Los Angeles first stops
In no time you'll feel right at home and ready to take the city by storm.
Think you've tasted good cocktails? Wait until you've been to a Hollywood cocktail bar. You'll find the best of them on the boulevards - Hollywood and Sunset. A perfect example is The Library Bar, where personalised cocktail mixing is the thing. There's no menu, so once you've negotiated the finer details of your palate and made your pick from the fresh fruit, vegetable, and herbs on offer, you just sit back and let the bartender mix a drink to your taste. Cheers!
Who doesn't love the sticky, sweet succulence of an American barbecue? Keep the troops happy with a trip to an authentic down-home BBQ restaurant, like the Maple Block Meat Company. Their meat is butchered, smoked, and grilled on site, and you can watch as it's cut directly from the whole brisket. Carnivores can get their fix of pork shoulder, spare ribs, turkey breast, smoked prime rib, chicken, pork shank and yummy, all-American sides including slaws, mac and cheese, and ranch beans.
Leave the chaos of the city behind with a relaxing stroll around the Venice Canals, California's answer to the famous Italian city. Take in the peaceful way of life among its picturesque waterways, where the locals tend to get around by boat rather than on wheels. Keep an eye out for the gondoliers gliding beneath the arched bridges as you wander past extraordinary homes and stunning gardens blooming with aromatic lavender, rosemary and incense. Return at night to see the area beautifully lit up.
Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of America, and there's nowhere more geared up for good times than the Santa Monica Pier. Breathe in the scent of hotdogs and candy floss as you ride the roller coaster at the amusement park, or get a birds-eye-view of the surf from the famous Ferris wheel. Check out the regular live music gigs and kids' events, relax in one of the pier's many restaurants, and finish with photo at the End of the Route sign.
Downtown Los Angeles is still one of the city's edgiest areas, but its Arts District is well worth a visit. What began as an artists' colony in the 1970s is fast attracting the young and hip, making it an exciting place to spend a few hours. Check out its flourishing art scene, hipster cafés, indie clothing boutiques and alternative bars. Don't be surprised if you're first in the door either - new hot spots are popping up on a regular basis.
Los Angeles really is the City of Angels, and during your visit you can even fly like one. Choices for sightseeing include helicopter, fixed wing and light sport aircraft. With some operators, you can even get hands-on and become the pilot. From the air you can pick out all the landmarks - Santa Monica Pier, Griffith Observatory, Venice Boardwalk, Dodger Stadium and the legendary Hollywood sign.