According to Travelationary, Los Angeles is the largest city in California in the United States. The official name was El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles de la Porciuncula, introduced by the Spaniards. The current name is often shortened to LA, the city’s nickname is City of Angels.
Activities in Los Angeles
Dearly Departed Tours
Always wanted to know where Frank Sinatra or River Phoenix died? Curious about the place where Hugh Grant was caught for visiting prostitution? The friendly people of Dearly Departed Tours will guide you in a light-hearted way for three hours along the places where the stars experienced their greatest scandals or met their tragic end.
Starline Tours of Hollywood
Starline Tours of Hollywood has been housed in the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater since 1968, known for its Walk of Fame. Various tours depart from here daily to Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the homes of the stars.
Urban Shopping Adventures
Targeted and guided shopping is arranged here in no time at all. At Urban Shopping Adventures you get insider tips on the best deals and the hottest designs in Los Angeles.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour
Warner Bros., known for Bugs Bunny, ER and The West Wing, among others, would like to give you a look behind the scenes. An interesting tour takes you past various sets, the costume storage and the parking lots of stars such as Clint Eastwood and Sharon Stone.
Paramount Pictures Backlot Tour
The only film studio still based in Hollywood proper is Paramount Pictures. A two-hour walking tour here takes you past several film and television sets, some of which are occupied by films that will not hit theaters for another year.
Shopping at Farmers Market
For eighty years, the Farmers Market has been a great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner; always fresh, always surprising and never too expensive. The most diverse dishes are available here, from oysters to gumbo, or from donuts to homemade peanut butter. At the end of the market rises The Grove , a flashy mall where all kinds of shops and large chains give you the chance to let that credit card flutter.
Shopping at Westfield Shopping Town
Westfield Shoppingtown is an open-air mall with more than 140 stores for shopoholics with a bit more money to spend. Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, among others, are located here, as well as about twenty restaurants and a cinema
Hollywood & Highland
Hollywood & Highland Mall cost more than $615 million to build and furnish; no wonder only the best of the best are in the shop windows here. Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton and Ann Taylor are frequented places, as is the now world-famous Kodak Theatre, where the annual Oscars are presented. Seeing is believing!
Golfing in Los Angeles
Los Angeles and the surrounding area has more than 100 golf courses and resorts, which vary greatly in quality and price range. Most don’t require a reservation, but popular tee times often result in a wait. There are seven 18-hole courses and three 9-hole courses in the city itself. For more information, visit www.golfcalifornia.com. The most centrally located course is Rancho Park Golf Course, which is inexpensive rather than stunning in beauty. In Griffith Park, no fewer than four courses are set amid tranquil woodlands, where sightings of grazing wildlife are not uncommon in the morning.
The roaring Pacific irresistibly invites all angling enthusiasts to deep sea fishing. Del Rey Sport Fishing has three boats at its disposal that are used to fish for halibut, barracuda and yellowtail, among other things.
They prefer to hike here in the Santa Monica Mountains , a small mountain range that runs from Griffith Park to the north coast above Malibu. Recommended trails include the trail to the top of Santa Ynez Canyon and the shorter, much easier trail through Temescal Canyon.
Sea kayaking is of course irresistible with such a beautiful ocean on your doorstep. At Southwind Kayak Center at Newport Beach and Dana Pint they rent excellent kayaks and equipment to give you a wonderful day. Of course, these professionals also offer lessons for beginners and advanced students.
Floating above the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, it’s not hard to feel like a bird for a second. At Windsports Soaring Center they rent hang gliders, equipment and teach you how to get up and down.
Los Angeles is a cycling enthusiast’s dream. A bike path of 35 kilometers of flat asphalt leads along the most beautiful beaches, bays, beach villages such as Venice and Redondo Beach and LAX airport. The best time to take this route is during the week; during the weekends it is crowded here. The trails within Malibu Creek State Park are great for mountain biking. More than 15 miles of trails and avenues wind their way up and down the Santa Monica Mountains for nearly a mile.
Griffith Park is a wooded area that lends itself to horseback rides. At Griffith Park Horse Rental you can rent horses by the hour and possibly take lessons. Driving along the beach is of course the ultimate when you are in Los Angeles. The extremely popular Topanga Canyon is home to Los Angeles Horseback Riding, an equestrian center that offers horses and lessons for beginners and experts of all ages. The views of the San Fernando Valley and coastline you’ll encounter along the way are priceless.
