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Guide To Solo Trip To Los Angeles And 15 Exciting Activities For Solo Travelers

From the golden beaches kissed by the Pacific to the star-studded sidewalks of Hollywood, LA promises a kaleidoscope of experiences waiting to be discovered. But here’s a touch of whit for you: while the city might be renowned for its glitzy gatherings and A-list rendezvous, taking on LA solo is like having an exclusive VIP pass. You dictate the pace, the plot twists, and the scenes worth a standing ovation. So, whether you’re chasing sunsets at Santa Monica Pier or hunting for the quirkiest eats in DTLA, remember: a solo trip to Los Angeles isn’t just a journey through a city, but a rendezvous with yourself amidst a backdrop of palm trees, tacos, and timeless glamour.

Deciding The Duration Of Your Solo Trip To Los Angeles

los angeles at night

With its sprawling beaches, a cornucopia of entertainment, and those sunsets that can turn any evening into a scene from a romantic movie, Los Angeles is a siren song for solo travelers. But the real question we’re faced with is: how long should one bask in LA’s sun-kissed glory? Deciding the duration of your solo trip to Los Angeles can be a tad challenging – akin to choosing your favorite taco filling at a bustling LA food truck. So, let’s break it down, shall we?

First off, remember this – LA is HUGE. Honestly, it’s like that surprise six-layer chocolate cake when you were only expecting three. If you’ve got just a weekend, sure, you can skim the cream off the top – think Hollywood, Santa Monica, and a quick jaunt to the Getty. But, darling, if you’re looking for the full LA experience, the intricate layers and hidden gems, you might want to give yourself a solid week, or even two.

Then there’s the rhythm of the city. Los Angeles doesn’t hustle and bustle like New York. Nope. Here, things roll like a leisurely stroll down Venice Beach. It’s got that laid-back vibe, which means you’ll want (and need) to factor in a little downtime. Perhaps a day where your most strenuous task is deciding between the vanilla or mocha latte at an artsy café in Silver Lake.

In the end, how long you choose to stay is your call. Maybe you’re the kind who likes to dive deep into the local culture, or perhaps you’re the hit-the-highlights and dash type. Either way, pack that sunhat, and remember: in LA, there’s no such thing as too much time!

So, whether it’s a swift three-day breeze or an elaborate two-week soiree, your solo trip to Los Angeles will be just as you envisioned – sun, sights, and a sprinkle of stardust. Safe travels!

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Budgeting for LA: Tips and Tricks

barnsdall art park

Let’s face it, while LA promises the glamour of Hollywood and sun-kissed beaches, it can also come with a golden price tag. But fear not! Going on a solo trip to Los Angeles doesn’t mean you’ll have to sell a kidney to fund it. Here’s your savvy guide to experiencing the best of LA without breaking the bank.

1. Accommodation that Won’t Rob You Blind
Sure, you could go for the swanky rooftop hotels with views that make you feel like you’re in a scene from “La La Land”. But for us savvy solo travelers, how about Airbnb or hostels? Places like Hollywood and Downtown LA offer affordable and chic options. Plus, you might even bump into fellow travelers and make new pals!

2. Feeding the Foodie in You
Let’s talk tacos, baby! And food trucks, of course. Some of the best culinary delights in LA are from these roving restaurants. Save those dollars and avoid touristy spots, instead, savor the authentic flavors from the streets. Pro tip: Ask a local! They always know the best spots that won’t require a celebrity paycheck.

3. Get Around, the LA Way
Yes, LA is vast, but that doesn’t mean you need to rent a fancy convertible. (Though if you do, no judgment here. Live your movie star dream!) Public transport is an option, and let’s not forget about bikes – they’re eco-friendly and give you the bonus of a little sun-tanned workout. If all else fails, there’s always the classic shoe-leather express: walking.

4. Freebies Galore
Remember, some of the best things in LA are free. Think hiking the Griffith Park or catching a drum circle at Venice Beach. Window shopping in Rodeo Drive? Absolutely! And watching street performers? Priceless entertainment.

