I’ll update this post until I leave beautiful SoCal. Get ready for my advice…
1. Bring cash. If you have a car, many of the lots only take cash.
2. Protected left-hand turns are short. I’m talkin’ 30 seconds.
3. Each part of the city is very distinct. Hollywood is not like Beverly Hills. Santa Monica is not like Venice Beach.
4. Hollywood is sketch. Sure, the Dolby Theatre where the Oscars are held is nice as is the mall it’s inside of; but other than that, Hollywood is sleazy.
5. Give yourself plenty of time to account for traffic. What you’ve heard is true. It will probably take you at least 20 minutes more than whatever your GPS is telling you.
6. Some of the gas stations in California (specifically Arco, although I’m not sure if there are others) will only let you pay at the pump if you use a debit card. Otherwise, you have to go into the kiosk and tell the clerk how much gas you plan on putting in your car so they can charge you. Inconvenient to the max.
7. L.A. is a HUGE city. Be prepared for long drives. Plan on seeing the different parts of it in “chunks” (downtown, Venice Beach/Santa Monica, UCLA/Westwood, Hollywood/Beverly Hills). Be sure to look at the map and plan accordingly.