What are the safest areas to stay in Los Angeles? Are there areas to avoid in Los Angeles? In this post, I will help you to find the Safest areas to stay in Los Angeles for tourists and the best places to stay in Los Angeles for all budgets.
Los Angeles, often abbreviated as L.A., is the largest city in the state of California and the second-largest city in the United States after New York City. It is located in Southern California and is known for its diverse population, cultural influence, and a wide range of attractions.
Los Angeles is situated in a coastal basin surrounded by mountains. It has a Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The city is known for its beautiful beaches along the Pacific Ocean.
L.A. is often referred to as the “Entertainment Capital of the World.” It’s home to Hollywood, which is the epicenter of the global entertainment industry, including film, television, and music. The city is famous for its film studios, theaters, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Some notable landmarks in Los Angeles include the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory, Universal Studios Hollywood, the Getty Center, and the Santa Monica Pier.
Los Angeles has a vast network of highways and is known for its car culture. It also has a public transportation system, including buses and a subway system.
The city offers a diverse culinary scene, with a wide range of international cuisines, especially Mexican and Asian influences. Food trucks and trendy restaurants are popular.
Is Los Angeles safe for tourists?
Yes, Los Angeles is overall a safe place for tourists. But, it is always important to practice common-sense safety precautions, such as staying aware of your surroundings, avoiding deserted areas at night, and securing your belongings wherever you go.
Here are some general tips to help you have a safe visit to Los Angeles:
Los Angeles is a vast and diverse city. Areas like Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, West Hollywood, and much of downtown Los Angeles are generally safe and popular among tourists.
While many areas are safe and welcoming for visitors, certain parts of South Central Los Angeles may have higher crime rates. It’s important to research the areas you plan to visit and take necessary precautions.
Awareness and Precautions:
Like in any urban area, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded places or tourist spots.
Keep an eye on your belongings, avoid displaying valuable items openly, and be cautious in unfamiliar areas, particularly at night.
Los Angeles has a significant homelessness issue, and you may encounter homeless individuals in various parts of the city. While homelessness itself is not a crime, it can sometimes be associated with other social issues and safety concerns.
Traffic and accidents:
Los Angeles is known for its traffic congestion, which can lead to accidents. Be cautious when driving, and consider using public transportation or rideshare services to avoid the stress of LA traffic.
Using reputable transportation services, such as licensed taxis or rideshare apps, is generally safe. Public transportation like buses and trains are also generally safe, but it’s advisable to be aware of your surroundings when using them, especially during off-peak hours.
Los Angeles is susceptible to natural disasters like earthquakes and wildfires. It’s a good idea to be prepared and informed about emergency procedures in case such events occur during your visit.
It can be helpful to seek advice from locals, such as hotel staff or residents, about the safety of specific areas and any current concerns.
What are the safest areas to stay in Los Angeles?
The safest areas to stay in Los Angeles for tourists are Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Westwood, Venice Beach, Marina Del Rey, Silver Lake, Downtown, Beverly Hills, Hermosa Beach, and Pasadena. You should always exercise common sense safety precautions no matter where you stay.
Additionally, staying in reputable hotels and accommodations can enhance your safety while visiting Los Angeles. Crime can happen anywhere, so staying vigilant is key to having a safe and enjoyable trip.
Map of safest areas and neighborhoods to stay in Los Angeles:
What areas to avoid staying in Los Angeles?
Here are some areas that have been known to have higher crime rates or may be less desirable for tourists:
Skid Row is a neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles known for its high homeless population and associated social issues. It’s best to avoid this area, especially at night.
South Central Los Angeles:
While this area has improved in recent years, some neighborhoods in South Central Los Angeles may have higher crime rates than other parts of the city.
Exercise caution and research specific areas within South Central before visiting.
Compton has a reputation for being a high-crime area, though it has also made significant progress in improving safety. It’s best to be cautious when visiting this city, especially if you’re not familiar with the area.
East Los Angeles:
Some parts of East Los Angeles may have higher crime rates, so research specific neighborhoods and streets before planning your visit.
Certain parts of Hollywood:
While Hollywood is a popular tourist destination, some areas around Hollywood Boulevard, particularly at night, may have higher crime rates. Exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.
This park, located west of downtown LA, has had a history of crime and homelessness issues. It’s advisable to avoid it, especially after dark.
Watts is another area in South Los Angeles that has experienced higher crime rates in the past. Be cautious when visiting this neighborhood.
The safest areas to stay in Los Angeles for tourists are:
1. Santa Monica
Santa Monica is a popular coastal destination and is generally safe for tourists. The beach area, Santa Monica Pier, and the Third Street Promenade are well-patrolled and safe. But, like any urban area, it’s essential to exercise common-sense safety precautions.
