Travel TipsSummer is generally warm and dry with low humidity, infrequent rainfall and average high temperatures in the low 80s. Summer's dry conditions may lead to brush fires in fall, which in turn lead to flash floods during the rainy winter months. Winters are pleasant, with temperatures averaging in the high 40s at night and the high 60s by day. Winter is the rainy season, with most of the region's annual tally falling between December and March. Areas stripped of their natural vegetation by summer brush fires are subject to sudden mudslides.
The area's varied geography creates temperature inversion, a phenomenon in which a layer of hot air is trapped over the city. Pollution combines with the static air to create smog. The Santa Ana winds gust through the mountain ranges at speeds of 35-50 mph and kick up mild dust storms in the northeastern portion of the metro area.
Although daytime wear is casual, trendy nightspots and restaurants demand more stylish attire. Rain is uncommon, but it's not a bad idea to pack an umbrella if you plan to vacation during the winter months. A light jacket or sweater is a necessity at night when it can be cool, even in summer.
Los Angeles, CA
In-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. All hotels must meet the same basic requirements for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality to be AAA Approved. A rating of one to five AAA Diamonds tells members what type of experience to expect, from no-frills to highly personalized.
State and county sales taxes total 9.5 percent in Los Angeles. A lodging tax, called a transient occupancy tax, of 14 percent also is levied along with an 8.25 percent rental car tax.
(877) 275-5273 (within the city of Los Angeles only)
Kaiser Permanente-Los Angeles Medical Center, (323) 783-4011; LAC+USC Medical Center, (323) 409-1000; Providence Little Company of Mary, (310) 832-3311; Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, (310) 825-9111; Valley Presbyterian Hospital, (818) 782-6600.
6801 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028. Phone:(323)467-6412
The Los Angeles area is served by several airports with cheap airline flights including Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is about 20 miles southwest of downtown L.A. Several other airports serve the area.
Most major car rental agencies serve Los Angeles. Hertz, (800) 654-3080, provides discounts to AAA members.
It's almost worth traveling by train just to experience Union Station, the combination Spanish Revival-Art Deco-Streamline Moderne-style terminal at 800 N. Alameda St., near Olvera Street and Chinatown. Amtrak trains, (800) 872-7245, use the station, as well as depots scattered throughout the region.
Greyhound Lines Inc., (800) 231-2222, has a terminal at 1716 E. 7th St., near Alameda Street, about 1.5 miles south of Union Station. Caveat emptor: ticket purchase does not guarantee a seat on the bus.
Taxis are plentiful downtown and at major tourist sites. They can be hailed or boarded from stalls found at the airport, Union Station and major hotels. The base rate is $2.85 at flag drop and $2.70 per mile. The fixed fare between the airport and downtown is $46.50 plus a $4 surcharge for fares originating from the airport. Some large companies are Checker, (800) 300-5007; Independent (800) 521-8294; United Independent, (213) 483-7660 or (800) 892-8294; and Yellow Cab, (424) 222-2222 or (800) 200-1085.
Transportation by bus, minibus shuttle, light-rail and subway is available in Los Angeles.