California’s largest city is a sun-soaked metropolis leading the way in culture, media and business. Tourists book flights to Los Angeles with one goal: to see and be seen. The very thought of Los Angeles conjures thoughts of expensive cars, bikini-clad beaches, the best in fashion and the iconic Hollywood sign. Hopeful artists grab cheap plane tickets to Los Angeles or hitch a ride to the coast in hopes of making it big. It’s no wonder star-searching is the top tourist attraction in the City of Angels. Los Angeles trips give way to everything from top universities to top models and every person, place and thing in between. Whether your flight to Los Angeles is for an audition or an education, there’s many things to do in Los Angeles, California.
Los Angeles’s landmarks are instantly recognizable – the giant Hollywood sign in the hills, Disneyland, Mann’s Chinese Theater and the brass stars in the pavement along Hollywood Boulevard. LA might have a reputation for being superficial, but visitors will discover that it has a cultural heart. It boasts the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Centre, which has one of the greatest art collections in the world, and the Museum of Latin American Art, which shows contemporary Latino material. You can also visit the famous La Brea Tar Pits if fossils happen to be your thing.
The beaches are where the West-Coast vibe can be experienced and where the honed and toned work out. “South Bay” beach towns are beautiful and include Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach. Santa Monica Beach is also a popular place to catch some rays and people watch.
There are many more things to do in Los Angeles, too. Sports fans book Los Angeles flights to see the Los Angeles Lakers shoot hoops and cheer on MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers. Of course, Los Angeles is the world leader in producing major motion pictures, beloved television shows and hit music. While you’re here, dine on unique cuisine created by world-renowned chefs or spend like a celebrity in the many high end shops on Rodeo Drive. But don’t forget that the City of Angels is also dubbed “the city of dreams” — make a wish on your trip to Los Angeles and it just might come true. Every year, millions of tourists’ flock to LA to experience the diversity, beach life, museums and galleries, cutting-edge architecture, fantastic cuisine and sheer star power of this city. If you are planning on being one of them, read on for more tips for your trip to Los Angeles.
Los Angeles sees hot summers and cooler winters. Thanks to its position along the Pacific Ocean, tourists booking airline tickets to Los Angeles can be certain that good weather will follow year-round. Temperatures in the summer can reach well over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but this is also a high-tourist season. Travelers booking flights to Los Angeles during the summer should pack plenty of loose and comfortable clothing. Winter brings both comfortable, albeit cooler temperatures (around 65 degrees Fahrenheit) and rain is common.
Thanks to its pleasant weather and abundant rays of sunshine, Los Angeles is a year-round destination. While this is great for your holiday, it can make it difficult to find cheap flights to Los Angeles. In fact, certain times of the year can make it impossible to find a cheap flight to Los Angeles, such as during the Academy Awards which is usually held at the end of February or early March. Hundreds of people make their way to L.A to spot a glimpse of celebrities walking the red carpet, but events like these shoot up the prices. You will want to make sure you plan around major events such as this if you can help it. You can also visit on the 4th of July to catch the famous fireworks display. Again, you will definitely pay extra for your flight tickets but the experience can be very rewarding.
To find the cheapest flights to Los Angeles, plan to go around January. This is the rainy season and hotels and flights to Los Angeles are slightly reduced than other times of the year. Other than January there isn’t really an off season so don’t hold out expecting to find the cheapest flights to Los Angeles at a different point in the year. You might get lucky however and find a deal on a flight and discounted hotel rates during the summer months when the heat can get unbearable for many.
As with all flights, if you are flexible with your dates you are more likely to save money. If you want to find the cheapest flights to Los Angeles, it is recommended to book around 6 months in advance. If you can’t book that far in advance, then waiting until roughly seven weeks before should help you save some money off of the price of your flight to Los Angeles. That said, if you are planning to visit the Academy Awards for example, or want to experience Christmas in Los Angeles, make sure to get your flight tickets as far in advance as possible. Flights during holiday periods and major events very rarely drop in price so the sooner you book, the better. If you can, try to book seats on the right hand side of the plane. A lot of flights to Los Angeles tend to land from the east so the right hand side offers amazing views of the Los Angeles River, the Hollywood sign, downtown LA and the San Gabriel mountains. If you happen to be on a night flight to Los Angeles, either side of the plane will amaze you through the neon lights of the city.
