We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First time in L.A

Palermo, Sicily...
Level Contributor
64 posts
Save Topic
First time in L.A

I will be in L.A on August 14. Me and 3 friends of mine would like to experience the real adventure of California, desert, mountains, beaches . What are the most important things to see and do?. We don't mind sweating, we can climb, run, swim whatever. :)

I don't want to know about the weather since we expect hot weather. Ok That's all for now.

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
Level Contributor
29,037 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First time in L.A

How long will you e in LA and where are you staying? Will you have a car?

Palermo, Sicily...
Level Contributor
64 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: First time in L.A

We will stay for 3 weeks and we need to rent a car or even a bycicle if it's possible but we can handle of it. I just wanna know some places to visit, a place that you'd never miss.

Los Angeles
Level Contributor
16,738 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First time in L.A

Weather in L.A.is never to bad(although it is hot in the valley/desert)

You could start spending some days at the beach, Santa Monica is a great destination for some relaxing time. Move on to a hotel in Hollywood to do the more touristy sights. There are also some great hiking trails in the Hollywood Hills

If you want to conquer the heat/desert, i would take the easy route(it's a vacation after all) and head to Palm Springs, it will be hot as hell but you can lounge on some nice pool and at nights it is not to bad

Yucaipa, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
19,974 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First time in L.A

Hi Weatherman! I remember you posting before and asking what it is like here. I am so glad that you are getting a chance to visit.

Since you have three weeks, I hope you are planning on see some more things that we have to offer here in Southern California. Perhaps you can stay in LA for awhile, then stay in Orange County (I recommend Laguna Beach), then stay in San Diego.

I like the recommendation of Santa Monica and it is a good place to stay close to Los Angeles. Make sure you plan to see an outdoor concert at the historic Hollywood Bowl. There is a shuttle bus that runs from Santa Monica to the Bowl for concerts. If you stay at the Renaissance in Hollywood you will be right at the new Hollywood and Highland complex which I think you would like. Maybe you have already decided on where to stay?

Please spend a day at least in Laguna Beach. It's beautiful, the people are nice, and you will love it. It will probably remind you of home.

Just for fun you may like to see Disneyland, which is in Orange County.

I agree with the recommendation of Palm Springs, which is about a 2 hour drive from LA. It is very hot out there in August, but you can find ways to cool down. You can travel up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and be in the mountains! It's a lot cooler up there. So you can visit the desert and mountains in one day. Another option is visit Palm Springs for part of the day and then on your drive back to LA go up into the San Bernardino Mountains and visit Big Bear Lake. You can do some adventurous things there.

Please also visit San Diego. It a wonderful city close to the border of Mexico with a lot to do and see. It is a number one tourist destination with beautiful weather.

There is a city about an hour away from LA and an hour away from San Diego called Temecula. It is wine county, but more like cowboy style than Italian style! There is a company, maybe two, that have hot air balloon rides there.

I hope you have a fun visit!

Palermo, Sicily...
Level Contributor
64 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: First time in L.A

Hi redlands, yes this is a great chance to visit California. We were undecided between New York and L.A but at last we decided for L.A for its atttractions and because we could have the chance to visit San Francisco and San Diego as well (there is a cousin o'mine over there).

And also because i like adventure and the desert. i have been in the desert last year in Tunisia (not very far from here) and i wanted to see the kind of excursions of Mojave desert and the Death Valley. Do you think 3 weeks are not enough to visit Grand canyon ,too?? i know it's a little bit far but never say never. :)

We don't care about movie stars tour, they can be where they are. And yes i will follow your advice for the rest you said.

Pasadena, CA
Level Contributor
853 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: First time in L.A

HI Weatherman-I also remembered you from a while back ago asking about LA. That's cool you finally got a chance to come! As for the weather, if you will be at the desert in August, expect it to be hot. It's hit 110-115F a couple weeks ago at Palm Springs. If you're going to Death Valley, then it might even reach 120F. Just bring lots of water. It will be cooler at the beaches, about 70F, sometimes in the 80sF as you get a wonderful ocean breeze.

As for outdoor activities, there's a bunch of things you can do. If you go to the beaches, you might want to try surfing lessons. We were just in Santa Monica this past weekend, and saw a particular shop offering surfing lessons, for a good price. You might even get a chance to swim next to dolphins as we saw a bunch of them swimming near the surfers. If you want to hike up the mountains, there's the Santa Monica Mountains or you can even try Mt Wilson(near Pasadena), which is the highest point in LA. Other options include kayaking at the Channel Islands. There's Parasailing or Jet Skiing in Catalina Island. Bunch of things you can do here. A couple of sites to get you started:

http://tchester.org/sgm/places/mt_wilson.html

http://www.nps.gov/samo

http://www.nps.gov/chis

http://www.catalina.com/main.html

As for your question regarding if 3 weeks is enough for Grand Canyon, yes it should be enough time. Have a great time!

Pasadena, CA
Level Contributor
853 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: First time in L.A

Forgot to mention, you can rent a bike in Santa Monica, and if you're up to it, you might want to take a bike ride along the beach.

Palermo, Sicily...
Level Contributor
64 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: First time in L.A

Just 120F?:)))

That's Ok, it's the desert after all. But no problem we're young. Maybe we will be able to eat some scorpion as well.

About the surfing, yes i will get a try even if i'm not a very good swimmer. Isn't the ocean's water cooler than mediterranean sea?? Do you know that? Anyway the time is coming.

Teaneck, NJ
Destination Expert
for New Jersey
Level Contributor
11,495 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: First time in L.A

Death Valley is absolutely spectacular, I've been twice, but both times in Nov-Dec. I would be very careful about hiking there in summer due to the extreme temp and dryness -- they have signs posted all over warning about the extreme dangers of dehydration. Here is an informative but unofficial site http://www.death.valley.national-park.com/ and the official site is http://www.nps.gov/deva/

The channel islands is supposed to be wonderful -- I haven't been but a good friend has gone. Totally undeveloped (except for Catalina island) and accessible by boat only http://www.nps.gov/chis/ and …wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_Islands_of_Calif…

Here's a nice link to hiking in Palm Springs (big city in the middle of the dessert) http://www.hiking-in-ps.com/. I've done Indian Canyon www.hiking-in-ps.com/indiancanyons.html which is beautiful but full of people since it's so accessible

Pasadena, CA
Level Contributor
853 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: First time in L.A

HI again-Well occassionally during our hot months of July and August Death Valley has gone up above 120. Records show that it has gone up to 128-129F just a few years ago. During the summer,it's usually the hottest place in the U.S. It seems every year, there are deaths at Death Valley, as people underestimate the extreme weather. But just as long as you use precautions, bring lots of water, you should be fine! Have a great time!