Don't believe the myths about the City of Los Angeles. The city isn't just a giant suburb or cultural wasteland. There are live music events, film screenings, museums, and theatre galore. Sure, there is plenty of concrete, and you may come across more than a few strip malls, but you can also enjoy thousands of acres of nature and beautiful panoramic views along Pacific Coast Highway. There is traffic in LA, especially in Downtown LA and along the Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Strip, but it's not insurmountable, once you know the shortcuts. There is some smog, but there are also plenty of clear-blue-sky days. And Los Angeles's population is made up of more than just aspiring actors, plastic surgery addicts, surfers, valley girls, and gang members.
Los Angeles is a real and culturally diverse city with something for everyone -- whether you're just visiting for the weekend or planning to relocate there. Yes, people do walk in LA. But the city is large and vast, and with 114 neighborhoods, it can be hard to navigate by car or on foot. With these apps in your pocket, however, you'll be a steadfast and cocksure Angeleno in no time.
Where to stay
Need a last-minute hotel deal in Los Angeles or one 100 days from now? Then search no further than Hotel Tonight for iPhone and Android. Hotel Tonight offers the best deals for your upcoming Los Angeles area bookings, whether you're looking for basic, hip, or luxurious accommodations. When hotels can't fill their rooms, they drop their prices and pass these discounted rates along to Hotel Tonight, which then passes the savings onto you. Get the bonus location-based Geo Rate discount (marked in green) for added savings. 24/7 customer support can handle any questions or issues.
The popular real estate app for iOS and Android shows you myriad apartments for rent in and around Los Angeles County. Using the app's targeted search options, you can see photo- and video-filled listings of rentals that meet your location, size, amenities, and price requirements. Search by GPS, type an address, or draw a custom region on a map. Once you find a listing you like, Zillow can help you contact the property manager.
What to wear
Los Angeles is not warm and sunny 365 days a year, and if it's warm downtown, it may be breezy down by the beach. Turn to Dark Sky to get a detailed hour-by-hour timeline for the next day, with precipitation, temperature, wind, and humidity. For those days that are particularly hot and sunny, you'll appreciate the included daily UV index (strength of sunburn-producing ultraviolet radiation), so you'll know how much sunscreen to slather on for your walk through Griffith Park or to just spend the day indoors roaming the contemporary art section at the LACMA (Android, iOS) museum, near the La Brea Tar Pits, or the Getty Center museum, for example.
People get dressed up in LA -- even to go out and get gas, so you'll want to dress to impress, too. But that no longer requires a trip to myriad stores on Rodeo Drive when the Mr Porter app puts the most stylish, expert-curated clothing and accessories -- from more than 400 designer brands, including Balenciaga, Gucci, and Saint Laurent -- at your fingertips.
How to get around
Purgatory is the 405 freeway at rush hour. Thankfully, Waze, one of the best navigation apps around, delivers real-time voice-directed navigation and hazard alerts -- and suggests alternate routes to get you out of traffic jams before you even enter them. Waze users know that there are just no apps like Waze -- and that includes Google Maps.
But why brave driving in bad traffic and hunting for parking in Echo Park, Venice Beach, or at the Malibu beaches when you can just take an Uber? Uber is a ridesharing app that enables you to quickly hire Uber drivers in your area, 24 hours a day, to take you to destinations near and far.
Or you can take public transit. Open up the Transit app, and it displays a running list of public transportation options near you. You can also pick your destination and see your travel options, including ride-sharing services.
Parking can even be more challenging than driving in LA. So instead of circling for an hour around the Los Angeles Public Library, book in advance with SpotHero. Enter your preferred dates and times and compare garage options in the area. Once you find your perfect garage, just prepay in the app, head to the garage, and use your parking pass to park.
Where to eat and drink
Yelp can help you find the best restaurants and cafes in LA using the GPS on your phone. You can also filter a search for the best places to eat by location, price, type of cuisine, star rating, number of positive reviews, and more. If you'd rather eat in, the Yelp Eat24 (iOS, Android) delivery service can deliver items from your favorite restaurants to you.
