Destination guide: Los Angeles, United States

The city of Los Angeles is on the south coast of California in the United States and attracts thousands of fans of both movies and glamour. Among its main attractions are Hollywood, Disneyland, the Universal, Warner Brothers and Paramount studios, Griffith Park and the famous beaches of Santa Monica and Malibu and Laguna Beach.

From Los Angeles, you can visit other fabulous destinations such as Las Vegas, the California coast, Phoenix and the Grand Canyon. Don’t put it off any longer and fly to the United States sooner that you expected.

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  • Los Angeles- Things to do

    Sights

    El Pueblo Historical Monument

    Nope, LA didn’t spring from the head of Hollywood directors, it was a full-blown community a good 100 years before DW Griffith showed up. Grab a map at restored Firehouse No 1 (the Plaza Firehouse) then wander through narrow Olvera St’s vibrant Mexican-themed stalls.

    Latitude: 34.0568638568862 / Longitude: -118.2381570339200
    Sub-Type: Architecture
    Telephone Number: +1 213 628 1274
    Opening Hours: tour office 10am-3pm.
    Pricing: admission free.
    Address: between Canal & Division Sts.
    Transportation Type: underground rail.
    Details: Union Station.
    Website: www.lacity.org/elp

    Getty Center

    The Getty Center presents triple delights: a stellar art collection, Richard Meier's fabulous architecture and Robert Irwin's seasonally changing gardens. On clear days, add breathtaking views of the city and ocean to the list. A great time to visit is in the late afternoon after the crowds have thinned. Parking is $10.

      Latitude: 34.0774741286542 / Longitude: -118.4747815132140
    Sub-Type: Museum.
    Telephone Number: +1 310 440 7300
    Opening Hours: 10am-6pm Sun & Tue-Thu, 10am-9pm Fri & Sat.
    Pricing: donations suggested.
    Address:1200 Getty Center Dr.
    TransportationType: bus.
    Details: MTA 761

    Venice Boardwalk

    Venice Boardwalk is officially known as Ocean Front Walk. It’s a freak show, a human zoo and a wacky carnival, but as far as LA experiences go, it’s a must. This is where to get your hair braided, your karma corrected or your back massaged qi gong–style. Encounters with budding Schwarzeneggers, hoop dreamers, a Speedo-clad snake charmer and a roller-skating Sikh minstrel are pretty much guaranteed, especially on hot summer days. The Sunday-afternoon drum circle draws hundreds of revelers for tribal playing and spontaneous dancing. If the noise doesn’t show you the way there, just follow your nose towards whiffs of ‘wacky tabaccy.’ Alas, the boardwalk vibe gets a bit sketchy after dark.

      Latitude: 33.9880733815629 / Longitude: -118.4747171401980
    Alternative Name: Ocean Front Walk
    Sub-Type: Waterfront
    Opening Hours: 24 hr.
    Address: Venice Pier to Rose Ave, Venice.
    TransportationType: bus.
    Details: MTA 33, 333, BBB 2.

    Walk of Fame

    Elvis Presley? 6777 Hollywood Blvd. Marilyn Monroe? 6774 Hollywood Blvd. James Dean? 1719 Vine St. Nope, not last known addresses, just the exact spot for the brass star honoring these celebs on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, on Hollywood Blvd between La Brea Ave and Vine St. There are more than 2000 stars, so check the website for precise locations.

      Latitude: 34.1018196045835 / Longitude: 118.3351993560790
    Sub-Type: Film, TV Location.
    Telephone Number:+1 323 469 8311.
    Address: Hollywood Blvd.
    TransportationType: bus.
    Details: MTA 2.
    Website: www.hollywoodchamber.net

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    A gravity-defying sculpture of curving and billowing stainless-steel walls; it is the home base of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Free tours are available subject to concert schedules. Parking is $8.

     Latitude: 34.0554100000000 / Longitude: 118.2495800000000
    Sub-Type: Entertainment.
    Address: 111 S Grand Ave. Extras: 2003.
    Telephone Numbers: +1 323 850 2000.
    Opening Hours: 10:00-14:00 most days.
    Website: www.laphil.com  

    Eat

    Empress Pavilion

    Chinatown - Downtown LA; essential dish: dim sum at Empress Pavilion. While there, view contemporary art in galleries along Chung King Rd.

