The landmarks of Los Angeles and vicinity are spread
over nearly 4,000 square miles, so to see all they
can see, visitors will find themselves traversing
the region’s deserts, mountains and valleys.
Here are tips to help you learn the lay of the land,
from the time you arrive.
with L.A.’s notorious gridlock traffic, driving
a car will most likely be the easiest way to get around.
There are dozens of rental agencies throughout the
city including Hertz and Avis.
On a Budget? Try
Rent-a-Wreck for classic American cars from the
1960s and 1970s, including convertibles, at rock bottom
prices. If money is no object, call Beverly
Hills Rent-a-Car, the city's leading renter of
such class cars as Ferraris, Maseratis and Rolls Royces.
There are at least a dozen airport shuttles to choose
from, but most charge around $20 for a trip from the
Convention Center to LAX. Among the biggest shuttle
services are: Super
Shuttle and Prime
Among the best and most reasonably priced car-for-hire
companies is Skycar (800-332-5252). If you have a
pressing need for a Rolls-Royce Phantom Classic at
4 a.m., Integrated
Transportation Service will supply one for $75
per hour with a four-hour minimum. For something even
roomier, rent a 33-foot-long Lincoln Navigator from
SUV Limousine (877-788-5466).
Despite the efforts of the Metropolitan
Transportation Authority (MTA), crossing L.A.
by bus can be far from rapid, and conditions can be
crowded during rush hours. Express lines stop only
at major streets and are reasonably speedy. It's perfectly
possible, for instance, to take a bus from downtown
to the beach.
Trains are gradually becoming more popular, and Metrolink regional trains connect Downtown Los Angeles with
the suburbs. Within Los Angeles, Metro
Rail trains take passengers to dozens of local
destinations. For a day trip, try Amtrak,
headquartered at Union Station. Trains travel daily
between L.A., San Diego and Santa Barbara, stopping
at most cities in between. Beware, due to heavy freight
traffic, frequent delays can more than double your
Expect to pay a flat fee of approximately $46 for
a trip between LAX and Downtown. Since L.A. distances
are so vast, relying solely on taxis for transportation
can quickly become very expensive, but taking taxis
for relatively short trips is perfectly viable. One
of the best on the Westside is Beverly Hills Cab (310-273-6611);
in the San Fernando Valley try Valley Cab (818-787-1900);
and servicing the San Gabriel Valley is Bell Cab (818-285-1141).