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Los Angeles tours and excursions

Los Angeles tours

Boat tours

With an extensive coastline, visitors to LA can pick from harbour cruises, whale and dolphin watching excursions, kayaking tours along the Venice canals, and Gondola rides in Newport Beach. Cruise Newport Beach's dinner, brunch and sunset cruises along the southern beaches of Newport and Huntington are also popular.

Tel: +1 949 673 1489; +1 855 466 3652.
Website: http://www.gondola.com

Walking tours

Los Angeles Conservancy Tours run walking tours of Downtown Los Angeles. Their insightful expeditions cover landmark buildings and historic areas, such as Pershing Square, Broadway theatre district and Little Tokyo. Meanwhile, Red Line Tours takes visitors behind the glitz and glamour of Tinsel Town with a sprinkling of A-lister stardust. Each person is given a headset playing live commentary and tours offer rare access to the interiors of buildings.

Tel: +1 213 623 2489; +1 323 402 1074.
Website: http://www.laconservancy.org

Los Angeles excursions

Santa Barbara

The sophisticated Spanish-influenced town of Santa Barbara is a two-hour drive north of LA. Take time to explore the historic Spanish mission, stroll the smart shopping and dining area, and try some fresh fish from a restaurant on the pier. With superior beaches and stylish surroundings, Santa Barbara proves a popular day trip from LA.

Tel: +1 805 966 9222.
Website: http://www.santabarbaraca.com

Long Beach

The city of Long Beach is directly south of Downtown LA, an easy drive on the Long Beach freeways (I-710). Must sees include the Queen Mary, a 1934 luxury liner that's now a floating hotel; the Aquarium of the Pacific, which is home to more than 550 species of marine animals in a variety of ocean habitats; and Shoreline Village, a pleasant marina-style complex with shops and restaurants including Parker's Lighthouse.

Tel: +1 562 436 364.
Website: http://www.visitlongbeach.com

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Howard Johnson Inn and Suites Reseda

A clean and affordable option in the San Fernando Valley, this hotel features free Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool and complimentary continental breakfast. Parking is free and access to the rest of California is made easy with Interstate 405 and Highway 101 running nearby.

Jerry's Motel

A low-key motel in Downtown, just minutes from major city attractions like Los Angeles Convention Center, Dodger Stadium, Broad Museum and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Unfussy double and twin rooms offer free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and coffeemakers, and the hotel provides free parking for patrons.

Farmer’s Daughter Hotel

Featuring denim duvets, distressed hardwood floors and wrought iron artwork, this funky boutique hotel in West Hollywood is heavy on the rural theme. Located opposite LA's historic Farmer's Market, it also has a smart pool and sundeck, high speed Wi-Fi and air-conditioning. Its onsite restaurant, TART, serves up deliciously healthy hipster treats.

Sheraton Universal

Bang next door to Universal Studios, the Sheraton Universal has something of a corporate air to it but is relaxed enough to offer a poolside bar. Rooms are reasonably sized, with plenty of creams and browns keeping things neutral. It also has a small pool and modern gym facilities. Ask for a room with views of the Hollywood Hills.

The Standard

Chic and affordable, The Standard is a glimpse into the mind of hotel designer André Balazs. Young sophisticates gather in the floor-to-ceiling shag-carpeted lobby for live DJs and performance art shows, while its poolside cafe and 24-hour restaurant serve up quality American comfort food. Rooms offer kitsch furniture, including beanbag chairs.

The Beverly Wilshire

Popularised by its appearance in Pretty Woman, this Four Seasons hotel is renowned for its classical grandeur and impeccable service. An ornately carved entrance leads to a magnificent lobby and a choice between the elegant Boulevard Restaurant, a wood-panelled piano lounge and Cut, the Wolfgang Puck steakhouse. Luxurious rooms have marble bathrooms and the spa is stunning.