Welcome to La La Land: Los Angeles highlights
The (literally) star-studded streets of the City of Angels are home to iconic beaches, world-famous theme parks and glittering cityscapes lifted straight from your favourite movies.
There’s plenty to love here, whether you can't wait to go celebrity spotting or you're desperate to discover the food scene. Delve underneath LA’s glitzy façade with package holidays to Los Angeles from Virgin Holidays.
Beach Holidays in LA
The beaches along America’s rugged west coast are famous the world over, but the ones found in Los Angeles are something else. Pack that sun cream and your favourite book, because here are some of our favourites.
- Make sure your holiday to LA includes a journey to Southern California (ideally in a 70s convertible Mustang) for Long Beach. Think of it as a giant playground for all ages – it's teeming with things to do and sights to see, from the artsy East Village and lively clubs to tours aboard the historic Queen Mary ship. Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific an hour before it closes to bag entry tickets at half the price. The outdoors shark tank is the final exhibit to close everyday, so save that for last.
- Santa Monica beach sprawls along an impressive 3.5 miles, so you’re not likely to be jostling others for a good spot. Check out the Santa Monica pier, spend a day at the Pacific Park amusement park and admire the famous Looff Hippodrome Carousel, built over a hundred years ago.
- Expect colourful graffiti, street vendors and, of course, a whole lot of sunshine on Venice Beach. Need a break? Duck into the quiet haven of Small World bookshop on the boardwalk and say hello to the store's resident cat. Just a few steps away you can marvel at the bodybuilders pumping iron in the Muscle Beach gym, a piece of living history from the 30s where Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno have been known to work out.
Sightseeing and attractions in LA
We know it can be hard to tear yourself away from the beach, but there’s so much more to see on Los Angeles holidays. Here are some of our favourite sights and attractions.
- Head to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and live the magic. This is a great day out whether you like rides or not – there are also parades, exhibits, shows and restaurants to enjoy. If you are a thrill-seeker make sure to try the out-of-this-world Space Mountain or the hair-raising California Screamin'.
- Any Harry Potter fans in tow on your LA family holiday? They’ll love going behind the scenes of the franchise at Warner Brothers Studios, trying out the sorting hat and seeing the intricate costumes up close.
- Take a break from the sun and soak up some culture at the Natural History Museum, which is home to over 35 million historical artefacts.
- Get into the swing of American music and explore its illustrious history at the inspirational Grammy Museum on your holiday to LA. Exhibits change constantly but might include the legends of Motown or the kings of swing.
Looking to indulge?
Los Angeles is the place to do it. Here are our top recommendations for a luxurious LA holiday.
- At The Grove shopping mall you’ll find high-end designer stores selling everything from clothing and accessories to furniture and gadgets, as well as a theatre and a whole host of restaurants.
- Located on the coast of Santa Monica, the iconic Shutters on the Beach hotel's white wood exterior combines beach chic with nostalgic design. Treat yourself to a detoxifying ritual at the ONE Spa, before enjoying juicy prawns or nachos with a cocktail at the Coast Restaurant.
- Sun-soaked Malibu is home to a number of luxurious boutiques and eateries such as Nobu Malibu (try the monkfish pâté with caviar). Malibu offers an incredible 21 miles of coastline that was perhaps made most famous by Baywatch. For rugged beauty go to Big Rock Beach (although be aware that it's underwater during high tides), for seclusion head to Pirate’s Cove or try Surfrider for movie locations and killer waves.
Events and Festivals in LA
Time your holiday to Los Angeles with any one of these events and festivals for a truly unforgettable experience.
- The LA Festival of Colours lights up the Los Angeles skyline every March, bringing the Indian custom of Holi to the West Coast. Get ready to be covered in colourful powder (don't wear anything too fancy) and enjoy some live bhangra music.
- Taking place in April in Indio, California, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is a two-hour drive from LA and has become a cultural movement all of its own – unleash your inner cool kid with cutting-edge bands and mind-bending art installations.
- Every June, check out LA Pride for the largest celebration of the LGBTQ+ community in Southern California - with a parade, festival and so much more.
- Head down to Huntington Beach for the Vans US Open of Surfing in July. Watch the best surfers in the world show off their skills to a backdrop of incredible music and food. There are skating and BMX biking events to check out, too.
Got your sights set on the City of Angels' sun-soaked beaches and palm-lined vistas? Find out more about package holidays to Los Angeles with Virgin Holidays.