Searching where to stay in Los Angeles? The capital of California and the best city in the US according to its citizens is known worldwide as the global capital of entertainment. Artists from all over the world flock to Hollywood in the hopes of making it big.
However, if you get past the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, you will discover that it is only a tiny part of what LA has to offer. The “City of Angels” is blessed with a sunny disposition and immense natural beauty.
In addition, being the second most populated city in the US, Los Angeles is a cultural and business powerhouse. Home to 18 million people, La La Land is full of diversity, amazing food, art, and interesting activities await in every corner. And you’d better believe it’s going to take a long time to discover them all!
Each district in LA has its own unique character. Driving around metropolitan LA will make you feel like you’re traveling between vastly different cities. That’s why it is important to pick an area that fits your needs when choosing where to stay in Los Angeles. This guide is designed to help you discover the best neighborhoods in LA and find an ideal place to stay.
Where to stay in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is located in southern California, amid majestic mountains, scorching deserts, and miles of stunning beaches along the Pacific Ocean. Depending on what you like, there is no shortage of amazing places to stay in Los Angeles.
Perhaps you want to join the hordes of small-town dreamers in Hollywood. Maybe you want to spend most of your time gazing at the rolling waves hitting the coast in Santa Monica. Whatever you’re searching for, you’ll find it in LA!
Innovative architecture, art museums, legendary sports venues and a thriving fashion district define downtown LA.
Art-lovers, historians, fashionistas and sports fans should spend a day downtown before heading to the beaches.
- Climb to the Observation Deck at the Los Angeles City Hall for panoramic views of the city, the mountains, and the Pacific ocean.
- Get close to works by Basquiat and Warhol at The Broad, and soak up the Rothkos and Pollacks at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). The monthly Art Walk showcases current LA artists each 2nd Thursday.
- Take a snapshot of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry.
- Eat at the Grand Central Market which has featured international cuisines since 1917.
- Visit Placita Olvera, the site where LA was founded. Historic Union Station lies across the street.
- Bibliophiles rave over the maze-like halls of The Last Bookstore.
Where to stay in Downtown LA
With a slow-paced, suburban vibe, excellent hiking, posh shopping areas and an amusement park right on the beach, Santa Monica offers visitors a pleasant respite from the chaos of LA.
Local families, athletic types and sun-worshippers head to peaceful Santa Monica for a break from the city.
- Take a photo with the Route 66 sign which marks the end of the line for the famous highway.
- Ride the solar-powered Ferris wheel at Pacific Park.
- Grab a sandwich at Bay Cities Italian Deli.
- Spend an afternoon swimming at Annenberg Beach House.
- Unwind with a beer at BarKowski or dance the night way at Harvelle’s Blues Club.
- Check out our awesome article about the things to do in Santa Monica!
Where to stay in Santa Monica
From the legendary rock venues on Sunset Strip, the gay club scene on Santa Monica Boulevard, world-class exhibits on Museum Row, and vintage shopping on Melrose, visitors will find plenty of action in WeHo.
Party-animals, artists, rockers, fashionistas and the LGBTQ community will feel right at home in West Hollywood.
- Before heading for a night out at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, check out the rock and roll art at the Andaz Hotel, home to numerous infamous incidents of rocker debauchery.
- Interior designers shouldn’t skip the WeHo Design District and the Pacific Design Center on Melrose Ave.
- Catch a thought-provoking play at the Celebration Theatre or hear the Gay Men’s Chorus of LA. Everybody’s welcome to take part in the colorful antics at the Boystown area.
- Have some laughs with LA’s best up-and-coming comedians at the Comedy Store.
- Peruse the exhibits at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Academy Museum and the Petersen Automotive Museum on Museum Row.
Where to stay in West Hollywood
Home to LA’s counter culture since the 1960s, Venice Beach offers a continuous parade of street performers, cannabis smokers, eclectic artists and a lively assortment of eccentric local characters.
Skateboarders, bodybuilders and bohemian types will feel right at home at Venice Beach.
- Workout at Muscle Beach where Arnold Schwarzenegger sculpted his award-winning guns.
- When the scene at the boardwalk gets overwhelming, take a stroll along the Venice Canals.
- Test your skills at the Venice Skate Park, a mecca for skateboarders keeping the spirit of Dogtown alive.
- Shop till you drop before enjoying a long lunch on Rose Avenue or Abbot Kinney Boulevard.
Where to stay in Venice Beach
Excellent hiking, delicious Mexican food and vintage boutiques await travelers in Los Feliz.
Screenwriters, actors, and music-lovers flock to Los Feliz to escape from the Hollywood spotlight.
- Hike through Griffin Park. Make a stop at Griffith Observatory, which was recently featured in the movie “La La Land.”
- Snack on Mexican food at Yuca’s.
- See Jeff Goldblum and his orchestra at the Rockwell or catch your favorite band at the Greek Theatre.
- Learn about the history of the American West at the Autry Museum.
Where to stay in Los Feliz
Impressive street murals, cutting edge art galleries and trendy cafes attract LA’s aesthetic elites.
The aptly aimed Arts District is heaven for artists and art collectors.
- Take in the Buddhist temples and gorge at an authentic sushi bar in Little Tokyo.
- Immerse yourself in LA’s experimental conceptual art at the MOCA Geffen.
- Visit Row DTLA during the weekly Smorgasburg street-food event.
- Meet the artists at the Art Share LA community.
Where to stay in Arts District
Beneath the backdrop of the Hollywood sign, Beverly Hills overflows with celebrity mansions, posh shopping, and upscale dining.
Well-heeled fashionistas looking for the latest Prada bag or a competent plastic surgeon love Beverly Hills. Folks with hopes of meeting Tinseltown royalty come to get a glimpse of the Hollywood lifestyle.
- Grab a snack from the cupcake ATM on Santa Monica Boulevard.
- Do some window-shopping and celebrity-spotting on Rodeo Drive.
- Visit the final resting places of Hollywood icons like Marilyn Monroe at the Westwood Village Cemetery.
- During these troubled times, everyone can benefit from a visit to the Museum of Tolerance.
Where to stay in Beverly Hills
Watersports, fishing, volleyball and killer sunsets await at Redondo Beach.
Relatively uncrowded, Redondo offers sea-side activities for surfers and families.
- Have a sunset seafood meal at King Harbor or the International Boardwalk.
- Catch a wave at Redondo Breakwell.
- Rent a kayak or paddleboard at the Redondo Beach Marina.
- Fish off the Redondo Beach Pier.
- Take a peek under the sea at the Looking Glass.
Where to stay in Redondo Beach
The young and hip gather in Koreatown for its boutique spas, vibrant nightlife, and mouth-watering Korean barbeque.
Koreatown is fast becoming a preferred leisure spot for young artists and hipsters.
- Watch a Korean film at CGV Cinemas.
- Choose from the extensive menu of craft beers at Beer Belly.
- Take in some live music, comedy or a cult film at the Wiltern Theatre.
- Shop for treasures and have a snack at the International Food Court at Koreatown Plaza.
- Sing your heart out at Max Karaoke Studio.
Where to stay in Koreatown