The renowned city of Los Angeles is one of the most visited cities in the United States of America. The Tinseltown city is so immense that a week is not enough to know all the important places or attractions to see on this exciting Hollywood territory. The thrill of seeing numerous movie sets, shooting locations, famous landmarks, Santa Monica Bay, Staples Center, specialty museums, planetarium and observatory, Universal Studios, may seem downright tiring – but it does not discourage any eager traveler who wants to know the geniuses behind great film making, TV broadcasting, famous celebrities, discover the glamorous charm of cinema, and learn the disparity between reality and life itself in the enchanting city of Los Angeles.
When To Go:
The best times to tour the city is from March to May or from September to November, when the air is more breathable and the crowds are not that intense. Normal temperatures amid these times stay in the 60s or 70s, which makes strolling around and going by open air attractions considerably more agreeable. Amid the mid year, normal high temperatures drift in the mid-70s; the hotness coupled with overwhelming exhaust cloud levels regularly drive guests and occupants much the same to the more crowded beachfront resorts and communities. In case you’re searching for lower priced package tour deals consider a winter excursion. Simply make it a point to pack an umbrella or any rain gear since you’re sure to experience some rains in the early months of January and February.
The Getty Center
The Getty Center is at a height located overlooking the Santa Monica Freeway in Los Angeles. The architecture of the whole art museum is carefully constructed; very airy and with lots of open spaces. The garden is a work of art in itself and is conceived as such. The center is home to a lot of valuable works of art and even renaissance paintings from other countries. Admission to the museum is free and there are special tour guided walks (outside) which are also free.
This is one of the first stop in Los Angeles that is absolutely mandatory to visit. It is a fantastic museum, both the building and the collection contain lots of Dutch / Flemish input. Mr. Getty’s last wish was that this collection is free for anyone to view. Start with a tour of the “highlights” and then go see everything at ease. Along the tour you can admire beautiful works of Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and many others. It is very efficiently organized, you enter through the parking lot and the parking ticket serves as the entrance and ticket to the train inside the museum. The location, views, and building itself are all worth the visit. This wonderful art gallery creates a great impact about art and lasting impressions while you enjoy the phenomenal views of Los Angeles City.
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (Walt Disney Concert Hall)
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra is an imposing building with wonderful architecture and acoustics. It has a great orchestra with a young director named Mr. Gustavo Dudamel. It is also home to the Philharmonic’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. If you go by car, there is a discounted parking in the building itself, since they take the seal at the front desk. There are guided tours with pre-determined time, but if you do not want to wait, you can visit the audio-guides. The orchestra is usually composed of the best musicians of America (John Williams, Seth Mac Farlane, etc.).
Visit this unusual architectural design of the buildings within the city tour of Los Angeles. Located in Down Town on South Grand Avenue, it was built from the donations of the widow of Walt Disney in 2003. You will have mixed feelings with its futuristic look. Be amused by the visual exterior of the building and visit the inner garden which is very cute and filled with different sculptures and flowers.
The Griffith Observatory is a great planetarium with modern technological equipment, but its undeniable advantage is the location – from the observation deck, it offers a wonderful view of Los Angeles and the landmark inscription of Hollywood. It has stunning views of the city and the cherished letters. It also highlights the hard working effort of the planetarium organizers as evident by the interesting exhibits, educational films, and very professional tours that allow the visitors to understand all the intricacies of the universe. It is better to come in the afternoon to enjoy the sunset while the output of the sun paints the mountains and the famous sign in bright colors. You can also go in the evening and enjoy the views of the illuminated city.
Most importantly it is very interactive – even if you do not know absolutely nothing about astronomy, it is still very interesting. In addition to simple information stands, there’s a lot of curious oddities – for example, the computer on which you enter the original data (speed, size, density) for meteorology and the program shows you the penalty, if an object falls to the ground – or it will burn in the atmosphere, or create the size of the crater. Still, there is a scale that shows how much you weigh on different planets, there are telescope halls displaying video, and another memorable stand that shows the complete periodic table. The Mayan Calendar and the Aztec era are all explained in detail. In general, there are very interesting and useful information here and you can spend your time wisely while in LA. It is highly recommended for everyone.
California Science Center
Most tourists visit the California Science Center specifically for the space shuttle Endeavour. The cost of a ticket is 2 Euros and above, you can pass a special exhibition on the shuttle and you can watch the shuttle up close. It is very interesting even for children. Furthermore, you have access to the rest of the Science Center, which consists of lots of interactive displays and explanations in many areas. The shuttle is exposed in a covered area and to reach it you must pass you through the important parts of the huge science exposition.
The areas tell of the different habitats that coexist in the world and are related by interactive elements that can be much appreciated by both children and adults alike. Also noteworthy is the presence of many faithful replicas of various spacecraft and the presence of some original space capsules, like the Apollo capsule. The shuttle instead is exposed in this huge warehouse in an elevated position from the ground to admire the thermal coating that protected him during the fall from space. All around the complex you can see the photos of the various crews and the succeeding events that have taken place inside the space shuttle program.
On your walking tour through LA, you should also stop by the famous Staples Center. The memories of beautiful moments in sports are already at the door waiting for you. If you are a fan of the LA Clippers, it is a must to see their game while in the city. Across the street is the cozy ambience at the ESPN. This area is always full of people; tourists, locals, and sports fans alike.
