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Solo Trip To Los Angeles: Your Ultimate Guide (From A Local)

By Janelle Axton. This guide to solo travel in Los Angeles contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

If you’re considering a solo trip to Los Angeles, then this guide is for you!

With its endless attractions, diverse neighborhoods, and world-class restaurants, there’s plenty to see and do without a companion.

To help make your solo trip as smooth as possible, read through this ultimate guide packed with tips and advice and get ready to discover all that solo travel in LA has to offer.

As a local, I’m excited to share some of my favorite places and best tips with you!

Short on time? Here are my top picks for LA solo travel:

🚘 Getting Around: The best way to get around while traveling solo in Los Angeles is by car. Luckily, Discover Cars makes it easy to quickly compare your rental options and save up to 70%.

📍 Tours & Experiences: Snag access to 30+ local tours & attractions for one low price with a Go City: Los Angeles Explorer Pass. Also, a few top recommendations for tours include:
Griffith Observatory Hike: An LA Tour through the Hollywood Hills
Old & New Downtown Los Angeles Walking Tour
Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour
Click here for a full list of tours in Los Angeles

🎉 Events: Check for fun events & unique popup experiences on Fever

🥘 Local Culture: Dine in local homes & enjoy culinary experiences with locals through EatWith

🏨 Accommodation: My favorite is The Kinney, a hip boutique hotel walkable to Venice Beach that is great for those traveling solo in LA! You can also view other accommodation options here.

🏥 Travel Insurance: SafetyWing (budget-friendly) & World Nomads (robust)

📞 Staying Connected: Airalo eSIM

Confidently Enjoy Solo Travel In Los Angeles [Free Course]

But first, before we dive into our guide to solo female travel in Los Angeles, I invite you to grab a seat in Jessie’s free Savvy Solo Traveler E-Course.

The 6-day course is designed to help you feel confident about booking your first solo trip and exploring the world alone.

Lessons include:

  • Common solo travel fears (like flying alone for the first time) and how to overcome them
  • How to choose the perfect destination when you travel solo
  • How to tell loved ones you’re hitting the road solo
  • Mentally preparing for your solo journey without losing your mind
  • Essential steps for staying safe when traveling solo
  • How to travel alone and take amazing solo selfies

Once you’ve grabbed your seat, read on to dive into our California travel guide focused on LA solo travel.

Is A Solo Trip To Los Angeles Worth It?

A solo trip to Los Angeles, aka The City of Angels, can be a great experience. The city has a lot to offer, from a delicious food scene and nightlife to well known attractions like the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Universal Studios.

Plus, LA is a great place to people-watch — you never know what celebrity you might run into! 

The downside of traveling solo is you do have to be extra careful when it comes to safety; but as long as you take precautions and stay aware of your surroundings, LA is plenty safe to explore on your own. You might even invest in some travel safety essentials, like pickpocket-proof garments and a personal safety alarm.

Overall, a solo trip to LA is definitely worth it!

woman enjoying solo female travel in Los Angeles near the Santa Monica Pier
Solo female travel in Los Angeles can be fun & rewarding. Photo via Roberto Nickson for Pexels.

Where Is Los Angeles?

Los Angeles is a large city area located in southern California.

In general, when people reference LA, they are talking about the sprawling area of Greater Los Angeles that includes cities from Santa Monica and Malibu on the west coast to Burbank and the Valley in the north, Pasadena towards the east, and down to the South Bay LA and even Orange County in the south. 

The Greater Los Angeles Area is the second most populous metropolitan area in the United States, with over 18 million residents. This means there is plenty to explore when traveling to Los Angeles alone. 

Getting To Los Angeles

There are a few ways to get into Los Angeles, but the most common is flying into LAX international Airport or driving in on one of the many freeways. 

If you’re flying, keep in mind that it’s a busy airport — so leave yourself plenty of time to get around.

If you plan to take Uber or Lyft from the airport, you will need to take the shuttle bus to an offsite location. 

And if you’re driving, be aware that traffic can be heavy at all times of day, so plan accordingly.

