What’s the best time to visit Los Angeles?

©iStock/frankvandenbergh

The movies make it seem like Los Angeles is a summer wonderland 365 days a year; but L.A. does actually have seasons, they are just not the ones you know back home. The city's various microclimates mean it can be gloomy and cold in one part of town and scorching in another. The dry season starts around April or May, and the city doesn't see a drop of rain until November. Fog can make May gray or June gloomy, but July through October is the finest time of year in the beach communities. Typically, they enjoy sunny 75 F days and nights perfect for sleeping with open windows. Further inland and in the valleys, however, temperatures get into the 80s and 90s, making air-conditioning a must, so if you've planned a summer vacay pack the suntan lotion and a hat. By September or October, enclaves in the canyons and near national forests become hot and dry tinderboxes subject to devastating wildfires. Even during the season between November and April, there isn't that much rain. Just 15 inches falls in an average year, usually in the form of big downpours between January and March. When it's not raining, days are sunny and bright, with temperatures in the high 70s and 80s during the day and 50s or 60s at night.

  • On July 27, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    What are the best places to eat in Los Angeles?

    Baco Mercat
    At Josef Centeno's Baco Mercat where you can grab eclectic bites like a "baco," Centino's signature flatbread sandwich. The baco is somewhere between a gyro or a very dense taco, and you can get it stuffed with lighter ingredients like feta and chickpeas in "the fava fritter," but why not go all out and order "the original," which is a mix of pork, beef carnitas and a salbitxada sauce. Other menu must-haves are the Ceasar Brussels sprouts, and pork belly served over rocotta cavatelli. The plates are smaller, which makes them perfect for exploring the menu and sharing.

    Mo-Chica
    Not too far away from Baco Mercat you'll stumble on chef Ricardo Zarate's restaurant, Mo-Chica, which offers bold flavors from Peru in a lively atmosphere. The menu showcases Zarate's signature alpaca stew served with tagliatelle and aji amarillo sauce with fried organic fertile egg on top. Zarate presents more upscale versions of Mo-Chica's flavors at Picca in Century City and Paiche in Marina del Rey.

    Animal
    Meat-driven cuisine takes the spotlight at chef Jon Shook's and Vinny Dotolo's Animal, in the form of dishes like marrow bone with chimichurri with caramelized onions, and crispy pig head with salsa macho, crema and avocado. At Tar & Roses, chef Andrew Kirschner serves eclectic shareable plates, many of which are cooked in the restaurant's wood-burning oven.

    Fishing With Dynamite
    Chef David LeFevre’s second Manhattan Beach outpost is steps from the Pacific Ocean and Manhattan Beach Pier. The cozy location reminiscent of those you might find in Nantucket offers traditional and innovative seafood selections from a menu that is divided among the raw bar, “new school” (creative dishes like black miso cod with Japanese eggplant, adzuki beans and Thai basil), “old school” (East Coast favorites like New England clam chowder and Maryland blue crab cakes) and "after school" dessert selections like Key lime pie.
  • On July 27, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    What are the best waterfront hotels in Los Angeles?

    Los Angeles boasts a gorgeous 72-mile coastline. Why wouldn't you want to stay as close as possible to it and let the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean lull you to sleep at night.

    Casa del Mar
    The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel offers sweeping ocean views from most of their 129 guest rooms, in addition to a lively lobby bar scene and restaurant, Catch that offers farm-to-table cuisine with a focus on seafood selections. You can also visit their Sea Wellness Spa for a variety of skincare and body treatments and wellness programs.

    Shutters On The Beach
    Valet your car and immediately stick your toes in the sand at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star beachside property. You can enjoy the sound of waves hitting the shore from many of the 186 guestrooms and 14 suites, in addition to their stellar market driven restaurant One Pico that offers nearly panoramic seaside views. If you're still not relaxed book a service at the spa and layout by the pool while you wait.

