Santa Monica and Venice Beaches
Visiting So Cal without going to the beach is like going to Paris and skipping the Eiffel Tower. Any one of the beaches is a good choice, but Santa Monica and Venice Beaches are two of the most popular. They have a wide variety of food and shopping as well as good atmosphere; also check out the small amusement park at Santa Monica Pier.
Point Dume, Zuma Beach
One of the less crowded beaches is Zuma Beach. It is a little farther north than the other LA beaches, but has much more room to spread out and good surfing. There’s a “secret” beach at the southern end of Point Dume, near lifeguard tower 1, over a tumble of rocks (which you can also go rock climbing on).
No visit to Los Angeles would be complete without seeing the famous
sites in Hollywood. Look for your favourite celebrity’s names on the
walk of fame, literally step in the footprints of the stars at
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, party on the Sunset Strip or gaze upon the
50 foot tall Hollywood sign looming over the city.
Disneyland and Six Flags
Disneyland is the most famous amusement park in the world. Its two parks, plus three hotels and shopping and restaurants, provide for a vacation on their own, and have the crowds and expense to match (a one-day adult ticket is $53). Six Flags Magic Mountain, which is smaller and less expensive, is much more manageable.
California has long been a destination for Asian and Hispanic immigrants, and you can get a taste of their cultures in Chinatown, Little Tokyo and the “Little Mexico” on Olvera St. The last is part of El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park, a state historic park celebrating the founding of LA. All three neighbourhoods are within walking distance
These days Hollywood is not great for seeing celebrities since all the studios have moved north. Many, including NBC and Warner Brothers, found a new home in Burbank, and some offer tours or free tickets to tapings.
The Getty Centre’s art collection spans from the Renaissance to modern pieces, and the architecture, gardens and view of Los Angeles make the visit even more worthwhile.
La Brea Tar Pits
Everything from mammoths to humans have been unlucky enough to fall into these natural tar pits over the last several million years; you can see their fossilized remains here at the Page Museum.