The center is surrounded by an area of great nightlife, restaurants, discos, theaters and museums. Nearby is the Cathedral of the Angels. It has a shop where you can buy souvenirs, especially if you’re a fan of this sport. The center is also one of the most iconic spaces dedicated to music and the entertainment world. The facilities are very comfortable and eating is highly advisable while watching inside the place, the snack prices are affordable and there are many options you can choose from.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is really worth knowing especially because it is a museum housing various types of art, from furniture to painting and with temporary exhibitions from the masters like Van Gogh. A few works of Mexican painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo is also worth the visit. The exhibits are very well staged, you can spend a good time looking around before drinking excellent cocktails that are available at the bar on the terrace and if you accompany a pizza you’ll be tempted to take another piece before moving on to another part of the museum.
Los Angeles is certainly not famous for its museums, but this is probably the only exception. The section devoted to contemporary art, as well as that reserved for Latin America are perhaps the best. Do not miss the outdoor installation with the white streetlights illuminating the dark. It may not be as extravagant as the MoMa (Museum of Modern Art), but you will not regret the time spent in its halls.
LACMA has a very versatile collection and interesting exhibitions. You can see art from all over the world and different cultures from the Middle Ages to the present and so much more. The LA County Museum of Art offers modern art with many important works of German Expressionism, Asian, European, (Latin) American, Pacific, African, ancient oriental paintings and sculptures, photography and textile arts. In addition there are theaters, concert halls and for the necessary breaks cafes, walkways, and gardens. Here one could easily spend a whole day and it’s a good deal for late sleepers because the LACMA opens only at 11’o clock, and at noon on weekends (rest day is Wednesday).
Natural History Museum
At the Natural History Museum you will find true models of prehistoric animals that inhabited the planet. In some rooms, you can find true dinosaur skeletons found in different parts of the world. The place is majestic and a little donation is asked after the visit. It is impressive because you will be greeted by real and huge fragments of dinosaur skeletons.
There is also a presentation of different kinds of gems from all over the world. Do not panic when you see so many stuffed animals. The highlight of the museum is seeing giant prehistoric paintings which are already solidified. The collection of the huge bones and fossils is also one of the most impressive parts of this attraction.
Universal Studios Hollywood
One of the top things to do in this park is to explore all the lots and have a general idea how a film or TV series undergo the process of production all within the premises of the Universal Studios Hollywood. What most guests find interesting about this park is that it is more focused on film making, the secrets of the directors, and how the special effects are incorporated to make the film more fun to watch. Almost everyone favors the set of King Kong. It is a cart that moves through different sets that were used “allegedly” in the movies. It goes through the sets of Psycho, Jaws, Desperate housewives, etc. At the end of the tour you enter a cave (spoiler alert!) where the image of King Kong and his huge presence surprises everyone.
It is a world of fantasy in magical place. The set of Jurassic Park will make you feel like being part of the film as you pass through the jungle, dinosaurs, waterfalls and the music. The studio tour x show sets of video, the tram ride, the explosion, the flood, and King Kong. Enter the Psycho hotel, the neighborhood of Desperate Housewives, Mexican neighborhood, meet Homer Simpson, Shrek, Beeteljuice, The Mummy, Characters of Wateworld, and other character actors who freely roam the park for a photo opportunity. Universal Studios is one of the best reasons to go to Los Angeles!
Universal CityWalk Hollywood
The Universal CityWalk Hollywood is a very eccentric and sophisticated ride that gives the feeling of being in a city but in a resort attraction. At night, this main entrance walking path to the Universal Studios becomes very bright and it is advisable to enjoy its bars, shops, and restaurants.
Prices are more expensive compared to commercial shops and shopping areas found in the city of LA but it is all worth the effort to visit and enjoy this part of Los Angeles. If you finished your tour of Universal Studios and you still have the energy or just want to eat something out of popcorn and hotdogs in the park, CityWalk is the choice because there are many options to continue having fun, go shopping and dining.
The Hollywood Sign is the icon of the city and can be seen from various points all around Los Angeles. There are tours that take you as close as possible for you to take good photographs around the famous symbol of LA. The most famous poster of the city is nestled on a mountain near the Griffith Observatory, with a good camera you can walk halfway of the trail and shut the camera with the full words behind your back. The road towards the hills is very cute and filled with nice neighborhood of beautiful homes.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
You can tour the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Hollywood street where the famous stars are reflected in different tiles with their own stars, starting from the relevant and famous artists. It practically extends about 5 blocks to the sides where there are businesses of all kinds. During the tour, there are live various figures who ask money to take pictures in some theaters or bars, there are also wax figures who promote their shows.
From the theater is where the most important event, the annual Oscar Awards are usually done, there are vantage points to watch the sunset and restaurants of all types and prices to experience the colorful nightlife. A few blocks away is the staircase where the last scene of Pretty Woman was filmed where Richard Gere was passing by on board his limo with flowers for Julia Roberts. The Walk of Fame is indeed a beautiful experience. A visit here is best combined with a tour to the nearby TCL Chinese Mann’s Theater where hand or foot imprints of famous stars are immortalized in concrete cement tablets.
Madame Tussauds Hollywood
From the moment you enter the Madame Tussauds Hollywood it is impossible to get bored because the design of the place makes it impossible not to have a different and extremely fun time as you go from one room to another. Even more serious, it comes complete with dressing up accessories that are made available for every celebrity. Bring a good camera as you go on endless poses you’re your favorite celebrities that are immortalized in wax figures. Do not miss this activity when you’re in Los Angeles.
The Sunset Boulevard is a busy street that is parallel to Hollywood Blvd and leading up to the famous Beverly Hills area that is filled with signature brand shops and fine dining restaurants. It is classified as the place of the rich and famous, the ideal spot for the five star hotels and huge celebrity mansions. There are many entertainment venues, elegant shopping malls and boutique shops as well as luxury cars and long stretch limousines that ply this busy and glamorous street of Los Angeles City.