5. Smart Sightseeing
Yes, you want that Hollywood sign selfie. But did you know that some tours offer multiple sights in one package? Opt for those. Or better yet, do a self-guided tour. Trust me, with a bit of research, your solo trip to Los Angeles can be both memorable and affordable.

6. Souvenirs, Schmouvenirs
Instead of splurging on overpriced souvenirs, why not collect memories? Photos, sketches, or even just jotting down experiences in a journal can be more precious than any magnet or keychain.

Getting Around Los Angeles As A Solo Traveler

hidden gems in los angeles

Now, if you’re embarking on a solo trip to Los Angeles, you might wonder: how exactly does one traverse this vast urban expanse? Well, first, let’s dispel a myth: LA does have public transit. Shocking, I know! It’s not just there for those cute rom-com montages. The Metro Rail is a genuine way to get from, say, Downtown to the breezy shores of Santa Monica. And buses? They’re the unsung heroes of LA transport. However, if you’re fantasizing about cruising down Sunset Boulevard, renting a car is your ticket to freedom.

But a word to the wise: traffic in LA is as predictable as a plot twist in a telenovela. For a modern touch, Uber and Lyft are the trusty chariots at your beck and call. Yet, if you’re feeling athletic, why not rent a bike? Especially when the beach paths beckon. But, for those who truly want to feel the city’s heartbeat, walking (in areas like Downtown or Santa Monica) offers an intimacy with LA that’s unparalleled. And hey, if all else fails, team up! Fellow travelers in hostels or groups are often looking to share rides and stories.

Is LA Safe For Solo Travel?

unique things to do in los angeles

Embarking on a solo trip to Los Angeles, eh? First off, kudos for taking the plunge into solo adventures! Now, the big question on your mind (and perhaps your mom’s too) might be: “How safe is LA for solo travelers?” Let’s unpack this, shall we?

LA, like many sprawling metropolises, is a mosaic of neighborhoods, each with its unique flavor and, dare I say, “vibe”. Hollywood might dazzle with its Walk of Fame, while Venice Beach woos with its bohemian charm. But just as you wouldn’t judge a movie by its trailer (we all remember that one film that promised much and… well, let’s not go there), it’s essential to dive a bit deeper into LA’s safety scene.

Overall, Los Angeles is relatively safe for tourists, including those flying solo. But, as with any major city, there are areas that might be best visited with daylight as your companion or perhaps sidestepped entirely. Basic safety precautions go a long way: Stay aware of your surroundings, don’t flash that new blingy watch or camera too conspicuously, and maybe don’t tell every Tom, Dick, or Harry about your solo status.

Public transport is quite safe, but late-night ventures might be best served by a trusted rideshare app, where you can share your ride details with a buddy. Speaking of which, LA is the land of friendly locals! Chatting up cafe baristas or your hostel mates can provide a treasure trove of current, localized safety tips.

The occasional earthquake rumble? That’s just LA giving you a friendly nudge, a reminder of its vibrant, dynamic nature. Don’t fret too much; buildings here are designed with those tectonic jigs in mind.

Where To Stay On A Solo Trip To Los Angeles

solo trip to los angeles

Choosing where to hang your hat (or sunhat, it’s LA after all) on a solo trip to Los Angeles can be both thrilling and just a teensy bit overwhelming. The city is sprawling, and every neighborhood boasts its own brand of LA charm. Fear not, intrepid traveler, for I’ve got the lowdown to help you pinpoint your dream LA abode.

1. The Rumi
If you’re looking to cross paths with fellow wanderlusters and maybe save a few bucks for those inevitable shopping sprees, hostels in Hollywood might be your jam. It’s central, iconic, and who knows? You might just share a bunk bed with an aspiring actor who has a fascinating tale or two.

2. Beach Bumming: Venice Beach and Santa Monica
Ever dreamt of waking up to the sound of waves and the scent of the salty ocean? Venice and Santa Monica offer a delightful mix of beach vibes and city life. Plus, you’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away from quirky boardwalk performers and some tantalizing taco stands.

3. Artsy Alcove: Silver Lake & Echo Park
Fancy mingling with the hipster crowd? These neighborhoods are a haven for artists, musicians, and all-around creative souls. Cute cafes, indie shops, and a laid-back atmosphere make it perfect for solo travelers looking for a blend of chill and thrill.

