Los Angeles: City of Angels - And Stars! - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |  


Los Angeles: City of Angels - And Stars!

by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Message Board Guide (Moderator)
Last modified 1/18/2007
  



PassPorter.com > Articles > U.S. Travel > Traveling  

Los Angeles -- those two words invariably get people thinking. Perhaps of the thousands of movies that have come out of the city, perhaps of the designer names scattered throughout Beverley Hills, that famous Hollywood sign, or maybe the smog and the traffic congestion.


Whatever it is you think of, Los Angeles certainly makes its mark on people, whether they've visited the city or not, and with good reason. It's the second largest city in America with a population of more than four million people, spread over something like 500 square miles -- and that's just in the city! It's reckoned the Los Angeles metropolitan area is home to another 13 million people. If you're heading to California, it's one of those places you have to visit -- and of course it's easy to get to for anyone visiting Disneyland.

But where to start? Nearly every tourist heads for Hollywood Boulevard and it's easy to see why. The sight of Mann's Chinese Theater is one that's immediately familiar to any Disney fan that's seen it's likeness at the Disney-MGM Studios. When you see the real thing for the first time though, you're immediately struck by how much vision and showmanship Sid Graumann had. This place really is unique and certainly doesn't blend in with anything around it, but that's one of its attractions! And of course another attraction is the handprints in front of the theater. It's worth arriving early to get any photos, as this place gets mobbed later in the day.

Hollywood Boulevard is also home to the Walk of Fame, and while not as prestigious as getting your handprint done, it's really fun to find your favorites - be sure to print off a list before you leave home. The Walk of Fame literally goes on for miles and you do need to have an idea of where to find the star that you’re looking for. A couple that Disney fans should keep an eye out for include Walt Disney at 7201 Hollywood Boulevard, Roy O. Disney at 6833, Mickey Mouse at 6925, Donald Duck at 6840 and Snow White at 6910.

This area is also home to the Kodak Theater, which hosts the Oscars. Part of the Hollywood and Highland complex, it's fascinating to walk down the stairs and see the names of the movies which have taken the Best Picture Oscar each year. If you want to see more of the theater, guided tours run daily and can be purchased at the box office. This complex is also home to shops and restaurants and a very reasonably priced car park, where parking will cost you up to a maximum of $10 per day -- a good bargain for a major city!

Let's be honest -- we're all fascinated by the lives of the rich and famous, otherwise the press wouldn't cover their every move with such detail. That could explain why Beverley Hills is such a huge attraction for visitors to Los Angeles. Packed with world famous designer names, this area of the city just drips with money and of course, there's always a chance you could spot a star out doing their shopping. It really is worth seeing, just to see how the other half live! If stars are what you've come to Los Angeles to spot, then this is also the area to find their homes. As well as taking a guided tour, you can also do it yourself with guides to where celebrities live. One guide that's particularly comprehensive is Celebrity and Movie Star Addresses.

Although movies may have made LA famous, they're only half the story for visitors. The city also has a lot of history that many never see. That history really started with La Brea Tar Pits, which were formed around 42,000 years ago, when oil rose to the surface of the earth. Animals became trapped by that oil and their remains were then fossilized. The Page Museum here allows visitors to learn about the city during the last Ice Age, when the city was dominated by sabre toothed tigers, rather than movie stars!

History is just as evident, but a lot more recent at Olveda Street, the birthplace of Los Angeles. It's also known as El Pueblo Historic Monument, after the original pueblo that was built by the 44 settlers of Los Angeles in 1781. Today you can still find many historic buildings here, including the oldest brick home in the city and there's also a traditional Mexican-style market to browse. It's an odd area, set right in the middle of modern downtown, and considering the development in LA over the years, it's amazing it's survived so well.

A far more modern structure that's also well worth a visit is the Hollywood Bowl. The summer home of the LA Philharmonic since 1922, it's a unique concert venue and it is worth checking to see if anyone will be playing there during your trip. Even if there isn't anything that appeals, the museum is open year round from Tuesdays to Saturdays and is free to visit. Just remember, if you do get a chance to go to the Bowl, be sure to hike up high enough to get a photo with the Hollywood sign in the background. It's not an easy climb, but it's worth it!

