Perpetually sunny, pulsing with energy and unbridled ambition sum up the buzzing city of Los Angeles nicely. Alongside the unique culture, oh-so healthy cuisine and latest workout fads lies a fascinating city that has a long association with the TV, film and music business.
Around 20 million people live in the LA area (and no, they’re not all aspiring actors and wannabe singers!). LA is actually very historic and was founded in 1781 under the original name El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de la Porciuncula, which means Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angeles of the Small Portion – phew, Los Angeles is much more manageable. LA is the original home of Baywatch and the stunning mile upon mile of beach is all real! LA is the acting hotspot of the US with over 80 stage theatres and the cultural hotspot too boasting more than 300 museums.
Explore the culture at the Museums and Art Galleries
LACMA is one of the most well-known museums across the country and famous to the City of Los Angeles. It has over 100,000 different art pieces and is the largest art museum in the western portion of the United States. There are several different buildings featuring fine art and historical pieces, from Japanese art to the famous Chris Burden’s Urban Light installation. Other cool and exciting museums include MOCA, which features contemporary art, and the Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens which is composed of rare books and manuscripts.
Enjoy a day of thrills at Disneyland
And for a park with a difference, check out Disneyland Park, which opened its lavish gates back in July 1955. Panning 160 acres in Anaheim this is the only theme park in the franchise to have been built under the very close instructions of Walt Disney himself. Taking center stage is the magnificently opulent Sleeping Beauty Castle which is a copy of the same castle from the Sleeping Beauty film. And with over 16 million guests through the gates last year alone, this is the second busiest themepark on earth!
Los Angeles in movies, TV series and music…
LA has long held a special affinity with the movie business and many top films have been set here including Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Grease (1978), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), The Terminator (1984), Pretty Woman (1990), Pulp Fiction (1994), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) and so the list goes on…
In addition to the huge list of movies that have been made and set in LA, there are also numerous TV series that have used the LA districts of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Malibu and Santa Monica as a backdrop. Think Baywatch, 90210, The A-Team, Ellen, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, LA Law, Lost and New Girl.
LA also has strong musical connections; Jim Morrison of The Doors came to find his fortune in LA and would hang out on Venice Beach in the 1960s. Bands such as Metallica, 30 Seconds to Mars, Guns n’ Roses, LMFAO and Red Hot Chili Peppers were all forged here.
Experience LA’s famous landmarks up close
Los Angeles is place to go for all of the exciting spots you may see in movies, on television or magazines. Among those places is the Hollywood sign, a great site and something everyone wants to have a picture in front of, though you can’t get very close to it. The Santa Monica pier is another famous landmark. Not only is it the largest pier, but it’s the best place to go for unique restaurants and beautiful scenery. You’ll also be able to have fun on the Ferris wheel and other attractions! Other places include the Rodeo drive for fabulous shopping and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Enjoy the nightlife
The nightlife in Los Angeles is alive and loud. Some of the most famous night bars and clubs include the ABH, Apple and Beso Hollywood. ABH is a luxurious club that is on a rooftop, giving you the ultimate nightlife experience. Apple is a great restaurant and entertainment venue that has exquisite food and great music. Beso is another outstanding dining spot, great for family night outs. If you want a relaxing place to lounge and meet new people, you’ll love SLS. Other nightlife activities include going to the many movie theaters, concerts and bars located in the great city of Los Angeles.
Try some Pro Sports LA style
Another exciting thing to do in Los Angeles is to watch or join in with the local pro sports. Renting a four wheeler or simply going to see a basketball team play live, like the L.A Lakers, makes for exciting times in Los Angeles. Thousands of options are available in the city for trying daring sports and seeing your favourite football, soccer and basketball stars compete on the big field. The L.A Lakers have hundreds of home games you can score tickets to.
Take a Universal Studios Hollywood tour
The Universal Studios themepark in LA is also a fully operational movie studio facility. Fronted by the Woody Woodpecker mascot, Universal Hollywood was first opened in March 1915 as a movie studio and has made hundreds of blockbuster movies including Pirates of the Caribbean (2003-2007), Spartacus (1960), Back to the Future (1985) and Psycho (1960), to name but a few! The site also became home to the themepark side of things in July 1964 with attractions such as King Kong 360, Shrek 4D and Terminator 2 3D (the best film in the series!) on offer. The studio remains the original and favourite attraction amongst visitors.
Chill out at the city’s Parks
Exposition Park is one of the many beautiful parks home to Los Angeles. The huge park features many different recreational centers and has a romantic 7½ acre rose garden as well. Other attractions in this park include a historical nature museum, a swimming stadium, and an exciting science center. With cheap admission, the park offers lots of great attractions in a beautiful setting. Other outstanding parks in the area are the Bronson Caves and Griffith Park, both offering great scenery and a breath of fresh air.
Image Credit; 1; Sörn
By Julie Bowman