       Latitude: 34.0653000000000 / Longitude: -118.2373900000000
    Sub-Type: Dim Sum
    Telephone Number:+1 213 617 9898
    Opening Hours: 10am-2:30pm & 5:30-9pm, to 10pm Sat & Sun.
    Price Range: Moderate.
    Pricing: Dim sum per plate $2-6, most mains $10-25.
    Address: 988 N Hill St Extras: 2nd fl.

    Omelette Parlor

    An institution since the time Main St was known as Dogtown, festooned with black-and-whites of old Santa Monica, a soundtrack of oldies and a leafy courtyard out back. Big-as-your-head omelets and famous waffles for breakfast may last you to dinner.

      Latitude: 34.0000700000000/ Longitude: -118.4821000000000
    Sub-Type: Breakfast.
    Telephone Number:+1 310 399 7892
    Opening Hours: 6am-2:30pm Mon-Fri, 6am-4pm Sat & Sun.
    Price Range: Low.
    Pricing: Mains $6-12.
    Address: 2732 Main St.    

    Entertaiment

    Spaceland

    [ourpick] Spaceland Beck played some early gigs at what is still LA's best place for indie and alterna-sounds. When the ad says 'special guest, ' you never know what level of star might show up for quick and dirty impromptu sessions.

       Latitude: 34.0903000000000 / Longitude: -118.2693100000000
    Sub-Type: Music
    Telephone Number: +1 323 661 4380
    Address: 1717 Silver Lake Blvd. Extras: Silver Lake.
    Website: www.clubspaceland.com

    Staples Center

    The flying-saucer-shaped Staples Center is a sports and entertainment arena with all the high-tech trappings. It's home to the Lakers, Clippers and Sparks basketball teams, as well as the Kings ice hockey team. Major headliners - Barbra Streisand to Justin Timberlake - also perform here.

       Latitude: 34.0429800000000 / Longitude: -118.2672800000000
    Sub-Type: Stadium.
    Telephone Number:+1 213 742 7340
    Address: 1111 S Figueroa St.
    Website: www.staplescenter.com

    Entertainment

    Standard Rooftop Bar

    Once you find your way to this rooftop oasis – try escalator, elevator, stairs – the panoramic payoff is immense, with stunning views of skyscrapers backdropped by glowing mountains. On weekends, arrive before 7pm to beat the cover and the velvet rope.

     Latitude: 34.0503126690213 / Longitude: -118.2569003105160
    Sub-Type: Bar
    Telephone Number: +1 213 892 8080
    Address: 550 S Flower St.
    Opening Hours: noon-1:30am.
    TransportationType: underground rail.
    Details:7th/Metro Center.
    Website: www.standardhotels.com
        

    Shop

    Central Plaza Chinatown

    Of late, parts of Chinatown have received an injection of hipness, no more so than at Central Plaza , conceived as an unabashedly kitschy walking mall. Outposts of contemporary cool like Munky King designer toys and the Mountain Bar mix it up with incense-scented import bazaars, an endearing wishing well and the kookily noir Hop Louie restaurant and bar in a five-tiered pagoda. Across Hill St, the galleries and studios along Chung King Rd bring out art students and aficionados in droves on opening nights

      Latitude: 34.0653400000000 / Longitude: -118.3436322212220
    Sub-Type: Shopping Centre
    Address: 900 block of Broadway

    It's a Wrap

    Dress like a movie star - in their actual clothes! Packed-to-the-rafters It's a Wrap sells wardrobe castoffs - tank tops to tuxedos - worn by actors and extras working on TV or movie shoots. Tags are coded (there's a list at the check-out counter), so you'll know whose clothing you can brag about wearing.

    Latitude: 34.1693105473155 / Longitude: -73.9738664700000
    Sub-Type
    : Clothing.
    Telephone Number: +1 310 246 9727
    Opening Hours: 11am-8pm Mon-Fri, 11am-6pm Sat & Sun.
    Address: 1164 S Robertson Blvd. Extras: Mid-City
    Transportation Type: bus
    Details: MTA 183
    Website: www.itsawraphollywood.com

    Whimsic Alley

    Muggles love this magical store at 2717½, superbly designed to invoke visions of Diagon Alley, where Harry Potter and friends seem to be waiting just a portkey away. Flip through Hogwarts sweaters and capes at Haber & Dasher, find your wand at Phoenix Wands, or just poke around nooks overflowing with Harry Potter memorabilia and literature on piratology, dragons and wandmaking.

