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Los Angeles Tourist Attractions – The Ultimate Checklist

Los Angeles – often called LA – is the largest city in California from a population standpoint and the second most populous in the country. It is a melting pot with over 17 million people from around the world calling the city their home. Residents and visitors enjoy its location amidst forests, mountain ranges, and of course the gorgeous beaches of the Pacific Ocean. Most notably, however, people have come to the area to find a taste of fame due to its reputation as the Mecca of movie making and music production. Whether star searching, adventure seeking, or simply nature loving; there is something for everyone in Los Angeles.


  1. Broadway Theater District
Inside the Los Angeles Theater Palace

The Broadway Theater District, with 12 movie palaces in 6 blocks, is the highest concentration of movie palaces in the USA. With 15000 seats between them and ultra-grand interiors, the movie palaces in the pre-World War II era often eclipsed the movies or performances that were staged there. Although the glory days are a thing of the past, the district is still popular with visiting tourists.  A good way to experience the district is to take an LA Conservancy Walking Tour and be lost in the grandeur of these movie palaces.


  1. The Getty Center Art Museum
The Getty Center Art Museum

The J Paul Getty Museum, popularly called the Getty, is one of the most popular museums in the USA. The art museum is run by the Getty Trust and has 2 branches – at the Getty Villa and at the Getty Center. The Museum, established in 1954, has a rich collection of European paintings, drawings, and sculpture dating from the Middle Ages to the present times. The Museum has in its collection famous paintings by Rembrandt, Titian, Rubens, Manet, Renoir, and Van Gogh.


  1. City of Santa Monica
Santa Monica Pier

Located 20 miles west of downtown Los Angeles, the City of Santa Monica is a beachfront resort surrounded on 3 sides by the city of Los Angeles. With a popular pier and a beach, coupled with a year round ‘touristy’ climate, Santa Monica is a favorite destination for beach lovers. It also has many bustling shopping and gastronomic hot spots. Do not miss the historic carousel (it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places) and the famous wooden roller coaster – the Blue Streak Racer. Santa Monica has a lot to offer on the cultural front too. There are over 75 museums and art galleries within the city area.


  1. TCL Chinese Theater
Grand facade of the TCL Chinese Theater

The TCL Chinese Theater is a major landmark theater in Hollywood. Built in 1926 and opened a year later, the theater has not only hosted a number of major movie premieres, it also hosted 3 Academy Awards (the Oscars) ceremonies, from 1944 – 1946. The exterior of the Theater resembles a Chinese pagoda with dragons and dogs. The interior has a grand décor. It was declared a historic and cultural landmark in 1968. The biggest highlight of the Chinese Theater is the series of cement footprints, hand prints, and boot-prints of several famous Hollywood stars.


  1. Universal Studios
Studio Tour at Universal Studios

Get ready for the ultimate Hollywood experience in this movie theme park! This is a full day of action-packed entertainment all in one place:  thrilling theme park rides and shows, a real working movie studio, and Los Angeles’ best shops, restaurants and cinemas at CityWalk. Universal Studios Hollywood is a unique experience that is fun for the whole family. End your day with the energy and excitement of Universal CityWalk, where everything is Always Unexpected. All this and much more, only at Universal Studios Hollywood, the entertainment capital of L.A.


  1. Venice Beach Boardwalk
Venice Beach Boardwalk

The Venice Beach and Boardwalk, also called the Ocean Front Walk, is a popular beachfront area that has a trendy and funky atmosphere all year round. The beachfront area draws millions of tourists and thousands of performers every year. The 2.5 mile pedestrian walk is filled with street performers, sand sculptors, fortune tellers, and musicians. Take a walk along the Abbott Kinney Boulevard lined with cafés, eateries, and off-beat clothing stores. The ‘Venice’ was home to the popular band The Doors. The relation is immortalized with a huge mural of The Doors lead singer Jim Morrison. One can also see the Gold’s Gym where Arnold Schwarzenegger was discovered many years ago.


  1. Catalina Island
Catalina Island

The Santa Catalina Island, popularly called Catalina Island, is a part of the Channel Islands Archipelago. It is 22 miles south south-west off the coast of California and can be reached in an hour by boat or within 15 minutes by helicopter. There are several boat services throughout the day connecting the island. Catalina Island has become popular for its water activities and carnival cruises. In the island one can engage in land, water, and air activities. One can even walk or cycle around town. There are water activities galore to choose from – snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, ocean rafting, para-sailing, and tubing. One can also try the Glass Bottom Boat Tour or the Flying Fish Tour.


