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.
Content provided by Lonely Planet
Los Angeles- Things to do
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
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.
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
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.
Details: MTA 761
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
Opening Hours: 24 hr.
Address: Venice Pier to Rose Ave, Venice.
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.
Details: MTA 2.
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
Address: 111 S Grand Ave. Extras: 2003.
Telephone Numbers: +1 323 850 2000.
Opening Hours: 10:00-14:00 most days.
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.
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
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.
[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
Telephone Number: +1 323 661 4380
Address: 1717 Silver Lake Blvd. Extras: Silver Lake.
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
Telephone Number:+1 213 742 7340
Address: 1111 S Figueroa St.
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
Telephone Number: +1 213 892 8080
Address: 550 S Flower St.
Opening Hours: noon-1:30am.
TransportationType: underground rail.
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
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
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
Telephone Number: +1 310 453 2370
Opening Hours: 11am-5pm Wed-Sun.
Address: 2717½ Wilshire Blvd.
Details: BBB 2.
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.
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.
Month by Month
Tournament of RosesEveryone 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)
Chinese New YearColorful 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)
Pan African Film & Arts FestivalCatch 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)
Academy AwardsOgle 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)
LA MarathonRally 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)
Blessing of the AnimalsFrom 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)
LA Festival of BooksIt’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)
Toyota Grand Prix of Long BeachWorld-class drivers tear through city streets on temporary tracks at this week-long racing spectacle by the sea. (888-827-7333)
Venice Art FairArt, architecture, auctions and studio tours to benefit the Venice Family Clinic.
Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest & Folk FestivalToe-tappin’ bluegrass and old-time tunes tear up the Malibu hills. (818-382-4819)
Fiesta BroadwayWatch 500,000 flock to downtown for the world’s largest Cinco de Mayo celebration. (310-914-8308)
LA PridefestThe 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)
LA Film FestivalIt’s a movieable feast – 175 movies, 10 days, 80,000 film-lovers. Feed your inner fanboy with documentaries, shorts and features. (866-345-6337)
July 4thFollow 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.
Manhattan Beach 6-Man Volleyball TournamentBeers, 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)
Nisei Week Japanese FestivalCreated during the Great Depression to lift spirits, this nine-day Little Tokyo celebration features floral arrangements, tea ceremonies and calligraphy. (213-687-7193)
LA County FairMonster trucks, rock’n’roll, pie-eating contests, a Ferris wheel and cows. ‘Nuff said. (909-623-3111)
Nautica Malibu TriathlonIt’s swim, bike, run for celebs and top triathletes at booth- and body-filled Zuma Beach. (818-707-8867)
Watts Towers Day of the Drum & Jazz FestivalsMulticultural beats – Japanese, African, Native American, Latin – draw fans partial to percussion. (213-847-4646)
West Hollywood Halloween CarnavalLeave 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)
Dia de los Muertos FestivalHonor beloved ancestors with dance, face painting and nightly processions at this week-long Mexican remembrance.
Pasadena Doo Dah ParadeEmbrace 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)
Griffith Park Light FestivalBright 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)
Marina del Rey Holiday Boat ParadeBoats decked out in bright, blinking, holiday cheer promenade for prizes in the marina. Check it out from Fisherman’s Village. (310-670-7130)
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 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