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In L.A., where the automobile is worshipped—and will be, no matter how high gas prices go—the freeways are the best way for you to get around town.
Renting a Car. Definitely plan to do it at the airport. And if you want to cruise around in a convertible—a quintessential L.A. experience that allows you to catch some sun while sitting in traffic—reserve well in advance. It's also a good idea to spring for a GPS system.
Parking. With the exception of inside Downtown high-rises, where parking costs can be exorbitant—look for flat-rate surface lots instead—parking in L.A. is not expensive and there are plenty of garages and lots. Avoid rush hour (before 10 am and between 5 and 7 pm) if at all possible, and remember that even-numbered freeways run east–west, and odd-numbered ones run north–south.
Taking Taxis. There are, however, ways to get around Los Angeles without a car. Taxis are not as plentiful as in New York or San Francisco, but you can always find one at a major hotel. From LAX to downtown, a cab ride runs about $42, and shuttle vans cost about $16 per person.
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