12 Tips For Universal Studios Hollywood

Almost 20 years ago, I lived in Los Angeles while going to college to study art. Now you can go all the way to Santa Monica too - and with LAX on the green line, having to hire a car may not be so necessary. It has been referred to as the Central Park of Los Angeles but is much larger, more untamed, and rugged than its New York City counterpart.

Enjoying the outdoors is more popular than ever, according to visitation numbers at California parks. Tap into your childhood fantasies of visiting the happiest place on earth by heading down to Anaheim to Disneyland, or scare yourself witless with some of the fastest rides on the planet by travelling north to Six Flags Magic Mountain.

If you plan on doing a beach day, I'd probably do that in Orange County (Newport Beach, Laguna Beach) rather than L.A. or San Diego. Stay in the neighborhood you'll spend the most time in. Unless you want to spend most of your trip to Los Angeles in a car, this is the most important L.A. travel tip I can offer.

If you decide to fly into Burbank Airport it's a 15-minute drive from North Hollywood. Dominated by the exclusive names of Gucci, Versace, and Cartier, Rodeo Drive is a shoppers' paradise. Acclaimed travel expert, Rick Steves believes there's more to travel than good-value hotels, great art, and tasty cuisine.

Explore Downtown LA and cities like Hollywood, Venice Beach, and Santa Monica as much as you can on foot. First-time visitors will find out that it's easy to get swept up in the vlog glitz, glam, and gridlock of Los Angeles when you've first arrived. Now that you've covered some of Santa Monica's highlights, head further up the coast to check out Malibu.

On any random day at any particular time (day or night), a traffic jam can develop and it is not unheard of to take an hour just to go a few miles on the freeway. Monica , our local ambassador for Los Angeles , has a penchant for wandering, daydreaming, exploring and eating.

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