Savour a honeymoon or romantic getaway in Los Angeles – the movie capital of the world – a glamorous feast where fantasy and reality happily co-exist.
Often a tricky city to navigate, the USA's second largest city after New York sprawls across several diverse neighbourhoods and offers countless playful opportunities for honeymoon couples.
Los Angeles offers a choice of must-see attractions from world-famous Sunset Boulevard and Rodeo Drive to The Getty Centre and Universal Studios Hollywood.
Head downtown to see the Museum of Contemporary Art, the architecturally impressive Walt Disney Concert Hall (photo), historic Olvera Street (celebrated as the birthplace of Los Angeles) and Little Tokyo – ideal for an authentic Japanese massage.
To the west lies Hollywood, the wealthy suburb of Beverly Hills, stunning city views from winding Mulholland Drive and the ‘stars’ on the Hollywood Walk of Fame between La Brea Boulevard and Vie Street.
Follow the locals to the beach communities spread along Santa Monica Bay, including the quintessential trendy Santa Monica and upmarket Malibu.
For classy free entertainment, check out morning rehearsals at the Hollywood Bowl or Friday night jazz at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Find must-see attractions in Los Angeles…
Los Angeles boasts some of the most famous beaches in the world along a sandy ribbon of white sand that stretches for more than 100km from Malibu in the north to Long Beach in south Los Angeles.
Choose from more than 20 great beaches, including Venice Beach (photo) – surely, one of the world’s most famous beaches – and Santa Monica Beach, home to the the picture-perfect Santa Monica Pier with it's great views over Santa Monica Bay.
Generally, alcohol, bonfires and pets are banned from all beaches. California law protects public access to beaches, however to avoid trespassing on private property around Malibu, try to stay beneath the high-tide mark.
Here’s a round-up of L.A.'s best beaches…
Discover one of the world’s most famous beaches – a wide sweep of flat white sand that edges the sparkling blue waters of Santa Monica Bay – just a short drive from downtown Los Angeles.
Choose to swim, sunbathe or people-watch on this quintessential L.A. beach, were the main attraction is the often quirky individuals who parade along Ocean Front Walk, a promenade that stretches the length of the palm-fringed beach.
With a pseudo-European atmosphere of pedestrian streets and canals, numerous boardwalk vendors, shops and a huge choice of chic beachside cafés and restaurants, Venice Beach is one of L.A.'s more trendy beach suburbs, flowing around Santa Monica Bay in an unbroken, 32km-long stretch of white sand.
The paved Ocean Front Walk, with views across to Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains, is the perfect place for hip exhibitionists. Expect to see bikini-clad roller bladers, cyclists, magicians, fortune-tellers and jugglers, while outdoor body builders and high-flying gymnasts dominate an adjacent area known locally as Muscle Beach.
Join the parade: you can rent in-line skates, roller skates and bicycles at the southern end of the boardwalk near the Venice Pier.
Beach facilities include picnic areas, toilets, showers, a weight lifting area, bike and skate rentals and several courts for volleyball, basketball, handball and racket ball. Lifeguards are on the beach during daylight hours.
Note: Walking on the beach after dark is illegal. At night Venice Beach can be a dangerous place, often frequented by drug dealers.
(Malibu) – Discover a pristine, 2.4km-long, white-sand beach fringed by giant sycamore trees and backing onto a state park, popular for its hiking trails. Enjoy swimming, surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, fishing, diving and beachcombing.
One of the few dog-friendly beaches in L.A., the beach also offers reefs, coastal caves and tidal pools to explore. In daylight look out for sea hares, starfish and fronded sea palms in the tidal pools.
At night watch small, silver-coloured grunion fish come ashore to spawn after the full or new moon from March to August. Park facilities include showers, toilets, picnic areas and wi-fi access.
Leo Carillo is located 45km northwest of Santa Monica on the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1).
(Malibu) – Just 10 minutes from the Malibu Pier lie three rugged and isolated beaches – El Pescador, La Piedra and El Matador – all nestled within secluded coves beneath a bluff that extends along a 3km-long stretch of Pacific Coast Highway 1, just west of Malibu.
Follow signposted rough trails and cliff face stairways that descend to these secluded white-sand beaches, which are perfect for sunbathing, swimming or enjoying a picnic.
The beach of El Matador is the largest and regarded locally as the most beautiful, with natural rock arches and picnic tables. Facilities include parking, toilets and picnic areas. Located 16km from Malibu.
(Malibu) – Los Angeles County's largest beach park may not be the most scenic beach in Santa Monica Bay, but it has the most facilities, including restrooms, showers, playgrounds, volleyball courts, snack bars and lifeguards.
Discover a 3km-long family friendly, white-sand beach set in an idyllic location backed by cliffs and facing Point Dume. Perfect for swimming and surfing clean waves, Malibu's legendary ‘Zuma’ is a local favourite and therefore generally crowded on weekends.
Fortunately it boasts more than 2025 parking spots! Join the locals for lunch and chow-down on freshly grilled salmon and sourdough bread on the terrace of the beachside seafood café.
