Los Angeles

Los Angeles, or L.A., as is it commonly called, is one of the world’s most famous cities. The hub of the television, movie, and music industries in the United States, it is certainly well-known for its entertainment. When people think of Los Angeles, it is also common to conjure up images of idyllic weather, palm trees, and beaches. These things alone are reason enough to visit, but it only gets better when you also consider everything else that Los Angeles has to offer. Plus, any number of nearby destinations provide L.A. visitors with excellent side trip options, only increasing the possibilities for fun in the Southern California sun.

Los Angeles History

Los Angeles History
Los Angeles History  Image: Stephen Berkman

Los Angeles may have been founded by the Spanish in 1781, but it wasn’t until the first film studio was established in 1911 that the city really put itself on the world map. Within a few years of the establishment of this studio, movies were being produced in the hundreds in Los Angeles. This coincided with a significant increase in the city’s population in the coming decades. Today, Los Angeles proper has a population of more than three million people, and a more diverse city you could hardly ask for. L.A. residents represent some 140 different countries and speak a mesmerizing array of languages. Together, they help to make this one of the world’s major cultural centers.

Los Angeles Attractions

Los Angeles Attractions
Los Angeles Attractions

Among the main attractions in Los Angeles are the city’s people. Some of these people are of the celebrity variety, and it is very common for residents and visitors alike to spot stars mixing with the regular crowd. If you’re not having much luck spotting celebrities on your Los Angeles escape, you can always look to attend a television show taping. Often times, it doesn’t cost anything to be an audience member for productions at such places as CBS Studios. The famous Rodeo Drive area of Beverly Hills might just be the second best option for places to see famous people in Los Angeles, and if nothing else, you can get in touch with the showbiz world while strolling along the Walk of Fame in Hollywood.

There is much more to Los Angeles than celebrities and Hollywood. So, after you’ve hit Hollywood and snapped a photo of the famous Hollywood sign, you can embark on all kinds of other fun adventures. For the cultural enthusiast, Los Angeles and surrounding Los Angeles County combine to offer more than 800 museums and art galleries. Foodies, on the other hand, can select from restaurants of all kinds, and no trip to L.A. would arguably be complete without exploring the Farmers Market at the corner of 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue. Shopping enthusiasts can also find joy at the Farmers Market, as its eastern end is where you will find the Grove – a sprawling retail complex. Other ideas for things to do in Los Angeles include strolling along the Ocean Front Walk at Venice Beach, taking in the sights and sounds at the Santa Monica Pier, touring Sunset Boulevard and the Sunset Strip, watching a professional or collegiate sporting event, and checking out Universal Studios & CityWalk. The list goes on, and when it comes down to it, you would need months, maybe years, to see and do everything in the L.A. area.

Los Angeles Beaches

Los Angeles Beaches
Los Angeles Beaches

No discussion about Los Angeles would be complete without mentioning the city’s beaches. Easily some of the best and most popular beaches in California, the L.A. beaches stretch for more than 30 miles along Los Angeles County’s extensive coastline. Santa Monica and Venice Beach figure among the most iconic beach destinations in Los Angeles. Other hot spots for sand and surf include Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach. If you want to switch it up and get out of the main city area, you can drive north along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway and check out the beaches in the Malibu area. Examples such beaches include Topanga State Beach, Surfrider Beach, and Los Angeles County’s largest beach – Zuma Beach. Head south out of Los Angeles instead, and you can explore the wonderful beaches in Long Beach and Orange County.

Los Angeles Nightlife

Los Angeles Nightlife
Los Angeles Nightlife  Image: LA Tourism

Los Angeles doesn’t go quiet once the sun sets on the Pacific Ocean horizon. Quite the contrary. In L.A., you will find some of the world’s most cutting-edge bars and clubs, and virtually every night, there are opportunities to see live music or comedy performances. While in town, visitors can check out local event guides to see what’s on tap at such venues as the Hollywood Bowl and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. As is true of so many other world entertainment hubs, Los Angeles offers nightlife for all tastes and preferences, which only serves to increase its appeal as a travel destination.

Los Angeles Hotels

Los Angeles Hotels
Los Angeles Hotels

Being that it is such a large city and a major travel destination, Los Angeles boasts an overwhelming array of hotels. These hotels run the gamut from luxurious to cheap, and with so many to choose from, you are all but guaranteed to find a room, even if you wait until you arrive to secure your accommodations. Perhaps the best thing to do when trying to choose among the numerous Los Angeles hotels is to determine where you want to be based. If you want to indulge in tons of beach time, for example, staying near the water is the way to go, and West Hollywood is a good fit for nightlife enthusiasts. As you might suspect, some of the most luxurious Los Angeles hotels call Beverly Hills home, and the downtown hotels cater largely to business travelers. Families might opt to focus on Universal City, as it is close to Universal Studios. In the long run, no Los Angeles hotel is convenient to everything, but where you stay can have a big impact on your vacation, so be sure to weigh the options.

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