LA is a big city that is quite spread out with lots of districts. It can be hard to pick the best location to stay with all the options available.
The area I have stayed in twice and would stay in again is Hollywood, more specifically in the area behind the Hollywood & Highland Centre. Let me tell you why..
- It is the number one stop on the Citysightseeing bus, giving you a central location to start your travels, and access to their head office for buying tickets and asking questions. It is also the main pick up point for the Universal Studios Tour buses – easy!
- You are right next to the Walk of Fame, The Chinese Theatre, Madam Tussauds and you can easily get a glimpse of the Hollywood sign. You can tick off a handful of these must-dos within a short walk from your hotel before you even need to consider your transport options.
- The area caters for tourists with lots of food, shopping and entertainment options, including the Hollywood & Highland complex and both a CVS and Walgreens.
- Hollywood Boulevard is quite busy and attracts a lot of tourists. While this doesn’t typically sound like a good thing, in this instance it is a bonus. It means most places are open late into the evening and there are always other people walking around so you feel fairly safe staying out later into the evening.
- It is fairly clean compared to even one street over on Sunset Boulevard, or further east along Hollywood Boulevard, and it definitely feels a lot nicer than Downtown L.A.
- There are quite a lot of budget/boutique hotels and hostels right behind Hollywood Boulevard (mainly on Orchid Ave), which feel very safe and secluded even though they are just metres from all the action.
- If you are lucky there might also be a movie premier right around the corner at the Dolby Theater!
The only time I would not recommend staying in Hollywood is if you are just on a short stop-over from LAX. In bad traffic it can take over 40 mins to an hour to get from the airport to Hollywood. In these instances it makes more sense just to stay near LAX, which is what we did when we had an overnight stop-over before flying onto Boston.
We also found it really easy to switch between the sightseeing bus routes and visit Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach as well, however if this was the main area you wanted to see and had no interest in the Hollywood attractions then it might make more sense to base yourself near the coast instead.
Where is your favourite place to stay in LA?