Santa Monica Beach features a wide sandy shoreline and a picturesque pier. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and various recreational activities along the beach.
The Santa Monica Pier is an iconic landmark and entertainment hub. It includes an amusement park called Pacific Park, which has a Ferris wheel and roller coaster. The pier also offers restaurants, shops, and beautiful ocean views.
Santa Monica is known for its shopping opportunities. The Third Street Promenade is a pedestrian-friendly shopping and dining district with a variety of stores, boutiques, and restaurants. The area also hosts street performers and entertainers.
The city has a vibrant cultural scene with numerous art galleries, theaters, and museums. The Santa Monica Museum of Art (now known as the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) and the Bergamot Station Arts Center are notable cultural institutions.
Santa Monica offers plenty of outdoor activities, including biking, rollerblading, and walking along the Ocean Front Walk, which stretches along the beach. The Annenberg Community Beach House provides a recreational area with a pool, beach volleyball courts, and a splash pad.
Santa Monica has implemented various green initiatives, such as bike-sharing programs, electric vehicle charging stations, and efforts to reduce waste.
Santa Monica is not only a great place to visit but also a desirable place to live for many residents who enjoy its coastal lifestyle, cultural offerings, and proximity to the city of Los Angeles.
Best places to stay in Los Angeles in Santa Monica:
- Luxury ($$$): Shutters On The Beach
- Mid-range ($$): Huntley Santa Monica Beach
- Budget ($): Santa Monica Hotel
- Hostel ($): HI Los Angeles – Santa Monica Hostel
Hollywood is a popular tourist destination, but it has areas with higher crime rates. The Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hollywood & Highland Center, and Hollywood Boulevard are generally safe during the day, but exercise caution in less crowded areas at night.
Hollywood is one of the most iconic and tourist-frequented neighborhoods in Los Angeles. It’s famous for its entertainment industry history and attractions like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theatre, and the Hollywood Sign.
While street performers are a common sight on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, some may aggressively solicit tips. If you don’t want to tip or engage with them, simply keep walking.
Petty theft and pickpocketing can occur in crowded tourist areas. Keep your belongings secure, use crossbody bags or money belts, and be mindful of your surroundings.
Hollywood is where many legendary studios like Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., and others have their headquarters. The area is also known for its historic theaters, including the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Dolby Theatre, which hosts the annual Academy Awards (Oscars).
Like many urban areas, Hollywood faces challenges such as traffic congestion, homelessness, and issues related to urban development. Efforts have been made to address these issues and revitalize certain areas.
Best places to stay in Los Angeles in Hollywood:
- Luxury ($$$): Dream Hollywood, Part Of Hyatt
- Mid-range ($$): Thompson Hollywood, part of Hyatt
- Budget ($): Holiday Inn Express Hollywood Walk of Fame, an IHG Hotel
3. West Hollywood
West Hollywood, often referred to as WeHo, is a trendy and vibrant neighborhood in Los Angeles known for its nightlife, entertainment, and LGBTQ+ community. It is generally considered safe for tourists.
Stick to well-traveled areas like the Sunset Strip, Santa Monica Boulevard, and West Hollywood’s Design District, especially at night.
If you’re enjoying West Hollywood’s nightlife, be sure to stay hydrated, and drink responsibly. Avoid leaving your drink unattended.
West Hollywood is situated just to the west of the city of Los Angeles. It is bordered by Beverly Hills to the west, Hollywood to the east, and the Hollywood Hills to the north.
West Hollywood has a significant LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) population and is often considered one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly cities in the United States. The city is known for its support of LGBTQ+ rights and hosts various events and Pride celebrations throughout the year.
Santa Monica Boulevard and the Sunset Strip are known for their trendy fashion boutiques, upscale dining options, and celebrity sightings.
The Pacific Design Center, also known as the “Blue Whale” due to its striking blue glass exterior, is a notable landmark for design and architecture enthusiasts.
The city has several historic landmarks, including the Chateau Marmont hotel, which has hosted many famous guests over the years, and the Roxy Theatre, a renowned music venue.
Best places to stay in Los Angeles in West Hollywood:
- Luxury ($$$): Pendry West Hollywood
- Mid-range ($$): Sunset Marquis Hotel
- Budget ($): Chamberlain West Hollywood
Westwood, home to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is relatively safe, especially around the university campus. However, like any urban area, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings.
Stick to well-traveled streets and areas, especially around Westwood Village. Westwood Village is a commercial district with shops, restaurants, and theaters, and it’s typically a safe and bustling place.