With a number of direct flights, your trip to Los Angeles is quick and easy. Expect to spend just over five hours flying nonstop from New York. A flight from Dallas takes around three hours, a nonstop flight from Seattle is a little over two hours, and traveling to Los Angeles from Paris takes just under twelve hours.
Los Angeles International Airport ranks as the second largest airport in North America for passenger traffic. With so much traffic, it’s safe to say you have your choice of flights on all major carriers to your sunny SoCal destination. Choose from Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, United, Alaska Airlines, SkyWest, Virgin America and Spirit Airlines. International carriers include Asiana, China Airlines, KLM, Aeromexico, Korea Air Lines and Air New Zealand.
John Wayne Airport is a smaller scale option offering flights with limited international service. American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, United, WestJet and Alaska Airlines fly into John Wayne.
Pack shades and sunscreen for your LA adventure. The city is known for its sunny days and warm temperatures, especially in the summer months, so bring sleeveless tops, skirts, sundresses and shorts. Winter gets a bit chilly and rainy, so don’t forget long pants, a light jacket and an umbrella. If your travel plans include a trip to the beach, add swimwear, a floppy hat and a beach towel to your packing list. LA’s vibrant nightlife calls for an on-trend look for at least one of your outfits. Pack comfortable shoes for walking around town or hiking outside of town. Grab your camera and your phone charger, so you don’t miss any of the sights of the city.
Downtown LA is located a little less than 20 miles from LAX airport. The easiest and cheapest option is to get a free shuttle bus from the airport. Outside of arrivals you should take either shuttle G or C. C takes you to the Metro bus center and from there you can either continue on your way to downtown LA or if you’re staying in Hollywood or Santa Monica, you can find means of transport from here. Staying in downtown LA isn’t highly recommended as most of the nightlife and activities take place in other areas of the city. You can also jump in a taxi if you want convenient and fast travel from the airport, however the price won’t be cheap.
Los Angeles is so large and spread out that driving is the only way to get anywhere efficiently. Renting a car is your best option, and it’s one of the cheapest places in the country to do so. Don’t let the network of freeways scare you; you’ll be fine as long as you have a map or good directions. The city is very driver-friendly with wide streets and lots of parking. Rush hour is very crowded, and its best to avoid the freeways from 7 AM to 10 AM and 3 PM to 7 PM. If you’re not a driver, you can take the bus, but you’ll need to transfer several times and travel long distances, making bus travel extremely time-consuming. Avoid taking a bus late at night. The Metrorail consists of five subway lines that run frequently and quickly but only cover a small area of the city. Taxis are not advised, since the long distances rack up costs quickly.
Los Angeles supplies the party year-round thanks to mild winter temperatures. Options range from relaxing beach days to exciting sporting events and luxury shopping trips on Rodeo Drive. Of course you have your LA staples, including the Hollywood sign and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but there’s a lot more to the city than celebrities. A walking tour is an ideal way to soak in some of the urban architecture of the city, including plenty of Art Deco buildings. Don’t miss the historic theaters in Downtown LA.
Museum Row is a must-see if you want a cultural experience during your trip. Visit after dark to experience the famed Urban Light exhibit outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Another popular stop for people wanting more than celebrity sightings is the Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park.
If you’re visiting LA with kids, Disneyland is a natural option on your itinerary. Even an adults-only trip gets a cheerful boost from a visit to the happiest place on earth. It may bear the Disney name, but the Walt Disney Concert Hall is much different than Disneyland. Head to the modern, opulent venue to catch a performance from the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Outdoor lovers rejoice with the many beach and hiking options in the LA area. Head to Venice Beach for a glimpse at the eccentric side of LA. Grab a bite at one of many area restaurants, or find a spot on the boardwalk for people watching. The Santa Monica Pier is another family-friendly way to take in the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy games, rides and favorite boardwalk foods. Stick around to see an amazing sunset and the dazzling lights of the pier.
Los Angeles is great, but what about those times when you want to explore beyond the City of Angels? With so many airlines flying in and out of LAX, you have your choice of destinations, from tropical locales to historical treasures of Europe.
Check out the flight deals on these popular routes from Los Angeles:
Head to the airport early when you fly out of LAX. Getting to the airport from downtown LA can take an hour or more depending on the current traffic situation. If you’re heading to the airport from Irvine, Union Station, Van Nuys or Westwood, try the Flyaway shuttle service. The Metro Green Line is another easily accessible option with a free shuttle from LAX terminals.
For more detailed airport information, our Los Angeles airport guides include all the information you need to know before you go.