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[ things to do in l.a. ]

  1. HISTORIC DISTRICT, DOWNTOWN, AND EXPOSITION PARK
  2. BEVERLY HILLS AND HOLLYWOOD
  3. BURBANK, GLENDALE, AND UNIVERSAL CITY
  4. GRIFFITH PARK
  5. WEST LOS ANGELES
  6. BEACHES: MALIBU TO MARINA DEL REY
  7. PASADENA

1. HISTORIC DISTRICT, DOWNTOWN, AND EXPOSITION PARK:

Visitors to LA are often so dazzled by the beaches, mountains, and theme parks that surround its urban core that they miss its downtown attractions.

Chinatown:

The area takes on a festive mood after dark, when it is lit with hundreds of small lights.
Location: North Broadway, bordered by Ord, Alameda, Bernard, and Yale streets.

Little Tokyo:

Plan to enjoy lunch or dinner in one of the small restaurants and sushi bars along the streets.
Location: The area is bounded by 1st, Alameda, 3rd, and Los Angeles streets
Phone: (213)620-0570 for walking tours of Little Tokyo

Museum of Contemporary Art: (MOCA):

The collection focuses on art from 1940 to present.
Location: 250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
Website: www.moca-la.org

Los Angeles Music Center:

Three theaters make up the Music Center: the Ahmanson Theater, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and Mark Taper Forum. Next door is the 2,400-seat Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Location: 135 N. Grand Avenue (at W. First Street), Los Angeles
Telephone: 213.972.7211).

California Science Center:

This is one of the world's best science museums. It offers a wide variety of exhibits on timely topics and offers hands-on exhibits without the wait.
Location: 700 state drive, Los Angeles
Website: www.californiasciencecenter.org

2. BEVERLY HILLS AND HOLLYWOOD

With its famous zip code (90210) and star-studded reputation, the city of Beverly Hills is known throughout the world. Hollywood is also a magical name that has been synonymous with the glamour of film making and movie stars since the 1920s.

Beverly Hills:

Exit Santa Monica Freeway (10) at Robertson Blvd; North to Wilshire Blvd; West to Beverly Hills

Mann's Chinese Theater:

No trip to Hollywood is complete without a visit to Grauman's Chinese Theatre (AKA Mann's Chinese Theatre) to step into the footprints of the stars. The tradition started when the palatial Asian-inspired cinema was under construction. Over 200 celebrities have had their footprints, hand prints and hoof prints immortalized in front of this Hollywood landmark. Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Sydney Poitier are perennial favorites. Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington and Adam Sandler are relative new kids on the block.
Location: 6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood (One block West of Highland)
Website: www.manntheatres.com/chinese/index.php

Hollywood Walk of Fame:

Hollywood Boulevard is a tribute to artists who have made significant contributions to film, radio, and televison. You can find the Hollywood Entertainment Museum along the boulevard, as well as the Hollywood Wax Museum, the Guiness World of Records Museum, and the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium.
Location: Hollywood Blvd @ Vine St, Los Angeles

Hollywood Sign:

Perched atop Mount Lee, this global symbol of Hollywood glamour measures 450 feet in length with mammoth white letters.
Location: 6342 Mulholland Highway, Los Angeles
Website: www.hollywoodsign.org

3. BURBANK, GLENDALE, AND UNIVERSAL CITY

TV Tapings:

With a bit of planning, you can be part of the audience for the taping of one of your favorite TV shows. Tickets are free, but they are distributed on a first-come first-served basis and are usually limited to two per person.
Audiences Unlimited, Inc: Phone: 818-753-3470
Television Tickets: Phone: 323-467-4697

NBC Studio Tours:

A 75-minute guided tour of this network TV studio leaves from the main entrance every hour.
Location: 3000 W.Alameda Ave, Burbank

Universal Studios Hollywood:

Plan to arrive early and spend most of a day at this 420-acre movie theme park. You can have your photo taken with Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, and other movie characters as you wander "streets of the world", a lively area with themed restaurants and shops.
Location: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. Hollywood Freeway (101) at Lankershim Blvd

4. GRIFFITH PARK

One of the largest urban parks in the US, Griffith Park offers visitors more than 4,000 acres of parkland with hiking and horseback riding trails, picnic grounds, a golf course, and children play areas.
Location: There are four entrances to the park, bounded by I-5, Ventura Hwy (134), and Los Feliz Blvd.

Los Angeles Zoo:

Plan to spend most of a day at the hilly 110-acre LA Zoo, home to more than 2,000 animals, many in environments like their natural habitats.
Location: 5333 Zoo Dr., Griffith Park
Website: www.lazoo.org

Griffith Observatory and Planetarium:

Perched on a mountain side northeast of Hollywood, this art-deco observatory can be seen from miles and has a commanding view of LA.
Location: 2800 E. Observatory Road, Griffith Park
Website: www.griffithobs.org

5. WEST LOS ANGELES

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA):

Over 100,000 works from all over the world are housed at LA's most popular museum, which had one of the largest collections of Monet's work.
Location: 5905 wilshire blvd. los angeles
Website: www.lacma.org

Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits:

Sticky black tar has been bubbling up to the surface of what is now Hancock Park for more than 40,000 years. This is a great place for leisurely education and picnicking. The Page Museum exhibits reconstructed fossil skeletons of camels, mastodonts, ground sloths, and giant lizards that once roamed the area.
Address: 5801 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles
Website: www.tarpits.org

Peterson Automotive Museum:

The largest automotive museum in the US.
Location: 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

Museum of Tolerance:

Founded with the purpose of teaching racial and cultural tolerance throughout the world, this museum engages the hearts and emotions of visitors.
Location: 9786 W. Pico Blvd (at Roxbury Dr.), Los Angeles
Website: www.museumoftolerance.com

Getty Center:

Located on a hilltop above the San Diego freeway (405), the white travertine marble and metal-paneled buildings that make up the Getty Center can be seen for miles.
Location: Off the San Diego freeway (405) at 1200 Getty center Dr., Los Angeles
Website: www.getty.edu

Sony Pictures Studios Tour:

You will step back in time when movie studios were giant entertainment factories run by legendary moguls when you take a 2-hour walking tour, located on one of the world's most famous lots.
Location: 10202 W.Washington Blvd, Culver City

6. BEACHES: MALIBU TO MARINA DEL REY

A drive along the Pacific Coast Highway from Malibu to Santa Monica offers a quintessential LA experience.

Zuma Beach County Park

Surfrider Beach

Will Rogers State Beach

The Getty Villa:

A unique hillside structure, a replica of an ancient Roman villa, which houses Roman and Greek antiquities.

Santa Monica Third Street Promenade (from Broadway to Wilshire)

Santa Monica Pier:

Exit Santa Monica Freeway (10) at 4th and 5th streets; North on 4th street to Colorado ave, west to Pier and parking

Venice Boardwalk

Marina del Rey:

World's largest man-made yacht harbor

7. PASADENA

The city is one of LA's venerable suburbs, with tree-lined streets, stately mansions and gardens, museums, and the well respected CA Institute of Technology (Cal Tech), which is best known for its earthquake reports.

Huntington Library, Art collections, and Botanical Gardens:

Located South of Pasadena in the posh suburb of San Marino, this library and complex is one of Southern California's most visited cultural attractions.
Location: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino
Website: www.huntington.org