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Going local in Los Angeles

Los Angeles may be famous for its sprawl, but trust us when we say that it’s worth checking out the city’s beautifully diverse neighbourhoods. Venture from Downtown LA to explore the mural-adorned Arts District, motor up to the Hollywood Hills for a day of sunny hiking, or hit Malibu Beach for perfect beachside relaxation. Just don’t spend all your time in one area of LA: there’s far too much to discover.

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The Arts District

Just east of Downtown LA, the Arts District combines ex-industrial grit with plenty of style and flair. Creative types flock here for the colourful murals, as well as the trendy boutiques and houseware shops – there’s nowhere better to pick out a unique souvenir. And for business travellers who are looking for a change of scenery after a long meeting, the Arts District offers convenient dining options and head-clearing scenery.

On business in LA

The Hollywood Hills

Much of Los Angeles is fast-paced and frenetic, but life in the parks of the Hollywood Hills is a little different. From the rugged trails of Runyon Canyon Park to the famous Griffith Park – one of the country’s biggest municipal parks, and uniquely photogenic in its own right – these wild enclaves offer a reprieve from the city’s busy heart.

The best photo spots in LA

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Malibu Beach

After the ultimate all-American beach experience? Look no further than Malibu Beach, which offers up more than 20 miles of breathtaking coastline. When you’re not tanning or attending surfing classes, take time out to indulge in a cup of fro-yo or splurge on designer finds at the Malibu Country Mart.

Malibu beach guide

Highland Park

No, Highland Park isn’t a nature preserve in the Hollywood Hills – instead, this trendy neighbourhood is seen as a new rival for hipster hotspot Silver Lake. What draws in the cool crowds? A mixture of independent and vintage shops, cool late night bars (with plenty of local beer and wine), and authentic Mexican food. 

A neighbourhood guide to Highland Park

La Brea Avenue

Everyone knows that Rodeo Drive is Los Angeles’s most famous place to drop stacks of cash on high-end goodies. But have you heard of the city’s other favourite – albeit lesser-known – shopping street? Meet La Brea Avenue, which has become a hub for cool homewares, local designers, and other trendsetters in recent years. The stretch between Beverly Boulevard and West Sixth Street offers up particularly plentiful browsing.

Where the locals shop in LA

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Image credits: Highland Park © LA's Tourism Convention Board, La Brea Avenue © A+R, All other imagery © iStock