— Discover Las Angeles —
As the entertainment capital of the world offering 75 miles of sunny coastline, a flourishing Downtown, lifestyle playgrounds for the rich and famous, trend-setting arts scenes and internationally flavoured neighbourhood’s, LA is a destination unlike any other. With so much to see and do, the best way to begin is to learn about LA’s vibrant regions — each one filled with memorable destinations and unique offerings.
With its world class entertainment venues and museums, incredible restaurants, a thriving nightlife scene and walkable streets, Downtown LA is experiencing a renaissance as one of the most exciting areas in the city. Downtown boasts one of LA’s centrepiece attractions — L.A. LIVE. This spectacular entertainment complex occupies a 27-acre site across from STAPLES Centre. Offering nightlife, restaurants and live music venues, it’s the vibrant heart of Downtown. Check out the award-winning JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE and The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles as well as The GRAMMY Museum®, ESPN Zone, Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge and the 14-screen Regal Cinemas. Across the street from L.A. LIVE, the STAPLES Centre remains the hub of activity in the area as the host for major concerts and sporting events. The arena is home to the Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Sparks. Culture diggers can strike gold at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) with its highly regarded permanent collection — featuring works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Piet Mondrian, Jackson Pollock and Robert Rauschenberg — and a rotating roster of unique installations and visiting exhibits. Downtown’s 160-acre Exposition Park is the former site of the city’s agricultural fairground — what we’d call a farmers market today. The park is home to a number of cultural institutions, including the California Science Centre, the California African American Museum, the LA Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena and the Natural History Museum of LA County. The California Science Centre is the new home of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, now on public display in a special pavilion. The Natural History Museum is undergoing a major transformation in anticipation of its centennial in 2013. The museum debuted its extraordinary new Dinosaur Hall in July 2011, and its renowned dinosaur displays, including the world’s only T-rex growth series, are now displayed in two stunning, light-filled galleries. The Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall is a modern architectural masterpiece anchoring the Music Centre. The concert hall’s organ has more than 6,000 pipes, ranging in size from 32 feet to just a few inches. Other venues at the Music Centre include the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Ahmanson Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum.
For millions of visitors, Hollywood is an essential part of the Los Angeles experience. Home to must-see shows and attractions, celebrity-frequented restaurants, and hotels that are stars in their own rights, Hollywood is rightfully known as the entertainment capital of the world. The Hollywood Walk of Fame has been honouring celebrities with commemorative stars for more than 50 years. In 2012, the world-famous sidewalk welcomed new stars for Paul McCartney, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lopez and Matt Groening, and the stars will be shining just as brightly in 2013. Speaking of celebrities, Starline Tours offers visitors a variety of hop-on, hop-off tours to see the stars, from the famous tour of Movie Star’s Homes to the new TMZ Hollywood Tour — “Secrets and Hotspots.” For a closer look at the movie-making world, Paramount Studios offers two different tours that take visitors behind the scenes of the historic studio lot. Vintage Hollywood indoor venues are always prime attractions. The former home of the Academy Awards®, the Pantages Theatre is the best place to catch Broadway shows on the West Coast. The Hollywood Palladium opened in 1940 and has hosted the Emmy® Awards and the GRAMMYs. Moviegoers can experience restored cinemas such as the world-famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. At Madame Tussauds Hollywood, visitors can ditch the velvet ropes to interact with their favourite celebrities by stepping into elaborate sets and playing the role of supporting actor or actress to create a truly immersive experience. Hollywood & Highland Centre’s shops and restaurants have raised Hollywood glamour to new heights. Since July 2011, the Dolby Theatre has been home to the riveting new Cirque du Soleil® show, IRIS, A Journey Through the World of Cinema™. The theme of the show revolves, fittingly, around Hollywood and its incredible influence on the history of moviemaking. The Dolby Theatre is also the permanent home of the Academy Awards®. Universal Studios HollywoodSM offers a popular theme park and a fl ashy pedestrian entertainment district next door — Universal City Walk Hollywood. The park, which started featuring its studio tours in 1964, has since added dozens of exciting attractions tied to contemporary hit movies. The new “Transformers: The Ride 3-D” takes riders into the heart of the battle with incredible state-of the-art technology from the talents behind the Transformers movie series.