Los Angeles Travel Map

Before we go any further with our guide on solo travel to Los Angeles, I want to give you a lay of the land. Here is a map of Los Angeles:

You can also click the above Los Angeles map for an interactive version, which has some of the main attractions mentioned below pre-plotted.

Save it to your phone before traveling alone to Los Angeles so it’s ready to go.

Best Ways To Get Around Los Angeles As A Solo Traveler 

Los Angeles is a sprawling metropolitan area, and it doesn’t have the best public transportation. While buses and trains do exist, it will take a bit of planning and flexibility of walking between stops. You can use this trip planner for help with this.

The most common and easiest way to get around LA for most people is to drive. You can rent a car using a tool like Discover Cars, a comparison tool that can help you save money on rentals.

Additionally, Uber and Lyft are easy to use and plentiful around the city. It’s recommended to download these apps before you leave home so they’re ready to go once you arrive into Los Angeles.

sprawling highway system as seen from above
LA is a sprawling city and you’ll want a car to explore it. Photo via RODNAE Productions for Pexels.

Is LA Safe For Solo Travel?

Yes, LA is safe for solo travel! That being said, as with any big city, you’ll want to stay aware of your surroundings and plan your transportation in advance, especially at night. 

Avoid certain areas such as Skid Row (east of Downtown LA) and stay extra aware in certain parts of Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood that are not the safest.

If in doubt, ask your hotel reception if a place you’re wanting to go is safe to explore on your own.

Overall, LA is a great place to visit by yourself. Just be cautious and use your common sense, and you’ll be just fine.

Beach, palm trees and streets of Santa Monica in Los Angeles, California
Santa Monica is one of the top places to stay on a solo trip to Los Angeles. Photo via Demian Tejeda-Benitez for Pexels.

Where To Stay On A Solo Trip To Los Angeles

There are a number of great and centrally-located neighborhoods around Los Angeles that are safe for solo travelers, including:

Santa Monica. This is the most popular beach in LA, and a must-visit on any trip to Los Angeles or California road trip. It has a bit of everything, from great restaurants and resort-quality hotels to active nightlife and beach activities. It’s also a very walkable area for those who want to avoid renting a car. 

Click here for a list full list of Santa Monica hotels.

West Hollywood. While a lot of Hollywood is actually pretty grungy, West Hollywood is a much nicer area and located within easy access to many attractions. It’s especially great for those who enjoy exciting nightlife. 

Click here for a list full list of West Hollywood hotels.

Beverly Hills. Here you’ll be immersed in the epitome of LA’s high-class lifestyle. From high-end shopping to world-class spas and opulence, Beverly Hills is the best place to stay for those looking for luxury.

Click here for a list full list of Beverly Hills hotels.

Manhattan Beach. Located just south of LAX, this little beach town is great for those who want a more relaxing and less crowded place to stay, though it’s still within easy driving distance. Plus, there are many great things to do in Manhattan Beach such as shopping in the downtown area boutiques and swimming or taking in a sunset on the beach.

Click here for a list full list of Manhattan Beach hotels.

You can also click here for a full list of Los Angeles hotels, or check out the map below for hotels and self-contained rentals. Note that it’s currently set to Santa Monica, though you can easily change it to your preferred area of LA:

Fun Things To Do In LA As A Solo Traveler

There is no shortage of fun things to do as a solo traveler in Los Angeles. You will find everything from popular tourist attractions to simply enjoying the sunshine out at the beach or a rooftop bar to hidden gems near Los Angeles.

Here are a few of the best things to do in LA when traveling solo:

1. Play around at the Santa Monica Pier

Aerial Shot of the Santa Monica Pier in LA, California
An Aerial Shot of the Santa Monica Pier. Photo via RODNAE Productions for Pexels.

This should be at the top of any list of things to do in Los Angeles when traveling alone. Here, you can play classic arcade games, see talented street performers, and ride the giant Ferris Wheel while taking in stunning Pacific Ocean views.

Whether you have 3 days in Los Angeles or more time to spare, this is sure to be a highlight.

