Los Angeles proper is a big city, but it’s not the be all and end all of a Los Angeles experience. Far from it. For most people, when they refer to a trip to Los Angeles, they really mean the greater Los Angeles area, and depending on who you talk to, this could incorporate quite a lot of territory. Hollywood, Malibu, Long Beach, Orange County, you name it, it all connects in a labyrinth of concrete and highway. How then, does one get around without a car?
The honest answer is, most people don’t do a lot of lateral movement outside their own neighborhood. It’s true – traffic in Los Angeles is often an unmitigated disaster, so people tend to avoid the highways when they can. Luckily, their neighborhoods typically have all they could desire, which is why they live in them in the first place. But for a visitor, this rarely holds true, as there’s much to see outside of the neighborhood of your chosen hotel.
Consider then, learning what bus routes swing by your chosen areas of interest. Though the Los Angeles metro system can be a bit of a headache, learning a bus line or two isn’t bad. See this link to learn more about where your new favorite lines run and how to buy tickets for them.
Renting a Flexcar is also a darn-good option. This is basically a rental car service for which you pay by the hour. You book via the web, then swipe a keycard in front of the car door, and start driving. Rates are anywhere between $7 and $10 an hour including insurance and gas. All the benefits of renting a car with none of the hassles. Many areas of LA have already signed up.
Walking and biking, though often under-rated, actually constitute a lot of the time most tourists spend in LA. Taking a taxi to a proposed destination is first on the list, then walking to various hot spots in your selected neighborhood the order of the day.
If the idea of all these things troubles you, might I humbly suggest Viator’s Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour? Here, you’ll get access to all the big areas of interest, a reasonable rate, and detailed history of the area to boot. By far, one of the best options.