    The Terranea
    While not technically on the beach (you're on a hill's edge overlooking the Pacific Ocean), you can get a full luxury seaside experience at the Terranea Resort. On site you have everything you need to pamper yourself at your finger tips: an award-winning 9-hole par 3 golf course, destination spa, three pools with ocean views and eight unique restaurants, in addition to a wide selection of resort activities.
  • On July 27, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    What are the best coffee shops in Los Angeles?

    The last few years have brought a thriving coffee culture to Los Angeles—and that's not even counting the exponential number of Starbucks opening up on every other city corner. Even the some of the smallest cafes around the city feature artisanal roasted beans or those from Chicago import Intelligentsia Coffee locations.

    If you're looking for a quick cup of crafted coffee try Intelligentsia Coffee at locations all over the city. LAMill offers coffees brewed with their home-roasted beans through artisan methods Clover, Chemex, Siphon, Eva Solo and french press. In addition, their stylishly cozy Silver Lake shop features a gourmet menu overseen by chef Michael Cimarusti (of four-star Providence restaurant). Cafe Demitasse has locations in downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica. They brew their own beans and their barista are passionate about coffee, offering specialty drinks in a variety of brew methods.

    My favorite place to grab a latte and a delicious pastry is at C+M Coffee while I'm browsing the galleries at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In addition to expertly brewed coffees they make their own milk sorbet which you can enjoy either smashed between two freshly baked cookies, or have them handshake it into decadent milkshakes—you can also add spirits for an adult-only option.
  • Just now

    NEW FOLLOWERS

    Ruch Agr
  • On July 27, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    What are some things to know before visiting Los Angeles?

    From annual Oscar coverage to the pages of US Weekly, you may think you have an accurate perception of Los Angeles, but it's truly a different place than how it appears on awards shows and gossip magazines.

    A few things you should know before visiting are:

    Los Angeles means more than just Hollywood. It's a sprawling city—nearly 500 square miles—comprised of more than 272 neighborhoods each with its own individual personality.

    Public transportation can be tricky. We're not like our New York, Chicago and San Francisco counter parts. Our metro system is in its nascent stage and the bus system may not be a traveler's first choice to get from point A to point B. If you opt to rent a car, note that traffic is also tricky. Use a GPS or Google Maps to scout your route before you take off. If you see a holdup on one of our freeways, surface sreets are usually a viable option to get you where you need to go—and you'll get a better picture of the city while you're doing it.

    It can be cold at the beach. Our beaches differ from our Atlantic counterparts. Even though the weather is sunny and warm most of the year, marine layers near the ocean can make for chilly days at the beach, even if it's scorching in other parts of the city.

    Know before you go. Los Angeles is so big and has so much to offer that visiting it is what you make of it. Do your homework to decide what kind of vacation you want. You can find everything from luxury shopping and world-class dining, to avant-garde galleries and eccentric ethnic cuisines, to a sublime seaside getaway.
  • On July 24, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    What is public transportation like in Los Angeles?

    Once a non-viable option to efficiently traverse the city, public transportation is vastly improving in Los Angeles. This is mainly due to L.A.'s subway/lightrail, which now hits some of the city's best attractions from Universal City to Hollywood, to downtown, and Culver City. But, even with extensive improvements in recent years, L.A.'s metro isn't as comprehensive as you would find in cities like New York, San Francisco or Paris. Metro is working on expanding the subway/lightrail into Beverly Hills and to the sea in Santa Monica, but that won't happen for another two years at least.

    When locals and visitors want to get around the city without renting a car, some use the bus, which has a vast network of routes connecting the city. You can plan your trip with Metro's handy trip planner. However, when most people want to get around, they rely on private forms of transportation: either by city cabs or rideshare serves like Uber and Lyft which are exploding in popularity.



  • On July 24, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    What are the best neighborhoods in Los Angeles?

    Picking a favorite neighborhood in Los Angeles is like choosing a favorite pet, or child; secretly everyone has one, but it would be unfair to admit it because you would be ignoring all the other stellar qualities of neighborhoods around the city.