San Fernando Valley
To the north of Hollywood is the San Fernando Valley (“The Valley” to locals), home to movie studios, excellent restaurants and superb natural and cultural attractions. Foodies and fashionistas alike will love Ventura Boulevard, the Valley’s main thoroughfare. Many of LA’s most acclaimed sushi restaurants are located on “Sushi Row” in the Studio City neighbourhood, while dozens of boutiques and vintage clothing shops are sure to make fashion-hungry shoppers drool. While there, take a tour on the sets of TV shows and movies at Warner Bros. Studios. The vibrant NoHo Arts District in North Hollywood is home to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which produces the annual Emmy® Awards. NoHo also has an array of cafes, boutiques and 22 live theatres. Nature-lovers will also appreciate the Valley’s gardens and trails. Griffith Park is the largest municipal park in the United States, home to the Griffith Observatory, the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens, and hundreds of miles of hiking trails. Centre in West Hills is a great place for picking Valencia oranges and white grapefruit. The Valley’s cultural attractions are second to-none. The $125 million Valley Performing Arts Centre opened in January 2011 on the campus of California State University, Northridge, bringing top-quality performances to the Valley in a world-class, eco-friendly setting. At the state-of-the-art Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum visitors can tour President Reagan’s Air Force One, sit in an exact replica of the Oval Office, and view a piece of the Berlin Wall.
With idyllic coastal attractions stretching from Malibu all the way south to San Pedro and the Port of Los Angeles, LA’s Beach Communities are the essence of Southern California’s Endless Summer. Malibu offers 27 miles of beaches as well as hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Malibu is also home to the Getty Villa, the only reconstruction of a Roman patrician country home in the United States. The urban resort city of Santa Monica offers a landmark pleasure pier complete with the Pacific Park amusement park, as well as the bustling Third Street Promenade and revamped Santa Monica Place shopping centre. It’s also home to more than 90 galleries and art museums, many of which are housed at Bergamot Station. Known for its Ocean Front Walk, Venice Beach is also home to Muscle Beach and the Venice Skate Plaza. A few blocks inland is Abbot Kinney Boulevard, with a varied selection of upscale and affordable shopping. Marina del Rey is one of the world’s largest man-made, small-boat harbours. Several yachts are available for charter, and restaurants and bars can be found all along the waterfront. South of LAX, San Pedro is home to LA’s World Cruise Centre, one of the busiest passenger cruise ports on the West Coast. In the summer of 2012, San Pedro welcomed the USS Iowa to its new permanent home, and opened CRAFTED, a marketplace for hundreds of local artisans. Charter a boat for fishing, enjoy whale watching (seasonal) and even take a cruise. Or, stay on land and wine, dine and unwind at Ports O’ Call Village. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum is another can’t-miss attraction in San Pedro.
Shopaholics flock to the Westside for the trendy boutiques on Third Street, couture shopping on famed Rodeo Drive, popular shopping centres such as The Grove and the Beverly Centre, and the landmark Original Farmers Market, opened since 1934. Robertson Boulevard is known primarily for its celebrity-magnet restaurants, such as The Ivy and Cuvee, and its chic, high-end boutiques, such as Nanette Lepore and Kitson. The affluent community of Brentwood is located west of the 405 freeway, offering its own village-like area along Montana Avenue. It’s also home to the Getty Centre, a world class arts, conservation and education institution that offers spectacular views from its location atop the Santa Monica Mountains. Famous works in its collection include Van Gogh’s “Irises,” “Arii Matamoe (The Royal End)” by Paul Gaugin, and a world class photograph collection. The Wilshire Corridor’s claim to fame is Museum Row, with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Petersen Automotive Museum, the Craft and Folk Art Museum and the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits. New at LACMA is Levitated Mass, an outdoor art installation that features a 340-ton megalith that seems to fl oat in the air. Nearby, on Avenue of the Stars, the fabulous and free Annenberg Space for Photography features a state-of-the-art digital projection gallery, along with a traditional print exhibit area. The Paley Centre for Media in Beverly Hills is a living catalogue of television and movies. Open to the public daily, you can watch archives of your favourite films, shows and commercials as well as attend special events and screenings. Westwood Village offers distinct Mediterranean architecture, eateries and boutiques, a movie theatre and the Hammer Museum.
Information and Pictures courtesy of http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/