(Malibu) – This secluded white-sand beach is perfect for whale watching from December to March and for hiking ocean-view trails year round.
Wander though the Point Dume State Preserve past headlands, cliffs, rocky coves and over sand dunes, with panoramic views encompassing Santa Monica Bay, the north Malibu Coast, inland Santa Monica mountains and Catalina Island in the distance.
Go swimming, surfing, scuba diving, fishing and beachcombing or look for tiny fish trapped in the numerous tidal rock pools. Facilities include restrooms.
(Malibu) – Discover a charming old-fashioned seaside experience on this small private beach. There is a small charge to park and access the beach, with changing rooms and showers included in the price.
Sunbathe, swim, relax with a cocktail and watch the sunset over Santa Monica Bay from the beach restaurant.
(Malibu) – Once the ancestral home of the Chumash Indians, Malibu Lagoon offers a pretty white-sand beach, estuary and wetlands area that attracts a variety of marine life.
Visit historic Adamson House – a showplace of Malibu historical artefacts, enjoy a picnic with views south to Malibu Pier and Surfrider Beach or take a guided tour of the wetlands and tidal pools. Facilities include picnic areas, restrooms and wi-fi service.
(Malibu) – Regarded as L.A.’s premier surfing beach, Surfrider sits between the Malibu Pier and the lagoon. The waves get crowded here but the local surfers are generally friendly to visitors.
If you don’t fancy surfing, try swimming, fishing or a game of volleyball. Facilities include volleyball courts, restrooms, showers, food kiosks and lifeguards.
(Malibu) – Despite the highway noise, this narrow, rocky strip of beach offers superb right-point surf breaks and gorgeous views of the ocean.
Not the best beach for sunbathing, but good for surfing, swimming and fishing.
Facilities include restrooms, showers, picnic tables, lifeguards and, just across the street, one of Malibu’s best seafood restaurants, The Reel Inn.
(Pacific Palisades) – Located between Sunset Boulevard and the Santa Monica county line, this 5km-long white-sand beach is good for sunbathing, swimming, biking, fishing and joining competitive volleyball games on the beach.
Facilities include showers, restrooms, lifeguards and a food kiosk.
(Santa Monica) – Relax on or swim from this wide, family friendly, white-sand beach that lies on either side of the Santa Monica Pier with great views over Santa Monica Bay.
This popular beach attracts thousands of locals and overseas visitors on a daily basis year round.
Go swimming and surfing, play beach volleyball and outdoor chess or rollerblade, skate, cycle, jog or stroll along the paved beach path that connects with Venice Beach and beaches further south.
Other facilities at this popular 5.6km-long beach include restaurants, restrooms, showers, lifeguards, bike rentals and the Santa Monica Pier with its Ferris wheel and amusement park rides, very popular with the kids.
Open 365 days a year, the pier offers a variety of entertainment, dining and shopping experiences as well as an historic 1922 carousel and an interactive aquarium. Stroll the planks and be entertained by lively street performers. Admission is free.
(Playa del Rey) – Located at the western edge of Los Angeles International Airport, this 5km-long beach is the only LA beach that permits bonfires.
Good waves make this a popular spot for surfing and swimming.
Facilities include volleyball courts, restrooms, showers, barbecue pits, picnic areas, a cycle path and lifeguards. There’s also a hang-gliding facility.
(Manhattan) – This wide, surf-friendly beach backed by stunning ocean-view homes is famous as the birthplace of beach volleyball.
It is the site of the world's first beach volleyball tournament and was once the beach hang-out of The Beach Boys.
Surf the waves, sunbathe, swim, walk or cycle the paved beachside track and play beach volleyball. Facilities include restrooms, showers, lifeguards and volleyball courts. Nearby sits a fishing pier, seafood restaurants and a children’s playground.
(Hermosa) – This wide white-sand beach extends on either side of the pier, with a wide pedestrian walkway known as ‘the Strand’ stretching its entire length.
Sunbathe, go swimming and surfing or walk or cycle the Strand and fish from the pier.
Facilities include a fish and tackle rental shop, restrooms, showers, lifeguards, volleyball courts, a fishing pier, children’s playgrounds and nearby shops and restaurants.
(Redondo) – Discover a beautiful white-sand beach popular with families, surfers, cyclists and joggers.
Bike or skate the long, beachside-paved pathway, go swimming, surfing, play volleyball or fish from the pier.
Facilities include a bait and tackle shop, restrooms, showers, lifeguards, volleyball courts and a pier full of amusements.
