The Best Areas To Stay In Los Angeles As A First Time Visitor

Los Angeles is the second most populous city in the United States. With such a massive city comes lots of options for accommodation. Which areas are the best to stay in for tourists in Los Angeles?
Los Angeles. Photo: Jake Blucker | Unsplash

Editorial Note: Earth Curious contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

One of the sunniest cities in the United States, Los Angeles, or the “City of Angels,” is a bucket list destination for any prospective United States tourist. It is the city with the highest population of celebrities, musicians, and actors, so it is hard not to rub off the glamorous atmosphere.

If traveling to Los Angeles, USA, where should you stay? Los Angeles is a huge city, so searching for accommodation can be overwhelming. Here are the best neighborhoods to stay in as a traveler in Los Angeles.

West Hollywood

West Hollywood is great if you want to be part of the action of LA, but not downtown. It is the perfect neighborhood for someone interested in stand-up comedy.

West Hollywood is known for its vibrant nightlife. Photo: BP Miller | Unsplash

If you are interested in all things Hollywood, glam, and fame, then it is a no-brainer to stay in West Hollywood in Los Angeles. In this neighborhood, you will have direct access to some of the most popular tourist attractions of Los Angeles, such as Hollywood Boulevard, Beverly Hills, and Rodeo Drive.

West Hollywood is also a great part of the city for performing arts and comedy. The neighborhood is home to The Comedy Store, one of the world’s most famous comedy clubs. Famous American comedians, such as Jerry Seinfield, Eddie Murphy, and Tim Allen have all passed through this comedy club during their comedy careers.

Best hotels in West Hollywood

$$$ – Pendry West Hollywood, The London West Hollywood

$$ – Vibe Hotel West Hollywood, The Godfrey Hotel

$ – The Rumi Hostel, Beverly Inn

Santa Monica

For the best vintage beachside LA vibes, Santa Monica gives you a taste of the city and the water. It also the best neighborhood for cycling.

The Santa Monica Pier is recognized internationally. Photo: Matthew LeJune | Unsplash

If you are craving to be a short walk away from the water but still have access to the city, Santa Monica is the perfect area for you. The neighborhood has considerably more “chill” vibes than the bustling city center, and you will find many locals taking it slow on the beach, riding bikes, or strolling.

Santa Monica is a great place to stay if you are traveling with kids, as you will have direct access to the Santa Monica Pier and beach, which is full of amusement rides such as the 130-foot Ferris wheel. The Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica also makes a great destination for shopping and eating out.

For the cycling enthusiast, Santa Monica is also the best neighborhood in Los Angeles for cycling due to its pleasant weather all year round and abundance of bike trails. One of the best trails is the 22-mile Marvin Braude Beach Trail, which gives you incredible seaside views. Bike rentals are abundant along Santa Monica if you didn’t bring a bike.

Best Hotels in Santa Monica

$$$ – Shutters on the Beach, Hotel Casa del Mar

$$ – Ocean View Hotel, Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica

$ – The Venice Beach Hostel, HI Los Angeles Santa Monica Hostel

Downtown LA

The best spot in the city if you want to be in the middle of it all – museums, markets, parks, and stores.

Downtown LA has the best access to museums and tourist attractions. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

If you want to sample a little of everything in LA and have easy access to the different areas of the city, staying in the downtown area is your best bet. There is an abundance of activities at your fingertips downtown – perfect if you don’t want to blow a lot of your travel funds on transportation. Downtown LA is the best spot to try all of the touristy activities the city has to offer, such as the Broad Museum, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Grammy Museum.

For the foodie travelers, downtown LA is the perfect neighborhood to try some of the best food that the city has to offer. You will have direct access to Los Angeles’ Chinatown, which is one of the food meccas of the city. This small colorful neighborhood boasts tons of authentic restaurants – make sure to try dim sum, a traditional lunch of small plates. Another popular food destination is Grand Central Market, the city’s oldest public market. The market is truly a melting pot of flavors, ranging from countries all over the world.

Best hotels in Downtown LA

$$$ – The Ritz Carlton Los Angeles, Conrad Los Angeles

$$ – Hotel Figueroa, Hotel Per La

$ – Freehand Los Angeles, Stuart Hotel

Venice Beach

A unique and eclectic beach neighborhood for the artsy tourist.

Venice Beach is another great beach neighborhood for a low-key vibe. Photo: Florian Wehde | Unsplash

For a more laid-back and hippy vibe, Venice Beach is the perfect area for you. Here, you can explore the many Venice canals, which are reminiscent of the canals of Venice, Italy. For casual strolling, you also have access to the Venice boardwalk, which takes you all the way to Santa Monica. Here, you will find a larger scene of street performers and bodybuilders at “Muscle Beach”, which is great for people-watching.

For the skateboarding enthusiasts, Venice Beach is the perfect neighborhood for you, as it is also home to Venice Skate Park, where skateboarders foreign and local alike flock to practice their techniques. You will also frequently see videos filmed here, too.

Best Hotels in Venice Beach

$$$ – The Ritz Carlton – Marina del Rey

$$ – Hotel Erwin

$ – Podshare Venice

Final Thoughts

Aerial view of the Los Angeles skyline. Photo: Henning Witzel | Unsplash

Los Angeles is one of the most sought-after tourist cities in the United States, and with good reason. Because the city is so large, planning a trip and accommodation can be overwhelming. For the best neighborhood to fit your travel needs, if you want to be close to the beach, choose Santa Monica or Venice Beach. For proximity to museums and attractions, stay in downtown LA. For the best access to live shows and stand-up comedy, look into West Hollywood.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts