, Los Feliz is perfect. You can still be within a relatively short driving distance from the action, but this neighborhood is unique. What makes Los Feliz unique is its quiet charm that harbors a good mix of shops with natural features.
The area is lined with evergreen-filled hills and beautiful forests, while the streets still have awesome shops and cafes. So, you can avoid a lot of the noise and get to a part of LA to relax and just enjoy the local culture.
Part of that local culture is the food scene. Ricky’s Fish Tacos and Kismet are both very different food options, but they are wildly popular and spots for great food. Along with the traditional restaurants and cafes, there is an awesome food truck culture that takes place in Los Feliz. Be sure to get out of your comfort zone and try something new!
Best place to stay in Los Feliz
Hotel Silver Lake Pool & Inn. Address: 4141 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA 90029, United States of America.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Koreatown. This is one of the most bustling areas in all of LA. If traveling to Korea is a little bit out of your budget, visiting Koreatown will introduce you to that culture. This is a very action-packed neighborhood that harbors millions of visitors and locals every day.
A super popular Korean activity is attending a Korean Spa. These are famous spas that are engrained into the Korean culture. Wi Spa is a 24-hour location that is very well-known and has all of the Korean Spa amenities that you would want in an experience.
Another huge part of Koreatown’s identity is Korean BBQ. This is a style of cuisine that is popular around the world, but it is on full display in this area of Los Angeles. Park’s BBQ is probably one of the most famous of the Korean BBQ joints, but there are so many littered throughout K-Town. This is a must-visit experience when in LA.
Best place to stay in Koreatown
The Line Hotel. Address: 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010, USA.
Where travel critics stay in Los Angeles
Want to know where travel critics from publishers like The New York Times, Frommer’s, Fodor’s and Lonely Planet stay in Los Angeles? Check out our overview of all recommended hotels, hostels and B&Bs in Los Angeles.
“Stylish hostels are nothing new these days—but this Roman & Williams-designed space, which opened in summer 2017, takes the lowly genre to new levels. Worth it for the Downtown location, affordable rates, designer interiors, and rooftop bar/pool.” — CN Traveler.
Address: 416 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014, USA.
“For a nontraditional Los Angeles hotel, you really can’t go wrong with Mama Shelter. The friendly staff was a huge plus, as its infectious enthusiasm set a welcoming tone throughout the property.” — New York Times.
Address: 6500 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA.
“If you ever wondered what an East Hampton mansion would look like if it were conveniently placed on the Santa Monica coastline, this would be it. Shutters is a secretive hideaway, tucked behind the busy streets of Santa Monica.” — Fodor’s.
Address: 1 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405, USA.
Best things to do in Los Angeles
There are a lot of things to do in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, including day trips, attractions, museums, sightseeing tours and many other activities. Here’s our list of 3 things you should definitely do when you’re in and around Los Angeles:
Full-Day Iconic Sights of LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the Beaches and More
From the Hollywood sign to the celebrity mansions of Beverly Hills, Los Angles is so full of iconic sights it can be tricky to see them all. Price: $89. More info.
Los Angeles: Hollywood & Celebrity Homes Tour
See where the rich and famous hang out on a guided tour of Hollywood, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills by open-top bus. Discover the hot spots and celebrity homes of the world’s entertainment capital. Price: $37. More info.
Griffith Park Experience: Hollywood Hills Hike
Experience panoramic views of the Los Angeles skyline as you embark on a 3.5 mile (5.6 km) hike to one of the highest peaks in Griffith Park. Price: $39. More info.
Deciding where to stay in Los Angeles
As you can see, there are a lot of things to explore, and deciding where to stay in Los Angeles is important. Whether you stay in Arts District, West Hollywood, Los Feliz, Koreatown or Venice, all those neighborhoods are in good locations.
The atmosphere of the area, whether you travel for leisure or business, whether you travel with your family or friends, and proximity to the attractions you prefer to visit should probably be the deciding factors. Whatever your preference is, you’ll have a great stay in Los Angeles.
Check out our other guides about the best places to stay in Los Angeles: