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Transportation To and Around Los Angeles

by Mommy Frog on June 12, 2014 11 Los Angeles

As one of the most-visited destinations in the world, Los Angeles boasts numerous transportation options. Planning for your Los Angeles transportation isn't difficult thanks to an abundance of airports, freeways and other options.

Transportation to Los Angeles

Whether you drive or fly depends largely, of course, on where you're coming from and how many passengers you will have with you. Larger families may find it's more economical to drive, but you should always factor in the additional cost of gas and food while on the road.

If you do decide to drive, be sure to check out our helpful tips for a smooth car ride.

Airports

Courtesy of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board Courtesy of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

 

If you're flying to LA, you have an abundance of options. The two biggest airports are Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or John Wayne Airpot (SNA), although depending on your origin, you may find the smaller airports to have more competitive rates or to be more convenient from your departing airport. At 12 miles away, John Wayne is the closest airport to Disneyland, although Long Beach is only 18 miles away. Burbank is closer to downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood than LAX.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

 

Courtesy of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board Courtesy of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

 

Airlines that fly into LAX

PDF version of the terminal map

Rental car companies at Los Angeles International Airport

John Wayne Airport (SNA)

Airlines that fly into John Wayne

Terminal map

Rental car companies at John Wayne

Long Beach Airport (LGB)

Airlines that fly into Long Beach

Terminal map

Ground transportation options at Long Beach

LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT)

Los Angeles transportation - Ontario International Airport

Airlines that fly into Ontario

Terminal map

Rental car companies at Ontario

Burbank Bob Hope Airport (BUR)

Airlines that fly into Burbank

Terminal map

Rental car companies at Burbank

Shuttle service

We offer discounted service through Super Shuttle to get you to and from Los Angeles International Airport and John Wayne Airport, including the Disneyland Resort Express. For more details, select Transportation under the Los Angeles ticket options.

Traveling between Los Angeles and San Diego

 

Los Angeles transportation - Union Station Courtesy of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

 

For visitors planning to visit both Los Angeles and San Diego (about 120 miles away), it is usually much cheaper to rent a car or take Amtrak rather than fly between the two cities. Amtrak operates from the historic Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles, and makes stops in several Orange County cities (including Anaheim) before making it to San Diego's Santa Fe Depot (also historic), about two and a half hours.

Transportation Around Los Angeles

If you're taking a trip to Los Angeles, you most likely are better off renting a car than relying on public transportation. The biggest exception to this is if you are visiting Disneyland (in neighboring Orange County) and that is your only major destination (see below under Disneyland Resort Express). Expect to do a lot of driving as most of the area's major attractions are quite spread out!

The good news is that LA boasts some of the cheapest rental car rates in the country. And if you book through us, you can save up to 50% from five top-name brands! All the stories you hear about LA traffic are true. You'll need to pack your patience to get around its many congested freeways, and you should expect to find bumper-to-bumper traffic if your traversing the city during rush hours (roughly 7 a.m.-9 a.m. and 3 p.m.-7 p.m. weekdays). Plan to spend time ahead of your trip familiarizing yourself with the major roadways and mapping out your major destinations, starting with the journey from the airport to your hotel.

HOV Lanes

Many of the Southern California freeways have designated HOV lanes, accommodating two and three-passenger vehicles. The so-called "diamond" lanes are fixed lanes that can go for several miles without a break. We recommend getting out of the lane a few miles before your planned exit, or you might just miss it.

Parking

In LA, parking can be tricky. Some locations have ample free parking, others are metered or require paid parking. Depending on where you're headed, it's not a bad idea to pack a roll of quarters ahead of your trip.

Bus Service

While the city operates a bus service, it is not recommended because of spread-out service and frequency of stops.

Rail Service & MetroRail

The Los Angeles area does have a commuter rail system, but it is most helpful for those traveling to Los Angeles from outlying commuter areas.

Taxis

Because Los Angeles is such a sprawling area, we only recommend cabbing it for short distances as it can get quite expensive to use them as your primary destination.

Disneyland Resort Express

If Disneyland is your primary destination, you should consider the Disneyland Resort Express from Grayline Tours, which provides round-trip and one-way shuttle service from both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and John Wayne International Airport in neighboring Orange County to the Disneyland Resort and Anaheim Resort hotels. Buses depart frequently, and reservations are not required. Unlike Magic Express at the Walt Disney World Resort, there is no free transportation to the Disneyland Resort. We offer discounts on the Disneyland Resort Express tickets. The buses make their first stop at the Disneyland Resort. From there guests will either be transported directly to nearby hotels or they may take a smaller vehicle to their destination hotel. Allow for extra time, as the number of passengers and stops will determine how long it takes.