       Latitude: 34.0373410238133  / Longitude: -118.4760542213920
    Sub-Type: Specialty
    Telephone Number: +1 310 453 2370
    Opening Hours: 11am-5pm Wed-Sun.
    Address: 2717½ Wilshire Blvd.
    TransportationType: bus
    Details: BBB 2.

    Events Overviews

    Diversity isn’t just a political buzzword in Los Angeles, it’s another excuse to party. And the best part is, everyone’s invited. From banjos to bongos, film fests to book fairs, Day of the Dead to Doo Dah, it’s nonstop celebrating all year long. And that’s without mentioning WeHo’s hedonistic Halloween hootenanny, drawing half a million costumed revelers. If you can’t find something to do, you ain’t looking.

    For a monthly listing of citywide events see www.culturela.org. Art aficionados get their tips from www.artscenecal.com or check Thursday calendar listings from the LA Times and LA Weekly. Otherwise, look online at www.laweekly.com, http://theguide.latimes.com or www.dailycandy.com for upcoming fun.

    Special Events on a Regular Basis

    Downtown Artwalk More than 25 galleries and museums participate in this increasingly popular art ramble held the second Thursday of every month from noon to 9pm.
    www.downtownartwalk.com

    Grand Performances From late June through the end of October, catch free concerts from international artists in the California Plaza in the heart of the financial district.
    www.grandperformances.org

    Month by Month

    January

    Tournament of Roses

    Everyone loves a parade, and this 2½-hour cavalcade of flower-festooned floats just before Pasadena’s Rose Bowl is one of the most beloved. Die-hards camp out to snag prime sidewalk spots. Otherwise, avoid traffic, take the metro to Memorial Park and hoof it in. (626-449-4100)

    www.tournamentofroses.com

    February

    Chinese New Year

    Colorful celebrations in Chinatown mark the lunar new year, culminating in the Golden Dragon parade, food, floats, fashion and firecrackers. Late January/early February. (213-617-0396)

    www.lachinesechamber.org /www.chinatownla.com

    Pan African Film & Arts Festival

    Catch a flick at America’s largest black film festival during Black History month. Entrants from the US, Africa, Europe, South America and beyond. (323-295-1706)

    www.paff.org

    Academy Awards

    Ogle your favorite film stars from the Kodak Theatre’s red-carpet-adjacent bleachers. Apply in September for one of 600 lucky spots. (310-247-3000)

    www.oscars.org/bleachers


    March

    LA Marathon

    Rally the runners then wander past performance stages and finish-line festivities. It’s a 26.2-mile party through the city – for the one million spectators, that is. (310-271-7200)

    www.lamarathon.com

    Blessing of the Animals

    From Chihuahuas to iguanas, all critters welcome for Cardinal Mahoney’s blessing at this fun-loving Olvera St fest on the Saturday before Easter. (213-485-8372)

    www.cityofla.org/elp

    April

    LA Festival of Books

    It’s a bookworm’s paradise for two days at UCLA. Revel in reading with 400 authors, 300 booths, 97 panels and 130,000 bibliophiles. (213-237-7335)

    www.latimes.com/extras/festivalofbooks

    Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

    World-class drivers tear through city streets on temporary tracks at this week-long racing spectacle by the sea. (888-827-7333)

    www.longbeachgp.com

    May

    Venice Art Fair

    Art, architecture, auctions and studio tours to benefit the Venice Family Clinic.

    www.venicefamilyclinic.org

    Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival

    Toe-tappin’ bluegrass and old-time tunes tear up the Malibu hills. (818-382-4819)

    www.topangabanjofiddle.org

    Fiesta Broadway

    Watch 500,000 flock to downtown for the world’s largest Cinco de Mayo celebration. (310-914-8308)

    www.fiestabroadway.la


    June

    LA Pridefest

    The rainbow starts on Santa Monica Blvd for two days of love, equality and pride at Christopher St West’s GBLT party. About 300,000 show for the parade. (323-969-8302)

    www.lapride.org

    LA Film Festival

    It’s a movieable feast – 175 movies, 10 days, 80,000 film-lovers. Feed your inner fanboy with documentaries, shorts and features. (866-345-6337)

    www.lafilmfest.com

    July

    July 4th

    Follow the fireworks to celebrate America’s independence. From Pasadena’s Rose Bowl extravaganza to the Hollywood Bowl’s symphonic sounds to Marina del Rey’s seaside spectacular, start looking to the skies at 9pm.

