Visiting L.A.? Here are the Top Spots to Stay

 

As a travel blogger  and L.A. resident, I am frequently asked, “Where is the best place  to stay at in Los Angeles?” Well, the answer to this can often be hard.

I say this because Los Angeles is one large area comprised of multiple cities and suburbs all waiting to be explored. So, when asked, I typically ask a few questions of my own. I usually start by asking people about the reason for their visit. Do they want to see museums, shop,  explore theme parks or cuisines relax by the beach?

Top Spots to Stay on your Next Los Angeles Vacation airport

 

Of course, I could easily spout off my favorite hotels, but my favorite hotels may leave you thirty plus minutes away from what you came here to see.

Top Spots to Stay on your Next Los Angeles Vacation down town

So, to help you determine where to book your hotel in the City of Angels here is a quick roundup of the top spots to stay on your next Los Angeles vacation.

 

L.A.  Culture and Museums

If culture and museums are on your bucket list of places to see in Los Angeles, then head over to downtown Los Angeles. Here you can experience The Broad Museum, Little Tokyo, Chinatown, The Staples Center, The California Science Center and the Walt Disney Music Hall.

Top Spots to Stay on your Next Los Angeles Vacation broad

When hunger strikes, head over to the Sushi Gen Resturant. If sushi is not your thing, that is okay the Grand Central Market is sure to fill you up. I would also recommend the iconic Nickle Diner.
Top Spots to Stay on your Next Los Angeles Vacation mural

You do not have to worry about transportation in Downtown either. Most everything is within walking distance, including Santee Alley. For those who don’t know Santee Alley is a hidden alley in DTLA Garment District where you can shop for knock-off brand clothing, shoes, accessories, and even some street foods. If you do decide you want to leave the Down Town area, the Metro line can take you to Santa Monica and Hollywood.

 

Top Spots to Stay on your Next Los Angeles Vacation down town

Staying in DTLA

While there is plenty of hotels around, my favorites include the Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott at L.A Live, New Daimaru Hotel in Little Tokyo, and the Intercontinental Hotel. Less fancy but still pride themselves on excellent service are the Residence Inn by Marriott LA Live and the Doubletree by Hilton Downtown.

Top Spots to Stay on your Next Los Angeles Vacation marriott

L.A  Stars

If celebrities are your ‘thing,’ then you may want to head over to Hollywood. From here you can see the famous Hollywood sign in the background as you walk down the Walk of Fame.
Top Spots to Stay on your Next Los Angeles Vacation ch

Here in Hollywood, you have a vast selection of restaurants. From excellent high-end cuisines such as INK and Katsuya to Mel’s Diner and Pink’s hot dog stand, Hollywood has you covered.

 

Top Spots to Stay on your Next Los Angeles Vacation hollywood boulevard

Along Hollywood Blvd, you are sure to have fun looking at all the Stars to the Walk of Fame, as you enjoy shopping, eateries, and bars. You can also tour Disney’s El Capitan, the Kodak, and Chinese theaters. In the event, you get bored the Metro Line can quickly get you to Universal Studios.

hot dog stand Top Spots to Stay on your Next Los Angeles Vacation

Staying in Hollywood

After all of my Hollywood visits, I would say that three hotels come to mind. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, W Hollywood Hotel, and the Loews Hollywood  Hotel. All three are sure to blow your mind with the beautiful views and great amenities. Want the glamour on a shoestring budget?  Try the Magic Castle Hotel with its unique ambiance.

hollywood w hotel

L.A. theme parks  

About 45 minutes away from Downtown Los Angeles, the Anaheim area is where the theme park goers love to stay. Not only are there two Disney parks but also Knott’s Berry Farms, if you need a Mickey Mouse break.

california adventure

Anaheim also has plenty of places to eat too. From your Denny’s to Ruth Chris Steak House, here all budgets can eat happily. The city also has excellent shopping too. There is a gigantic mall in the nearby town of Orange as well as and many smaller tourist shops packed with those Disney souvenirs.

 

cinderella castle

For this area, I do recommend renting a car mainly because it is further outside of Los Angeles. While you do have other options such as Uber, a rental car is much more comfortable, particularly for families.

knotts

 

Staying in Anaheim

Our favorite hotels include Disney’s Grand Californian, Anaheim’s Great Wolf Lodge, the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel (yes, they have snoopy for breakfast) and the Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance.

courtyard anaheim

Staying on a budget -no problem isn’t an issue here either. The area has many options to chose from like the Anaheim Residence Inn Maingate and the Embassy Suites Anaheim South.