4. Downtown Delight
If skyscrapers and the urban hustle are more your style, Downtown LA (or DTLA as the cool kids say) offers a mix of the modern and the historic. From the arts district to the historic Olvera Street, you’ll find a bit of everything, making it a strategic base for your solo trip to Los Angeles.

5. Upscale Escape: Beverly Hills & West Hollywood
For those with a penchant for the glitz, glam, and a sprinkle of celebrity spotting, these areas promise luxury with a side of LA pizzazz. While it might be pricier, the experience, darling, is worth every penny.

Fun Things To Do In LA As A Solo Traveler

Now, this guide to the perfect solo trip to Los Angeles wouldn’t be complete without a few suggestions on exciting activities to indulge in, starting with (of course)…

Hollywood & the Walk of Fame

solo trip to los angeles

This isn’t just any regular neighborhood; Hollywood is a blend of dreams, nostalgia, and an ever-shimmering spotlight. As you tread its famed streets, your shoes might just touch the very stars of the Walk of Fame. Each gleaming emblem, from Marilyn to Musso & Frank Grill, carries tales of a bygone era and present-day icons. A stone’s throw away is the legendary Chinese Theatre, its pavement bearing the handprints and footprints of cinema’s giants.

If walls (and cement) could narrate stories, oh, the tales they’d tell of premieres and red-carpet rendezvous. And then, perched like a sentinel on the hills, the Hollywood Sign beckons. It’s not just a sign but a symbol of aspirations, dreams, and countless movie montages. For those keen on peeling back Hollywood’s glitzy curtain, myriad tours offer a sneak peek into Tinseltown’s secrets.

Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of a star sipping their espresso or perhaps their wax doppelganger at Madame Tussauds. And in between these iconic landmarks, the true essence of Hollywood bubbles up – perhaps in the form of a street musician’s melody, a spontaneous dance jig, or a superhero doubling as your unofficial tour guide. In the heart of Hollywood, even as you revel in its past, you’re very much a part of its vibrant present.

Santa Monica & Venice Beach

venice beach

On a solo trip to Los Angeles, wandering westward will invariably lead you to the sunny embrace of Santa Monica and Venice Beach. These two coastal beauties, side by side, are like the yin and yang of LA’s beach culture – one exuding refined, breezy elegance, and the other pulsing with eclectic bohemian vibes.

Santa Monica, with its iconic pier, feels like a sunlit dream from a vintage postcard. As you stroll along the boardwalk, you might encounter performers juggling or strumming melodies that waft on the sea breeze. If retail therapy is your jam, the Third Street Promenade promises an al-fresco shopping experience par excellence. And let’s not forget that radiant sun sinking into the Pacific, best viewed from the heights of the Pacific Wheel.

The Getty Museum

The Getty Museum

First off, the journey to the Getty itself feels like you’re being whisked away to an exclusive retreat. Once you ascend via the tram, the city sprawls beneath you like a glittering tapestry, making it evident that this isn’t your run-of-the-mill art pit stop. No, the Getty is where LA goes to think, to dream, and occasionally, to flirt with the sculptures.

Inside, a plethora of treasures await. From Renaissance masterpieces that’ll make you whisper, “Oh, so that’s what chiaroscuro means,” to modern pieces that might evoke a heartfelt, “I don’t get it, but I respect it.” The museum’s art collection spans time, geography, and style. And, let’s be real, having a conversation with Van Gogh’s “Irises” or gazing into the depths of a Monet can be just as thrilling as any Hollywood blockbuster.

Griffith Observatory & Griffith Park

Griffith Park

On your solo trip to Los Angeles, these are places that truly elevate your experience – and not just because they’re perched high up in the hills. Consider them LA’s dynamic duo: one offering celestial wonders and the other an expansive playground of earthly delights.

First up, the Griffith Observatory. Stepping into this iconic dome, you’re not merely entering a building, but rather boarding a spaceship that takes you on a joyride through the cosmos. With its state-of-the-art planetarium, you can go star-hopping without ever leaving the city. And, if you’ve ever fancied channeling your inner Galileo, those giant telescopes offer an up-close and personal rendezvous with the moon and planets. But, it’s not all science and stargazing; from the observatory’s vantage point, the City of Angels stretches out below like a sparkling grid, begging for your admiration. It’s a view that, quite honestly, might just make you believe in love at first sight (if you didn’t already).

