On paper, Los Angeles is a great place to visit. It's got sunshine, warm weather, Hollywood, and all those beaches. It's a big city with clubs and great shopping. Is there a but? Yes, a big one. Well, actually 50 million of them. That's the number of tourists who descend on Los Angeles each year.
Tourists climb onto smelly buses for tours. They stand in line to take selfies in front of some famous store or a wall smeared with graffiti. They clog the sidewalks of Beverly Hills, shopping and trying to celebrity spot. And the locals? They avoid tourists and tourist spots. Here are 10 things that tourists do in Los Angeles that locals can't stand.
10 Flocking To Hollywood Boulevard Tourist Traps
Locals avoid Hollywood Boulevard like the plague. Ripley's Believe It or Not, Madame Tussauds and the Hollywood Walk of Fame attract millions of tourists. Sidewalks and streets are jammed, and everywhere you look tourists are taking selfies and cramming into shops and attractions. It's chaos and unpleasant.
Many come expecting to spot a celebrity. If you were Kim Kardashian, would you hang out there? Don't think so. However, one tour bus reportedly did have a close encounter with Kayne and Kim. Read on.
9 Going On Smelly Bus Tours
You name anything to do with celebrities or movies or beaches in Los Angeles, and there's a tour for it. Sometimes it's a double-decker open airbus. Sometimes it's a pickup truck with seats. Tours, tours and more tours.
Now if driving by a house that may or may not belong to a celebrity is your thing or cruising down Hollywood Boulevard looking to spot a celebrity turns you on, then go for it. You'd be more likely to be struck by lightning than spot a star. Although E! News did report that Kanye West pulled up alongside one bus tour to say hello. Apparently, Kim was not amused.
8 They Hit The Beaches
So what's wrong with that? Well, to begin with, crowds of tourists hit the beaches with no intention of ever dipping a toe in the water. That can be annoying enough. On the other end of the spectrum, people roll up and decide they fancy a bit of surfing. Think of the photo opportunity.
The only thing is very few of the wannabee surfers have ever even seen a surfboard before. So, accidents can happen. Again, local surfers just shake their heads and stay well away. Anyway, the beaches the tourist hit aren't the ones the local surfers use anyway. Shush, don't tell the tourists.
7 Stalking The Hollywood Sign
Tourists climb, drive, stalk and walk to get up to the iconic Hollywood sign, imagining taking that perfect "Here I am in Hollywood" picture. Not going to happen. Why? Well, the thing is fenced off. Tourists can't get anywhere near it. "No Access" signs are all over the place.
If they had any sense, they would find a good ground-level vantage point and snap a picture there. Some tourists actually complain about the fence. Thing is, were the sign not fenced, it probably would have been destroyed by rampaging tourists ages ago.
6 Practicing Selfie Tourism
Tourists these days tend to travel with social media in mind. Let's take that picture of us in front of the Hollywood sign. What about a selfie at Santa Monica Pier. Snap. Post. Snap. Post.
It annoys the locals for a couple of reasons. Here we have a group of tourists at a beauty spot and all they are focusing on is that all-important selfie. Secondly, the picture addict doesn't care if he or she is clogging the sidewalk, pier or path. Locals are often inconvenienced by these self-absorbed snappers.
5 The Siege Of Beverly Hills
It's the age-old conflict. Beverly Hills was once an exclusive, village-like enclave where celebrities felt safe to shop, hang out at restaurants and walk. Now it's under a siege of tourist intent on shopping Rodeo Drive and gawping at celebrity homes.
But (and it's a big but) tourists have brought prosperity to shopkeepers and restaurant owners. Can a balance be struck? Locals regret the loss of the village-like atmosphere and now largely stay away. Also, many celebrities have moved away. Now there is talk of the Los Angeles subway being extended to service Beverly Hills. Oh dear. There goes the neighborhood.
4 Buying Tacky Souvenirs
Want a tee-shirt that reads "I Heart Hollywood?" Maybe you fancy a sweatshirt with Homer Simpson's face emblazoned on it. No? What about a map of celebrity homes? Save your money.
As we have seen, most of the celebrities have abandoned Hollywood and live in beachy Malibu or Orange County. The maps are largely historic. Locals hate the tacky souvenirs, the even tackier shops that sell them and the tourists who are gullible enough to fork over their hard-earned money for what the locals see as junk. Being seen with the stuff is like having "tourist" tattoed across your forehead.
3 Jaywalking Their Way To Big Trouble
California has a reputation for being laid back, beachy and cool. So, tourists can be surprised by how strict Los Angeles is on what pedestrians can and can't do. Crossing in the middle of the street (jaywalking) and walking across the street corner when the "Don't Walk" sign is lit are not allowed in Los Angeles. It's against the law.
Plus, tourists darting across the street in the middle of the block or crossing at the corner when they shouldn't is downright dangerous to both walkers and drivers. Anyway, there's a hefty $250 fine for jaywalking. Not certain about jaydancing.
2 Cramming In For Those Over The Top Studio Tours
People who live in Los Angeles and have nothing to do with the entertainment business have nothing against the big studios. Warner Bros., Universal, and Paramount are iconic institutions that are, for the most part, well-respected.
But many locals draw the line with movie studio tours. For starters, they bring in even more tourists. Secondly, the studios bus people in from outside Los Angeles, putting a further strain on the traffic-choked city. Universal puts on a 3-D HD tour, complete with scenes from Fast & Furious - Supercharged. The local's verdict? Way over the top. Tacky even. Bring back Old Hollywood.
1 They Laugh At The Locals
Why would a tourist laugh at a perfectly innocent local resident going about their own business? It's got to do with the weather. It is usually in the 80s or 70s in Los Angeles. It's flip flops and tee-shirt time. Some say that the locals are just rich and spoiled.
But if the thermometer drops to a balmy 60 degrees, locals can be seen wrapping up, even wearing knit caps to stave off the "cold." The simple fact is that living in Los Angeles means locals have forgotten what it's like to be cold. It annoys the residents to be mocked, but mocked they are. A little extreme dressing for 60 degrees must be the order of the day.