Where to stay in Los Angeles - a travel guide to Los Angeles's neighborhoods
Santa Monica & Redondo Beach
On the western edge of Los Angeles, Santa Monica Beach has an array of beachside hotels for active vacationers. Step out of your Los Angeles hotel and play volleyball, go cycling or inline skating or just wiggle your toes in the warm sand. Take your pick of the shops and restaurants of Third Street Promenade and Main Street. To the east is Bergamont Station, an enclave of galleries and home of the Santa Monica Museum of Art. A drive further south on Pacific Coast Highway takes you to the mellower Redondo Beach and its family-friendly hotels, fresh seafood and pier.
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Beverly Hills & West Hollywood
To the east of the beach cities are the luxurious hotels of sophisticated Beverly Hills. This neighborhood is the place for designer shopping on Rodeo Drive or a relaxing garden walk in Greystone Estate. Adjacent to the east, West Hollywood is full of exciting nightlife and divergent cultures. A centralized location, you can explore the glitter of the Sunset Strip and art in local galleries, or just eat your way around the hottest new restaurants.
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North and east of West Hollywood is the center of the film industry, Hollywood. Easy to reach by the metro, get a Los Angeles hotel here if you want to navigate the city without a car. Pick up a souvenir at a Hollywood & Highland shop or see film stars immortalized on the Walk of Fame sidewalk. Take in a movie old or new at one of the many cinemas or just relax under the celestial stars at a Hollywood Bowl concert. Let upcoming comedians entertain you at the Laugh Factory or feel the chill of goose bumps on a haunted Hollywood tour.
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Southeast of Hollywood are the skyscrapers and excitement of Downtown Los Angeles. Bargain hunters shop the jewelry and fashion districts here or just soak up the heady aromas of the Flower Mart. Stay near LA Live and the Staples Center to catch a Laker's basketball game, a rock concert or for a taste of urban nightlife. Walk around the Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall and get your fill of modern art at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The woks of Chinatown, the Mexican taquerias of Olvera Street and the sushi joints of Little Tokyo are just a stone's throw away.
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Northeast of Downtown and just off the metro's Gold Line is the quaint neighborhood of Pasadena, the gateway to the San Gabriel Valley. Garden lovers can explore the Huntington Library, the Descanso Gardens and the Los Angeles County Arboretum. Architecture buffs tour the Greene and Greene Gamble House, a masterpiece of the American Arts & Crafts movement. Staying here is convenient for Old Town Pasadena or the city’s premium shopping district on Lake Avenue.
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