Travel

Getting around Los Angeles

The county of Los Angeles, California is a popular tourist destination. It attracts millions of visitors every year; in 2018 alone, it received 50 million tourists, which has set a new record for the county’s tourism history.

When you think of Los Angeles, you automatically think of Hollywood and Disneyland. While these two are the most popular, there is more to see in the county and the city of the same name. There are other exciting attractions, unique neighborhoods, great beaches, historic landmarks, and more places to shop, dine, and relax.

Yes, Los Angeles can be a bit overwhelming, especially for the first-time visitor. A popular tourist destination should not be lacking in options to get to and around the place and luckily, Los Angeles offers a lot of those. If you have got your own car, you’ll be fine. But if you arrive in L.A. without your own automobile, here are some alternatives.

1) By renting a car
Say you are flying into Los Angeles and you want to drive around the city after you land, but obviously you don’t bring your own vehicle with you. The other option is to rent one. While it’s not the only option to get around the city, many tourists think that it is the most convenient and practical, especially when visiting a place as sprawling as Los Angeles.

Car rentals are the most accessible; many airport companies have their own car rental services and they are the ones that offer the best rates. There are also other car rentals outside the airport that sometimes offer one-off specials.

Driving a car is also the best way to knowing L.A.’s roads as they are essential for getting around the city. It enables you to know the major thoroughfares such as the Interstate 405, 10 and 5, as well as the famous roads like Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Strip. Journeying along the coast, such as the Pacific Coast Highway, will reward you with the most scenic drives.

2) By public transport
If you’re traveling on the cheap, public transport is certainly your best bet. In fact, traveling to Los Angeles without a car might be more sensible than you think, as it is the case in many other tourist spots. Public transit is the most feasible option especially if you intend to go to specific places or if driving to unfamiliar areas might be too stressful for you. In no time you’ll be traveling around L.A. like a local.

Plus, you can still catch a nap while commuting, right?

Luckily, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (also known as Metro) serves commuters by way of buses, light rail and subway trains. The Los Angeles Metro Rail is a rapid transit system that consists of six lines serving 80 stations in the county of Los Angeles, connecting several cities such as downtown L.A., Hollywood and Long Beach. Tourists will be happy to know that the subways and over-the-ground train systems are just within walking distances to many of the city’s top tourist attractions.

If you want to get around by bus, Metro operates around 200 buses in the city and provides three types of bus services:

  • Metro Local buses (in orange) frequently make stops along the major roads throughout the city.
  • Metro Rapid buses (in red) make fewer stops and use special transponders that cause traffic signals to turn the green light in favor of such buses.
  • Metro Express buses (in blue) link communities from downtown LA and other business districts and they usually pass by the city’s freeways.

DASH (Downtown Area Short Hop) are shuttle buses operated by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and serve along 33 different routes covering the city, including downtown L.A. and many outskirts.

Check out the bus routes and their schedules:

  • Beachwood Canyon Route – it runs every Monday to Saturday, driving from Hollywood Boulevard/Vine Streeet up to Beachwood Drive.
  • Downtown Route – it runs daily and serves five routes: Little Tokyo to City West, Chinatown to Financial District, Union Station to South Park, City West to Fashion District and Financial District to Exposition Park/USC.
  • Fairfax Route – it runs every Monday to Saturday and services Beverly Hills, Central Mall, the Pacific Design Center, Melrose Avenue, the Grove and Museum Row.
  • Hollywood Route – it runs everyday and serves Highland Avenue (east) and Hollywood.

3) By riding a taxi or ride-sharing
Hailing a cab is another option, but doing it on the outlying cities is particularly difficult. You can download taxi-hailing apps called Curb and make a pick-up schedule in advance.

Ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, are popular these days. They are relatively cheap compared to taxis, but of course it still depends on the time and distance to your destination. Make sure you download an app of your preferred service before venturing the L.A. streets.

Always keep in mind, though, that traffic in L.A. can be pretty tight during rush hour, so go out early and give yourself a couple of extra hours to allow more time in visiting the city’s famous attractions.

4) By riding a bike
Riding a bike is also a good way to navigate Los Angeles, thanks to the increasing number of bicycle paths and lanes that welcome both passionate cyclists and regular commuters who ride bikes. Metro helps cyclists to explore Los Angeles by offering them options to take the bus and train for lower fares. There is a major event that held every four times a year, called CiCLAvia, where streets are closed to motor vehicles to allow the public to walk, skate as well as bike in the open streets.

Among the most popular places for biking in Los Angeles include the famous Venice Beach (and the iconic Venice Beach Boardwalk), Santa Monica State Beach, Griffith Park Trail, the Santa Clarita Cloverleaf, Ballona Creek Bike Path, Metro Orange Line Bike Path, and many more places that offer safe and scenic bike rides.

There are numerous bike rentals in Los Angeles which offer different kinds of bikes for lease – road bikes, mountain bikes, electric bikes and hybrid bikes.

Even cyclists are prone to foot pain and soreness because of constant pedaling. To give your feet additional comfort and protection, you should have insoles to your shoes. Give your feet the additional care and pampering that they deserve. Check out the article “Best Foot Massagers and Inserts for Runners and Athletes” and browse foot care options that will heal your overworked feet.

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