If you’re planning your first trip to the dazzling city of Los Angeles, you may find yourself wondering, “Where should I stay?” With its diverse neighborhoods and countless attractions, choosing the perfect location can feel overwhelming. But fear not! This article is here to help you navigate the city’s vibrant tapestry and find the ideal spot for your memorable visit. So put your worries aside and get ready to discover the best areas to stay in Los Angeles for an unforgettable first-time experience! If you’re planning your first trip to Los Angeles, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer size and diversity of the city. With so many neighborhoods and attractions to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where to stay. Luckily, we’re here to help! In this article, we’ll explore ten of the most popular areas in Los Angeles and highlight the must-see attractions in each.

1. Downtown Los Angeles

Historic Core

The Historic Core of Downtown Los Angeles is a vibrant neighborhood filled with rich history and stunning architecture. Here, you’ll find beautiful buildings like the Bradbury Building and the Eastern Columbia Building, which date back to the early 1900s. Take a stroll down Broadway and explore the numerous shops, restaurants, and theaters that line the street.

Arts District

If you’re a fan of all things artsy and trendy, the Arts District is the place for you. This former industrial area has transformed into a haven for artists and creatives, with its countless galleries, studios, and hip eateries. Don’t miss the Hauser & Wirth gallery, which showcases contemporary art from around the world.

Little Tokyo

Immerse yourself in Japanese culture by visiting Little Tokyo. This neighborhood offers a unique blend of traditional Japanese aesthetics and modern attractions. Explore the Japanese American National Museum, savor delicious ramen at one of the local eateries, and make sure to visit the charming Japanese Village Plaza.

2. Hollywood

Hollywood Boulevard

No trip to Los Angeles would be complete without a visit to Hollywood Boulevard. Walk in the footsteps of your favorite celebrities as you explore the Walk of Fame and search for your favorite stars’ names on the sidewalk. Don’t forget to snap a picture with the iconic Hollywood sign in the background!

Sunset Strip

Known for its vibrant nightlife and iconic music venues, Sunset Strip is the place to see and be seen. Catch a live show at the legendary Whisky a Go Go or the Roxy Theatre, and don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at one of the trendy restaurants that line the street.

Griffith Observatory

For breathtaking views of the city and the stars above, head to Griffith Observatory. Located in Griffith Park, this iconic landmark offers stunning panoramic views of Los Angeles and is home to a state-of-the-art planetarium. Spend a day exploring the exhibits, hiking in the park, and gazing at the stars through the telescopes.

3. Santa Monica

Santa Monica Pier

One of the most famous landmarks in Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Pier is a must-visit for all first-timers. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel, play games at the arcade, and indulge in some delicious cotton candy. Don’t forget to take a stroll along the beautiful sandy beach and dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean.

Third Street Promenade

Located just a few blocks from the pier, Third Street Promenade is a pedestrian-only street filled with shops, restaurants, and street performers. Grab a coffee to go and browse the numerous boutiques for unique souvenirs.

Venice Beach

Known for its vibrant and quirky atmosphere, Venice Beach is a place like no other. Take a walk along the lively Boardwalk, where you’ll find street artists, fortune tellers, and vendors selling all sorts of goods. Don’t miss the chance to visit Muscle Beach, where you can watch bodybuilders work out or even join in on a workout yourself. And be sure to explore Abbot Kinney Boulevard, home to stylish boutiques, art galleries, and trendy restaurants.

4. Beverly Hills

Rodeo Drive

If you’re a fan of luxury shopping, Rodeo Drive is the ultimate destination. Home to high-end fashion brands and glamorous storefronts, this iconic street is a shopper’s paradise. Even if you don’t plan on making any purchases, a walk down Rodeo Drive will make you feel like a movie star.

Beverly Gardens Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by visiting Beverly Gardens Park. This beautiful green space features stunning rose gardens, fountains, and sculptures. Take a leisurely stroll along the palm-tree-lined walkways and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.

The Beverly Hills Hotel

For a taste of old Hollywood glamour, book a stay at The Beverly Hills Hotel. This iconic pink palace has been a favorite among celebrities for decades. Even if you don’t stay overnight, make sure to stop by and enjoy a cocktail at the famous Polo Lounge.

5. West Hollywood

Sunset Strip

As mentioned earlier, Sunset Strip is a must-visit for its vibrant nightlife. From live music venues to trendy bars and clubs, there’s something for everyone here. Dance the night away and enjoy the energetic atmosphere.