Downtown LA: Historic Core & Arts District

downtown los angeles

The Historic Core of Downtown is where LA whispers tales of its yesteryears. As you meander through its storied streets, you’ll encounter architectural gems like the Bradbury Building – where even the sunlight streaming through seems to have a sepia tint. Each brick, alley, and ornate facade here tells tales of dreamers who’ve walked before you, from ambitious moguls to starry-eyed starlets. And if walls could talk, the theaters of Broadway would spill more drama than all of Hollywood’s movie reels combined.

Now, just a stone’s throw away, yet atmospherically a world apart, is the Arts District. Think of it as the Historic Core’s cool, edgy cousin. Here, warehouses metamorphose into art galleries and microbreweries. Murals come alive, not just on walls but in the very spirit of the place. This district pulses with creativity, where every corner café, pop-up shop, and artist’s loft is infused with innovation. It’s where LA’s heart meets its imagination.

Solo-friendly Restaurants And Cafes

solo trip to los angeles

First, let’s spill the beans (or, more aptly, the coffee beans). Los Angeles boasts a café culture that would make even the most introverted bookworm feel at home. Picture this: you, with a frothy cappuccino, ensconced in a corner of an artsy café, while the world of LA buzzes outside. Maybe you’re in Silver Lake’s trendy coffee shops, where each sip is a story and every pastry has a pedigree. Or perhaps, you’re soaking in the beach vibes at a Santa Monica café, with your book occasionally competing with the ocean views.

But let’s move from the caffeine to the cuisine, shall we? If there’s one thing that LA understands, it’s solo diners. The city is peppered with eateries that don’t just tolerate the solo traveler but embrace them. From sushi bars in Little Tokyo where the sushi chef becomes your temporary best friend, to bustling food markets like Grand Central Market, where a medley of aromas and flavors invites you to hop from stall to stall. Then there are the ritzy rooftop bars downtown, where you can dine beneath the stars, your plate reflecting the city lights.

But wait! Let’s not forget those quaint eateries tucked away in LA’s myriad neighborhoods. These hidden gems, often family-run, offer hearty meals that feel like a warm hug. The kind of places where the owner might just join you for a chat, turning a meal into a memory.

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Experiencing LA’s Food Truck Culture

food truck los angeles

When you’re on a solo trip to Los Angeles, it’s almost obligatory to embark on this movable feast. You see, in LA, dining isn’t limited to brick-and-mortar establishments; some of the city’s most mouth-watering delights are on four wheels, cruising from one neighborhood to another, much like you might on your exploratory sojourn.

The beauty of LA’s food truck scene? It’s as diverse and eclectic as the city itself. One minute you could be sinking your teeth into a gourmet Korean BBQ taco, and the next, relishing a melty, artisan grilled cheese sandwich. There’s something incredibly poetic about chasing down a truck for a taste of its famed delicacies, all while the palm trees sway and the Cali sun casts its golden glow.

For the uninitiated, it might seem a tad peculiar, this fascination with mobile eateries. But here’s the thing: these trucks are not just about food. They’re about community. They’re those delightful, unexpected pit stops on your solo trip to Los Angeles, where you join a queue of eager Angelenos and tourists alike, all bound by a shared anticipation of the next bite.

Sunset Watching At Malibu

solo trip to los angeles malibu

Imagine this: you’re perched atop one of Malibu’s pristine beaches, toes buried in the soft sand, the gentle hum of the waves playing the background score to your contemplative evening. The sun, like a dramatic diva, takes its time, slowly descending, painting the sky in shades that even the best Instagram filter wouldn’t dare replicate. Every evening, it’s a different masterpiece, and as a solo traveler, you have the front-row seat to this celestial show.

Malibu, with its rugged cliffs and expansive beaches, is the sort of place where introspection comes naturally. As the tangerine ball of fire casts shimmering reflections on the water, it’s easy to lose yourself in thoughts, letting the waves wash over your musings. Perhaps it’s the beauty of nature or the solitude, but there’s an undeniable magic in the air.

