The City of Angels, La La Land, Tinseltown – whatever you want to call it, Los Angeles is America’s playland, where tanned sun-worshippers frolic on the beach in Malibu, surfers catch waves down in Huntington, families meet Mickey Mouse in Anaheim, well-dressed ladies shop for designer goods in Beverly Hills, and movie stars (and wannabees) make their fortunes in Hollywood.
The sprawling city offers more than you could ever see in a day (or five), so if your cruise starts or ends in LA, it’s worth your while to extend that vacation by a few days and see what all the fuss is about (who wants to go back to work, anyway?).
How to get to Los Angeles
Most cruise ships dock at the World Cruise Center in San Pedro, about 20 miles (70 km) south of downtown LA. Most Carnival ships, however, dock at the terminal in Long Beach. Los Angeles is not a walking town, nor is public transport very prevalent, so you’ll want to rent a car if you’re exploring the city on your own.
One Day in Los Angeles
Gas up your rental car (it’s going to need a full tank) and hit the freeway for a day of LA’s greatest hits. Start in Hollywood with a walk down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, looking for the stars of your favorite actors. Then drive to the Farmer’s Market for a snack, keeping your eyes out for famous faces.
Enjoy a ride through Beverly Hills, marveling at the mansions and perfectly manicured lawns, on your way to the Getty Center, one of the city’s best places to see art. The architecture of the building itself is just as impressive as the work on the walls, as is the view.
Now you deserve to relax, so head to Santa Monica. Take a few spins on the Ferris wheel and try your hand at vintage carnival games before finishing your day with a stroll on the beach.