Angelenos know that open tables are hard to find in Los Angeles's hottest restaurants, such as Bestia and N/ Naka, so don't expect to be seated anytime soon without a reservation. That's where the OpenTable app comes in. Once you've settled on a restaurant, just pull it up, find out when the next reservation is, and lock your table down. If there's nothing available in the near future, you can also search in the app for a list of restaurants that can accommodate you during your desired day and time.
Where to go
From the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, the Discover Los Angeles app gives you the 411 on a wide variety of events taking place throughout LA each day based on the weather, time, and distance from your current location. You'll see museums, parks, shops, and places featured on your favorite TV shows or in your favorite movies. Maybe best of all, you'll also get a list of available Wi-Fi Hotspots across LA, so you can keep using the app without interruption.
5 Every Day (iOS)
There's a lot more to do in Los Angeles County and the surrounding areas outside of the typical Hollywood Boulevard tourist traps. Dance-pop band YACHT's cofounders Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans, out of LA, developed the 5 Every Day mobile app to steer Southern California visitors and even LA natives to a daily selection of five far cooler under-the-radar attractions.
ArcLight Cinemas (iOS)
The ArcLight Hollywood is one of the most beautiful theatres we've ever seen. Its companion app lets you browse movie times and titles, choose seats and buy and receive tickets, so you can avoid all those hassles once you get there.
Or if you feel like checking out a classic film, we recommend Revival Houses (Web), which lists all of the old-school films playing at repertory theatres near you.
LA doesn't approach New York's Broadway, but it still offers a lively theatre scene. But tickets can be pricey and hard to acquire. Fortunately, TodayTix partners directly with box offices to help you secure last-minute tickets to the biggest Off-Broadway theatrical presentations at deep discounts.
Whether you want to catch an LA Dodgers or Los Angeles Kings game, that Beyonce or Demi Lovato show, or myriad comedy shows, musical productions, or family events, the Ticketmaster Android app or iOS app is your best bet for securing a ticket to the experience of your life.
Official Hollywood Walk of Fame (iOS)
What's in a name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Not much, if you don't know anything about the person. Thankfully, the Official Hollywood Walk of Fame app, endorsed by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, adds context with detailed info on each star as well as their Official Walk of Fame photos and a video clip from their induction ceremony. Have a specific star you want to see? The app will show you where it's located.
TCM Hollywood Tour (iOS)
Turner Classic Movies is famous for airing the most celebrated classic movies on TV. So it only makes sense that TCM would eventually develop a Hollywood Tour app. Use it to visit 100-plus classic film locations and celebrity homes in the Hollywood area. You'll also get background info and photos of the celebrities who lived or worked there. If you're not in LA, you can always use the app's virtual tour of the homes and locations.
The Most Magical Place On Earth can turn into the Hollywood freeway at rush hour if you don't time your trip properly. So, avoid the traffic jam of people, skip the ticket line and long ride queues at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park with the Disneyland app. With the app, you can view theme park hours and schedules, purchase tickets, view ride wait times, check out maps, and locate Disney Characters so you don't miss them. You can also explore restaurant menus, make reservations, and even order your food right from your phone.
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Where to walk
Sometimes Angelenos just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city with a trek up to Runyon Canyon. The AllTrails app helps you discover the best hiking, running, and biking trails in the LA area with hand-curated trail maps, reviews, and photos.
When to surf
There's no bigger bummer than driving all the way to the beach only to find that it's a bad surf day. Fortunately, the MSW Surf Forecast app offers long range surf forecasts, including a star rating; surf height, swell height, period, and direction; wind speed and direction; and air and water temperatures, so you know whether the trek over will be worth it in advance.
Where to complain
You're really not an Angeleno till you've lived here long enough to start complaining about the city. Once the bloom is off the rose, use the MyLA311 app to report abandoned cars, graffiti, blocked sidewalks, the need for tree maintenance, dirty sidewalks, noise complaints, and much more.
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