Arriving in Los Angeles
- LAX airport
most tourists and visitors, Los Angeles is the gateway to California.
And the gateway to Los Angeles is LAX – "L-A-X" as
it is commonly
known – Los Angeles International Airport – one of the busiest airports
in the USA, and the place at which each year tens of millions of
visitors first set foot in the state of California.
It's a vast airport
with nine different terminals, so not the kind of place to get lost in.
The major US airlines have their own dedicated terminals, while most
non-US airlines apart from Air Canada use the Tom Bradley International
There are shuttle buses linking all the terminals
linking to the Los Angeles Metro Green line. There are also Flyaway
connecting with Downtown LA, Long Beach, Hollywood and Van Nuys; but
for most visitors to California the first port of call at LAX will be
the car hire facility at "C Lot", where most rental car companies have
their offices. Visitors are strongly recommended to book their rental
car at LAX before arrival.
thing needs to be made abundantly clear to international visitors
before they reach Los Angeles; that is that LA is not a city like
London or Paris or even New York, where you can just check into a hotel
and then spend a few days wandering on foot or taking a short bus ride
to visit the city's main attractions.
Visting LA on foot is out of the question. Doing so using
public transportation is possible, but will take time even if you have
a hotel in downtown LA; from downtown LA, you can get a metro train to
Hollywood, to Universal studios, to Long Beach, to Santa Monica and
(with a change) to LAX; but it's a twenty minute train ride from Union
station (downtown) to Universal Studios, and 45 - 50 minutes on the
blue line from downtown LA to Long Beach.
Staying in downtown LA and using taxis or public
transportation to visit some of the city's attractions is fine, if you
are flying in and flying out for just a few days; but for anyone else -
if for instance you are spending a few days in LA as part of a longer
trip to California - it will be easier to stay in a hotel near one of
the attractions you plan to visit, and then travel from there by car.
Among Los Angeles' top and best-established tourist
attractions is Disneyland
– that is the first biggest and and
original Disneyland, first opened in 1955. Today ity is part of the
larger Disneyland resort, with numerous parks and
attractions. Walt Disney originally wanted to build his theme
park at Burbank, just next to Hollywood
but he could not find enough space. As a result, Disneyland is located
in Anaheim, some 26
of downtown Los Angeles.
Los Angeles also has a good collection of museums, the most
prestigious of which has to be the Getty
, in Bel Air - half an
hour by car from downtown LA. - one of the leading museums in
the USA. The museum is stunning not just for its great art
and photography collections, but also for its architecture and gardens.
The car parking garage near the San Diego freeway is connected to the
museum in a futuristic monorail hovertrain. Reaching the Getty center
from Downtown LA by public transport is a long journey, taking
As for specialty museums, two stand out They are
the Nethercutt Museum
one of the best historic automobile collections in the USA ;
located in the northern suburb of Sylmar, the Nethercutt is
an hour by car
from downtown LA, and an hour
and a half by public transportation.
Angeles Science Center
is closer to downtown - about 15
minutes by car
minutes by bus
Among other aircraft and other exhibits, the most popular attraction is
the Space shuttle Endeavour. A three hundred meter walk takes
visitors from the Science Center to the LA Natural History museum
For a trip to the seaside, visitors have a choice. Beaches at Santa
Monica to the west, and Long Beach are all directly
accessible by metro from central LA, the Expo line (50 minutes) for
Santa Monica and the Blue line ( 1 hour) for Long Beach.
enjoy the shops, cafés and amusements on the
famous pier, or wander down the seafront for a mile and a half to Venice Beach
popular hangout for young people, with its boardwalk, skating tracks,
streetball players, buskers, and wannabees.
At Long Beach
away from the busy container port, the star attraction is the former
Cunard liner Queen Mary
now a hotel and maritime museum.
Top ten Los Angeles attractions
Universal Studios theme park
Disneyland Park and resort
The Getty Museum
California Science center
LA County museum of art
Griffith park and observatory, Hollywood
More information :
Los Angeles metro trip planner
Angeles tourism and convention board