Los Angeles is a popular summertime holiday destination - and for good reasons. With glistening beaches, atmospheric neighborhoods and countless cultural attractions - not to mention a guaranteed tan - no holiday maker will be left disappointed with a summertime trip to L.A.
Anyone who's planning a trip to L.A. will undoubtedly want to take advantage of the beaches and the famous California sunshine. There are a number of fantastic beaches to visit; some top picks include Santa Monica, Malibu, Venice Beach and Zuma - a popular spot for dolphin watching.
Santa Monica, located just southwest of Brentwood, is perfect for a full-day excursion: offering vast stretches of golden sand and deep blue coastline, as well as the nearby 3rd Street Promenade shopping district, visitors can swim, sunbathe and surf, then head up to the Promenade for a leisurely wander or some lunch. If you're travelling with children, you'll also want to visit the Santa Monica Pier - a pier lined with fantastic rides and carnival-style games.
Further up the coast is Malibu Beach; like Santa Monica, Malibu offers a stunning coastline and ideal conditions for surfing. However, Malibu also boasts the original Getty Museum - "The Getty Villa". As the residence of the late J. Paul Getty - an oil billionaire who collected and showcased art out of his home - The Getty Villa is now one of the wealthiest museums in the world. The Villa's larger half - the Getty Center - is also highly worth seeing. Just as eminent for its architecture as for its exhibits, the Getty Center, nestled on a hill high above the city of Los Angeles, is also a perfect spot from which to enjoy one of L.A.'s exquisite sunsets.
However, there are a number of other beaches - such as Huntington Beach, Manhattan Beach, Laguna Beach or Doheny Way (made famous by the Beach Boys' 'Surfin' USA') - which make for perfect day-long excursions beyond L.A's immediate beaches.
Apart from a bountiful 'beach culture', L.A. also boasts a number of lively local communities such as Chinatown, Little Tokyo and the Hispanic centre around Olvera Street - the district where the city was founded. The city of Pasadena, just east of Downtown L.A, also features a historic centre, with cultural gems such as the Norton Simon Museum and the stunning Huntington Library and Gardens. To the west of Downtown is Hollywood - renowned as the entertainment capital of the world. Apart from shopping and trying your luck at spotting a favourite film star, you'll get to see the famous Hollywood sign in the hills above Griffith Park.
If you're travelling with children - or just happen to be young at heart - you can visit a range of amusement parks from Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm to the roller-coaster lover's dream, Six Flags Magic Mountain. And if you love movies and entertainment, you won't want to miss out on Universal Studios, Hollywood!
If you're planning a trip to L.A this summer, you'll find a number of airlines which offer frequent daily flights to Los Angeles direct from London - so you can find yourself on that beach or strolling along the Hollywood Walk of Fame in no time. And who knows? You may even end up spotting one of your favorite stars! So discover L.A culture this summer - and don't forget the sunscreen!