    http://www.rosebowlstadium.com /www.hollywoodbowl.com /www.beaches.co.la.ca.us

    August

    Manhattan Beach 6-Man Volleyball Tournament

    Beers, bikinis, costumes and volleyballs – all on tap at this whacked-out volleyball fest where teams with themes set spikes on the beach. (310-802-5413)

    www.surffestival.org

    Nisei Week Japanese Festival

    Created during the Great Depression to lift spirits, this nine-day Little Tokyo celebration features floral arrangements, tea ceremonies and calligraphy. (213-687-7193)

    www.niseiweek.org

    September

    LA County Fair

    Monster trucks, rock’n’roll, pie-eating contests, a Ferris wheel and cows. ‘Nuff said. (909-623-3111)

    www.lacountyfair.com

    Nautica Malibu Triathlon

    It’s swim, bike, run for celebs and top triathletes at booth- and body-filled Zuma Beach. (818-707-8867)

    www.nauticamalibutri.com

    Watts Towers Day of the Drum & Jazz Festivals

    Multicultural beats – Japanese, African, Native American, Latin – draw fans partial to percussion. (213-847-4646)

    www.parks.ca.gov

    October

    West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval

    Leave your inhibitions at home for this over-the-top costume extravaganza drawing half a million party people to the streets of WeHo. Leather and lace, togas and flip-flops, queens, ghouls and cowboys – free your costume fantasies. Music, food, comedians and a costume contest are icing on the carnival cake. (323-848-6400)

    www.weho.org /www.visitwesthollywood.com

    November

    Dia de los Muertos Festival

    Honor beloved ancestors with dance, face painting and nightly processions at this week-long Mexican remembrance.

    www.olvera-street.com

    Pasadena Doo Dah Parade

    Embrace this wacky parody parade. With its briefcase drill team, Royal Pains and ‘howdy krishnas, ’ it’s a tongue-in-cheek poke at Rose Bowl perfection. Sunday before Thanksgiving. (626-205-4029)

    www.pasadenadoodahparade.info

    December

    Griffith Park Light Festival

    Bright lights, no city in this mile-long jaunt through colorful light displays. Pedestrians only from late November to early December then it opens to cars. (323-913-4688)

    www.laparks.org

    Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade

    Boats decked out in bright, blinking, holiday cheer promenade for prizes in the marina. Check it out from Fisherman’s Village. (310-670-7130)

    www.mdrboatparade.org

    Activity Overviews

    Outdoor Adventure

    With bike paths, mountain trails, pounding surf and wind-blown seas minutes away, the question isn’t whether you should enjoy the outdoors, but how. Possibilities for adventure are almost endless; just ask the parade of bikers, surfers and boat owners hustling past for their daily outdoor fix.

    Hollywood visitors short on time can zip a loop around Runyon Canyon northwest of La Brea Ave where a steep uphill climb, great views, and a no-leash policy lures Hollywood hipsters and their pooches. Griffith Park boasts 53 miles of trails plus the iconic hike to the summit of Mt Hollywood (not the location of the sign), where stellar 360-degree views await, smog-willing. Tree-lined trails along the coastal mountains give it up for ocean and canyon fans, while bikers bounce over the Backbone Trail on the southern spine of the Santa Monicas near Will Rogers State Park. Beach cruisers may prefer the flat 22-mile South Bay Bicycle Path from Will Rogers State Beach to within a spoke of Palos Verdes.

    Don’t like exercising alone? John Muir’s 110-year-old Sierra Club lets nonmembers join its organized, very welcoming hikes and bike rides, geared to various fitness levels. See www.angeles.sierraclub.org to choose from hundreds. The night hikes are especially cool. Mountain-bikers should check www.corbamtb.com and www.socalmtb.com for conditions.

    Trust me, a short mountain hike or beachside bike ride will be one of your most memorable LA encounters. Other than bumping into that girl from Dancing with the Stars.

    Best Activities

    Best Short Hikes with Views

    • Charlie Turner Trail to Mt Hollywood
    • Inspiration Point
    • Temescal Canyon Loop Hike
    • Runyon Canyon

    Best Ease-of-Access Biking

    • Backbone Trail near Will Rogers State Park
    • South Bay Bicycle Trail
    • Griffith Park
    • Bird-Watching