Westwood is home to the Hammer Museum, which focuses on contemporary art, and the Fowler Museum, specializing in art and culture from around the world.
The Holmby Hills neighborhood, which is adjacent to Westwood, is known for its upscale, luxurious mansions and estates.
The neighborhood has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows, and its proximity to the entertainment industry makes it a popular location for film premieres and events.
Best places to stay in Los Angeles in Westwood:
- Luxury ($$$): Plaza la Reina
- Mid-range ($$): Luskin Hotel
- Budget ($): Perfect Apt Near Ucla Pool & Gym Open W Parking B3
5. Venice Beach
Venice Beach is famous for its beautiful sandy shoreline along the Pacific Ocean. While the beachfront and boardwalk are generally safe during the day, some parts of the neighborhood may be less safe at night.
Stick to the crowded and well-traveled parts of Venice Beach, such as the Venice Beach Boardwalk and Ocean Front Walk. These areas are typically safer due to the presence of both tourists and locals.
You may encounter street vendors and performers along the boardwalk. Some may be aggressive in trying to sell their products or services. If you’re not interested, politely decline and keep walking.
Be aware of skateboarders and bicyclists who use the bike path along the beach. Keep a safe distance and avoid sudden movements.
The Ocean Front Walk, often referred to as the “Venice Boardwalk,” is a bustling promenade that runs parallel to the beach. It’s lined with shops, street performers, artists, and vendors selling a wide range of items, from clothing and jewelry to artwork and souvenirs.
Muscle Beach Gym is an iconic outdoor fitness facility located in Venice Beach. It’s known for its outdoor weightlifting and bodybuilding equipment. Many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts visit this historic spot to work out and show off their skills.
Venice Beach features a network of man-made canals that were originally built in the early 20th century, inspired by the canals in Venice, Italy. You can take a leisurely stroll along these canals and admire the unique architecture of the surrounding houses.
Venice Beach is known for its vibrant street art scene. You’ll find colorful murals and graffiti art throughout the neighborhood, especially along the walls and buildings of the Ocean Front Walk.
Venice Beach has a rich skateboarding culture, and the Venice Skatepark is a popular spot for skateboarders of all skill levels. It offers a variety of ramps, bowls, and features for skating.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard, located a bit inland from the beach, is a trendy shopping and dining district known for its boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and cafes. It’s often referred to as “the coolest block in America.”
Best places to stay in Los Angeles in Venice Beach:BEST HOTELS IN VENICE BEACH
6. Marina Del Rey
Marina del Rey is a picturesque coastal community adjacent to Venice Beach and is known for its marina, waterfront activities, and beautiful harbor views. It is generally considered a safe and relaxed area for tourists to visit.
The heart of Marina del Rey is the marina itself, and this area is typically safe for tourists. Consider staying in hotels or accommodations near the waterfront to enjoy the serene atmosphere.
Marina del Rey has scenic bike paths and walkways along the waterfront. Be cautious when using these paths and obey traffic rules when cycling.
Best places to stay in Los Angeles in Marina Del Rey :
- Luxury ($$$): Marina del Rey Hotel
- Mid-range ($$): The Kinney – Venice Beach
- Budget ($): Marina del Rey Marriott
7. Silver Lake
Silver Lake is a hip and trendy neighborhood in Los Angeles known for its artsy vibe, diverse community, and unique shops and restaurants. It’s generally considered a safe area for tourists to explore.
The main commercial areas of Silver Lake, such as Sunset Boulevard and Silver Lake Boulevard, are usually safe for tourists. These streets are often bustling with locals and visitors alike.
If you’re driving, be aware of parking regulations and restrictions. Always lock your vehicle and avoid leaving valuables visible inside.
Silver Lake is situated to the northwest of downtown Los Angeles, between the neighborhoods of Echo Park and Los Feliz. It is part of the larger region known as the Eastside of Los Angeles.
The neighborhood’s namesake, Silver Lake Reservoir, is a prominent feature. The reservoir, which is no longer used for drinking water, is surrounded by a popular walking and jogging path. It offers scenic views of the surrounding hills and city skyline.
In addition to the reservoir, Silver Lake offers various outdoor activities, including hiking in nearby Griffith Park, visiting the Silver Lake Meadow, and enjoying the community’s parks.
The neighborhood has a vibrant music scene, with many live music venues and a history of fostering indie and alternative rock bands. The Silverlake Lounge and The Echo are some of the notable music venues in the area.
Best places to stay in Los Angeles in Silver Lake:BEST HOTELS IN SILVER LAKE
8. Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) is the central business district of the city and has seen significant revitalization in recent years. While DTLA is generally safe for tourists, like any urban area, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions.
