The hour-plus you spend in line overlooking the auto shops on La Brea Avenue
could be better spent seeing the sights or even driving up the scenic Pacific Coast Highway to have fresh catch seafood at the Malibu Seafood Company
. If you're dead set on trying the famous dogs, , the best place to get your fix is at the Tom Brady International Terminal
at LAX (before the security check point). Newly opened, the prices are slightly higher than the La Brea
shop, but for six bucks you can get a dog and a coke. Not too bad for airport fare.
I know many international visitors make a big hoopla about outlet shopping in the US, but if you're looking for this season's, or likely even the past two, three, or four seasons' looks, you're better off skipping the ride out to any of LA's outlet shops.
Here are some better bets: looking for cheap, trendy pieces? Hit up Melrose in West Hollywood, or brave the famous Santee Alley in Downtown L.A. After kid's clothes? Old Navy, like many brands, is much cheaper in the US than Oz and will be much more current than any outlet mall threads. The Grove in West Hollywood and 3rd Street Promenade have many American brands that carry women's, men's, and children's clothes. Have deep pockets? is still the place to go.
Star maps/celebrity home tours
Where do I start here? ... Oh, the tack factor. I would not be caught dead on one of these low-budget tours of alleged star homes. In a city with so much cultural diversity, I can never understand why one would want to spend time looking at gates and shrubbery of private houses. Your trashy mag is way more likely to give you a close-up of a famous person than one of these outdated tours.
If you want to do a star tour of L.A , I would recommend using Starline’s “Malibu Stars’ Homes Tour”. It is a great way to get out to Malibu, to enjoy some sunshine in the open-air van and to see beautiful coastal views and television and film locations. You will still get your celeb homes fix, but also see the most beautiful part of Los Angeles, the Pacific Coast Highway.
I will call this where not
to stay. You'll find that airport properties are often cheaper than other Los Angeles locations and that's for a reason. Let me tell you what I'd tell any friend, family member, or visitor to Los Angeles: it is absolutely worth it to book a hotel located in a neighbourhood where you can walk to shopping, dining and other attractions, and pay a bit more for the convenience.
Best bets? Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, or Hollywood. Anywhere else and you'll need to depend on lobby coffee and room service, rather than a bevy of options on your doorstep.
If you literally just need a bed and don't plan on leaving the hotel, go for it, as many airport hotels offer a free shuttle from the terminal. But if you want to have a real LA experience, leave LAX behind.
Got any more places to avoid? Have your say using the comments form, below.
Next: Near the beaten track