- Los Angeles is a city in the American state of California, found on the West coast of the country. It is more often referred to simply as L.A., and it is an extremely popular tourist destination for many reasons, with great weather year-round, gorgeous beaches and a plentiful list of attractions to visit. Los Angeles is the most highly populated city within California, home to over 3.99 million.
- Los Angeles International Airport is the primary airport serving Los Angeles, frequently referred to as LAX. It is a globally famous airport, namely for the number of famous faces that are often found using it to travel all over the world. Keep an eye out while you are there and you may just run into one of your favourite celebs! Although it is always best to give them some space, it will certainly make for a great anecdote and an exciting way to either kick off or end your trip.
Some rules of the road
- To get you started, here are a few tips and things to remember when driving in Los Angeles. However, it’s important to ensure you do your own research as well, that way you will be fully prepared when you get there. Be sure to check out any particular rules for the place you will be staying.
- Drive on the left hand side of the road.
- Due to how big LA is, it will be beneficial for you to familiarise yourself with the routes you’re likely to take before you arrive.
- If you throw rubbish out of your car, you can be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 (£760).
- The far left lanes of freeways are intended for carpool vehicles, with a requirement of at least two passengers.
- You cannot smoke in a car if there is a child passenger.
- It is legal for motorcyclists to drive in between the lanes, so be sure to keep an eye out.
- Los Angeles are strict when it comes to driving while drunk, so do not take any risks.
Car Hire in Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Los Angeles International Airport does not have a dedicated car rental centre, and rental car offices can instead be found on off airport locations. Instead, LAX has a list of authorised agencies that are able to use courtesy shuttles to both pick-up and drop-off customers at each of the airline terminals. To find the shuttles, head to the purple sign outside of baggage claim, on the lower level of arrivals.
Guide to Los Angeles
Los Angeles is not commonly known for being great for those on a budget, but there are plenty of things on offer that are completely free of charge! The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens are an impressive expanse of nature and art, with a wealth of beautiful things to explore. On the first Thursday of the month, they offer free admission if you book in advance, and it is definitely worth taking advantage. Similarly the Los Angeles County Museum of Art allows free admission on the second Tuesday of the month, which is a brilliant way to experience over 120,000 pieces in the permanent collection. It doesn’t cost anything for you to take your rental car out on a wonderful road trip. Mulholland Drive is globally revered for its scenic route, with a breathtaking review from the Hollywood Hills and out across from the Santa Monica Mountains.
Sand & sea
The Los Angeles coastline is a massive tourism draw; there is no better place to be when the sun is shining. Visiting Venice Beach doesn’t just give you the chance to enjoy a leisurely afternoon on the sand and in the sea, because there is also plenty of public art to appreciate, a historic district with gorgeous canals, and some tequila tasting to really get things going. Leo Carillo State Park Beach is relatively secluded and is the best option if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle from the more highly populated areas. The mellow waves make for a relaxing soundtrack, and there are picnic areas if you want to make a whole day of it. Plus, this is a rare dog-friendly beach, so bring your own or head over with the hopes of making a canine friend. Surfrider Beach will be much busier than Leo Carillo, but it can certainly be worth staking your claim and securing a spot on the sand. The surfing here is almost unparalleled, so if it’s fun in the water that you’re after, this is the beach for you.
Hollywood is the part of Los Angeles that most people think of when they’re planning their trip, and all movie buffs would love some of the brilliant tours to see all the most exciting sights. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood has a wealth of things to visit, from the set of the incredibly popular Big Bang Theory to the Batmobile Collection and pieces from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Head to Central Perk at the end to get a cup of coffee. You might also be able to attend a live taping of a great show while you’re in the city, for some of the most well-known game shows and sitcoms currently on air. Try requesting tickets for shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Late Show with James Corden or The Price is Right for a memory to last a lifetime.
If you need to fill your evenings and fancy a night out on the town, why not try one of these buzzing bars to get your night kickstarted? Accomplice is in Mar Vista, with a happy hour from Sunday to Thursday. Some of the best of their cocktails are the Perfect Japanese Highball and the Hellscape, but their menu often undergoes a refresh to add some seasonal variations that ensure you will get something new and delicious no matter when you visit. Big Bar has a welcoming atmosphere and a building that also includes a bakery and a café, making it the perfect place to transition from the afternoon into the evening. If it’s style you’re after, there’s none better than Bibo Ergo Sum in Beverly Grove, with a cool interior that makes for the perfect instagram backdrop while you enjoy a cocktail from each of the eras of the menu.
Eating Out in Los Angeles
All Day Baby is a diner in Silver Lake, made by the team that launched the hugely successful Here’s Looking at You. If the popularity of the sister joint is not enough to persuade you, then the offer of light and fluffy pancakes all day long definitely should. Perfect for if you want to try something other than the International House of Pancakes (IHOP).
Spago is a classic in Beverly Hills, a staple restaurant that has been thriving years, although it is not the best choice for those on a budget. However, the exciting and innovative menu constantly undergoes a refreshing update that makes it a brilliant place to revisit and experience time and time again.
El Huarache Azteca can be found in Highland Park, but you will think you’ve stepped into Mexico City when you get a taste of their delicious tacos, quesadillas and namesake huarache. It has a long list of rave reviews, and it is easy to see why with their colourful food. This is also a dinner option that won’t break the bank, and could just as easily be a rewarding lunch choice as a pit stop while you’re exploring the city.
Cruzer Pizza and Pasta is vegan Italian restaurant, situated in Los Feliz. It is the kind of joint that would not have existed ten years ago, but is now a beacon for all trying to cut down on their consumption of animal products. However, their dishes are tasty enough that it doesn’t matter whether you’re regularly vegan or not, everyone will love items like their lasagne or phillysteak pizza. One for the whole family.
Umami Burger has multiple locations across Los Angeles, so wherever you are staying you will never be too far from their extensive and refreshing list of burgers. The Beefy and the Cali are two classics that are definitely worth a try.
FAQ’s about Car Hire in Los Angeles
How much does it cost to hire a car in Los Angeles?
The average price per day to hire a car in Los Angeles is $39 (£33), depending on your requirements and the time of your booking.
Which car hire agency in Los Angeles is the cheapest?
The car hire agencies that frequently offer the lowest prices are Thrifty and National, with prices as low as $18 (£14) per day. Both of these are agencies that are on the list of authorised companies at Los Angeles International Airport, so you will easily be able to access them upon arrival.
Which LA car hire company is the most popular?
Alamo and Sixt are frequently chosen in Los Angeles, and they are both available to access from Los Angeles International Airport.
Which car hire companies can be found in LAX?
Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Fox, Hertz, National, Payless, Sixt and Thrifty are all authorised to access the airport terminals.
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