Pick up your hire car at Los Angeles airport and head for the bright lights of Tinseltown.
"It's Hollywood baby, where the American dream comes to life and the sun never stops shining - even at night. Take our card and swing by our studio - we'll make you a star!"
It's big, brash and sprawling, so it helps to have a car. If you can't find something to entertain you in LA you might as well give up ever going on holiday.
Outrageous - anything goes in LA. But if you're not in the mood to throw your inhibitions into the Pacific, it's just as much fun watching the locals do their thing.
December to February are the coldest and wettest months, but it's all relative - to a Brit those months will seem like an average summer.
LA's cuisine is as metropolitan as the city, with a multitude of influences from Latino to Japanese. Perhaps the biggest influence on the food is the Pacific, so tuck into some seafood.
Everyone's a star! Well, almost everyone. Many of the biggest names, such as Jack Nicholson, live on Mulholland Drive, so why not cruise by and see if he's in?
Los Angeles had a population of 44 when it was founded in 1781. Now almost four million people live there.
"Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles." - renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright
We compare prices from leading suppliers
There are so many galleries in LA you could spend an entire lifetime lost in the history of art. If you only have time for one, though, this is it.
Parking is available onsite for $10 a car.
There are great views of the city from this observatory, perched on Mount Hollywood. There's a museum in it too.
You can park your hire car in the observatory's car park, or on the adjacent roads, for free.
Many, many years ago, mammoths roamed Los Angeles. See their remains, and other fossils, at the tar pits.
Onsite parking is $6 if it is validated by the museum or $8 without validation. Street parking is also available but with restrictions and hourly rates - check these carefully, as your car could get towed if you park in a restricted zone.
Want to see some of the world's largest vegetables or perhaps discover who holds the world brick-carrying record? Then go here.
There's free onsite parking is for all visitors.
Walk through the gates of the most famous film studios in the world and take a peek behind the scenes. You'll get to see filmmakers hard at work - and perhaps bump into Brad Pitt if you're really lucky.
Parking is available across the road from the main entrance at the corner of Melrose and Windsor. It costs $5, but you'll get a refund when you buy tour tickets.
If you were throwing together a city from scratch, you would surely include beaches, restaurants, chilled-out locals and great weather. Exactly like Santa Monica, then.
Head south on the CA-110 until you hit the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10). Head west on the I-10 until you hit the beach. It'll take you around 20 minutes.
If, after the modernity of LA, you're craving some classical culture, head to the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, which is dedicated to the study of ancient Greece and Rome. It has some great views, too.
Take the I-10 west until it turns into the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1), going north along the Pacific Ocean. It'll take you around half an hour.
People come here to be fabulous and shop. It's the kind of place where you'll feel more like a local if you take some expensive sunglasses and a chihuahua.
Head north on the US-101 and take exit 7 onto the CA-2 (Santa Monica Boulevard). It's about 11 miles.
It's not quite as refined as the original, but then the Italian version doesn't have Muscle Beach, where you can weight lift in the sun!
Head south on the CA-110 then west on the I-10. Take the I-405 towards Long Beach and exit onto Venice Boulevard (CA-187). It's a half hour drive.
" First of all, you are going to need a hire car in LA because nobody walks here - LA is so big and all the tourist attractions are spread out. One of the best things about being in LA is just driving around and checking things out. As you can imagine, traffic can be a problem, so try to avoid being out on the road at rush hour. But not all areas of LA have a traffic problem; in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Venice the roads are not too crowded and the locals have good road manners. Try to avoid the 405 freeway, though, which is notorious for traffic jams. "