For a city the size of Los Angeles, getting around can require some planning ahead. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to enjoy the city without being stuck in traffic all day! We’ve highlighted a few key tips on how to get to and around Los Angeles for when you visit!
First off, flying into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the fastest way to get to the city. LAX is located not far from awesome spots like Marina Del Rey and Venice Beach, making it easy to access the ocean once you’ve arrived. The airport sits not far from the ocean, so that means if you’re staying near Hollywood or central LA, you will have a little travel ahead of you. Traffic coming in and out of the airport can get thick, so if you’ve rented a car and plan to drive, try to arrange your schedule so that you don’t get stuck in rush hour traffic! Traffic is inevitable, especially in a city with millions of people, but there are definitely times of the day – mid-afternoon or at night – that can offer less congestion on the roads!
What about by train?
Another great way to get to Los Angeles is by the Amtrak train. With routes that run all the way to New Orleans, and even up to Seattle, the Amtrak train can be an amazing way to not only get somewhere, but also see the country! We suggest breaking up Amtrak trips into segments so that you’re not sitting in your seat for too many hours at a time. If you do book an overnight train ride, we recommend bringing a neck pillow and blanket, especially if you are in coach! Don’t be intimidated by the idea of taking a train, though, as these rides can be memorable and also affordable!
If you’re not needing to cross the country, you can still access cool surrounding areas by taking the train out of Los Angeles. Cities and towns like San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and San Francisco are all popular day-trips that are worth considering while you’re staying in LA!
How is the public transportation?
Frankly, Los Angeles is not known for having stellar public transportation. While there are a handful of Metro (train) routes that can get you across and around the city, the Metro does not access a ton of neighborhoods and is better suited for more direct travels. Otherwise, the bus system has plenty of routes that can get you to different areas of Los Angeles. However you choose to get around on the bus or Metro, always check the schedules and spots before hopping on! Nobody likes getting lost, especially in a big city!
No matter how you choose to get around LA, don’t forget: it is massive! Sometimes getting from one part of the city to another can feel like you’ve traveled to a different state! With that being said, we recommend selecting a certain neighborhood or area of the city that you want to see, and try to plan as many activities or things to do in that area. Save your travel time and spend it by the beach, or sipping on some icy beverages while you watch the sunset!
Here’s another look at the mass transit system in Los Angeles!
What are the main travel hubs?
As mentioned earlier, LAX is a main travel hub for both domestic and international travelers. Depending on when you fly in or out of LAX, it can get hairy! Otherwise, Union Station in central Los Angeles services trains and busses that go not only throughout the city, but also to some of those towns we touched on earlier. While it’s located away from many of the attractions that people come to Los Angeles for, Union Station can be used in so many ways for getting to and from LA!
Maybe I’ll just call a ride…
Calling an Uber or Lyft might seem like the simplest solution – and, sometimes it is! Don’t underestimate the distance it might take to get to your destination, though, as this can cause for a costly ride. Also, it could seem like your destination is near on a map, but be prepared for what could be a longer car ride, especially during peak rush hours. All that’s to say, Uber and Lyft are good for getting around, especially at night, but plan that into your budget!
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