Surfing Lessons

los angeles surfing

Solo surfing lessons come with a unique edge. Without the banter of a buddy or the pressure of an audience, it’s just you, your instructor, and the waves. This one-on-one setup ensures not just personalized attention, but also a connection with the ocean that’s intimate and transformative. Plus, there’s an unspoken camaraderie among the surfing community; even as a solo traveler, you’ll never truly feel alone.

But here’s where the plot thickens with a touch of whit: surfing, much like navigating LA’s infamous traffic, is all about timing and balance. And while you might not master the art overnight (or over-vacation, for that matter), every tumble in the water, every unexpected wave, is a lesson in resilience and go-with-the-flow philosophy. After all, isn’t that what solo travel is all about?

LA Philharmonic At Walt Disney Concert Hall

LA Philharmonic

Picture this: You, stepping into Frank Gehry’s architectural marvel, the curvaceous, shimmering façade of the Walt Disney Concert Hall beckoning you with its silent allure. It’s an Instagram moment waiting to happen, but oh, there’s so much more to this place than just its skin. Inside, it’s a world where acoustics meet aesthetics, where every note played by the LA Philharmonic seems to dance, twirl, and embrace you. Sitting there, you’ll find that the music doesn’t just touch your ears; it resonates with your very soul.

As a solo traveler, the experience becomes all the more profound. With no chatter or distractions, it’s just you and the orchestral waves washing over you. You’ll find yourself transported to a world where every chord tells a story, every crescendo is an emotion, and every silence speaks volumes. It’s a place where time seems to pause, allowing you to soak in the magic, one note at a time.

Historic Olvera Street

Historic Olvera Street

For those on a solo trip to Los Angeles, meandering through this historic marketplace is like opening a treasure chest of heritage, brimming with stories, flavors, and good old nostalgia.

Now, imagine strolling down this cobbled pathway, serenaded by the soulful strumming of mariachis, as the scent of freshly made churros tantalizingly wafts through the air. Every step on Olvera Street feels like a dance between eras. On one hand, you have the contemporary fervor of LA, and on the other, a beautiful bygone world beckoning with its rustic charm.

Being a solo traveler on Olvera Street is akin to being a kid in a candy store. But instead of candies, you’re indulging in handcrafted trinkets, vibrant ponchos, and rich tales of LA’s Mexican heritage. With each stall you visit, each artifact you behold, you’re not just shopping; you’re collecting snippets of history and culture.

The Original Farmers Market

The Original Farmers Market los angeles

Now, embarking on a solo trip to Los Angeles without letting your senses revel in the gastronomic and nostalgic splendor of this place? Well, that’s like making a PB&J sandwich and forgetting the peanut butter – just not done!

Envision yourself meandering through this bustling market’s labyrinthine aisles. As a solo traveler, the joy here isn’t just in the tasting, but in the discovering. Every stall, with its colorful array of fresh produce, gourmet goodies, and artisanal treasures, beckons with a promise of a new tale, a unique flavor, and perhaps a quirky vendor or two ready to share their slice of LA lore.

Thrift Shopping in Silver Lake

Silver Lake los angeles

Now, anyone who’s embarked on a solo trip to Los Angeles knows this: Missing out on the thrifting adventures of Silver Lake is akin to ignoring the sparkly allure of the Hollywood sign – a whimsical error of travel judgment.

Imagine this: You, meandering down the vibrant streets of Silver Lake, lured into whimsical stores bursting with stories stitched into the seams of every garment. Each item is a relic of a bygone era, holding tales of LA soirées, sunlit beach days, or perhaps star-studded galas. As a solo traveler, the thrill isn’t just in snagging a deal, but in unraveling the narratives woven into these pre-loved treasures.

And let’s infuse a touch of whit here: Thrift shopping in Silver Lake is like a game of sartorial bingo. Will you stumble upon a retro bomber jacket that screams ’80s glam? Or perhaps unearth a pair of groovy bell-bottoms that whisper of Woodstock? Oh, and every now and then, you might just strike gold with a designer label hidden amidst the colorful racks, waiting to be claimed by a discerning eye like yours.

