Cheap flights to Los Angeles are available from Brisbane, Sydney & Melbourne International Airports. Departures from Adelaide & Canberra Airports will typically include a domestic flight to Sydney or Melbourne. Connecting flights running primarily through South East Asia are available from Darwin and Perth International Airports and may be a cheap flight option. Other cheap flights to LA could include taking a flying into US via another major city and taking an internal domestic flight. Australian citizens are eligible for the Visa Waiver Programme for entry into the United States providing the stay is less than 90 days. You will need to organise this prior to departure via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) website. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is around 25km from Beverly Hills and Downtown L.A. The most time efficient way to see the spanning L.A. neighbourhoods is by car. There is no shortage of rental points within the LAX terminals. These services are similar to the B&W or Yellow Cab shopping centre phones that directly connect you to an operator when the handset is lifted. Exchange a few details with the operator and a free shuttle bus will take you to their office where you can finalise arrangements and collect your car. There are free shuttle buses connecting to L.A.'s public transport system, The Metro. For a small fare, the LAX FlyAway will take you Downtown to Union Station. Taxis operate on a cash basis only. Remember to have a good supply of dollar bills for tipping, regardless of the option you choose.
The streets of Southern California are easy to navigate by car and the freeways are well signed. The Metro Bus, Rail and Light Rail services are cheap options. If buying a day ticket you will need exact change, or you can purchase a rechargeable TAP card from the TAP vending machines. These work much the same as Brisbane's GoCard and Sydney's MyMulti systems. You can explore most things on your must-see list by bicycle or on foot. Downtown L.A. is well worth a pedestrian adventure but during daylight hours only.
Los Angeles is home to some huge theme parks. Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags cater both to the family and the thrill seeker. Immerse yourself on bike in the local subculture of Venice Beach where there are markets and opportunists galore. The Santa Monica Pier and Redondo Beach Pier have two very different atmospheres and it is worth finding the time to visit both. For the romantics, the Wayfarer's Chapel is a glass church perched among a canopy of green with gorgeous views across to Catalina Island. This is a short drive to the Korean Bell of Friendship in the San Pedro region. It is hard to know where to look in Hollywood but an oversupply of star spotting tours can mean a cheap and easy afternoon. For something un-Hollywood, head out of Beverly Hills towards the Pacific Palisades and watch the sun set, on Sunset Boulevard.
Dining in and around Hollywood is an experience in itself. Sitting down to a coffee at The Ivy Restaurant could see you sipping alongside Leonardo DiCaprio on the Sunset Strip. Other West Hollywood offerings include seasonal American cuisine at Eveleigh and Ryan Seacrest’s Sushi Bar, Katana. Shop in style at the Beverly Centre or if you're out for a bargain, navigate the Camarillo Premium Outlets. This is a similar setup to Australia's Direct Factory Outlets on a far more impressive scale. Alternatively, if you love to rummage, try a TJ Maxx or Marshall's store. These chains have virtually any brand, in any size for Australian op shop prices – as long as you’re prepared to wear last season’s fashion it really is as cheap as chips! Party like a star at Hyde Lounge on Sunset, Villa Lounge on Melrose or Teddy's Bar at Hotel Roosevelt. For the brave and unabashed, ask around for any members heading to the exclusive Soho House willing to take you as their guest. A little Aussie charm can go a long way.
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