When you get to Los Angeles, you may find it very relaxing at first. People seem to walk slower, talk slower, and generally take things easier than the rest of us. Then you get onto the highway and it becomes a different picture. People (not all but many) are nuts, crazy, and angry. Why? Because Los Angeles is so spread out and there are so many highways, so many lanes, so many cars, and too many bad drivers….that it makes the mildest meakest person want to scream. All that said, unless you plan a trip to Los Angeles where you will be staying in one area (Venice Beach and Sanata Monica), you need to rent a car. Los Angeles is very spread out and by car it could take an hour or hours (depending on taffic) to get from “the valley” to Sunset Strip and then to Venice Beach.
Planning would be the key word for Los Angeles. Plan well and stay calm and prepare for traffic OR plan a stay in one part (Santa Monica/Venice Beach) and then plan the rest of your visit in another area (the valley). Either way, if you don’t plan, prepare for traffic tie-ups and delays.
All that said, Los Angeles is a great place to visit. Beautiful hills, beautiful palm trees, beautiful weather, and beautiful people. A side not to mention is that….. a 4 to 5 hour drive will take you to the grand canyon (something to keep in mind). Another thing interesting point is that you will most definately see celebrities. Unlike New York where the famous walk around and the even more infamous New York City residents walk around them ignoring their fame and notirioty…… celebrities in Los Angeles are gawked at, ran up to for autographs, and they seem to love it.
Places to see: Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, the Sunset Strip, Universal Studios, Guinness World of Records Museum, the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Wax Museum, Dance Clubs, Rocks Clubs (Viper Room, House of Blues).
Remember that San Franciso is only a few hours up north and San Diego is a few hours south (as well as Mexico); so a stay in Los Angeles can also be a stay in a few other great places as well if you are staying for more than a few days.