Welcome to the second biggest city in the USA. Los Angeles is a truly colossal metropolis, chock full of all manner of sights, attractions and cultural highlights to satisfy even the fussiest of tourists. From the iconic 1930s liner, Queen Mary, in Long Beach, to the boardwalk delights of Santa Monica, and from the high-end boutiques of Beverly Hills to natural marvels at the La Brea Tar Pits in Wilshire - there is a staggering array of things to see and do. However, in a city with more than 13 million inhabitants living in the metropolitan area alone, there will inevitably be streets and neighbourhoods which are less safe for visitors to enter and would wisely be off-limits to sensible travellers. Read on for some of the safe neighbourhoods to stay in during your Los Angeles vacation.
One of the more famous areas of Los Angeles, and very popular with tourists, Miracle Mile is almost a love-letter to the automobile. In the 1920s it was little more than a dirt farm road, but within a couple of decades, it became a bustling and key part of the Los Angeles cityscape - the miracle from which it gets its moniker. Designed specifically with the car in mind, the street and many of the early buildings were built to be aesthetically pleasing while driving at speeds of up to 30mph (48.2 kph). This led to the distinctive look of the buildings and proved so influential, it is thought to have had an influence on the Art Deco movement of the time. Today, Miracle Mile, which includes such iconic streets as Wilshire Boulevard, is a mecca for visitors to the city - its high-end shops and city landmarks such as the La Brea Tar Pits and museums proving very popular. This popularity as a tourist hot-spot is one of the reasons for its relative safety as a place to stay.
LA Luxury Industrial Home
Address: 735 South Burnside Avenue
Price: from 102 USD
This neighbourhood, which overlaps with Miracle Mile, enjoys many of the same perks as that destination. Namely, it is within easy reach of the La Brea Tar Pits and its world-famous fossils and pools of asphalt, as well as a host of highly-respected museums. Examples include the likes of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art - so art fans take note - and the Petersen Automotive Museum. Given Los Angeles’ famous reputation as a car-centric city, it’s perhaps little surprise that it is home to one of the planet’s largest automobile museums - and any petrolhead or fan of classic cars will likely love their visit. What’s more, the neighbourhood’s location in one of the more popular tourist areas of the city means there are plenty of eateries with which to tempt your palate - perhaps most famously in the area of Little Ethiopia. Naturally, the neighbourhood and Miracle Mile’s proximity mean that Wilshire also enjoys a fairly safe reputation.
Welcome to the self-styled ‘Athens of the West’. Old Pasadena - affectionately dubbed Old Town - has enjoyed quite the history. Home to such important companies and institutions as JPL (the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA fame) and Caltech - the presence of these and other important businesses, coupled with the area’s prosperous roots, earned the neighbourhood its Athens nickname. By the mid 20th century, its fortunes had waned somewhat, but following a period of decay, it became the focus of urban renewal in the late 1980s. Today, thanks to its latter-day regeneration, it has earned a reputation as one of the most popular places in Southern California for shopping and entertainment. It is home to a host of high-end restaurants, comedy clubs and vibrant nightspots. Those, coupled with its continued links with thriving businesses - indeed, much of the area is a business district - make it a popular and safe destination for visitors.
Courtyard by Marriott Los Angeles Pasadena Old Town
Address: 180 North Fair Oaks Avenue
Price: from 109 USD
CCTV in common areas Board games/puzzles Family rooms Guest accommodation is disinfected between stays Terrace Newspapers Face masks for guests available 24-hour front desk
Fans of trendy coffee shops, boutiques and indie music will likely love the hip neighbourhood of Silver Lake. This culturally and ethnically diverse neighbourhood is home to a host of nightclubs, pubs and restaurants, while the area’s noted street art and modernist architecture are sure to win fans among culture vultures. The reservoirs around which it developed and from which it got its name, are a popular spot with walkers, who are drawn to them for their parkland and the 2.25-mile (3.6km) path which circles them. The neighbourhood’s hipster image, coupled with its safety, has also made it a popular neighbourhood with celebrities - dozens of whom have set up home here - including the likes of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Donald Glover, the latter of whom recently lit up movie screens as Lando Calrissian in Star Wars spin-off Solo, and who has achieved global fame in the music industry under the moniker of Childish Gambino.
This up-market neighbourhood, which enjoys one of the city’s highest average household incomes and has been home to former US presidents and action film stars, is another of LA’s safer areas. Its tree-lined streets coupled with the numerous eateries and coffee shops of the Brentwood Village area have made it a popular spot. Indeed, San Vincente Boulevard, which runs through the neighbourhood, is home to a number of restaurants serving Italian cuisine. Located in the west of the city, not far from the world-famous neighbourhood of Bel Air (which sits just to the north-east), Brentwood also boasts a host of impressive private homes in a range of architectural styles, and while these are, naturally, off-limits to the public, the equally striking museum of the Getty Center - with its collection of noted artworks - is well worth checking out. The view it enjoys across the city is pretty popular too.