Los Angeles offers newlyweds an excellent choice of accommodation options to suit every taste and budget, including the following 5-star hotels…
Location: 701 Stone Canyon Road, Los Angeles
Ave nightly price: AUD1,193 per room
Description: This historic 1950s hotel is in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles and features rooms with flat-screen TVs. The hotel has a large garden and the La Prairie Spa is a full-service spa on site. Hotel Bel-Air rooms include large windows and views of the garden. The rooms come with white bedding and modern furnishings. Bathrobes are available in adult or children’s sizes for the spa-style bathrooms. The property features an outdoor pool. The hotel has a state-of-the-art fitness center. The hotel also hosts 3 resident swans in the garden pond. Guests can have a drink in the Bar & Lounge which features 2 fireplaces, grand piano and views of the gardens. The Hotel Bel-Air restaurant features Mediterranean fusion and is managed by Wolfgang Puck. Shopping on North Rodeo Drive is 5.8 km from the property.
The Beverly Hills Hotel
Location: 9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills
Ave nightly price: AUD1,040 per room
Description: Known as “The Pink Palace,” this luxury hotel on Sunset Boulevard features the full-service La Prairie Spa and a beautiful outdoor pool. Downtown Beverly Hills is just 1.6 km away. The bright and elegant rooms of The Beverly Hills Hotel feature marble bathrooms and 2 TVs. A minibar, coffee maker and ironing facilities are included. The Polo Lounge at the hotel is a popular dining place for celebrities. The poolside Cabana Café, the 1950s-style Fountain Coffee Room and the Bar Nineteen 12 are also open. The Beverly Hills’ pool features underwater music, private cabanas and personal staff service. The fitness center provides free fruit, juices and water while guests work out. The Beverly Hills Hotel is across from Will Rogers Memorial Park. Greystone Mansion is 6 minutes away.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Location: 9882 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills
Ave nightly price: AUD932 per room
Description: In Beverly Hills, this hotel is a 12 minute walk from shopping on Rodeo Drive. It features gourmet on-site dining options, a full-service spa and spacious guest rooms with flat-screen TVs. Cream colored rooms boast an iPod docking station at Beverly Hills The Peninsula. A microwave, refrigerator and minibar are available in all rooms. World-class dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner is available at the Belvedere restaurant. The Belvedere is a lively seafood-centric Mediterranean restaurant showcasing award-winning cuisine in a warm and inviting environment. The adjacent outdoor terrace space is a destination for al fresco dining under the glittering Beverly Hills evening sky. A large rooftop outdoor pool and a modern gym with personal coaches are available. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. Upon check-in guests can enjoy free fresh fruit and a welcome beverage. Shoe shining services are available. The University of California Los Angeles is 4 km from The Peninsula. Universal Studios is 13.4 km away.
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
Location: 300 South Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills
Ave nightly price: AUD855 per room
Description: Located in the center of Los Angeles this luxurious, full-service hotel provides rooms with French doors opening to private balconies. This 5-star hotel features a full-service spa and outdoor pool. These air conditioned rooms at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills offer views of the gardens, Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles or Beverly Hills. They are furnished with a living area and cable TV, a DVD player and iPod docking station. On-site dining provides guests with indoor or outdoor seating options and specializes in Italian cuisine. Cocktails are available at Windows Lounge located in the Four Seasons Los Angeles. Los Angeles Four Seasons at Beverly Hills boasts a library and gym. Guests can relax in the sauna or use the business center. Rodeo Drive and Melrose Avenue are within walking distance from the Four Seasons at Beverly Hills. Downtown Los Angeles is 17 km away.
The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles
Location: 900 West Olympic Boulevard, Downtown LA
Ave nightly price: AUD695 per room
Description: In downtown Los Angeles, just a block from the Staples Center, the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles offers luxurious rooms with marble bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, and iPod docks. The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles has a rooftop heated swimming pool & hot tub with panoramic city and mountain views. Guest can also rejuvenate in the Ritz-Carlton Spa which has 9 luxurious treatment rooms. The Ritz Carlton LA’s WP24 Restaurant and Lounge offers chef Wolfgang Puck’s modern interpretation of traditional Chinese cuisine and provides spectacular panoramic views of Los Angeles. There are also a number of cafes and bars for guests to enjoy on site. Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles offers easy access to the business, financial, legal, cultural and fashion districts of Los Angeles. The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles is less than 3.2 km from Disney Concert Hall and 3.2 km from Dodger Stadium.
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Anytime. Los Angeles averages 263 sunny days a year with just 35 days of rain. The average daily temperature is 19°C (66°F), rising to a high of 28°C (82°F) in summer (July to September).
Average inland and coastal temperatures may vary by 10°C (50°F) from winter to summer, while average beach temperatures vary by less than 3°C (37°F) from winter to summer.
For more climate info: Los Angeles Weather Guide…
Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., sits on the west coast of America facing the Pacific Ocean in Southern California.
The most convenient route to Los Angeles is by air to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), commonly referred to as LAX (with each of its letters pronounced individually), located about 30km (18mi) southwest of downtown Los Angeles.
The best way to get around Los Angeles is by car. Hire cars are easily available from LAX airport and at most major hotels.
Public transport is also an inexpensive and good way to get around LA. Bicycles and taxis are useful to get around individual neighbourhoods.
More information on how to get around Los Angeles…
Latest update: Los Angeles Honeymoon: 9 July, 2020
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