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An Overview of Los Angeles from a First Time Visitor

The vibe of LA was summed up in a few words of wisdom from a bartender shortly after we landed.  He said, “LA is a lifestyle, not a city.  Think about it.”  I not only thought about it as I sipped my Cosmo but decided to make that our mantra as we set out to explore our new surroundings. 

I love exploring new cities and while I’ve been to most major cities around the world this was my first time visiting LA.  I can certainly see what all the hype is about, why everyone wants to live there and why those who move there never leave.  The thing I love the most about visiting new cities is that each one takes on a personality all its own and while LA was pretty much what I had envisioned there were a few things that I didn’t expect.  Here’s my take on the city through the eyes of a newbie.

It’s Very Spread Out
The areas you want to see as a tourist are very spread out.  Much more spread out than other cites I’ve visited, so you really need to rent a car or hire a driver to ensure you see all the sights. 

 Yes, the Sun Always Shines
I chatted with a man who was from the East Coast originally who told me that the weather is so sunny that he actually misses the rain.  I guess it’s true what they say about too much of a good thing.

The Oscar Night Red Carpet is Actually the Road
Adobe Theatre is actually located on a very busy main street.  When Oscar time rolls around, the intersection just before the Adobe Theater is closed off and the famous red carpet is put down in the road leading up to the theater.  The cars and limos drop off at the intersection while the stars get out and walk the red carpet lined with paparazzi.  It was interesting to see exactly where all the Hollywood magic happens on that night.

No One Visits Downtown
I guess living near NYC I just assumed all the action was in downtown LA so I was surprised to find out that’s not the case.  No one actually goes downtown and there’s not much to do there.  I’ve heard they are revitalizing the area so that may change if you plan to visit in the coming years.

You Won’t See Any Familiar Faces on Rodeo Drive
I always imagined Rodeo Drive packed with the Hollywood famed and since I love a good celebrity sighting this came as a bit of a disappointment.  It’s too touristy for them I was told but I did learn that if you want to shop with the rich and famous your best bet is Melrose Avenue.  I had no luck with a sighting there either though I have to admit I’m not the best at identifying them. 

If LA has always been on your Bucket List, then you can live among the stars by booking a luxury home swap through International Vacation Home Exchange.  They offer properties in 70 countries around the world so if you don’t spot a celebrity in LA you might try catching one in London, Paris or one of the many other cities IVHE offers properties.  I just hope your star spotting abilities are much better than mine. 

Thank you travel blogger Lisa Medeiros.  Follow her on Twitter @lisamedeiros_


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