Located to the north-east of the city, and known for the striking rock formation from which it gets its name, Eagle Rock’s host of vintage shops, counterculture vibe and a surprisingly long list of connections to popular culture will likely appeal to fans of retro American charms and movie fans alike. Landmarks such as Occidental College - of which former president Barack Obama was once a student - and the area’s historic homes, with their mix of styles, have made the neighbourhood a popular spot to visit. What’s more, you may well find yourself experiencing a little deja vu during your explorations, thanks to its appearances in a host of movies, TV shows and music videos. Everything from Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece, Reservoir Dogs, to segments of Pharell’s world-famous music video for ‘Happy’, were shot in the neighbourhood.
Business travellers, or those thinking of jetting in or out of LA, may wish to consider a stay in Westchester. Los Angeles International Airport sits within the neighbourhood, making it an ideal base from which to explore the wider city - especially if your travel plans involve a ‘red-eye’ flight. As well as its convenience for onward travel, the neighbourhood - which boasts one of the city’s higher average household incomes - is home to a number of university and college sites. And fans of striking design will also find much to enjoy - with the neighbourhood being home to examples of post-modern Googie-style architecture that look like they’ve stepped straight out of the 1950s. Pann’s restaurant on La Tijera Boulevard and the Theme Building at the airport are notable examples that are sure to keep photographers happily enchanted while they click away on their cameras.
Extended Stay America - Los Angeles - LAX Airport
Address: 6531 South Sepulveda Boulevard
Price: from 93 USD
Air conditioning Vending machine (drinks) Parking Private parking Use of cleaning chemicals that are effective against Coronavirus Guests have the option to cancel any cleaning services for their accommodation during their stay Heating Physical distancing in dining areas
Fans of the beach and surf will almost certainly want to check out this neighbourhood, which, as the name suggests, borders the Pacific Ocean. What’s more, it’s ideally placed for those looking to visit two of Santa Monica’s most famous destinations - Santa Monica Pier, which sits just to the north, and Venice Beach (pictured) immediately to the south. So, if you want to experience LA’s famed boardwalk culture, you’ll likely have come to the right place. Ocean Park itself is home to a range of eateries and boutiques in which to while away some time or tempt your palate, and while there are a few modern condo towers overlooking the beach itself, the wider neighbourhood’s older homes, coupled with the likes of the weekly farmer’s market, have enchanted many with their artsy vibe. Naturally, the neighbourhood’s position right next to prime beach real estate has made it popular with visitors to the city, and made it a relatively safe area as a result.
And, speaking of iconic coastal locations, Long Beach will definitely appeal to visitors in LA. Home to such iconic sights as the luxurious Queen Mary liner - a famous passenger ship which plied the busy Atlantic route between the UK and US in the 1930s, but which has been permanently moored in Long Beach since it retired from service and today wows visitors with its art deco interior and fine-dining experiences. The neighbourhood is also home to waterslide fun at Knott’s Soak City, classic theme park fun at Knott’s Berry Farm and natural marvels at the large Aquarium of the Pacific. These family-friendly attractions have made the marina and coastline very popular with tourists, and it is regarded as generally safe for visitors as a result.
Best Western of Long Beach
Address: 1725 Long Beach Boulevard
Price: from 105 USD
Shared stationery such as printed menus, magazines, pens, and paper removed Physical distancing in dining areas Free WiFi Linens, towels and laundry washed in accordance with local authority guidelines Non-smoking throughout WiFi available in all areas Fitness centre On-site parking
The busy business and tourist areas at the heart of Downtown LA are a safe place for visitors to the city - who will be eager to experience the shops, the theatres of the historic Broadway Theater district and the very latest boardwalk fashions in the Fashion District and its 2000 independent clothing retailers. Indeed, the latter is known for the famous LA Fashion Week, when global design names and celebrities flock to the area. Visitors should bear in mind, however, that not all parts of downtown LA are as safe - such as Skid Row or neighbouring South Central - so it’d be wise to check where you’re heading before setting off.
Freehand Los Angeles
Address: 416 West 8th Street
Price: from 50 USD
Pool with view First aid kit available Facilities for disabled guests On-site parking Screens or physical barriers placed between staff and guests in appropriate areas Internet services Air conditioning Property is cleaned by professional cleaning companies
Plenty of great places to visit and stay
There are plenty of great neighbourhoods in which to stay during your Los Angeles vacation. Stick to the safer ones - and keep tabs on the latest trends before travelling - and you’ll enjoy a fantastic, and memorable, holiday.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.