Blend in with the locals in LA

Los Angeles is one of the most exciting places in the world; an urban playground that thrums with its own special blend of high energy, outspoken confidence and easy-going friendliness.

To connect with the city's true character, take yourself to Venice Beach, the desert nature trails of the Hollywood Hills and the exhilaration of a live baseball or basketball game.

Take a walk on the weird side

To truly get to know the free-spirited vibe of Los Angeles, take a leisurely stroll along the Venice Beach boardwalk. This famous mile and a half strip is a melting pot of art, beach culture and bohemia; a place where you’re practically guaranteed to see or hear something out of the ordinary.

Look for busking magicians wowing the crowds and painters making political statements. Check out the many cheerfully painted residences that line the boardwalk or browse the shops selling all manner of odds and ends.

You'll also see surfers making the most of the Venice Beach waves, fortune tellers reading the future, and Bob Marley t-shirts aplenty. Even though it's a decent stroll, you'll find yourself stopping countless times along the way to capture photos of this crazy, colourful strip - and don't be surprised if you come away with an assortment of quirky gifts.

You might see stars while you're sweating your way up the trails. Runyon Canyon is a favoured workout spot for celebrities and their four-legged friends.

Hike in the hills

To really get a sense of just how big LA is, take a hike through Runyon Canyon Park adjoining the Hollywood Hills. With a vast 160 acres, there's no shortage of trail options to match your fitness. The ultimate workout is reaching the 402 metre peak of Indian Rock for blockbuster views of the tree-lined valley and the vast, grid-like metropolis city beyond.

The famous Mulholland Drive residential area is at the northern end of the park, so it's possible you'll see stars while you're sweating your way up the trails. Runyon Canyon is a favoured workout spot for celebrities and their four-legged friends. For fresh air, people watching and huge views, this LA outdoor experience is the tops.

Staples Center, Los Angeles, USA.

Get your game on

Grab your baseball cap and a cold beer, then prepare to experience the magic of the crowd at a Los Angeles sports event. The city is home to some of the world's best known sports teams, and the locals aren't shy in showing their support.

For the ultimate LA experience, check out the LA Lakers playing the Staples Center. One of the most celebrated and successful teams in the NBA, the Lakers' energy on the court is matched in the stands, where you can't help but get caught up in the emotion of the moment. If you're lucky you might even catch a game against Oklahoma to cheer on Kiwi player Steven Adams.

If you'd rather hear the roar of the crowd in an outdoor stadium, snap up tickets to an unforgettable live baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Opened in 1962, it's the oldest ballpark west of the Mississippi.

Keep exploring Los Angeles