 

residence inn

 

L.A. beachfront

Yes, Los Angeles has plenty of areas for beach lovers to relax in the sun. If this is what you are looking for, check out the cities of Malibu, Santa Monica, and Venice. If you are staying solely in these towns, there is no need for additional transportation. Between walking and bicycling around, you can explore the beaches and piers.

santa monica

After working up an appetite, you can walk or bike over to Santa Monica’s  3rd Street Promenade, and enjoy many eateries.

santa monica pier

Photo Credit: VisitCalifornia.com

From the fine dining Boa restaurant down to the Burger Lounge, Santa Monica can cater to your hunger needs.

santa monica

Staying in Santa Monica

While staying in the Santa Monica area, the  Fairmont Miramar, Loews  Santa Monica Beach and  Hotel Casa Del Mar top the list. For a more budget-friendly option, there’s the Doubletree  Suites by Hilton  Santa Monica and the nearby Marina Del Rey Marriott.

venice hotel

 

L.A. shopping  

If high-end fashion is what you are looking for, then Beverly Hills is your playground. Many movies like Pretty Woman and In and Out of Beverly Hills were filmed on its posh streets. And like many other tourists, you too might even catch a  glimpse of a few celebrities enjoying the California sunshine while you are there.

beverly hills

For the avid shoppers, designer brand seekers Rodeo Drive is an absolute must. But there are alternate options too. Robertson Boulevard and Melrose are packed with vintage and hip unique styles especially for the younger crowd.
rodeo drive

 

Shopping as we all know is exhausting so stopping for lunch, or early dinner is always a good idea. If you’re a high roller, you can always choose  Spago’s or romantic  Il Cielo. Garlic fans should try The Stinking Rose with their fragrant dishes and even a garlic ice cream.  Don’t want to spend too much and still fill up? Head on to Nate ‘n’ Al Deli, a locals’ favorite for a quick bite.

rodeo drive selfie

As far as transportation, be prepared for traffic. While places are within walking distance, I would recommend a rental car ( yes, splurge on that convertible) or using a car service like Lyft to get around.

spago beverly hills

Staying in Beverly Hills

When it is time to retire for the evening, this is Beverly Hills, so you’ve got to splurge. The  Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel and the Montage of Beverly Hills are a great place to rest your head, and tired legs and feet. From the moment you walk in, you will feel like a celebrity too. For a lesser experience be prepared to stay on the outskirts of the happening places but still have a good time. A sound choice is the Courtyard Los Angeles Century City/Beverly Hills.

 

beverly whilshire

 

L.A. outdoor scene 

The Conejo Valey is perfect for Nature lovers. Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Thousand Oaks, and West Lake Village are next to the Santa Monica mountains, right behind Malibu and the beach. Here visitors can hike around Paramount Ranch, the filming site of many old western movies, as well as  Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman series. The area is also perfect for horseback riding, golfing and even wine tasting. Since this is suburbia, you will need a car to get around.

conejo valley

Want to cram some history during your stay? Make sure you visit the Ronald Regan Library in neighboring Simi Valley and the mini Stagecoach Museum in Newbury Park. And for those who can’t stop shopping the Camarillo Outlet Mall offers hundreds of brand stores at discounted prices.

reagan library

For dining  The Four Seasons’ Onyx Asian themed restaurant is a great choice as is Zin on the banks of the lake in Westlake Village. If you are looking for a great fish place or Mexican grub in a casual setting? Lure and Figueroa Mountain are the spots for you.

beer in agoura

 

Staying in the Conejo Valley

As far as where to stay in this area, the Four Seasons Hotel and  Westlake  Inn are top of the line choices. However, if you want to stay comfortably without breaking the bank, there are several notable choices like Residence Inn by Marriott Westlake Village and Homewood Suites by Hilton in Agoura Hills.

stagecoach museum

L.A. small town U.S.A 

Before Hollywood took over as the center of the movie scene, Culver City was the happening place. Many famous movies like the Wizard of Oz were filmed here. Sony  Studios formally MGM Studios are located in Culver City and offer a guided tour. The city even has a mini Walk of Fame.

culver hotel

When it comes to a central L.A location, the city fits the bill. Its downtown area is small and walkable. The city has a small bus system that can take you around the town as well as spots like Westwood and L.A proper. Furthermore,  it is situated 15 minutes away from the beach and on the Exposition metro line so one can quickly get to downtown, Universal Studios, Hollywood and Santa Monica.

culver city

photo credit: Airbnb.com

Staying in Culver City

Downtown Culver City is filled with casual dining as well as ethnic eateries that will please everyone. As a relatively small city, it doesn’t have too many choices regarding lodging. However, the renovated Culver Hotel and the Courtyard by Marriott Westside will provide guests with a comfortable stay.

culver hotel dinner

 

Final Thoughts 

I hope this short list of places helped answer a few of the questions you might have had. As you can tell by now, LA is filled with spots waiting to be explored. There are several others like Long Beach, Burbank, and Pasadena that are also excellent areas to discover albeit further from the popular more touristy areas.

city views

Bottom line, when you are planning your next vacation in LA remember to stay close to the landmarks or attractions you seek to explore since the city is quite spread out and traffic is challenging.

 

Have you been to  Los Angeles? What is your favorite spot to stay while exploring the city?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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