Afterward, you’ll be in the perfect spot to relax on Santa Monica State Beach — a great option for a solo beach day trip — or explore the lively Ocean Avenue and Downtown Santa Monica.

Bonus tip:

While it’s a bit of a long walk from the pier, a 12-minute Uber ride can take you to Bergamot Station, a former train station complex that houses 30+ art galleries.

2. Visit Universal Studios Hollywood

At least one day of your trip should be dedicated to Universal Studios Hollywood.

Along with being a film studio and theme park home to fun rides inspired by your favorite TV shows and films like Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and the Fast & The Furious, you can find carnival games and live entertainment.

If you’re looking to enjoy shopping and dining, head to Universal CityWalk — which is also home to Universal Cinema, a 7-story IMAX with LASER theatre.

Pro tip:

If you’ll be enjoying the rides, make sure to get a Skip-The-Line Express Ticket or opt for a VIP Experience package.

3. Do the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Warner Bros is another studio to add to your solo travel LA itinerary, as it’s definitely worth visiting. On this tour, you’ll get to see where — and how — some of your favorite shows and movies were made. You’ll even visit Central Perk from Friends!

This is a great way to experience movie magic and really go behind the scenes while embarking on solo travel in Los Angeles.

4. Visit Catalina Island

A day trip to Catalina Island is a fun excursion for solo female travelers to LA. Known for its coastal beauty, wildlife, and outdoor adventure, there is a lot to explore.

Start in one of the two main resort towns: Two Harbors, which is more rustic, or Avalon, which has more of a historic vibe.

Also on the island, spend time snorkeling and relaxing at Descanso Beach Club, explore some of the beautiful beaches, and go for a hike or sailing excursion. There are a ton of interesting tours on the island, too.

To reach Catalina Island, you can catch a ferry from San Pedro, Long Beach, Newport Beach, and Dana Point.

5. Get inspired at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

woman on a solo trip to LA viewing artwork at LACMA
Get inspired by the artworks at LACMA. Photo via Janelle Axton.

One of the top things to do when enjoying solo travel to LA is visiting the local galleries and museums, which is an inherently solo activity.

If you enjoy art, one must-visit institution is LACMA, the largest art museum in the western United States. It holds 150,000 pieces of art from ancient times through present day.

In addition to exploring the indoor exhibits and attending their regular films and concerts, you can wander the outside of the building and take a picture in the “Urban Light” display — a forest of city street lights that is particularly captivating at night.

A few other great art institutions in LA include the Museum of Contemporary Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, to name a few. There are also a number of free museums in Los Angeles.

6. Walk Hollywood Boulevard on your solo trip to Los Angeles

Here you can view the stars along the Hollywood Walk of Fame and celebrity handprints and footprints at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (aka TCL Chinese Theatre).

For the full experience, book a Hollywood Sightseeing and Celebrity Homes Tour, which visits these LA attractions as well as various filming locations, celebrity houses, and LA attractions like the Hollywood Sign, Sunset Strip, and Beverly Hills.

7. Sunbathe and people watch on Venice Beach

woman dipping her toes into the Pacific Ocean at Venice Beach during solo travel in Los Angeles
Tip your toes in the Pacific Ocean in Venice Beach. Photo via Jessie Festa.

While alone in Los Angeles, make sure to enjoy the beach and quirky vibes by wandering along the Venice Strand — a beachfront sidewalk showcasing shops, eateries, and street performers — or watching the talented skaters at the Venice Beach Skatepark.

You can also visit Muscle Beach, an outdoor gym that is famous for being the “home of bodybuilding” and the birthplace of the country’s interest in physical fitness.

Along with working out and playing sports like volleyball, it’s a popular place to sit and watch some incredible athletes, gymnasts, and bodybuilders.

Also, one of the best tips I can offer those staying in this area is to book a room at The Kinney Venice Beach, a funky hotel featuring cool murals and a rooftop pool.

8. Go shopping in Beverly Hills

luxury shopping on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles
Treat yourself to some shopping on Rodeo Drive while traveling alone in Los Angeles. Photo via David Vives for Pexels.