  1. Griffith Park
Griffith Observatory with the Los Angeles skyline

Located in the Los Feliz neighborhood of the Hollywood district of LA County, Griffith Park is an expansive municipal park with an observatory, an amphitheater, a zoo, multiple golf courses and museums, and playgrounds. Griffith Park, covering 4310 acres, is one of the largest city parks in the USA and is often called the Central Park of LA. The Park has a number of hiking trails that are open from early morning till sunset. The Griffith Observatory deserves special mention. It is located at 1134 feet above sea level on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood, and one of the major tourist attractions of LA. It has featured in numerous movies over the decades.


  1. Grammy Museum
Costumes of Michael Jackson at the Grammy Museum

Located over 4 floors in the 4 million sq feet LA Live building, the Grammy Museum is a tribute to the most popular US award for the music and recording industry. Corresponding to the 50th anniversary of the Grammy Awards, the Museum was opened in 2008. It has over 30,000 sq ft of exhibits related to the music industry and the Grammys. There are a number of interactive exhibits and shows to enthrall the visitors.  There is a section where visitors can also record and remix tracks in a soundproof chamber!


  1. Sunset Strip
Sunset Strip

The 22 mile Sunset Boulevard that stretches from downtown LA to the Pacific Coast Highway is synonymous with Hollywood glitz and glamour. The Sunset Strip along West Hollywood is the most happening part of this boulevard. The 1.5 mile stretch has a number of night clubs, bars, restaurants, boutiques, and music stores. The north of the Strip, with its multi-million dollar homes and stunning view of the LA Basin, is home to a number of major celebrities.


  1. Warner Brothers Studios
Tour of the set of FRIENDS at Warner Brothers Studios

See “Behind-the-scenes” and “into-the-scenes” of your favorite shows and movies at the world’s busiest motion picture and television studio. Guests of the Warner Bros 2-hour VIP Tour are offered a rare and intimate glimpse into real Hollywood at work. No two tours are alike and guides take you to where the real action is. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of your favorite star in action!


  1. Disneyworld Park at Anaheim
Disneyworld Park Anaheim

Located at Anaheim, California, the Disneyland Park has special emotional value to Disney lovers. It is the only Disneyland theme park that was made with direct supervision of Walt Disney. It opened in 1955 as Disneyland and was renamed to Disneyland Park in 1990. The 85 acres of the magical kingdom of Disney, transports visitors of every age into the world of cartoons through the numerous attractions, rides, and tours.


  1. Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills is a city in the LA County that is almost completely surrounded by the city of LA. The city started to grow with the construction of the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1911. Today, Beverly Hills is a hot spot for high end shopping and residences of the ultra rich. Beverly Hills is also home to 2 of the most upscale and popular shopping areas of LA – Rodeo Drive and Two Rodeo. Those who feel lost with so many varied attractions can opt for any of the several tours popular with the tourists.


  1. Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame

The 1.7 mile stretch of Hollywood Walk of Fame with nearly 2500 brass stars is a major tourist attraction with over 10 million visitors every year. The brass stars recognize artists from 5 different artistic categories. The Walk was constructed and inaugurated in 1960. There are a number of other attractions in the area including the Hollywood Wax Museum, the LA Fire Department Hollywood Museum, the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, and the Hollywood Bowl Outdoor Theater.


  1. Hollywood Sign
Los Angeles skyline from behind the HOLLYWOOD sign

Hollywood’s beacon landmark, the ‘Hollywood’ sign, is located on Mount Lee in the Griffith Park of the Santa Monica Mountains. Originally built in 1923, it read ‘Hollywoodland’ to promote a housing project. Half a century later, in the 1970s, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce called for a complete makeover of the dilapidated sign, putting a price tag of $250,000. Hugh Hefner of Playboy came to the rescue with a ceremonial auction of the letters at $27777 each. November 1978 saw the birth of a new Hollywood sign – HOLLYWOOD – 350 feet long and each letter standing 45 feet tall.

Originally posted 2017-05-22 08:01:02.

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