Red Hop on Hop off - Los Angeles
Cost: 24 hours $49 USD / 48 hours $64 USD / 72 hours $79 USD (All loops)
Tickets are available online, from the Starline tours office, and sometimes from hawkers outside the Chinese Theatre. (This is actually the best place to get them because sometimes you can haggle.)
How to get there: There are stops located all over the city, with a bus every 20 minutes to half an hour.
Highlights: Being able to keep your independence
Must do: Ride a total loop before getting off for the first time to see what's around and get your bearings.
This is a great way to see Los Angeles, there are a total of 6 different routes or loops, including the two "connector routes". I would recommend it for the first time traveler to LA, and to someone who is not very confident on public transport as the subway system is not extensive and most locals rely on the extensive bus network, the public transport system is much cheaper at only $5 USD for a day pass for buses and trams, so if you're willing to get a bit lost or get a bit adventurous good for you!
Both public transport and the Red Bus will get you down to Venice Beach and this is really the only way to get down there apart from hiring a car and driving yourself or taking a very expensive taxi. Even having to change loops twice to get down there and taking into consideration that those loops don't always meet a connecting bus straight away, (I waited an hour at on one visit in the rain for a connecting bus to show up) it is still a quicker and probably safer option. The public transport system requires multiple train changes and one very, VERY long bus ride.
The red bus tour of course helps you keep some kind of independence, while also providing information and a recorded commentary and a safe and secure way to get around. Be warned in the quieter winter months it does finish up a bit earlier, so don't get stranded.