Los Angeles is famed for being the Hollywood capital. It is where the stars literally and figuratively speaking walked the walk of fame. This Californian city is much more than your “friends with benefits” postcard picture. LA promises to colour your evenings with surreal yet unreal sunsets, wash your days in bright Californian sunshine as you hop trains from downtown to the pier and perhaps soak your nights into stories of northern lights if you are at the Scientology Centre. But beyond all this, the city promises to take you down the memory lane into a world of Disney characters and Harry Potter’s Hogwarts.
Visas, and flights
All UK passport holders can travel to the States’ without requiring a visa. However you are required to fill out an ESTA form. Frequent flights operate from Heathrow airport in London to Los Angeles LAX airport.
Pro-tip: If you are not a British passport holder and flying with Air Canada then you need to apply for a separate Canadian visa even if you WILL not be landing in Canada. Therefore, unless it is a last resort and to avoid unnecessary immigration situations, you might as well avoid flying with Air Canada. And once you land in LA be prepared to kill an hour or more waiting in the cab even if your GPS shows your AirBnB being just mere half an hour. Best way to commute across LA? Buy a tap card and hop on to the subway with fares being as minimal as $9 a day.
Day sipping butter beer at Hogwarts in the Universal Studios
If you have been to the Universal Studios before then you know that an entire day is also perhaps less to jump and bump through all 3D-conceptualised rides. Watch out for medical symptoms highlighted before you fasten your seatbelts. Beside the adventure rides, these studios offer comedy shows and a real-life play into the film-making process at Hollywood. Additionally, it has the Hogwarts wizardry and witchcraft store where you can buy your customised Harry Potter souvenirs while enjoying your butter beer.
Nights at Griffith Observatory
Save up your energy for a hike up the hill to the Griffith Observatory. This scientology centre offers a panoramic view of the Los Angeles Basin, including Downtown Los Angeles to the southeast, Hollywood to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Besides, the majestic cityscape, the Observatory also houses a landmark pendulum, telescopes providing you the privilege of glancing at the Saturn, and among other things hosts regular shows charting an explanation of the Northern Lights in the Scandinavian countries.
Meeting Patrick Swayze on the walk of fame with...Superman
In LA stars come down to the street and if you are bedazzled by such extravaganza then you might keep a couple hours of the night for skipping down your favourite celebrities. Beware of con artists and humans posing as supernatural characters and forcefully taking selfies with you. They charge money.
Beach babe at Santa Monica pier
Californian cities promise of sunsets visible even whilst you are landing their during the evening and can peek at through your flight window. But the sunset gets better when you bike it to Santa Monica pier replete with souvenir shops, hut-styled beer counters and awash with clean sand coarsing your toes as you run down the beach.
Driving down to the Beverly Hills
If you have watched 90210 and fond off gazing at celebrity homes and acres of land meeting the ocean then perhaps you can spend a dime on that pick-up Mercedes, blow up your speakers with Rihanna in the background and enjoy a quick drive down these Hills whilst fantasising of buying a house for yourself.
Hike up the Hollywood sign for your ‘Friends with Benefits’ postcard
Nuff said! The hike is steep and the view from up top is quite disheartening for most tourists. Beware of the no-go areas else you risk being fined with $1000 or worse being jailed for trespassing.