    Los Angeles as a whole is going through a dining and cultural renaissance with acclaimed restaurants, theaters and artistic spaces opening up all the time all over the city. Downtown is currently the epicenter of this. Last year 12-acre Grand Park opened in the heart of downtown offering ongoing cultural programming like concerts, movie nights and lunchtime yoga. Chefs from all over the city open outposts in downtown like Ricardo Zarate’s Mo-Chica, John Sedlar’s Rivera, Wolfgang Puck’s WP24 and Joachim Splichal’s four star-rated Patina and corresponding restaurant empire that has many outposts in the neighborhood. Downtown L.A. is home to acclaimed cultural organizations like the Center Theater Group, LA Opera and Walt Disney Concert Hall, the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

    To be fair, not everything happens in downtown. Other top L.A. neighborhoods include the boho oases of Los Feliz, Silver Lake and Echo Park; ritzy shopping and world class dining and hotel accommodations among the tree-lined boulevards in Beverly Hills; the colorful streets and amped up nightlife in Hollywood and West Hollywood; and breezy seaside wonderlands of Santa Monica, Malibu and Venice.
  • On July 24, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    What is the weather like right now in Los Angeles?

    Right now it is sunny and in the mid-70s in Hollywood. In Santa Monica it's overcast and in the mid-60s, in The Valley it's sunny and in the 80s.

    The weather in Los Angeles can change on a dime, no matter what time of year it is. A few years ago,  I recall shopping for Christmas presents with my air conditioner on high. This winter we hit freezing temperatures much to the dismay of many Angelenos who prefer to wear flip flops year round.

    When you're planning to visit L.A. make sure to check the weather report for the specific area of the city that you're staying in, and pack layers if you plan on being on the move throughout the day. A few things about the weather remain consistent not matter where you are:
    • Temperatures drop in the evening hours so packing a light sweater or a jacket is essential.
    • "June Gloom" is a serious concern if you're planning to stay near the coast in the early summer. It could be sunny inland, but you'd never know that from the thick marine layer blanketing the beach.
    • It only rains periodically throughout the year so let's hope the stars are in line and you hit the city during sunny days.
    • In light of that, always arm yourself with at least one pair of sunglasses.
  • On July 17, 2013
    Martine Bury answered the question: Martine Bury

    What are the best historic hotels in Los Angeles?

    As the legendary playground of the rich and famous, Los Angeles is home to many storied hotels. My favorite among them is the Chateau Marmont Hotel & Bungalows. Modeled after a royal residence in France's Loire Valley, the building was originally opened as an apartment house in 1929. If the walls could talk, they would spill every detail of celebrity revelry and scandal that has taken place in this landmark building, high above Sunset Boulevard. It was purchased and restored by hotelier and restaurateur André Balazs in 1990. The hotel has played host to a long list of notable names, from F. Scott Fitzgerald, Clark Gable and Greta Garbo to Mick Jagger, Jim Morrison, Leonardo DiCaprio and Lindsay Lohan. Comedian John Belushi, most famously, overdosed here. Still, the gothic lobby, fabled bungalows, and well-worn hallways make this monument to Hollywood glamour a still super-chic destination.

    The Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows, also known as the “Pink Palace”, may be one of the most iconic properties in Los Angeles. The rich and famous and have been staying there (and in its bungalows) since it opened in 1912, and shows no signs of slowing down after a hundred years. This hideaway that served as inspiration for the Eagles classic song “Hotel California” is located on Sunset Blvd. Keeping with tradition, the classic hotel's beautiful guests still lounge by the Olympic-size swimming pool to enjoy Los Angeles’s hospitable sunrays and grab drinks at the intimate Polo Lounge.

    The Hollywood Roosevelt is a Spanish-style stunner that was opened in 1927, with 300 rooms and was the first venue to host the Academy Awards. It is right in the heart of Hollywood’s entertainment district, providing walkable access to some of Hollywood’s main attractions, including the world famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Guests with a penchant for nightlife may attempt to make their way to its downstairs nightclub Teddy’s, notoriously celeb-infested and difficult to get into. Nonetheless, the Roosevelt is packed with alluring details. British painter David Hockney painted the hotel’s pool bottom in 1998. Mixology buffs can enjoy the city's best cocktails in LA at the onsite Library Bar.