Melrose Avenue

If shopping is more your style, head to Melrose Avenue. This trendy street is home to an array of unique boutiques, vintage stores, and stylish outlets. Don’t forget to snap a picture in front of the famous pink Paul Smith wall!

The Grove

For a more upscale shopping experience, visit The Grove. This outdoor shopping center features a mix of high-end and affordable brands, as well as a movie theater and numerous dining options. Catch a live performance at the adjacent Farmers Market and enjoy some delicious food.

6. Venice Beach


Venice Beach’s Boardwalk is a hub of activity and excitement. From street performers and musicians to artists and fortune tellers, you’ll find a bit of everything here. Get a henna tattoo, watch talented skateboarders practice their moves, or simply sit back and people-watch.

Muscle Beach

Fit and fitness enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to Muscle Beach. This outdoor gym is famous for its weightlifting equipment and bodybuilders showing off their impressive physiques. Whether you’re a professional athlete or simply curious, you’re sure to be inspired by the energy and dedication on display.

Abbot Kinney Boulevard

If you’re looking for a more upscale and trendy experience, head to Abbot Kinney Boulevard. This stylish street is filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and hip restaurants. Spend the day exploring the unique stores and dining at some of the city’s most talked-about eateries.

7. Silver Lake

Sunset Junction

Located in the heart of Silver Lake, Sunset Junction is a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood filled with trendy shops, cafes, and restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll down Sunset Boulevard and soak in the hip atmosphere. Don’t forget to stop by the Intelligentsia Coffee for a top-notch cup of coffee.

Silver Lake Reservoir

For a peaceful escape from the city, visit the Silver Lake Reservoir. This picturesque man-made lake is surrounded by a walking and jogging path, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Take a relaxing walk and enjoy the stunning views of the water and surrounding mountains.

Intelligentsia Coffee

Calling all coffee lovers! Intelligentsia Coffee is a must-visit for its expertly brewed coffee and cozy atmosphere. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a cup of their signature blend while soaking in the vibrant energy of Silver Lake.

8. Koreatown

Korean BBQ

One of the highlights of visiting Koreatown is the opportunity to indulge in delicious Korean BBQ. Check out one of the many restaurants offering this traditional dining experience, where you can grill your own meat at the table and enjoy it with a variety of flavorful side dishes.

Wilton Place

Wilton Place is a bustling street in Koreatown known for its lively atmosphere and diverse range of restaurants serving traditional Korean cuisine. Take a walk down the street and let your senses be tantalized by the enticing aromas and flavors.

The LINE Hotel

For a unique and stylish accommodation option, consider staying at The LINE Hotel. Located in the heart of Koreatown, this trendy boutique hotel offers modern rooms with a hip and artistic vibe. Make sure to stop by the hotel’s rooftop bar for stunning views of the city.

9. Malibu

Zuma Beach

Escape the city and relax on the beautiful sandy shores of Zuma Beach in Malibu. With its pristine waters and stunning views, this beach is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Pack a picnic and spend the day soaking up the sun or take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline.

Malibu Pier

For a taste of classic California coastal charm, visit the Malibu Pier. This iconic landmark offers stunning views of the ocean and is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and even a small aquarium. Grab a bite to eat at the Malibu Farm Cafe and enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific.

Getty Villa

Art lovers won’t want to miss a visit to the Getty Villa. Modeled after an ancient Roman villa, this museum houses a collection of exquisite Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities. Explore the stunning gardens and take in the breathtaking views of the coastline.

10. Pasadena

Old Town Pasadena

Step back in time and explore Old Town Pasadena. This charming neighborhood is filled with historic buildings, boutiques, and charming cafes. Take a leisurely stroll down Colorado Boulevard and soak in the quaint atmosphere.

Rose Bowl Stadium

Sports fans should make a stop at the Rose Bowl Stadium. This iconic venue has hosted numerous events, including the Rose Bowl Game and performances by world-renowned musicians. Take a tour of the stadium to learn about its rich history and enjoy the breathtaking views of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Norton Simon Museum

Art enthusiasts won’t want to miss a visit to the Norton Simon Museum. This world-class museum is home to an impressive collection of European paintings, sculptures, and Asian artifacts. Spend a day exploring the galleries and delving into the world of art appreciation.

With so many incredible neighborhoods and attractions to choose from, deciding where to stay in Los Angeles for your first visit can be a daunting task. Hopefully, this guide has helped narrow down your options and given you a taste of what each neighborhood has to offer. No matter which area you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience in the City of Angels.