*That’s 79 more than the national average.
Stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame or hit up Highland Park for historical monuments — and don’t miss out on authentic Mexican food. If you’re hoping for uninterrupted snaps of the Hollywood Sign, time your trip off-season to avoid crowds and save money on flights.
The best thing about a sprawling city like LA? Regardless of crowds, you should be able to find less-packed spots by staying off the grid. If theme parks are on your itinerary but you loathe long lines, target off-season months.
Late May to early September — summer vacation for kids nationwide — is the busiest time in LA, especially at Disneyland. Spring break is another hot travel time. Expect ample company at most tourist attractions, as well as more expensive flights.
Holiday weeks and weekends attract loads of sightseers year-round. Still, blue skies and Christmas lights might be worth the trek. The average temperature on December 25th is 59 °F.
Autumn tends to be less crowded in LA since most tourists have gone home. And late October is the sweet spot for travelers seeking pleasant temps, short queues and brilliant sunsets. You’ll find decent rates on plane tickets targeting autumn travel, especially when booking 4 to 6 months in advance.
Winter months are pretty quiet in LA. Temps hover around the 50s and low 60s, so incoming flights are cheaper due to lower demand. You’ll likely save an average of 23% on tickets if you fly in January, according to Skyscanner.com. Just watch out for rate hikes when spring break rolls around in March.
Events and attractions
Before planning an escape to LA, consider which annual happenings you don’t want to miss.
- AFL Fest. Though the LA Film Festival was recently discontinued, the American Film Institute’s annual festival lives on. It’s a free event held in the famous Chinese and Dolby theaters in Hollywood, featuring red carpet galas, screenings, panels and special tributes.
- Halloween Carnaval. The world’s largest streetside Halloween bash features bumping tunes and gnarly costumes. It’s free to join — and not exactly family-friendly. And yes, it takes place on October 31st.
- Perseid meteor shower. Every August when Earth passes through the Swift-Tuttle’s path, Los Angeleans can catch a glimpse of the leftover dust and debris. Take cover in the darkest spot you can find to guarantee your best chance at making a wish.
- LA Art Show. Admire one of the biggest collections of contemporary art for sale in the world at the Los Angeles Convention Center in January. A day ticket will run you $30, though VIP tickets, which grant access to the premiere party, start at $125.
- PaleyFest. TV fanatics can get insight into the plots of their favorite shows with the people who wrote, produced or acted in them at PaleyFest’s panels in March. Tickets vary by event, though superfans can buy an individual membership for $75.
Watch out for: the Santa Ana Winds.
Also known as the “devil’s winds,” this natural phenomenon occurs every year in late summer to early fall. Though it doesn’t usually last more than a day, hot, heavy winds kick up in the mountains and whoosh towards the coast, scattering debris and snapping tree limbs.
It’s best to plan indoor events if you’re in LA during Santa Ana — like mingling with wax figures at Madame Tussauds or nerding out on film memorabilia at the Hollywood Museum.
The best time to visit LA really depends on the experience you want to have. Disney-goers score gold in January, though beach bums will need to target warmer months. After deciding what you want to see, book a flight to LA well in advance to score cheap passage.
Traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic
With infection rates rapidly spiking nationwide, expect stronger travel restrictions as the holidays near. The CDC strongly advises postponing travel and staying close to home
to avoid getting or spreading COVID-19.
If you plan to travel during the pandemic, monitor and understand the risk assessment levels for your destination
when planning your trip, before departure and on arrival. Follow safety measures that include wearing a mask in public settings, maintaining social distancing and washing your hands. If you are diagnosed, have symptoms of or are waiting for test results for COVID-19 — or are otherwise at risk of illness — do not host, attend gatherings or travel for 14 days. Note that the CDC warns against cruise travel
at this time.