    For those who can do without the scene, the Millenium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles, built in 1923, is a luxurious focal point of the revitalized cultural district in Downtown Los Angeles. Featured in over 100 motion pictures, this Italian-Spanish Renaissance-style hotel is known equally for its grandeur and lavish interiors as it is for hosting parties and conventions for celebrities and international businesses and dignitaries.
  • On July 17, 2013
    Martine Bury answered the question: Martine Bury

    What are the best historic hotels in Los Angeles?

    As the legendary playground of the rich and famous, Los Angeles is home to many storied hotels. My favorite among them is the Chateau Marmont Hotel & Bungalows. Modeled after a royal residence in France's Loire Valley, the building was originally opened as an apartment house in 1929. If the walls could talk, they would spill every detail of celebrity revelry and scandal that has taken place in this landmark building, high above Sunset Boulevard. It was purchased and restored by hotelier and restaurateur André Balazs in 1990. The hotel has played host to a long list of notable names, from F. Scott Fitzgerald, Clark Gable and Greta Garbo to Mick Jagger, Jim Morrison, Leonardo DiCaprio and Lindsay Lohan. Comedian John Belushi, most famously, overdosed here. Still, the gothic lobby, fabled bungalows, and well-worn hallways make this monument to Hollywood glamour a still super-chic destination.

    The Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows, also known as the “Pink Palace”, may be one of the most iconic properties in Los Angeles. The rich and famous and have been staying there (and in its bungalows) since it opened in 1912, and shows no signs of slowing down after a hundred years. This hideaway that served as inspiration for the Eagles classic song “Hotel California” is located on Sunset Blvd. Keeping with tradition, the classic hotel's beautiful guests still lounge by the Olympic-size swimming pool to enjoy Los Angeles’s hospitable sunrays and grab drinks at the intimate Polo Lounge.

    The Hollywood Roosevelt is a Spanish-style stunner that was opened in 1927, with 300 rooms and was the first venue to host the Academy Awards. It is right in the heart of Hollywood’s entertainment district, providing walkable access to some of Hollywood’s main attractions, including the world famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Guests with a penchant for nightlife may attempt to make their way to its downstairs nightclub Teddy’s, notoriously celeb-infested and difficult to get into. Nonetheless, the Roosevelt is packed with alluring details. British painter David Hockney painted the hotel’s pool bottom in 1998. Mixology buffs can enjoy the city's best cocktails in LA at the onsite Library Bar.

    For those who can do without the scene, the Millenium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles, built in 1923, is a luxurious focal point of the revitalized cultural district in Downtown Los Angeles. Featured in over 100 motion pictures, this Italian-Spanish Renaissance-style hotel is known equally for its grandeur and lavish interiors as it is for hosting parties and conventions for celebrities and international businesses and dignitaries.
  • On July 9, 2013
    Martine Bury answered the question: Martine Bury

    What are the best neighborhoods in Los Angeles?

    Sprawling Los Angeles is a city of ‘mini cities’ that can be considered some of the best neighborhoods anywhere. Here are a few to explore. South Pasadena, a few miles away from the world famous Rose Bowl—and annual Rose Parade—is one of Los Angeles’ best suburbs. The quaint community is nestled among the foothills of the epic San Gabriel Mountains, and its lush scenery and great family shopping harken back to a simpler era.

    West Hollywood is arguably the vibrant heartbeat of Los Angeles, playing host too much of the entertainment industry, tourist attractions and some of the cities most essential nightlife and dining. 

    Santa Monica is a living, breathing postcard. From its beautiful beaches and proximity to Venice Beach, and its famous family attractions like the Santa Monica Pier and great shopping at the Third Street Promenade make this one of LA’s most sought after neighborhoods to live in.
Next