There’s much more to Los Angeles tours than Hollywood, A-listers, and beachside body-builders. Trips to Los Angeles will open your eyes to a wealth of quirky sights, stunning Californian scenery, and some seriously good coastal routes.
Start off with Los Angeles guided tours that take you to all the hotspots, so you can tick them off your list. Then go off on your own journey of discovery along the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu and Santa Barbara, or blast down to the Grand Canyon. If you want to stay in the LA area, Los Angeles city tours will show you around the City of Angels’ unusual spots as well as show you all the usual iconic sights, such as the Hollywood walk of Fame, the shopping boulevards, and the famous Hollywood sign that towers above the city.
From the coast to the heart of La La Land, take a look at all our fantastic Los Angeles tours below. Want to explore tinseltown at your own pace? Check out our Los Angeles holidays to find your dream LA vacay.
Some images of California regularly make the postcards: crimson-coated Golden Gate Bridge, Santa Monica Pier, Carmel’s Lone Cypress, Yosemite’s waterfalls. And driving the long way from LA to San Francisco exposes every snapshot.
Some spend a whole holiday in LA, but it’s just the start of your Californian crossing. That doesn’t mean you have to miss its attractions though, as you’ll have time for Venice Beach, or maybe a dose of Disney.
But your car really comes into its own as you drift up the Pacific Coast Highway. Taking two days to cruise one of the States’ most coveted coastal routes allows plenty of postcard picks like Malibu Beach, Monterey’s canneries and Carmel’s 17 Mile Drive, before hitting San Francisco. Once there, swap your car for cable cars, or one of the infinite bikes that bravely tackle the famous hills (but not before testing your driving skills on crooked Lombard Street).
An unforgettable drive over Golden Gate Bridge sees you in chic Sausalito, then Muir Woods to walk the boardwalks beneath neck-craningly-high redwoods, before you continue to California’s Wine Country. And the state’s historic Gold Country route connects you with Yosemite, where a two night stay lets you capture postcard favourites, including canvas-worthy views of Half Dome from Glacier Point.
America delivers on all its descriptions. The Painted Desert really does look like a dye-splattered canvas. Monument Valley really does look like it’s stuffed with sculptures. Phoenix really does feel like it’s risen from the desert ashes. Mammoth really is mammoth. And the Grand Canyon really is, well, Grand.
Of course, some places have created a name for themselves, like Las Vegas. Gloriously gaudy and gratuitously glitzy, with its famous (often infamous) casinos, it’s a manmade attempt to rival the West’s larger-than-life natural showpieces.
To take in the best of the West, you need to experience its super-fast cities like LA and San Francisco, and its Hollywood starlet hangouts like Palm Springs and the OC. But those who just jet between LA, San Fran and Vegas miss the West’s real soul.
That’s only found in its bounty of deserts, canyons, lakes, and mountains: places like the Sonoran Desert, where you discover America’s most biologically diverse desert ecosystem; the vivid sculptural rocks of Sedona, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon NP and Zion NP; the rim of the Grand Canyon, as you stare a mile down into its belly; the summit of Mammoth Mountain as you take breakfast with a view; and the foot of Yosemite’s rainbow-luring waterfalls.
America’s hideaways for work and pleasure come together on this cover-it-all tour of America’s vast West. It embraces the studio-packed city of Los Angeles; the western ‘on location’ sets of the Painted Desert, Monument Valley, and Kanab, aka Little Hollywood; and LA’s equally cool urban neighbours, San Diego and San Francisco.
But Westerners aren’t just about business, and their big backyard’s packed with heady pleasures in the shape of fresh air recreation, lose-yourself scenery, and party playgrounds like Las Vegas, which you get to experience like a local.
Places like Palm Springs, Mammoth Lakes, and Lake Powell lure natives with their glorious golf courses, snow and water sports, and other outdoor pursuits, reaffirming the West coast’s famous addiction to anything healthy.
The plentiful national parks provide incomparable scenery for you to dip into, and you’ll witness the crimson monoliths of Sedona, the vastness of the Grand Canyon, the forests, waterfalls, and rugged landmarks of Yosemite, and the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, where campfires and constellations await on clear nights.
Back on the coast, seaside hideouts of in-the-know Californians trail down the Central Coast, and you’ll check off scenic Carmel, the canneries of Monterey, and the beaches of Malibu and Santa Barbara on your way back to LA.
When you’ve only got two weeks to squeeze in all the greats of states like California and Nevada, a supersonic driving holiday’s just the ticket. Stopping in a new place virtually every night, but slipping in extra nights in each of the major metropolises (think LA, Las Vegas, and San Francisco) lets you experience the very best of the West.
Every West coast attraction’s covered, with time for the delights of Disney, old west vibe of Scottsdale and skyscraper-studded Phoenix, and A-lister’s desert hangout, Palm Springs.
Driving yourself gives the freedom to stop where you want as you follow one of Route 66’s best sections, heading for Hoover Dam; or skirt above Yosemite on the stunning Tioga Road; or drive California’s historic Gold Rush route; or travel parallel to the Pacific through Big Sur’s big scenery on Highway 1.
All the top-dollar names make an appearance. There’s the Grand Canyon with its knee-wobblingly high overlooks; Yosemite, with its unfathomably beautiful waterfalls; and Death Valley, with its Zabriskie Point lookout showcasing rippling landscapes. The manmade musts don’t shy away either, with Las Vegas just as dazzling as its neon canopies, San Francisco’s tourist favourites and nearby Napa’s wineries, and LA laying out the big guns from Rodeo Drive to Venice Beach.
There’s no deeper way to discover a destination, than to see it with someone who actually lives there. One of our local friends greets you at each new city on this trip — ready to share its iconic sights, its hidden secrets, and their favourite neighbourhoods.
In LA, they’ll take you out for the day to the beaches (like bodybuilder-lined Muscle Beach), the celeb hangouts (like boutique-lined Rodeo Drive), and the big-name attractions (like the star-lined Walk of Fame). The next day, they’ll reveal skyline and Hollywood sign views from Griffith Observatory — or you can ask them to arrange add-ons like a studio tour (they’ll even tag along to a concert or ball game if you fancy adding one on).
Another of our Californian friends will join you for a two day journey up the famous Central Coast highways, showing off swanky seaside spots like Malibu, famous attractions like Route 66’s End of the Trail, and scenic sights like Carmel’s 17 Mile Drive and Monterey’s Cannery Row.
Introducing you to their charming home city, you’ll join our San Franciscan friend for a stroll through Chinatown, Union Square, and Fisherman’s Wharf, and for ‘must-do’ experiences like biking across Golden Gate Bridge, riding an historic cable car, sailing across the Bay by ferry, and dining at one of their favourite Chinatown restaurants.
Ending your adventure under the neon canopies of Las Vegas, our ‘in-the-know’ local shares the highlights of The Strip and Downtown, before you’re free to experience the shows, casinos, and day trips to spots like the Grand Canyon at your leisure.