5 Common Misconceptions First-time Los Angeles Tourists Should Avoid

Sightseeing in Los Angeles has been painted as the epitome of rubbing elbows with Hollywood glamor. The reality can be quite jarring. Visit Los Angeles with five common misconceptions debunked, and enjoy your stay all the more.

1. A Celebrity on Every Corner

Faithful followers of TMZ might think that L.A. International Airport is filled to brimming with celebs jet setting about — or that the Grove is crawling with them. In reality, the paparazzi work on tips and spend plenty of time simply waiting for someone to pop up. There are days that go by without any celebrity or movie star making an appearance.

2. Hollywood Represents Los Angeles

Most any Los Angeles travel guide highlights Hollywood as a must-see, and rightfully so! The movie industry was and is a major draw for those coming to California. Star-studded Hollywood movies have created a lot of America’s motion picture history, and the silver screen greats frequently live in and around the area.

That being said, visit Los Angeles with the understanding that it is much more complex and multi-faceted. While the movie industry is part and parcel of L.A., it is only a comparatively small aspect of the city as a whole.

3. L.A. is Always Sunny and the Beaches are Always Hot

Los Angeles tourism outfits capitalize on the famous California sunshine and the white beaches littered with surfers and playing children. The problem is the definition of “always.” Although the weather is gorgeous most of the time, we have a rainy season between November and February.

Next comes “June gloom,” which actually can start as early as April. It represents a thicker cloud layer that takes a few hours to burn off. Temperatures at the beaches are surprisingly cool; unless it is high noon in July, it may only be about 70 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

4. Beaches are Populated by Blondes

Actually, L.A. beaches attract mostly Angelenos, who tend to come in all colors, shapes and sizes. The platinum blondes tend to congregate more in Huntington Beach or Orange County. In fact, you are more likely to see families with kids at the Los Angeles beaches than anyone else.

5. Los Angeles is all Gangs and Murders.

Many a Los Angeles travel guide will warn you away from some areas where gang activity is running rampant. If you plan on sightseeing in Los Angeles — and find yourself in areas where graffiti is taking over — it is time for you to leave. Even so, the L.A. crime rate — as outlined by City Data — is on a decline. Exercise common sense and caution, and you will be about as safe as you can be in the big city.


City Data: “Los Angeles, California”