Solo Trip To Los Angeles: Your Ultimate Guide (From A Local)
North America, Solo Travel, Travel Guides, california, los angeles, USA
By Janelle Axton. This guide to solo travel in Los Angeles contains affiliate links to trusted partners!
If you’re considering a solo trip to Los Angeles, then this guide is for you!
With its endless attractions, diverse neighborhoods, and world-class restaurants, there’s plenty to see and do without a companion.
To help make your solo trip as smooth as possible, read through this ultimate guide packed with tips and advice to get ready to discover all that solo travel in LA has to offer.
Quick tip: The best way to get around while traveling solo in Los Angeles is by car. Luckily, Discover Cars makes it easy to quickly compare your rental options. Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so there’s no need to have up 10+ tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% by using their tool!
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Common solo travel fears (like flying alone for the first time) and how to overcome themHow to choose your perfect solo tripHow to tell loved ones you’re hitting the road soloMentally preparing for your solo journey without losing your mindEssential steps for staying safe on a solo tripHow to take amazing solo selfies
Is A Solo Trip To Los Angeles Worth It?
A solo trip to Los Angeles can be a great experience. The city has a lot to offer, from great food and nightlife to famous attractions like the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Universal Studios.
Plus, LA is a great place to people-watch — you never know what celebrity you might run into!
The downside of traveling solo is you do have to be extra careful when it comes to safety; but as long as you take precautions and stay aware of your surroundings, LA is plenty safe to explore on your own. You might even invest in some travel safety essentials, like pickpocket-proof garments and a personal safety alarm.
Overall, a solo trip to LA is definitely worth it!
Where Is Los Angeles?
Los Angeles is a large city area located in southern California.
In general, when people reference LA, they are talking about the sprawling area of Greater Los Angeles that includes cities from Santa Monica and Malibu on the west coast to Burbank and the Valley in the north, Pasadena towards the east, and down to the South Bay LA and even Orange County in the south.
The Greater Los Angeles Area is the second most populous metropolitan area in the United States, with over 18 million residents. This means there is plenty to explore when traveling to Los Angeles alone.
Getting To Los Angeles
There are a few ways to get into Los Angeles, but the most common is flying into LAX international Airport or driving in on one of the many freeways.
If you’re flying, keep in mind that it’s a busy airport — so leave yourself plenty of time to get around.
If you plan to take Uber or Lyft from the airport, you will need to take the shuttle bus to an offsite location.
And if you’re driving, be aware that traffic can be heavy at all times of day, so plan accordingly.
Los Angeles Travel Map
Before we go any further with our guide on solo travel to Los Angeles, I want to give you a lay of the land. Here is a map of Los Angeles:
You can also click the above Los Angeles map for an interactive version, which has some of the main attractions mentioned below pre-plotted.
Save it to your phone before traveling alone to Los Angeles so it’s ready to go.
Getting Around Los Angeles As A Solo Traveler
Los Angeles is a sprawling metropolitan area, and it doesn’t have the best public transportation. While buses and trains do exist, it will take a bit of planning and flexibility of walking between stops. You can use this trip planner for help with this.
The most common and easiest way to get around LA for most people is to drive. You can rent a car using a tool like Discover Cars, a comparison tool that can help you save money on rentals.
Additionally, Uber and Lyft are easy to use and plentiful around the city. It’s recommended to download these apps before you leave home so they’re ready to go once you arrive into Los Angeles.
Is LA Safe For Solo Travel?
Yes, LA is safe for solo travel! That being said, as with any big city, you’ll want to stay aware of your surroundings and plan your transportation in advance, especially at night.
Avoid certain areas such as Skid Row (east of Downtown LA) and stay extra aware in certain parts of Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood that are not the safest.
If in doubt, ask your hotel reception if a place you’re wanting to go is safe to explore on your own.
Overall, LA is a great place to visit by yourself. Just be cautious and use your common sense, and you’ll be just fine.
Where To Stay On A Solo Trip To Los Angeles
There are a number of great and centrally-located neighborhoods around Los Angeles that are safe for solo travelers, including:
Santa Monica. This is the most popular beach in LA, and a must-visit on any trip to Los Angeles or California road trip. It has a bit of everything, from great restaurants and resort-quality hotels to active nightlife and beach activities. It’s also a very walkable area for those who want to avoid renting a car.
West Hollywood. While a lot of Hollywood is actually pretty grungy, West Hollywood is a much nicer area and located within easy access to many attractions. It’s especially great for those who enjoy exciting nightlife.
Beverly Hills. Here you’ll be immersed in the epitome of LA’s high-class lifestyle. From high-end shopping to world-class spas and opulence, Beverly Hills is the best place to stay for those looking for luxury.