In Beverly Hills, you can go shopping in one of the world’s most high-class shopping destinations.

For instance, at The Grove LA, you will find a range of popular stores from Coach and Michael Kors to pop-ups and special events such as the World of Netflix.

Beverly Hills is also where you’ll find Rodeo Drive, an uber luxe shopping street showcasing brands like Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Chanel. You could easily spend the whole day here treating yourself — or just window shopping — while traveling alone in Los Angeles.

9. Have a coastal adventure in Malibu while alone in Los Angeles

Explore a gorgeous LA beach community, and maybe try out the most popular southern California sport (surfing!) at the best surf spot in Los Angeles. This is also a good place to take surf lessons.

Love adventure travel? You can find some beautiful hiking trails in Malibu Hills, including wine-tasting hikes like this one and wine safaris. This is also where you’ll find some beautiful waterfall hikes near Los Angeles.

10. Hike and enjoy incredible views from Griffith Observatory

Hollywood Sign view from Griffith Observatory
Hollywood Sign view from Griffith Observatory. Photo via Jessie Festa.

No solo trip to Los Angeles would be complete without visiting the Griffith Observatory, a free admission observatory and museum that also offers panoramic views of the skyline. From here, you’ll also have a prime view of the Hollywood Sign, a true highlight when you visit LA.

The observatory is located within Griffith Park, the largest urban-wilderness municipal park in the United States. It’s home to a number of scenic trails, including hikes up Mount Hollywood and Mount Lee, which is home to the Hollywood Sign.

11. Go hiking in Runyon Canyon Park

About a 20-minute drive from Griffith Observatory is another fantastic spot to go hiking, Runyon Canyon Park.

Many of the trails award beautiful views over Hollywood — like the Runyon Canyon Trail, a moderate 2.7-mile loop offering sweeping views of the city. This vista is certainly a treat while exploring alone in Los Angeles.

Top Tours For Traveling Alone In Los Angeles

One of the top ways to meet people and make new friends while enjoying solo travel in Los Angeles is to book a group tour. A few top-rated excursions include:

Click here for a full list of tours in Los Angeles!

bars and tables at EP & LP Rooftop Bar
EP & LP is a fun spot for solo travelers to LA. Photo via Janelle Axton.

Tips For Dining Alone On A Solo Trip To LA

Dining alone can be a bit daunting for solo travelers, especially if you’re not used to it; but, there’s no need to worry! Here are a few tips to make sure you have a great time dining solo in LA. 

Don’t be afraid to make a reservation. Many of the best restaurants in Los Angeles will be busy and require reservations, especially during the high tourist season in summer. Plus, it will ensure that you get a good table and don’t have to wait too long for your food. 

Take advantage of LA’s many great hole-in-the-wall places. Taco stands, food trucks, farmer’s markets, and pop-ups are all top options for solo diners and tend to be less awkward than sitting at a restaurant table alone. One recommendation is the Grand Central Market, which has been serving up tasty eats from a variety of food vendors for over a century.

Eat at the bar. Whether you want to eat in silence or socialize with other patrons, the best places to do this are at a bar that serves delicious food or at a restaurant bar. While here, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the people around you. LA is full of friendly people looking to expand their social circles.

Book a meal with EatWith. EatWith is a platform that allows you to dine in local homes, which is a great way to connect with locals while traveling, immerse yourself in local culture, and meet other people while enjoying solo travel in Los Angeles.

How To Get Travel Insurance For Solo Travel In Los Angeles

When visiting Los Angeles—or anywhere else in the world—it’s wise to get travel insurance.

For this, I have two recommendations:

SafetyWing. If you’re looking for something straightforward and budget-friendly, you can’t beat SafetyWing. They offer one global policy that you can cancel at any time or continue paying for long-term coverage (making it the perfect option for digital nomads!).

Their plan includes medical coverage, trip interruptions, personal liability, unplanned overnight stays, lost luggage, and more.

