Sprawled across more than 450 square miles (not including the five county metro region that surrounds it), if you can’t find an unlimited amount of things to see and do in the Los Angeles area, then you haven’t tried. Besides being the world’s entertainment capital, Los Angeles offers countless attractions for not only every member of the family, it also has something for every preference and taste. Even the most demanding and hard-to-please visitor is guaranteed to discover an attraction to satisfy them.
The legendary Walt Disney’s original vision, iconic Disneyland has long been the ultimate destination for families from around the world, delighting millions of children and adults with its many theme parks that pay tribute to the countless Disney characters and unforgettable films that have become a part of the American tapestry.
No trip to Los Angeles would be complete without a visit to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the accompanying Hollywood Walk of Fame. Nearly a mile long, the sidewalk along Hollywood Boulevard features the handprints of more than 1,600 (and growing) of Hollywood’s most legendary film stars.
‘The’ unquestioned landmark attraction of both Los Angeles is the famous Hollywood sign that’s undeniably the most recognizable feature of the entire area. Built in 1923 and overlooking the city, the sign consists of 45-foot tall letters and stretches longer (350 feet) than a football field.
FUN IN THE SUN
For those who gravitate towards oceanside, fun in the sun activities, a sun-splashed day spent at Santa Monica Pier. Loaded with fun-filled amusement rides, games and many other hard-to-resist features, this landmark has long been a popular attraction.
A little more than two miles away from Santa Monica Pier is Venice Beach, a veritable hodgepodge of artists, fortune-tellers, magicians, musicians, specialty shops and vendors of every imaginable type. An afternoon spent strolling the boardwalk and just absorbing the sights and sounds is an adventure in itself.
After the non-stop activity of Venice Beach, a nice change of pace are the nearby Venice Canals, built in 1905 and designed to be a re-creation of the famous canals of Venice, Italy. Winding through the Venice neighborhood, these man-made waterways meander lazily among luxurious homes featuring impeccably manicured lawns. Sidewalks and arched bridges provide a relaxing and leisurely experience.
One of the best locations to take in virtually all of Los Angeles and surrounding area is the famous Griffith Observatory. Besides offering spectacular views, the journey alone through the winding hills of Griffith Park is an adventure in itself. The visuals provided are undoubtedly the primary appeal of the Observatory, but visitors also rave about the many fun, entertaining and informative exhibits that are scattered throughout this historic Los Angeles landmark.
For an unusual LA adventure, a trip to the La Brea Tar Pits in the Miracle Mile section of the city gives visitors a rare geological treat. A National Natural Landmark, this one-of-a-kind attraction was formed from natural asphalt that seeped up from beneath the earth’s surface over thousands of years, preserving local fauna, flora and even prehistoric wildlife that once roamed the area.
HOLLYWOOD and NIGHTLIFE
Since movies are Hollywood’s most famous export, a trip to Universal Studio’s Hollywood theme park gives visitors an opportunity to experience the magic of Tinseltown through various amusement adventures related to legendary films contained in the studio’s extensive library. From interactive exhibits to edge-of-the-seat rollercoaster rides and the very likely possibility of meeting movie stars, a day spent at this popular attraction is well worth it.
Another ‘must-see’ Los Angeles attraction that’s long been a popular destination is Rodeo Drive. Amidst the ferraris, more ferraris, Maseratis and stretch limousines are high-end shopping venues featuring exclusive names like Cartier, Gucci and Versace, part of a shopper’s paradise with a reputation for catering to the rich and famous. However, visitors may be surprised to also discover an abundance of moderately-priced shops that are perhaps more ‘budget-friendly.’ Regardless, a stroll along Rodeo Drive’s unique cobblestone sidewalks provides a taste of luxuriousness that’s certain to be an unforgettable experience.
The center of nightlife in Los Angeles is undoubtedly the Sunset Strip, a stretch of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood that’s bordered by Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Almost always busy, buses, bicyclists and pedestrians mingle with ferraris and Lamborghini’s along this famous live music and entertainment Mecca, home to such legendary clubs as the Whiskey a-Go Go, the Roxy Theatre, the Viper Room and the Comedy Club.