Popular Los Angeles Transportation Addresses

Popular addresses are listed below if you would like to plug them into your favorite mapping system.

Los Angeles International Airport

1 World Way

Los Angeles, CA 90045

John Wayne Airport

18601 Airport Way

Santa Ana, CA 92707

Long Beach Airport

4100 E Donald Douglas Dr

Long Beach, CA 90808

LA/Ontario International Airport

2500 E Airport Drive

Ontario, CA 91761

Burbank Bob Hope Airport

2627 N Hollywood Way

Burbank, CA 91505

Amtrak (Union Station)

800 N Alameda St

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Disneyland Resort

1313 Disneyland Dr

Anaheim, CA 92802

Universal Studios Hollywood

100 Universal City Plaza

Universal City, CA 91608

Six Flags Magic Mountain

26101 Magic Mountain Parkway

Valencia, CA 91355

Knott's Berry Farm

8039 Beach Blvd

Buena Park, CA 90620

We hope you've found this overview of when to visit Los Angeles helpful in planning a visit to Los Angeles. You'll find more resources and tips inside our Los Angeles Planning Guide.

 

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
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Oct 27, 2018 at 6:33 a.m. Imperial Ride Says...

Yeah Hiring a chauffeur service for Los Angeles would be the best option. Kindly tell me about the rate of your cars with 1,2, and 3 person separately and also send the information for family trip to Los Angeles. We have been hiring chauffeur in London for travelling. If your chauffeur service is available let me know.

Reply
Sep 24, 2018 at 8:14 p.m. Alexis Delgado Says...

Besides car rental, what is the best step-by-step guide to get from LAX to Universal Studios and back? It'll be for 2 people, so hopefully advice that won't cost more than $100 round-trip. Thank you!

Reply
Sep 27, 2018 at 5:31 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Alexis!

You can take theFlyaway bus ($8 per person each way) from LAX to the Hollywood stop near Hollywood and Vine (60 to 90 minutes, depending on traffic) and then either use theMetro station to take the red line from Hollywood/Vine to Universal/Studio City stop (it is two stops away and there is a free tram from the Universal station to the park, but it is walkable if you don’t mind huge hills) or a taxi. Check the Red line schedule because the trains are not always running when you want them (mid afternoon gap) but otherwise trains arrive about every 10 minutes and it’s about a 6-8 min ride. If the train schedule does not meet your needs you should be able to take a taxi or Uber/Lyft between Universal and the Hollywood station. It’s only a few exits from Universal.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jan 27, 2017 at 8:29 p.m. Bevin Says...

We will be staying in Studio City, and it said the nearest station was downtown Burbank to take the to Anaheim. Do we just buy our ticket at the station or can we purchase tickets online ahead of time? I did not see anything on the Metrolink website about purchasing tickets, just the price. Thank you!

Reply
Jan 27, 2017 at 5:27 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Bevin,

Metrolink offers a Mobile Ticketing app that you can download, use for payment, as well as your ticket. Your other option is to purchase at the station. The How To Ride section on the Metrolink has lots of great tips.

Hoppy Planning,

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 9, 2016 at 3:56 p.m. Carol Says...

I'm looking for a scooter or moped type transportation option in LA area ... please give me options! Thank you!

Reply
May 20, 2016 at 9:50 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carol,

We did a quick Google search for moped rentals in L.A. and several operations came up. Since we have not tried any of them we do not have one we can endorse and say is the best. Let us know how it works out.

Hoppy planning!

Leap

Reply
Mar 18, 2016 at 3:54 a.m. Sarawilliams001 Says...

Very professional, always on time and just outstanding service.

Reply
Mar 18, 2016 at 3:53 a.m. SuziKyle001 Says...

Extremely nice drivers and cars. Would definitely use their service again.

Reply
Dec 12, 2015 at 5:54 p.m. Eva Hill Says...

Planning trip to Disneyland,Six Flaggs and Universal in June with my granddaughter. looking for discount tickets...2day park hopper to Disney, one day each to the other parks.

Reply
Dec 17, 2015 at 11:04 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Eva,

You can see all of our discount ticket options here:

https://www.undercovertourist.com/los-angeles/

We don't currently offer Disneyland tickets, but hope to in the future!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
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