Surfing first came to California at Redondo Beach when one George Freeth mastered the surf on his board in 1907. Almost all beaches have several surf shops and schools on site for equipment and advice on breaks and swells. If you want to learn this highly addictive and frustrating sport, it is best to contact Learn To Surf LA , a surf school that is highly regarded by professionals and experience experts.
Los Angeles landmarks
Aquarium of the Pacific
The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach is a wonderful day trip for young and old alike, featuring more than 12,500 animals in 50 exhibits and habitats. The Shark Lagoon and the Lorikeet Forest, among others, are highly recommended.
Disneyland is the legendary world where Mickey, Donald and Goofy live and dreams come true. Eight lands full of surprise and adventure await children of all ages, because you’re never too old for laughter.
The gigantic modernist temple that houses the Getty Center was largely funded by J. Paul Getty, an oil magnate with a great love for the fine arts. He left the museum about 1.3 billion dollars, with which the organization managed to get its hands on works by great artists such as Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Man Ray.
Graumans Chinese Theatre
Grauman’s Chinese Theater is one of the most famous movie theaters in America, and perhaps the world. Even if the name doesn’t mean anything to you, everyone recognizes the sidewalk in front of the theater out of thousands. This one is littered with the hand and footprints of only the most famous celebs lovingly immortalized in cement. The theater itself is a dream of Ming architecture, still drawing millions of people from all walks of life to its halls every year.
The Hollywood Museum houses a huge collection of movie memorabilia. Costumes, posters, sets, set pieces and photos take you back to the Golden Age, when everything that glittered was gold. Here you can see, among other things, Hannibal Lecter’s cell, Rocky’s boxing gloves and Cary Grant’s Rolls-Royce.
What makes Hollywood Hollywood is the nine big white letters on the hills of Mount Lee. It originally read Hollywoodland, but extensive decay and a landslide shortened the famous logo. You can best see the letters on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Bronson Avenue. True fans can take a several-mile hike on the Brush Canyon Trail in Griffith Park, which begins at the end of Canyon Drive.
L.A. County Museum
With more than 110,000 pieces within its walls, the LA County Museum of Art is one of America’s preeminent museums. The huge complex consists of four buildings, each with a different theme, but all overflowing with art with a capital letter. An absolute must see!
Museum of Television & Radio
The Museum of Television & Radio is not so much a museum as a large library where you can find just about every episode of every TV or radio program ever made.
UCLA Hammer Museum
In addition to an impressive permanent collection, the UCLA Hammer Museum is best known for its innovative and provocative rotating exhibitions.
At the Universal Studios theme park, movies come to life in breathtaking rides, thrill rides, and other theme park fun. Those who prefer to go deeper into the world behind the scenes can book a tour of film sets from War of the Worlds, Jurassic Park and Spiderman, among others.
Los Angeles has no less than fifty kilometers of beach in front of the door. Zuma Beach County Park is very busy on weekends, probably because of the excellent facilities that are a magnet for families. Los Angeles’ best waves come ashore at the ever-bustling Surfrider Beach; no wonder the surfing community loves to wax their boards here. Will Rogers State Beach is especially popular with families with children, as the waves here are fairly calm. Santa Monica State Beach is also popular with families because of its accessibility (large parking spaces!) and white sand. Venice Beach is mainly used for people watching; a multifaceted cross-section of LA stereotypes passes by here. Large parking spaces, excellent surfable waves and the presence of toilets s make Manhattan Beach very popular on weekends, while Redondo Beach attracts millions of people every year because of its name and fame. Hermosa Beach is one of the best beaches in California, with a wide beach, nice promenade, good facilities and very good waves.
Sunset Boulevard is perhaps LA’s most famous boulevard. The long avenue runs from downtown to the beach and passes many historic landmarks, all of which have featured in films and television series of yesteryear. A small stretch of Sunset Boulevard is called The Sunset Strip and is home to The Comedy Store (where Robin Williams, Richard Pryor and Roseanne rose to fame), The Viper Room (Johnny Depp’s nightclub) and the infamous Whiskey A Go-Go (where once performed, among others, The Doors, Led Zeppelin and Otis Redding). Sunset Boulevard eventually ends in Malibu, where the Baywatch series was filmed.
Since the 1950s, Venice Beach’s boulevard has been known as a colorful intersection of all the population groups and stereotypes of Los Angeles. From hippies to businessman and from gang member to rough bikers swarm here and guarantee at least a day of strolling and people watching.
Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a long row of bronze medallions on the sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, with more than 2,000 names of stars who have made a name for themselves in the entertainment industry.