5 Things Only Tourists Do in Los Angeles

Like A Local Guide • 13 Oct, 2019

Tourists act pretty much the same all across the globe – they take photos of everything and stroll patiently along the streets as if they have all the time in the world (and they probably do – they are on holidays after all). Monica, our local Los Angeles ambassador, has put together a list of things only tourists do in LA. If you want to avoid looking like one, be sure to follow her advice!

1. Take pictures on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

To be fair, this is definitely iconic LA and it’s probably worth getting a photo for posterity’s sake, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find locals running around Hollywood comparing their hands with Shirley Temple’s. Many locals avoid the more crowded areas of the strip due to the congested traffic. Speaking of traffic…

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Photo credit: jpellgen

2. Underestimate how long it will take to get from one place to another

Los Angeles is HUGE. Going from Downtown to the beach can take an hour or more depending on traffic. If you’re looking to spend a lot of your days as a beach bum, definitely don’t book a hotel in Silver Lake or Hollywood. While it’s nice to have a car, plenty of people make the bus system work for them – it just requires much more careful route planning.

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Photo credit: Eric Demarcq

3. Call California “Cali”

While it doesn’t get discussed often, many Californians grit their teeth at this abbreviation of the state name. If you want to fit in, call it “SoCal.” If you’re heading up north to San Francisco, “NorCal” or “The Bay” will do just fine.

4. Only eat at chain restaurants

Los Angeles has amazing food. With such a huge selection, you’re guaranteed to find something unique and delicious at a price that works for you. While it might be difficult to pick out the chains at first, you’ll eventually come to recognise places that aren’t particularly original.


Photo credit: Niall Kennedy

5. Ride on the expensive tour buses

There are so many tours constantly being advertised, and each one claims to have the very best insider “star map” knowledge. Basically, they take you to the hedged gates outside the homes of famous celebrities to gawk like a stalker. Locals roll their eyes when a bus stops on a busy street to point out some event that happened to some famous person at one time or another while they’re trying to commute from one place to another in crazy LA traffic.


Photo credit: Neil Kremer

For more local recommendations read:

What locals like to do in Los Angeles
Where locals like to eat in Los Angeles
Where locals like to party in Los Angeles

Special tip:
For a more authentic Los Angeles experience, get the Like A Local mobile app

Like A Local Guide
Like A Local Guide is about stepping off the tourist trail and finding cool and cosy spots where locals like to spend their time. We built a website and mobile app to bring insider recommendations from around the world to your fingertips.

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