LA is so big that the area in which you stay will have a big impact on your travel plans. Downtown, the historic heart of the city, has both chic hotels and basic dives, but getting to the coast from here can be a hassle; Hollywood, West LA and West Hollywood are safe, relatively central options for seeing the whole city, while Santa Monica, Venice and Malibu are predominantly mid-to-upper-range territory, perfect for soaking up the beach culture but a long way from the cultural attractions inland. It’s only worth staying in Orange County, thirty miles southeast of Downtown, if you’re aiming for Disneyland or are travelling along the coast.

Motels and the bottom-end hotels start at about $75 for a double, but many are situated in seedy or out-of-the-way areas; any decent motel or hotel will cost at least $90. B&Bs are still uncommon in central LA, and tend to be quite expensive, often fully booked, and sited in out-of-the-way places. A handful of hostels are dotted all over the city, many in good locations, though at some stays are limited to a few nights and at others a nonstop party atmosphere prevails.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Buffalo thrill: the ultimate way to see America's Great Plains

Buffalo thrill: the ultimate way to see America's Great Plains

South Dakota, one of the USA’s Great Plains states, holds an annual buffalo roundup in Custer State Park. Last week was the 51st event and we were lucky enoug…

21 Feb 2017 • Neil McQuillian insert_drive_file Article
Dive in: 7 unforgettable experiences in the Florida Keys

Dive in: 7 unforgettable experiences in the Florida Keys

Life in the Florida Keys is dominated by the ocean. The simplest trips become postcard-worthy adventures on the Overseas Highway, the link between its countless…

17 Feb 2017 • Georgia Stephens insert_drive_file Article
The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month