World Nomads. For something more comprehensive, World Nomads is a great option. While you’ll pay a bit more, you’ll typically get higher coverage maximums as well as additional inclusions—like trip cancellation.

woman on a solo trip to Los Angeles walking underneath palm trees
There is so much to enjoy while traveling solo in Los Angeles. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Frequently Asked Questions About Solo Travel In Los Angeles

Q: Is solo female travel in Los Angeles safe?

While it’s true that you should take some extra precautions when traveling as a solo female, there’s no reason to believe that LA is any less safe than other major cities. Use your common sense and stay vigilant, and you’ll be fine. 

Avoid walking alone at night and opt for an Uber instead. Make sure to keep a close eye on your drinks if you go out, and maybe limit how many you have. Perhaps carry travel safety essentials like a personal safety alarm with you as well to feel more confident on your own.

With a little planning and some caution, you can have a great time and feel safe while out exploring solo in LA.

Q: Is LA a good solo trip?

There’s no doubt about it, Los Angeles can be a tough city to navigate for solo travelers. From the congested freeways to the sprawling neighborhoods, it’s not hard to feel overwhelmed; however, don’t let that deter you from exploring all that LA has to offer, even on your own! 

There is always a limitless amount to see and do in LA and Hollywood, and as a solo traveler, you will be able to pick and choose to your specific tastes without having to worry about what a group wants to do.

Plus, there are always people out and about, both locals and other tourists, so you will likely meet some new friends during your trip anyway. 

Q: Do you need a car in Los Angeles?

It is best to have a car on your solo trip to Los Angeles, but you don’t need one. Everything in LA is very spread out, which means if you want to see things across town, you will need to have a car or call a ride.

That being said, if you stay somewhere such as Santa Monica or Manhattan Beach, you will be able to get away with walking around town — though you’ll be very limited in what you can do. 

If renting a car, check out Discover Cars, which allows you to easily compare your various options and save.

Q: What are the best things to do alone in Los Angeles at night?

There are plenty of fun things to do alone in Los Angeles at night. For starters, the city is home to some of the best rooftop bars in the country. So, whether you’re looking for a place to enjoy a cocktail and take in great views of the skyline or just want to people-watch, you’ll find a spot that suits your needs. 

If you’re in the mood for some live entertainment, LA has no shortage of concerts and shows to choose from. And if you’re a movie buff, you can often find a screening of the latest Hollywood release.

Q: Where can I drink alone in Los Angeles?

A few recommended rooftop bars to grab a drink and take in the best views while traveling alone in Los Angeles are EP & LP, Perch, and Broken Shaker. You can also find more crowded dance bars in West Hollywood and Santa Monica. It’s recommended to check out the Bungalow.

Q: When is the best time to visit Los Angeles?

While LA is a year-round destination, the best time to visit is early autumn and late spring when the temperatures are more mild. The summer is a lot of fun, but it can get very hot.

Final Thoughts On Traveling To LA Alone

If you’re considering traveling to LA alone, go for it! You are guaranteed to never run out of things to do and will have an amazing time exploring this famous city.

Of course, it helps to do some research before you go so you know what to expect, so make sure to save this guide.

The best things about Los Angeles is it’s a vibrant and diverse city where you’re sure to find something to suit your taste, whether you’re interested in art, food, yoga classes, theme parks, history, the attractions of Hollywood Boulevard (like the Hollywood Walk of Fame), or just soaking up the sun. Enjoy your time traveling alone in Los Angeles!

What are your top tips for a solo trip to Los Angeles?

About Janelle Axton

Janelle is a California native who loves sharing stories about her home state and beyond. After traveling to over 25 countries, Janelle created Make the Trip Matter – a travel blog that offers Travel Planning Services to help you travel more, live abroad, and discover a more meaningful experience from your travels.

Jessie Festa standing in front of grafitti wall

Hi, I’m Jessie on a journey!

I'm a conscious solo traveler on a mission to take you beyond the guidebook to inspire you to live your best life through travel. Come join me!

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1 Comment

  1. Aalish on at 1:08 am

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