Hiking The Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon

Embarking on a solo trip to Los Angeles without tracing your steps up this iconic trail? That’d be like visiting Paris and skipping the Eiffel Tower, or sipping on a latte without the artful foam – an unspeakable travesty!

Now, imagine: As the morning sun gently kisses the vast LA skyline, you begin your ascent, every step taking you closer to the panoramic views that have lured countless souls before you. The Runyon Canyon isn’t just a hike; it’s a rite of passage for every LA visitor.

And here’s a slice of whit for the uninitiated: As you make your way up, don’t be surprised if you encounter an enthusiastic yogi perfecting their sun salutation or perhaps a celebrity in chic athleisure, discreetly hidden behind oversized sunglasses. It’s all part and parcel of the Runyon experience.

Exploring the LA Botanical Gardens

LA Botanical Gardens

As you step into the gardens, the cacophony of LA’s hustle fades, replaced by the tranquil symphony of nature’s orchestra. Every path, every turn, seems to be Mother Nature’s own curated gallery. From majestic palms reaching out to the cerulean skies to delicate orchids whispering secrets of their tropical homes, the LA Botanical Gardens offer a verdurous voyage around the world, all without the jet lag.

Now, a smidgen of whit for the green-thumbed traveler: You might come across plants with names more complex than your last relationship. Try pronouncing “Chrysanthemum” thrice without tripping over your tongue, and consider yourself part of the botanical elite!

Top Tours For Traveling Alone In Los Angeles

solo trip to los angeles

Embarking on a solo trip to Los Angeles? The sprawling City of Angels, with its myriad of attractions, can feel both exhilarating and daunting for the solo traveler. But fear not, for GetYourGuide has crafted tours that not only cater to your independent spirit but also ensure you’re hitting LA’s highlights. There’s the Hollywood: Behind-the-Scenes Walking Tour, perfect for those with stars in their eyes and dreams of the silver screen.

Dive deeper into the glitz with the Beverly Hills Celebrity Homes and Rodeo Drive Shopping Tour, offering peeks into the opulent lives of Tinseltown’s elite. For those craving an artsy twist, the Downtown LA Arts and Architecture Tour promises an insightful blend of the city’s iconic designs and hidden murals. And, let’s sprinkle in some whit: Think of these tours as your backstage pass to LA, minus the pesky paparazzi.

Frequently Asked Questions About Solo Travel In Los Angeles

solo trip to los angeles

1. Is LA safe for solo travelers?
Generally speaking, yes. Like sifting through movie reviews, it’s best to take precautions and be discerning. Some neighborhoods are safer than others, especially after dark. It’s all about being vigilant, avoiding dimly lit areas, and maybe not announcing to the world that you’re riding solo.

2. Can I get by without a car?
Certainly! While LA’s love affair with cars is the stuff of legends, there’s public transit, rideshares, and those two trusty feet of yours. However, if you’re planning on serenading the city from Malibu to Downtown, renting a car might be a blockbuster move for your solo trip to Los Angeles.

3. Best places to meet fellow travelers?
Hostels, co-working spaces, or trendy cafes in neighborhoods like Silver Lake or Venice. Or perhaps during a sunrise yoga session on the beach? Just follow the scent of adventure (and maybe a hint of espresso).

4. Any LA-specific travel tips?
Absolutely! Always carry water (hydration is key in the SoCal sun), try the tacos (seriously, they’re a revelation), and if someone says, “Let’s hike to the Hollywood Sign”, wear comfy shoes.

5. Are people in LA friendly?
While LA might be known for its star-studded aloofness, beneath those designer sunglasses, you’ll often find a friendly face. Strike up a conversation, compliment someone’s dog (there are so many adorable pooches), and you might just make a new buddy or get a hot tip for an off-the-beaten-path gem.

6. Where can I find the best sunset views?
Griffith Observatory offers an iconic view, but if you want to blend sunsets with sand between your toes, the beaches of Malibu or Santa Monica pier might be your golden ticket.

How did you like our guide to taking a solo trip to Los Angeles? Did you ever try this? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

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