Manhattan Beach. Located just south of LAX, this little beach town is great for those who want a more relaxing and less crowded place to stay, though it’s still within easy driving distance. Plus, there are many great things to do in Manhattan Beach such as shopping in the boutiques downtown and swimming or taking in a sunset on the beach.
You can also click here for a full list of Los Angeles hotels, or check out the map below for hotels and self-contained rentals. Note that it’s currently set to Santa Monica, though you can easily change it to your preferred area of LA:
Fun Things To Do In LA As A Solo Traveler
There is no shortage of fun things to do as a solo traveler in Los Angeles. You will find everything from popular tourist attractions to simply enjoying the sunshine out at the beach or a rooftop bar. Here are a few of the best things to do in LA when traveling solo:
1. Play around at the Santa Monica Pier
This should be at the top of any list of things to do in Los Angeles when traveling alone. At the Santa Monica Pier, you can play classic arcade games, see talented street performers, and ride the giant Ferris Wheel while taking in stunning Pacific Ocean views.
Afterward, you’ll be in the perfect spot to relax on Santa Monica State Beach or explore the lively Ocean Avenue and Downtown Santa Monica.
While it’s a bit of a long walk from the Santa Monica Pier, a 12-minute Uber ride can take you to Bergamot Station, a former train station complex that houses 30+ art galleries.
2. Visit Universal Studios Hollywood
Along with being a film studio and theme park home to fun rides inspired by your favorite TV shows and films like Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and the Fast & The Furious, you can find carnival games and live entertainment.
If you’re looking to enjoy shopping and dining, head to Universal CityWalk — which is also home to Universal Cinema, a 7-story IMAX with LASER theatre.
3. Do the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood
Warner Bros is another studio to add to your solo travel LA itinerary. On this tour, you’ll get to see where — and how — some of your favorite shows and movies were made. You’ll even visit Central Perk from Friends!
This is a great way to experience movie magic and really go behind the scenes.
4. Get inspired at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
One of the top things to do when enjoying solo travel to LA is visiting the local museums and art galleries, which is an inherently solo activity.
If you enjoy art, one must-visit institution is LACMA, the largest art museum in the western United States. It holds 150,000 pieces of art from ancient times through present day.
In addition to exploring the indoor exhibits and attending their regular films and concerts, you can wander the outside of the building and take a picture in the “Urban Light” display — a forest of city street lights that is particularly captivating at night.
5. Walk Hollywood Boulevard on your solo trip to Los Angeles
Here you can view the stars along the Hollywood Walk of Fame and celebrity handprints and footprints at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (aka TCL Chinese Theatre).
For the full experience, book a Hollywood Sightseeing and Celebrity Homes Tour, which visits these LA attractions as well as various filming locations, celebrity houses, and LA attractions like the Hollywood Sign, Sunset Strip, and Beverly Hills.
6. Sunbathe and people watch on Venice Beach
Enjoy the beach and quirky vibes by wandering along the Venice Strand — a beachfront sidewalk showcasing shops, eateries, and street performers — or watching the talented skaters at the Venice Beach Skatepark.
You can also visit Muscle Beach, an outdoor gym that is famous for being the “home of bodybuilding” and the birthplace of the country’s interest in physical fitness.
Along with working out and playing sports like volleyball, it’s a popular spot to sit and watch some incredible athletes, gymnasts, and bodybuilders.
7. Go shopping in Beverly Hills
In Beverly Hills, you can go shopping — or just window shopping — in one of the world’s most high-class shopping destinations.
For instance, at The Grove LA, you will find a range of popular stores from Coach and Michael Kors to pop-ups and special events such as the World of Netflix.
Beverly Hills is also where you’ll find Rodeo Drive, an uber luxe shopping street showcasing brands like Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Chanel.
8. Have a coastal adventure in Malibu
Explore a gorgeous LA beach community, and maybe try out the most popular southern California sport (surfing!) at the best surf spot in Los Angeles.
9. Hike and take in the views from Griffith Observatory
No solo trip to Los Angeles would be complete without visiting the Griffith Observatory, a free admission observatory and museum that also offers panoramic views of the Los Angeles skyline. From here, you’ll also have a prime view of the Hollywood Sign.
The observatory is located within Griffith Park, the largest urban-wilderness municipal park in the United States. It’s home to a number of scenic trails, including hikes up Mount Hollywood and Mount Lee, which is home to the Hollywood Sign.
10. Go hiking in Runyon Canyon Park
About a 20-minute drive from Griffith Observatory is another fantastic spot to go hiking, Runyon Canyon Park. Many of the trails award beautiful views over Hollywood — like the Runyon Canyon Trail, a moderate 2.7-mile loop offering sweeping views of the city.