Stick to well-traveled and tourist-friendly areas like the Historic Core, Bunker Hill, and the Arts District, especially at night. These areas have a higher concentration of hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
TLA is home to cultural institutions like The Broad, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and historic sites like Olvera Street. Enjoy these attractions, but check for any special events or exhibitions before your visit.
The Staples Center, located in DTLA, is a major sports and entertainment arena that hosts NBA games (Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers), NHL games (Los Angeles Kings). The LA Live complex, adjacent to the Staples Center, includes restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues.
DTLA is a major transportation hub, with Union Station serving as the primary railway station for Los Angeles. It’s also well-connected to the city’s public transportation system, including the Metro Red and Purple Lines, making it relatively easy to navigate without a car.
Best places to stay in Downtown Los Angeles:
- Luxury ($$$): Hotel Per La, Autograph Collection
- Mid-range ($$): The Los Angeles Athletic Club
- Budget ($): The Haas Suites
9. Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills is an affluent and upscale city within the Los Angeles metropolitan area, known for its luxury shopping, fine dining, and glamorous lifestyle. It is generally considered a safe and exclusive destination for tourists.
Beverly Hills is known for its high-end shopping district along Rodeo Drive. Stick to well-traveled and popular areas like Rodeo Drive, Beverly Drive, and the Golden Triangle, especially during the day.
Beverly Hills is generally safe at night, but it’s advisable to exercise caution when walking alone or in less crowded areas after dark.
The Beverly Hills Hotel is an iconic and historic luxury hotel located in the city. It has hosted numerous celebrities and dignitaries over the years and is known for its distinctive pink exterior.
Beverly Hills has several beautiful parks and recreational facilities, including Beverly Gardens Park and Roxbury Park, which offer green spaces, playgrounds, and walking paths.
The city is home to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, which hosts a variety of artistic performances, and the Greystone Mansion and Park, a historic estate that has been used as a filming location for many movies and TV shows.
Best places to stay in Los Angeles in Beverly Hills:
- Luxury ($$$): L’Ermitage Beverly Hills
- Luxury ($$$): Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel
- Budget ($): The Beverly Hilton
10. Hermosa Beach
Hermosa Beach is a charming coastal city in the Los Angeles area known for its beautiful sandy beach, vibrant nightlife, and relaxed atmosphere. It is generally considered a safe and welcoming destination for tourists.
Hermosa Beach is known for its nightlife, particularly along Pier Avenue. While it’s generally safe, exercise caution when walking alone at night, stick to well-lit areas, and be aware of your surroundings.
The heart of Hermosa Beach is the beachfront area. Consider staying in hotels or accommodations near the beach to enjoy the seaside atmosphere.
Hermosa Beach is one of the three beach cities in the South Bay region of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, along with Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach.
The Strand, a popular beachfront path, is perfect for walking, jogging, or cycling. The iconic Hermosa Beach Pier extends into the Pacific Ocean and is a great place for fishing, strolling, or simply enjoying panoramic ocean views. The pier area is also home to several restaurants and bars.
Hermosa Beach has several parks and green spaces, such as Valley Park and the Greenbelt, where residents and visitors can relax and enjoy the outdoors.
Best places to stay in Los Angeles in Hermosa Beach:
- Luxury ($$$): H2O Hermosa
- Mid-range ($$): Sonesta Redondo Beach and Marina
- Budget ($): Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Hermosa Beach, an IHG Hotel
Pasadena is a charming city in the Los Angeles area, located northeast of downtown Los Angeles, known for its historic architecture, cultural attractions, and annual Rose Parade. It is generally considered a safe and welcoming destination for tourists.
Pasadena’s Old Town, Civic Center, and Playhouse District are popular tourist areas and are generally safe. Staying near these districts can provide easy access to dining, shopping, and cultural attractions.
Pasadena is accessible by public transportation, including the Metro Gold Line. Using public transit can be a convenient and cost-effective way to explore the area.
You can explore cultural institutions like the Norton Simon Museum, Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, and the Gamble House. These attractions offer insights into Pasadena’s rich history and heritage.
If you plan to attend the annual Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, be prepared for large crowds and arrive early to secure a good viewing spot. Follow safety guidelines provided by event organizers.
Best places to stay in Los Angeles in Pasadena:
- Luxury ($$$): Hilton Pasadena
- Mid-range ($$): Hyatt Place Pasadena
- Budget ($): Pasadena Hotel & Pool
In conclusion, some of the best and safest places to stay in Los Angeles for tourists are Santa Monica, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Westwood, Venice Beach, Downtown, Beverly Hills, and Pasadena. It’s always essential to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings no matter where you stay.