Los Angeles is a beautiful place to visit and has millions of visitors each year. The Los Angeles area stretches 40 miles (64 kilometers), from 5,000-foot (1,500-meter) mountains to the Pacific, and claims 467 square miles (1,209 square kilometers). That’s 20 Manhattan Islands, or ten San Franciscos, or two Chicagos. Within a three-hour drive you can ski, hike alpine wilderness, fly cast, or surf.
Even bigger is the Angeleno concept of L.A., which annexes adjoining self-governing municipalities. Thus Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Culver City, and Malibu are seen as nice neighborhoods belonging to the Big Pueblo. Ditto Burbank and the San Fernando Valley, where the ditsy dialect known as Valley Girl arose.
Some of the things you can see and do while in LA:
The amazing Los Angeles nightlife offers endless entertainment options, whether it’s a quiet drink with that special someone or dancing the night away with thousands of fellow party people. Downtown LA’s vibrant nightlife includes L.A. LIVE and numerous bars and nightclubs. In Hollywood you can go out and dress to impress at Drai’s and The Colony. Universal CityWalk Hollywood has everything from the Hard Rock Cafe to the dueling pianos of Howl at the Moon. LA bartenders create some of the best cocktails in the country at top bars, restaurants and hotels. Laugh it up at the Hollywood Improv Comedy Club or the Laugh Factory.
Want to see LA from the air? Take a Celebrity Helicopter Tours:
Stunt helicopter pilot Robin Petgrave’s (Broken Arrow, The Circuit) popular tours fly a maximum of three up the coastline, over Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, Brentwood, Hollywood, and the sparkling Hollywood Reservoir. See Aaron Spelling’s 21-car garage, and Eddie Murphy’s new 77,000-square-foot mansion from the air-without privacy gates or hedges, says Petgrave. In an ironic twist: proceeds go towards a worthy cause-a Compton-based children’s flight program. www.celebheli.com
The Getty Center Los Angeles
“LA’s fabulous outdoor living room that happens to have some old art.”-Matthew Flynn, co-author, Fodor’s L.A. Perched high above Los Angeles, Richard Meier’s architectural triumph of travertine and white granite contains European and American art, sculpture, and manuscripts. Better still, go for the hilltop vistas of mountains, ocean, the span of the city, and the white Hollywood sign. Happenings include a summer outdoor concert series. Admission is free, though parking is $8. 1200 Getty Center Dr.; tel. +1 310 440 7300; www.getty.edu
“Often considered intimidating, this city is an amalgamation of everything from the indie hipster to the obnoxious socialite.”-Rebecca Brown. Don’t miss the Walk of Fame (hand and footprints of the stars), Grauman’s Chinese Theater (over-the-top pagoda), the Egyptian Theater (art deco behemoth now hosting classy retrospectives), El Capitan Theatre (Disney screening venue with ornate, authentic detail), and the Erotic Museum (small but interesting).
Stately museum housing American and European paintings and decorative art. The highlight is outside: 120 acres of exquisitely manicured gardens, including an extensive desert garden with countless otherworldly aloe plants, a sprawling Japanese garden with arched bridges and bonsai trees, wild Australian parkland, and a children’s garden. Massive new Chinese garden opened in 2008. 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino; tel. +1 626 405 2100; www.huntington.org
“Ultimate insider’s beach community. Billionaires and beach bums sharing sand.”-Matthew Flynn. 21 miles of precarious coastline. The marshy Malibu Lagoon State Beach is ideal for bird-watching or surfer-watching; the Malibu Pier makes for a rustic fisherman’s sunset perch; and Zuma Beach is paradise for sunbathers and volleyball players.
Nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles is a global city, with strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine and research and has been ranked sixth in the Global Cities Index and 9th Global Economic Power Index. The city is home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional and cultural fields and is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States. T
he Los Angeles combined statistical area (CSA) has a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $831 billion (as of 2008), making it the third-largest in the world, after the Greater Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. Los Angeles includes Hollywood and leads the world in the creation of television productions, video games, and recorded music; it is also one of the leaders in motion picture production. Additionally, Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984.