Los Angeles: dynamic, crowded and exciting
Los Angeles is an amazing city and one of the top US destination. It is also congested with traffic so much, that writers in Saturday Night Live (SNL) have ongoing skeet named ‘Californians’ where characters keep talking about commute and highway exits (among other, telenovela like dialogues). But it is not that bad, once you get used to it, millions of tourists are flocking to the LA every year and there is a good reason for that.
As a global center of entertainment industry, Los Angeles is a goal for many aspiring actors and actresses and dream city of artists of all kinds. Tourists are also attracted by this, as many studios open their doors for guided tours into dream making factories, such are Paramount Pictures, Universal and Warner Brothers. Walk of Fame sidewalk hosts embedded stars of thousands of celebrities, dead and alive.
Venice and Monica Beach give visitors somewhat ‘normal’ holiday destination to visit, but presence of celebrities’ culture is sensed on every step along the way. If you are too overwhelmed with Los Angeles, its size and crowds, you can always escape to national parks and enjoy serenity of unspoiled nature.
Main attractions in Los Angeles
There are so many attractions in Los Angeles, both inside the city and in immediate surroundings. We are listing here only top 20-25 of them.
Disneyland. World famous themed park located in Anaheim, California. Total of eight differently themed parks with rides, shows and costumed characters. Universal Studios Hollywood. Massive movie studio and themed amusement park, located in San Fernando Valley area north of Los Angeles. Featuring shows, rides, restaurants and shops. Hollywood Walk of Fame. Stretch of 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and extended to three blocks of Vine Street, this sidewalk is embedded with more than 2,600 stars of famous celebrities.
Santa Monica Pier. Popular seaside tourist destination lined up with shops and restaurant and with amusement park and aquarium. Hollywood Sign. Iconic letters perched on Mount Lee since early 20th century, symbol of Hollywood and entertainment industry in general. Griffith Park Observatory. An art deco landmark built in 1935 features planetarium, telescopes and spectacular city and ocean views.
Griffith Park. Large urban oasis, featuring hiking trails, city views, observatory and L.A. Zoo, among other attractions. J. Paul Getty Museum. Known simply as “the Getty”, this museum hosting American and European art exhibits – Getty Center and Getty Villa. Free entrance.
Santa Monica State Beach. Popular sandy beach next to iconic Pier. Offering mountain and ocean vistas and walking and biking paths. Rodeo Drive. World famous shopping street, stretching over 2 miles, mostly in Beverly Hills and one part in the LA. Sunset Boulevard. Globally known road lined with famous landmarks and center of LA’s nightlife.
Top things to do in Los Angeles
You will need more than a week to explore Los Angeles itself only as we listed only few attractions. You can have hop-on, hop-off tour and visit many attractions at once. One of the popular tours is also visit to celebrities’ homes (if you are into this type of things).
If you have more time and your budget allows it, you can visit nearby national parks, such as Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon. Very popular tour is also visit of Las Vegas and San Francisco by bus.
Festivals and events in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is packed with festivals and events all year around. Here are some top recommendations.
L.A. Film Festival (June), L.A. Film Festival (June), AFI Fest (November), L.A. Festival of Books (April), Abbot Kinney Festival (September), Hollywood Halloween Carnaval (October), Hollywood Christmas Parade (December), L.A. Pride Festival (June), L.A. Shorts Fest (July), L.A. Marathon (March).
Interesting facts about Los Angeles
- Original name of Los Angeles was “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles del Río de Porciuncula”. It’s probably for the best to have it as Los Angeles, at least for the sake of driving licenses.
- If Los Angeles were its own country, its economy would be bigger than Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and Sweden’s.
- Beverly Hills started out as a modest lima bean ranch.
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