Los Angeles, already the second largest city in the U.S., welcomes millions every year hoping to see its media celebrities. Tourists want to walk where the stars walk, shop, and dine. They visit Universal City, the City Walk or head down the road to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. Visitors visit Mann’s Chinese Theater and Hollywood Boulevard to find their favorites in the stars embedded in the pavement. And, they stroll Rodeo Drive wondering at the high-dollar boutiques.
But, there are many other attractions in L.A. that place it among the most exciting cities in the world. Before you consider its many landmarks, you must remember to apply for your USA ESTA before embarking for your U.S. visit.
You must visit the Griffith Observatory, a location you’ve seen in many films. But, visitors must stay for the Planetarium show and lecture. You will love it as much as the kids, and it’s free. Griffith Observatory overlooks Los Angeles' Griffith Park where you can hike or relax, horseback ride, or spend time at the Los Angeles' Zoo. Don’t miss the train ride!
LACMA has quickly become one of the great museums of the world. Locals know admission is free after 3:00 p.m. It displays 150,000 works of art for its one million visitors each year. Tickets are available online or at the ticket office. Several other specialized museums compete with LACMA, but The Getty is an inspirational piece of architecture filled with extraordinary world treasures.
The J. Paul Getty Museum is a testament to what all the money in the world can buy. Its drawings include works by DaVinci, Degas, and Dűrer. The antiquities section includes exceptionally well-selected pieces in superb condition. The Grand Masters collection includes the most representative work of Rubens, Rembrandt, Turner, Cezanne, and Van Gogh. And, there is so much more to explore and research on the enormous campus you may want to sign up for one of its several tours.
Prefer music? L.A. is a major stop for traveling concerts, and it has many live music venues. But, the Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of the wonders of the world located at 111 South Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles.
The exterior is markedly original, and the interior boasts colors from a gold palette. It’s sophisticated acoustics support performances by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, touring orchestras, and exceptional performers from pop and classical music. You can tour the facility, but you should try to work a performance into your itinerary at its website.
Simon Rodis, an Italian immigrant, spent 33-years building his landmark towers. A collection of junk, concrete, seashells, toys, bottles, mosaics, and sculptured accents, Watts Towers offer you an engaging cultural experience. architecture. Located at 1727 E. 107th Street, Los Angeles, the towers offer guided tours at $7 for adult and $3 for children. You can check out the tours on Thursday through Saturday from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm and Sundays from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm.
People move west to the Santa Monica Pier in the evenings. It’s been a romantic and fun option for generations. Couples stroll the pier with ice cream cones or compete in carnival games. Kids scream on the wild rides and a classic carousel. You can park on or beside the pier but getting there is a little tricky. The pier branches over the Pacific from Ocean Avenue. Santa Monica Blvd. West dead ends at Ocean Avenue north of the pier, and Cal Route 1 West ends just south of the pier.
The odd culture of Venice Beach is an easy walk south of Santa Monica Pier. It’s your chance to enjoy the great California beaches and the cold Pacific Ocean. But, Venice attracts tourists to mingle among its joggers, skaters, cyclists, musicians, jugglers, and an assortment of Bohemian and Hippie sales.
You can eat well and cheaply along the strand, have great pastries and morning coffee, or open a bottle of wine watching the sunset. If you do nothing else, you must stop to watch the performances at Muscle Beach.
Los Angeles has a lot to offer visitors. There’s so much to see and do, you’ll want to schedule your visit in detail. Hopefully, this review will make things easier for you. If you’re arriving in Los Angeles from another country, you’ll also want to complete your ESTA online at least 72-hours before departure.