Being one of the premier cities in the world, Los Angeles has a lot to offer. From its beaches, mountains, television, and ethnic diversity, you can be assured that this widely visited location will leave you feeling satisfied.
The only problem, however, is that Los Angeles is a massive place with almost 500 square miles that does not include surrounding cities, it can be hard to not only travel but find frequent destinations that you came here to see.
Although we will not be able to cover every single tourist destination in the city, we can give you pertinent information on some of the region’s best and most widely visited places. Thankfully we will not only show you where the top sites in Los Angeles are but also show you what to expect.
Hollywood Walk Of Fame
6927 Hollywood Boulevard
Located off of the famed Hollywood Boulevard is the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. The Walk, which amasses nearly 10 million visitors annually, should be on your list of places to visit. Created in the 1950s to capture the essence of Tinseltown, the area is home to 2,400 stars encompassing 15 city blocks! The scenic pavement is open to all and proudly displays famous and influential people who have made significant contributions to radio, television, film, and music. To access this widely viewed street, make sure you find the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, which will be right in the middle of the famous walk. The walk itself starts at La Brea and continues as far east as Gower Street. If you are up for the trail, also take note that the Capitol Records Building off of Vine Street is also in the vicinity and is worth the stop. Plan on utilizing public transportation or rideshare services because parking in this area is minimal. Even if you do find parking, it can be quite expensive, and driving through this area, especially on the weekends, is not suggested as the area becomes congested very quickly. Makes sure to plan accordingly.
2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Very close to the iconic Hollywood sign is an equally iconic and mesmerizing structure that has, for almost a century, been at the heart of L.A. history, and that place is the Griffith Observatory. On land that was donated by Griffith J Griffith, the observatory has, since 1935, brought nearly 7 million people to its telescope and almost 1 million to its exhibit annually. Built to inspire Angelenos to explore science and technology, the Griffith Observatory has four main sections with two levels that will allow you to learn about the cosmos. The first level, or the Historic Level, is where the main exhibits are, while if you want to see the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon or purchase some souvenirs, then going downstairs to the Lower Level is suggested. Accessing the Griffith is relatively easy as two roads lead directly to the exhibit. You can take either Vermont Avenue or Fern Dr., and you don’t have to worry about parking as it is also free, but if you want to have priority parking near the entrance, be prepared to pay around $6-10. With the high amount of traffic and congestion in this area of Los Angeles, it is wise to plan your entire day here as it can be an arduous task to navigate through the busy streets.
1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Sitting on top of a hill, much like the Griffith Observatory, is widely known J Paul Getty Center in West Los Angeles. With some 1.8 million people touring it should be of no surprise that the Getty is one of L.A.’s prized possessions. Located in the Brentwood neighborhood, the Getty is reputed mainly for its architecture, 20th-century paintings, decorative arts, sculptures, and manuscripts. Not only this, but it also offers a few gardens and one of the most panoramic views of the L.A. Basin. Accessing this destination is quite easy as it is directly adjacent to the Interstate 405, and you do not have to worry about your car trekking up the hill as the site offers parking( usually $10) and a train that will take you to the exhibit itself.
Universal Studios Hollywood
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
Film and television have always been close to the heart of Los Angeles, and nowhere can you see this more profoundly than the Universal Studios in Hollywood. Located right off the interstate 101 freeway, this destination for years has been considered “the gateway to the entertainment industry.” Universal, divided into two lots, is home to many great exhibits like the King-King 3-D ride, The Wizardly World Of Harry Potter, and Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. However, its most desirable section is neither an exhibit or a ride but in actuality, a tour. The Studio Back Lot is a once in a lifetime opportunity for visitors to experience what happens behind the scenes. Although the back lot consists of a fake town, many movies and shows have and continue to use it. Some that have were filmed here include Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Back To The Future. Tickets are around $100-120 for high-demand days and slightly cheaper for slower times, while parking will range around $27-30. Although this may seem expensive at first glance, it is worth it in the long run when you add in the quality of service and entertainment value.
1460 South Harbor Boulevard Anaheim, CA
What is widely considered as the happiest place on Earth can be experienced right here in Southern California. Although being in Anaheim, which is about a 30-minute drive south from downtown Los Angeles, many when visiting the City Of Angels have grown accustomed to placing Disneyland as one of the top destinations in Los Angeles. With themed based rides from notable movies and films, visitors have the chance to relive childhood experiences. With rides such as Peter Pan, sights such as the Sleeping Beauty castle, and even a section where you can learn more about the animated characters of Mickey Mouse, Donald the Duck, and Goofy, Disneyland will bring out your inner child. Besides this, there are opportunities to experience the many portions of the park that get inspiration from famous periods in the United States – like Main Street, which represents 1950’s middle America to more futuristic areas like Tomorrowland. If this is not enough for you right across from the central park is California Adventure. More for teens and young adults, some great rides here include the Radiator Springs Racers and the Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout. The Disneyland resort is reasonably easy to access as it only requires the use of the Interstate 5 freeway. Make sure you make an exit on Harbor Street and look out for parking signs, as this place can get congested. A general rule to abide by is to avoid weekends and holidays and choose slower days like Monday, to have the chance to experience the park to its fullest.
Santa Monica Pier
200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
One of the more widely known coastal destinations on the West Coast and attracting millions of people each year is the Santa Monica Pier. Built more than 100 years ago, the Pier has been a family favorite with its interactive amusement park and its historic merry-go-around. This landmark was Santa Monica’s first landmark site being built-in 1922. What is more spectacular is that the ride is operable with its 45 beautifully handcrafted horses that will give you a glimpse of the past. Besides that, the Pier has many activities that will leave you very satisfied. One is the Pacific Park. The Park, Arriving in1996, is the only beach coaster on the West Coast. Other fun yet educational opportunities on this stretch of walkway overlooking the Pacific is the Twilight Dance Series and the Pier Aquarium. The Twilight Dance Series is a musical event beginning in July and ending in September where acts from all over the world come to perform for free, while the Pier Aquarium is home to some 100 species of marine life, that range from seahorses to sharks to even octopuses. To get to this location, you can use one of Los Angeles’ iconic highways, Pacific Coast Highway, to get you there. However, you should note that this place is very crowded during high traffic days like holidays or the weekends, so prepare by coming early.
Not too far from the Santa Monica Pier is arguably one of Los Angeles’s most culturally rich areas, and that place is Venice Beach. Being a hub for artistry and creativity, the city and the beach itself, is crawling with talent and ingenuity. Although widely known for its shops, tattoo parlors, and marijuana dispensaries, the area itself is so much more. Besides being right next to the beach, the city is home to many extracurricular activities such as the Venice Recreational Center, the Skate Park, and of course, the highly popularized Muscle Beach.
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- “Rides and Attractions in California, Things To Do.” Universal Studios Hollywood, https://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/things-to-do/rides-and-attractions.
- “J. Paul Getty Museum: The Getty.” Getty Museum, http://www.getty.edu/museum/?hp-2nd-level-nav=1.
- “Culture.” Venice Beach, http://www.venicebeach.com/culture/.
- “Fitness.” Venice Beach, http://www.venicebeach.com/fitness_wellness/.