One quick and easy way to see LA is on a guided tour. The mainstream tours carry large busloads of visitors to the major tourist sights; specialist tours usually carry smaller groups and are often quirkier and better value; and media studio tours are available on day-trips by most of the mainstream operators, though you’ll save money by turning up on your own.

One type of trek to avoid are the uninspired bus tours that focus on the homes of the stars (ie, their ivy-covered security gates), and advertise their overpriced services around central Hollywood. For some insight into how a film or TV show is made, or just to admire the special effects, there are guided studio tours at Warner Bros, NBC, Sony, Paramount and Universal, all near Burbank except for Sony, in Culver City, and Paramount, in Hollywood.

LA Conservancy. Offer walking tours ($10) for various sections and buildings in Downtown LA, which concentrate on the city’s architecture, history and culture.

Neon Cruises Offer three-hour-long, eye-popping evening tours (June–Sept Sat 7.30pm; $55) of LA’s best remaining neon art, on Saturdays through the summer, sponsored by the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 places to get off the tourist trail in New York City

7 places to get off the tourist trail in New York City

Ticked off New York City’s big sights and wondering where to go next? From sinking a pint in Brooklyn's Red Hook to sampling Italian delicacies in The Bronx, …

11 Apr 2017 • Stephen Keeling insert_drive_file Article
In search of the real Wild West on America's Great Plains

In search of the real Wild West on America's Great Plains

Wild West – we all feel something when we see or hear those words. But why? How much is true and how much is fantasy? Our editor Neil McQuillian took to the (…

06 Apr 2017 • Neil McQuillian local_activity Special feature
15 of the most beautiful places in Alaska

15 of the most beautiful places in Alaska

With mountains to climb, rivers to raft, glaciers to coo over and a bevy of bears to photograph, Alaska is the ultimate wilderness – and this year is the per…

30 Mar 2017 • Sarah Reid 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