10 Apps to Make Your Trip to Los Angeles More Heavenly

10 Apps to Make Your Trip to Los Angeles More Heavenly

Jason Rodway
Feb 6, 2013

When the bone-chilling winds howl and the snowfall persists without end in sight, it's easy to begin daydreaming about a holiday to somewhere warmer. Now is a pleasant (and more affordable) time to visit Los Angeles, a city where winter means low 70 degree weather with evenings warmer than my daytime temperatures. But with its massive sprawl and distinctively different neighborhoods, cracking the City of Angels can be tough for a first time visitor. But it's never been easier when loaded up with apps on your smartphone to help you navigate LA's freeway arteries, discover her best eateries, and experience the sights and sounds beyond the typical...

Getting Around & Accommodations

Left: Go Metro Los Angeles - Right: Hotel Tonight
Go Metro Los Angeles Whenever I travel I make it a priority to familiarize myself with local transit so I know how to get around. And you'll definitely want to research Los Angeles transportation before visiting. The Go Metro Los Angeles app has all the information you need to commute like a true Los Angelite. From buses to rail, this app provides everything anyone would need to get from point A to B, including offline maps, bus arrival alerts or the trip planner. Free Also available for iOS

Hotel Tonight
Sometimes travel plans fall through and you find yourself without accommodations. Or perhaps you've come to LA or any other city on a whim without making plans. If this situation happens to you, Hotel Tonight could come in handy. The app offers last minute hotel room options at affordable rates, with a wide range of accomodations. The easy to navigate interface makes finding a place to stay in dire situations as cool as the breeze off the Pacific. Free
Also available for Android

City Maps & Shopping Guide

Left: City Maps 2Go - Right: Los Angeles Way
City Maps 2Go Offline maps are imperative when traveling. Whether it's LA or another destination, I regularly rely upon Maps 2Go, a downloadable map service that keeps essential navigation at a swipe's reach without worry about data costs. Note: the first one is free, but additional maps are only available upon purchasing the full version. Free Also available for iOS

Los Angeles Way
Who doesn't want to experience a little of LA and Hollywood's glitz and glamor while visiting the first time? If shopping is on your wishlist, Los Angeles Way can direct you to LA's hottest boutiques and haute couture fashion, providing directions, maps, and transportation information to LA's most desirable shopping districts. Free
Also available for iOS

Tourist Attractions

Left: GuidePal Los Angeles City Guide - Right: ArtConcierge Los Angeles
GuidePal Los Angeles City Guide GuidePal presents the entire city of Los Angeles in the palm of your hand, an all inclusive knowledgeable app to the city that can tell you the location of Little Tokyo is or the Santa Monica Pier. A detailed search feature, augmented reality, and offline maps can really help in a city where getting from one neighborhood to another can be daunting. It even has a travel itinerary thrown in, for more carefully planned out vacationing. Free Available for iOS / Android / Windows Phone

ArtConcierge Los Angeles
With the stunning hilltop Getty Museum, MOCA, LACMA, UCLA Hammer, and countless smaller galleries abound in neighborhoods like Culver City and Downtown, there is plenty for the culturally inclined to enjoy while in LA. ArtConcierge has a finger on the pulse of LAs art scene, detailing the latest gallery exhibits, art fairs, and special events happening now. I especially like how easy it is to tag galleries and events so you know when and where you need to be before you even take off. Free

Wine and Dine:

Left: Los Angeles Street Food - Right: Savored
Los Angeles Street Food Nothing spoils a vacation than dining at all the wrong tourist traps with disappointing food (which coincidentally can drain your wallet quickly too.) Eat like a true LA native for under $20 with Los Angeles Street Food, an offline app to help direct you to restaurants catering to variety of tastes. This app is perfect for those who want to experience the melting pot that is LA while sticking closely to a budget (another insider tip: direct yourself to Pulitzer Prize winning food writer, Jonathan Gold's Counter Intelligence at the LA Times). $2 Also available for Android

Looking for a fine dining experience while in LA, but don't want to rack up roaming fees while trying to nail a reservation on a busy evening? Savored, in partnership with OpenTable and Zagat, will not only save a table for you at a wide array of five star restaurants, but offers discounts for using their service. Free
Also available for iOS

Nightlife & Travelling Necessities

Left: LA Weekly City App - Right: Free Wifi Finder
LA Weekly City App When the sun goes down, the atmosphere of any given city can change in the blink of an eye. Don't get lost and disoriented (all too easy while trying to navigate LA's freeways). Discover where the nightlife action is with the LA Weekly City app, a helpful guide listing a comprehensive list of restaurant, concert, and nightlife guide. Read local blogs on the latest news, politics, music, or art and become one with the city that never blinks. Free Also available for Android

Free Wifi Finder
Staying connected while on a vacation can be an expensive endeavor. While some hotels offer free wireless connection, you don't want to be stuck with a massive phone bill upon returning from a holiday. Free Wifi Finder is an offline wi-fi database to help you find hotspots throughout the city so you can message friends, send pictures, tweet, upload Instagrams, or update Facebook. Free
Also available for Android - Equivalent for Windows Phone

(Images: Jason Rodway; others as linked above)

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