Top5 Best Self-Guided Tours of LA
The City of Angels, Tinseltown, City of Stars, HOLLYWOOD, BABY! Welcome to Los Angeles– or, as we say over here, keep it casual with an “LA.” LA is a magical place. Movies, stars, and dreams are made here (allegedly,) and we feel very lucky to call it home. As the second largest city in the U.S., the entertainment capital of the world, and a natural vacation paradise, visiting LA should be on the top of your list. And because there are so many things to do in Los Angeles, you’ll quickly find yourself wanting to come back to LA again for more. It’s impossible to do everything in LA in a weekend, and sometimes overwhelming trying to figure out how to plan a vacation in Los Angeles – the possibilities are endless! You could spend the entire weekend visiting top LA filming locations and doing film studio tours. You could chill on the best beaches in LA the whole time, or you could get lost in the mountains on an epic LA hiking tour. Whether you’re on a group tour of LA, or traveling solo, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite ways to experience LA while on a California vacation. If you just have one day or an entire week, here are 5 of the best LA tours you can take on your own. While you’re in town, give us a call- we’d be happy to hook you up with a bike rental or a private LA tour to make your vacation even more special. Don’t be a stranger!
Self-Guided Bike Tour
Spoiler alert – all you have to do is check the name of our company to figure out our preferred means of transport across Los Angeles: biking. Ignore the myths you’ve heard about LA traffic. Well- yes, the traffic exists. However- all the more reason to get out of your car and cruise through the streets with the wind whipping through your hair. See LA the best way, and take a self-guided bike tour of the city. Bikes and Hikes LA offers an incredible self-guided bike tour, designed for you to tour the most famous places in Los Angeles by bike and on your own time! Check out our famous self-guided bike tour, available 365 days per year at Bikes and Hikes LA.
One great way to see the city on your own is to take a self-guided bike tour. These tours are great because they give you the freedom to explore at your own pace and to see the things you want to see. Yet because the bike comes equipped with GPS and a loudspeaker, you won’t ever get lost and you can easily direct yourself. If you change your mind and decide you’d like someone to come along, you can also take group bike tours with a guide. It’s up to you!
Hollywood Landmarks Walking Tour
No Los Angeles tour would be complete without visiting the landmarks and other Hollywood sights. From the Capitol Records Building to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Crossroads of the World, it’s all there for you to see. But don’t get caught up in taking a guided LA tour if you don’t want to. It’s often overpriced and you might want to linger at a location (I know I did).
With a map and some background information on the sights you plan to see, you can easily do this LA tour by yourself. Hitting all the best sites takes about 2 hours and requires a little less than 3 miles of walking. You can take longer, of course; it all depends on how many photos you take! You also might want to take the least efficient path (who says you can’t tone your legs while on vacation) and soak up more of the culture while you look at the city from different angles.
Arts District Tour
Finding the arts scene and taking in a city’s architecture can often be hard to do. Luckily, though, it is possible in LA. A few years back, the LA Conservatory did a one-time guided tour of the city’s art district, highlighting some of the more intriguing pieces of architecture. Now, you can download the guide online, read it and do the tour yourself. It’s a short tour that takes place within a few blocks, but you can see and learn about some interesting buildings, such as the E. Angel City Brewery, and also take a look at some of the city’s more interesting street murals.
One small LA tour you can do on your own, and that is great if you have children, is to walk around Griffith Park. These 4,400 acres were donated by a Welsh businessman, Griffith J. Griffith, in 1896, and are now a park full of all sorts of interesting attractions. For example, you can visit LA Live Steamers (a club of large-scale train aficionados), the LA Zoo or the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum.
Also, if you go in the evening, you can enter the Griffith Observatory and Planetarium to get great views of the surrounding area. Here you can find free exhibits and telescope viewings to help satisfy your inner stargazer. If you get starstruck, you can schedule an evening outside of the city lights to see the stars with your own eyes!
One other tour you can do on your own is what you would call a “DIY tour.” This involves you downloading the FieldTripper app onto your phone and then essentially wandering around the city. This app is great because it uses GPS to determine your location and then notifies you when you are near a historic or interesting building or landmark. So, to have an interesting and educational tour, all you need to do is explore and pay attention to alerts from the app.
If you do use this app though, consider running your activity through a secure connection so that your location and personal information can’t be accessed by others on the same network. Once you do that, start wandering and see what you can learn about this amazing city for yourself. If you want to consider something truly random, just pick a direction and start walking until you reach an area with absolutely nothing interesting.
LA Neighborhood Walking Tour
We’ll throw in an extra tour as a bonus! They say “nobody walks in LA,” but we’re here to say au contraire! We’ve compiled a list of the best neighborhoods to walk in LA. Whether you’re living it up on the west side, or a lifelong east sider, check out our five favorite neighborhoods to take a walk in the City of Stars.
What Are You Waiting For?
As you can see, doing a tour of Los Angeles on your own is perfectly possible. If you plan just a little ahead, it can be way more rewarding than hiring a guide or jumping on a tour bus. The important thing to remember when doing these types of things is to be flexible. You might get lost here or there, or have trouble finding something, but this is part of the fun. With time, you’ll learn to love this way of traveling.
So, what are you waiting for? Most of these tours aren’t expensive and you can become the master of your own fate. Book your ticket to LA and start exploring!
Author Bio: Caroline is from the UK but has been living in LA for more than five years now. She loves to travel, and whenever she does, she always passes up tours in lieu of solo exploring. It allows her to see the city her own way, and it makes the experiences she has on the road much more rewarding. Now she likes to blog for travel websites to encourage others to spend more time sightseeing on their own.
To find out about the best touring spots in L.A., contact Bikes and Hikes L.A. by filling out our form or call (323) 796-8555.