And speaking of the Hollywood sign, you'll get some superb views of it from Griffith Park. Covering 4,210 acres, this park got its name from Colonel Griffith J. Griffith, who donated the land to the city in 1896. As well as the wonderful views, the main attraction here is the Griffith Park Observatory that has recently reopened, following a massive renovation and expansion. One of its main draws is its superb planetarium and the 12-inch Zeiss telescope, located in a roof top dome at the east end of the building, allowing people to view the stars and planets for themselves.

With so much to see, you might be wondering where to grab some good food. Unsurprisingly, LA is packed with a myriad of places to eat, but some of the best include the Farmers' Market which was started during the Great Depression of the 1930's as a place for farmers to sell their produce. Today the food here is still first class and you'll be hard pressed to find fresher meals. If you like hot dogs then don't miss Pink's at 709 La Brea Boulevard. A family owned hog dog stand since 1939, you'll see lines around the block at almost any time of the day, even the early hours of the morning!

There's so much to see in Los Angeles that ideally you'll either need a car to get around or you can also join a guided tour. As you'd expect, there are many to choose from -- we went for Starline Tours and were very impressed with the tour and the knowledge of our guide. In recent years, with the creation of a new subway system in the 1990's, public transport has become another way to get around Los Angeles. The metro system includes rail and bus services, which will take you to most of the major sights.



About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!


Recent U.S. Travel Articles:
Honolulu and and Waikiki - Things to Do While Visiting Aulani last updated 04-30-2015
The Eastern Coast of Oahu, Hawaii - Things to Do While Visiting Aulani last updated 04-23-2015
The Pearl Harbor Memorial - Things to Do While Visiting Aulani last updated 04-16-2015
Kennedy Space Center - Things to Do Near Port Canaveral last updated 04-09-2015
The Bishop Museum in Oahu - Things to Do While Visiting Aulani last updated 04-09-2015

More Related Links:


Traveling Carry-On to Walt Disney World - Avoid Those Baggage Fees last updated 3/2/2011
New York City - Something Old, Something New last updated 01/02/2009
On the Road to Walt Disney World - Doing "The Drive" last updated 01/20/2009
Airline Security - 10 Important Tips and Reminders last updated 1/21/2009
Sick at Sea - (But Not Sea Sick!) last updated 5/14/2009




Reader Comments:


View all comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 1/18/2007 - Article #322 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Getting There (and Back!): Your Journey to Walt Disney World
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
By car, plane, or train -- share your tips, plans, and experiences with others! Forum Sponsored by Quicksilver Tours & Transportation


how to make DME reservations [+ do you tip the drivers?]
by MomJune
29 Apr 2015 at 8:58pm
I have paid for all of my trip and have checked in online for our hotel. Where do I go to make my DME reservation? (I have seen many people say that...
(click title above to view replies)

Disney Magical Express from MCO to WDW (Polynesian) in July
by WKellehan
26 Apr 2015 at 9:11pm
Anyone have any idea how long it is going to take us to get to WDW from MCO using Disney Magical Express? We arrive July 3 around 11:20 and are...
(click title above to view replies)

MCO cell phone lot [experiences? Distance to Arrivals?]
by Huntermom
25 Apr 2015 at 11:24pm
Has anyone used it? How long does it take to get to arrivals from the lot? And is it easy or do I need to build time in for touring the airport?
(click title above to view replies)

Best way to get to the World from Jacksonville.
by davishomeschool
23 Apr 2015 at 8:23am
we R taking a cruise with a group of people that will be returning to Jacksonville on September 2nd. since we are so close I am going to add a four...
(click title above to view replies)

Car Rental Savers website [experiences?]
by bcuinohio
22 Apr 2015 at 8:35pm
Has anyone ever used http://www.carrentalsavers.com/ before? Their rates are the lowest I have found. They are even lower then my beloved Costco...
(click title above to view replies)



Total Visits: 3265

TING!
You've discovered a PassPorter's Club Concierge Tip!
Ting the bell to read your tip and save it in your Concierge Desk!


PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.