Top Tours For A Solo Trip To Los Angeles
One of the top ways to meet people while enjoying solo travel in Los Angeles is to book a group tour. A few top-rated excursions include:
Griffith Observatory Hike: An LA Tour through the Hollywood HillsFull-Day Iconic Sights of LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Beaches & MoreHollywood & Celebrity Homes Bus TourCatalina Island Day Trip from LAX area hotels with Discover Avalon Scenic TourOld & New Downtown Los Angeles Walking TourPrivate Photo Walk in Los Angeles with Personal Photographer & Color Stylist
Tips For Dining Alone On A Solo Trip To LA
Dining alone can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re not used to it; but, there’s no need to worry! Here are a few tips to make sure you have a great time dining solo in LA.
Don’t be afraid to make a reservation. Many of the best restaurants in Los Angeles will be busy and require reservations, especially during the high tourist season in summer. Plus, it will ensure that you get a good table and don’t have to wait too long for your food.
Take advantage of LA’s many great hole-in-the-wall places. Taco stands, food trucks, farmer’s markets, and pop-ups are all top options for solo diners and tend to be less awkward than sitting at a restaurant table alone.
Eat at the bar. Whether you want to eat in silence or socialize with other patrons, the best place to do this is at a bar that serves food or at a restaurant bar. While here, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the people around you. LA is full of friendly people looking to expand their social circles.
Book a meal with EatWith. EatWith is a platform that allows you to dine in local homes, which is a great way to connect with locals while traveling, immerse yourself in local culture, and meet other people.
How To Get Travel Insurance For A Solo Trip To LA
When visiting Los Angeles — or anywhere else in the world — it’s wise to get travel insurance.
One of the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country.
Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.
Frequently Asked Questions About Solo Travel In Los Angeles
Q: Is solo female travel in Los Angeles safe?
While it’s true that you should take some extra precautions when traveling as a solo female, there’s no reason to believe that LA is any less safe than other major cities. Use your common sense and stay vigilant, and you’ll be fine.
Avoid walking alone at night and opt for an Uber instead. Make sure to keep a close eye on your drinks if you go out, and maybe limit how many you have. Perhaps carry travel safety essentials like a personal safety alarm with you as well to feel more confident on your own.
With a little planning and some caution, you can have a great time and feel safe while out exploring solo in LA.
Q: Is LA a good solo trip?
There’s no doubt about it, Los Angeles can be a tough city to navigate. From the congested freeways to the sprawling neighborhoods, it’s not hard to feel overwhelmed; however, don’t let that deter you from exploring all that LA has to offer, even on your own!
There is always a limitless amount to see and do in LA and Hollywood, and as a solo traveler, you will be able to pick and choose to your specific tastes without having to worry about what a group wants to do.
Plus, there are always people out and about, both locals and other tourists, so you will likely meet some new friends during your trip anyway.
Q: Do you need a car in Los Angeles?
It is best to have a car on your solo trip to Los Angeles, but you don’t need one. Everything in LA is very spread out, which means if you want to see things across town, you will need to have a car or call a ride.
That being said, if you stay somewhere such as Santa Monica or Manhattan Beach, you will be able to get away with walking around town — though you’ll be very limited in what you can do.
If renting a car, check out Discover Cars, which allows you to easily compare your various options and save.
Q: What are the best things to do alone in Los Angeles at night?
There are plenty of things to do alone in Los Angeles at night. For starters, the city is home to some of the best rooftop bars in the country. So, whether you’re looking for a place to enjoy a cocktail and take in the city skyline or just want to people-watch, you’ll find a spot that suits your needs.
If you’re in the mood for some live entertainment, LA has no shortage of concerts and shows to choose from. And if you’re a movie buff, you can often find a screening of the latest Hollywood release.
Q: Where can I drink alone in Los Angeles?
Some of the best rooftop bars to grab a drink in LA are EP & LP, Perch, and Broken Shaker. You can also find more crowded dance bars in West Hollywood and Santa Monica. It’s recommended to check out the Bungalow.
Final Thoughts On Traveling To LA Alone
If you’re considering traveling to LA alone, go for it! You are guaranteed to never run out of things to do and will have an amazing time exploring this famous city.
Of course, it helps to do some research before you go so you know what to expect, so make sure to save this guide.
Los Angeles is a vibrant and diverse city where you’re sure to find something to suit your taste, whether you’re interested in art, food, history, or just soaking up the sun. Enjoy your solo trip to LA!
What are your top tips for a solo trip to Los Angeles?
About The Author
After traveling to over 25 countries, Janelle created Make the Trip Matter – a travel blog that offers Travel Planning Services to help you travel more, live abroad, and discover a more meaningful experience from your travels.
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